The sun may be shying away, but there are plenty of hot events happening in and around the city this weekend. From an award-winning jazz festival to a classic summer fete, with a zombie apocalypse thrown in, it’s an eclectic mix.

And this weekend doesn’t just mark the start of the Manchester Jazz Festival. Thursday sees two other huge events coming to life and running through the weekend: Bluedot at Jodrell Bank, and Refract Festival at Sale Waterside which runs for 10 action-packed days. Expect plenty of cultural opportunities, events and fun for all the family.

Manchester Jazz Festival

Three to see this weekend: fetes, festivals and fighting zombies I Love Manchester

The award-winning Manchester Jazz Festival kicks off on Friday and lasts for eight days. The hub will be Albert Square where you’ll find markets, a 1920s Spiegeltent – where nearly half the events take place – a free outdoor stage and a bar. There’s plenty to enjoy, with opening night highlights including Sam Jefferson at Matt & Phreds, Binker & Moss at Band on the Wall, and what should be an explosive performance from Soul Grenades in a late performance at Matt & Phreds. Saturday sees sets from the Sound of Thieves and the Ashley Henry Trio and there’s also a special MJF afternoon tea at The Midland. Afternoon tea and brunch are also available on Sunday, as well as Davina & The Vagabonds at Band on the Wall and an album launch from Jeremy Sassoon at Matt & Phreds. From Friday 20th July, Albert Square and other venues.

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How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Three to see this weekend: fetes, festivals and fighting zombies I Love Manchester

The apocalypse is coming… to the Greater Manchester Fringe. This mysteriously titled Yorkshire love story hits the stage at the Kings Arms in Salford on Friday and Saturday. The story follows a chance meeting between Phil and Mark, tough questions about their life choices and their own personal zombie apocalypse.  This piece of theatre by Jonathan Hall, brought to life by Narthern Productions, is sure to be a Fringe favourite. Friday 20th July at 7pm and Saturday 21st July at 2pm, Kings Arms.

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Beech Road Summer Fete

Three to see this weekend: fetes, festivals and fighting zombies I Love Manchester

There are few things more feel-good than a proper old-fashioned summer fete, and on Sunday an array of fun activities and pop-ups will take place in and around Beech Road Park. It’s an opportunity to kick off the summer holidays and raise funds for this community space while enjoying the best independent traders. Relaxing activities on the bowling green include tai chi and yoga, and you can also get stuck into hook a duck, a coconut shy, a raffle and even a tug of war. There’s the chance to learn to play African drums with Adam Tam and a range of family events in the park, too. The Boxworks is hosting a kids pop-up shop as well as a performance from Chorlton Ladies Singing Group, all topped off with live music at surrounding bars and restaurants. Sunday 22nd July, 11am-5pm, Beech Road Park.

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