Bolton Food and Drink Festival - photo: Paul Heyes

We’re spoilt for choice this weekend. Not only is it the August Bank Holiday, but it’s bursting with events all across Manchester including beer, music and food.

It’s The Manchester Pride Big Weekend, celebrating sexuality and expression, as well as Manchester’s vibrant LGBTQI+ community. Events kick off on Friday, then the much-loved Pride Parade makes its way through the city on Saturday, starting at midday near The Beetham Tower. This year’s theme is ‘The Circus of Acceptance’.

The Big Weekend is packed full of events, including Rita Ora at the top of the bill, the cultural celebration of Superbia, a massive silent disco and sing-a-long cinema. There’s also the moving Candlelit Vigil at Sackville Gardens on Monday.

There’s plenty more partying, too. The Come As You Are Weekender returns to The Refuge on Saturday and Sunday, with free entry. Alex Big Grillie is back providing a weekend feast in the courtyard with beats, dirty BBQ food and good vibes all round.

If you fancy a bank holiday day-trip, it’s worth going a little further afield to Quarry Bank Mill. From Saturday, the much-loved mill reopens following a nine-month renovation with new galleries plus a family discovery trail brought to life in a newly transformed setting.

GRUB: The Beer Up Here

Three to see this weekend: northern pints, soul delights and Bolton bites I Love Manchester
Photo: James Darcey/Northern Industry Photography

Manchester’s newest beer festival is here, brought to the city by food and drink purveyors GRUB and proving up north is the place for quality beer. The Beer Up Here will show off 100 breweries and 200 beers from all over the north. With five sessions taking place over the three days, you are sure to find a beer for you. Beehive Food will also be there with beer snacks including their much-loved scotch eggs, pork pies and lots of veggie deli treats, too. The event is ticketed and welcomes all, including families and dogs – with tickets available online and a select number on the door. Friday 24th until Sunday 26th August, Fairfield Social Club. 


The Manchester Soul Festival

Three to see this weekend: northern pints, soul delights and Bolton bites I Love Manchester

Following three successful years raising over £65,000 for The Christie, The Manchester Soul Festival is back at The Printworks once again on Sunday. Audiences can enjoy live soul bands, artists and DJs, and entry prices (minimum £5 donation) going towards raising money for The Christie – with a record-breaking target of £35,000 this year. The main stage acts will be performing on the ‘Frank Byrne’ stage, in memory of the man who made it all possible, plus there will be food and drink discounts from a range of venues within The Printworks. A brilliant opportunity to enjoy Northern Soul and Motown, whilst making a massive charitable contribution. Sunday 26th August, The Printworks.


Bolton Food and Drink Festival

Three to see this weekend: northern pints, soul delights and Bolton bites I Love Manchester

One of the largest food festivals in the north west, Bolton Food and Drink Festival is returning for the 13th year running bringing traders, workshops, demos and good grub to Bolton town centre. Even better, it’s largely free, with special events starting from £5. Last year saw a turnout of over 263,000, and this year is bigger and better than ever with live music, street performers, theatre shows, special events, kid’s activities and hundreds of food traders. New chef headliners include GBBO’s Nadia Hussain, James Martin, Ainsley Harriott and Michelin starred chef Michael Caines. Enjoy a Cake-Off competition, live cookery demos, plus a speciality food, drink and crafts market with 200+ traders. Friday 24th-Monday 27th August.


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