Photo: Aristoteles Kara

Whether you need an event to celebrate the arrival of true Manchester summer weather (in case you’ve forgotten it – that’s rain) or are just looking for some fun to kick August off with, there’s plenty lined up in the city. Friday is International Beer Day, so a celebratory pint may well be in order, plus Friendsfest is also taking place in Heaton Park.

There’s also the return of the Gothic Manchester Festival, now in its sixth year with events across Manchester. Expect eerie excitement and unusual activities, including a Frankenweenie black and white party with a free screening of Tim Burton’s animated film. And at the Anthony Burgess Centre on Saturday, Twisted Tales of Hybridity will bring together three thrilling authors: Rosie Garland, Helen Marshall and Laura Mauro.

If you are not into all things ghostly, you can still sample some spirits. This weekend sees the arrival of a massive gin and rum festival. Now that’s the type of spirit we like best. Or you can get into gaming, as there’s an enormous hands-on gaming experience opening this weekend at The Museum of Science and Industry, with hundreds of retro consoles just waiting to be played.

Gothika

Three to see this weekend: eerie celebrations, drinks sensations and gaming stations I Love Manchester
Photo: Jose Hernandez

A dark drag ball and club night will take place at the massive Great Northern Warehouse this Friday, from 10pm until the witching hours. Hosted by Cheddar Gorgeous and Liquorice Black, expect an evening of amazing outfits, enchanting dancing and drag inspired by Manchester’s Gothic heritage throughout the ages. Goth up and get ready to slay. There will be a huge line-up of performers inspired by the 200 year anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and an impressive show from The House of Decay as well as an array of DJs delivering a clubnight under candlelight. Gorgeously creepy. Friday 3rd August from 10pm, Great Northern Warehouse.

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Gin and Rum Festival

Three to see this weekend: eerie celebrations, drinks sensations and gaming stations I Love Manchester

A gin and rum festival tour – the first in the UK – is coming to Manchester Cathedral this weekend. It’s an atmospheric location to sample some spirits, and with over 60 gins and 60 rums on offer, you are in for a treat. A number of exclusive themed bars will be on display, perfect for spirit lovers wanting to try something different. There’s an evening session on Friday, and afternoon and evening sessions the following day. You can also expect entertainment, street food and a series of talks and workshops from experts in the industry. Friday 3rd August and Saturday 4th August, Manchester Cathedral. 

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Power UP at MSI

Three to see this weekend: eerie celebrations, drinks sensations and gaming stations I Love Manchester
Photo: Jason Lock

The Museum of Science and Industry’s much-loved hands-on gaming area ‘Power UP’ is back from Friday, with more than 160 consoles available for you to get gaming. Enjoy all your retro favourites from the last 40 years, including the likes of Pacman, Pong and Sonic. Whether you are a games geek or just looking for some good fun, there is something for all the family here – and even some select adult-only gaming sessions. Tickets are available for 90-minute sessions at £7 (daily at 10.15am, 12pm, 1.45pm and 3.30pm), and half day sessions are available at £11 (daily at 10.15am and 1.45pm). From Friday 3rd August, Museum of Science & Industry.

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