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Manchester Festivals You Shouldn't Miss All Year

Manchester Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss All Year

Hey there, festival enthusiasts! Get ready to unleash your inner party animal because the stage is set, the spotlight is on, and Manchester is calling your name. 

This vibrant city is the place to be all year round, offering fantastic festivities that will for sure be an unforgettable experience for you and your friends.

With all that said, let’s dive into these fantastic festivities and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Manchester International Festival

Address: Different locations each year

Good for: Nightlife, photo, group

Opening: July, every two years

Ah, the Manchester International Festival! It’s a spectacular celebration of arts and culture that takes over the city every couple of years. This festival brings together artists from all around the world to showcase their incredible talents.

You can expect a diverse range of performances, from captivating theatre productions to mind-blowing musical acts. The festival often takes place in various unique venues across Manchester, adding an extra touch of excitement to the whole experience.

One of the things I love most about the Manchester International Festival is its commitment to pushing boundaries and exploring new artistic frontiers. 

You’ll often come across groundbreaking installations and thought-provoking exhibitions that challenge the status quo!

Pro tip: 

While the festival’s main venues are fantastic, don’t forget to explore Manchester’s other cultural hotspots. Check out local galleries, street art, or independent theatres that may be hosting fringe events during the festival. 

Parklife Festival

Address: Heaton Park, St Margaret’s Rd, Manchester M25 2GT, UK

Good for: Nightlife, couples, families, group

Opening: Mostly in June

Alright, let’s talk about the Parklife Festival, mate! It’s like the ultimate music extravaganza that takes Manchester by storm. Picture this: two days of non-stop tunes, good vibes, and thousands of like-minded party animals.

The atmosphere is off the charts. It’s like this wild party where everyone’s on the same wavelength. You’ll find yourself dancing like there’s no tomorrow, singing along at the top of your lungs, and making new mates left and right.

Oh, and the food and drink options? Absolutely banging! You won’t go hungry or thirsty, trust me. Grab some tasty street food to fuel your dancing feet, and wash it down with a cold one from the bars scattered around.

Pro tip: 

Don’t be afraid to get lost in the musical maze. Sure, make a rough plan of the must-see acts, but also embrace the unexpected. 

Manchester Pride Festival

Address: Varies every year

Good for: Nightlife, couples, photo, group

Opening: Every August, during the August Bank Holiday weekend

Manchester Pride Festival is an absolute riot! It’s like the city’s getting a fabulous makeover during the August bank holiday weekend. Picture this: colourful costumes, lively music, and a whole lot of love for the LGBTQ+ community.

This festival is organised by the amazing folks at Pride charity and has become a classic in the Pride event scene. It’s been going strong for years, attracting thousands of excited visitors.

Now, let me break down the party for you. You’ve got Manchester Pride Live, where the stage is on fire with incredible performances. Then there’s the Superbia Weekend, a little slice of artsy heaven. 

But the absolute showstopper is the Parade. It’s like a technicolor dream cruising through the city streets, with floats representing different boroughs and supporting organisations. Trust me, you’ll want a front-row seat for this extravaganza!

Pro tip: 

  • Don’t just be a spectator, be a part of the parade! 
  • Manchester Pride isn’t just about the main parade and stage performances. Take the time to explore the fringe events happening across the city. 
  • While at the festival, make a conscious effort to support LGBTQ+-owned businesses and vendors. 

Manchester Jazz Festival

Address: Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1RG

Good for: nightlife, families, groups

Opening: May

This festival is like a jazzy explosion that takes over the city for 10 days!. It’s like jazz tentacles spreading their magic all around, even sneaking into venues like RNCM, Matt & Phreds, and Band on the Wall. They’ve got the whole city swinging!

Now, get this—hundreds of talented musicians, not just jazz cats but also artists from other genres, gather to create sweet, sweet tunes. From free gigs to ticketed events, they’ve got you covered. There’s something for every ear and every pocket.

And let’s not forget, this festival knows how to bring in the big guns. Internationally acclaimed artists grace the stage, while local and up-and-coming jazz performers get their chance to shine. It’s like a musical melting pot of talent!

Pro tip: 

  • Keep an eye out for late-night jam sessions or after-hours performances. These impromptu gatherings often occur in smaller venues or bars after the official festival hours. 
  • While the main stage at Piccadilly Gardens is undoubtedly a highlight, don’t limit yourself to that area alone. Venture into the surrounding venues like RNCM, Matt & Phreds, and Band on the Wall.

Flower Festival on the Square

Address: Exchange Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 1BD

Good for: Gardeners, group outings, families

Opening: May

Selfridges Manchester Exchange Square and The Manchester Flower Festival have joined forces to create a botanical extravaganza right in Exchange Square. 

And hey, don’t be surprised if you find yourself grooving with strangers who just can’t resist the rhythm. It’s a flower-powered dance party, my friends!

As you explore the festival, you stumble upon a gardening talk where you learn some handy tips and tricks to turn your own backyard into a blooming paradise. You might even catch yourself thinking, “Hmm, maybe I should start my own flower empire!”

Oh, and did we mention that while you’re indulging in all these delightful experiences, you’re also doing a good deed? Yep, a portion of the sales from the street food vendors goes straight to local charities!

Pro tip: 

Don’t forget to strike up a conversation with the street food vendors. They’re usually bursting with fascinating stories and culinary secrets. You might even discover a hidden gem that becomes your new favourite go-to spot for foodie adventures.

Manchester Flower Festival

Manchester Flower Festival's Homepage

Address: St Ann’s Square, Manchester

Good for: Gardeners, artists, photo

Opening: May

Yo, check it out! CBRE and CitiBlooms have teamed up to bring you The Manchester Flower Festival, and let me tell you, it’s a floral paradise! 

Get ready to have your senses blown away at The Lincoln Building, where you’ll be greeted by four jaw-dropping floral pillars decked out with the most vibrant seasonal flowers. Seriously, it’s like stepping into a dream world! 

And that’s not all—there’s a cosy seating area and a charming floral arch overflowing with lush foliage and summer blooms. We couldn’t help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Oh, and don’t forget to snap a pic with the iconic Manchester worker bee. 

Trust me, this festival captures the true spirit of Manchester, and you don’t wanna miss it! 

Pro tip: 

  • While some vendors may accept card payments, it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand, as it may be more convenient for smaller transactions. 
  • The Art, Craft, and Flower Market can be bustling with activity. Take breaks in between browsing the stalls to relax and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.

Teletech Festival

From sylviakaminska

Address: BEC Warehouse. Longbridge Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester

Good for: friends, party, disco

Opening: August

Get your dancing shoes on because Teletech Festival 2023 is coming in hot! After blowing our minds in 2022, this year’s edition promises to be even wilder and crazier!

Teletech is all about bringing the sickest techno, electro, and acid artists to Manchester, turning the city into a massive playground for ravers like us. 

Last year, we were treated to mind-blowing performances by the likes of 999999999, I Hate Models, Anetha,, Clara Cuvé, and a whole bunch of other talented artists. 

Now, hold on to your glow sticks because Teletech Festival 2023 is pulling out all the stops. They’re scouring the globe for the freshest emerging talents to create an unreal night of pure musical madness. 

Hey, if you don’t want to miss out on this wild rollercoaster ride, better act fast and secure your Teletech festival tickets pronto! 

Trust me, this event already had a killer reputation before last year’s blowout, so you can bet your glow stick collection that tickets will be gone before you can say “bass drop.”

Pro tip: 

Gather your wildest friends and form a squad that’s up for an unforgettable adventure. Make a pact to stick together, look out for each other, and create epic memories that will be talked about for years to come.

Damnation Festival

Address: Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester

Good for: friends, metalheads, heavy music

Opening: November

Alright, let’s talk about Damnation Festival, the ultimate mecca for metalheads in the UK. This bad boy is all about unleashing the beast within and immersing yourself in the heavy music scene.

We’re talking about bone-crushing, face-melting metal in all its glorious forms: death metal, black metal, doom metal, and everything in between. It’s a sonic journey that will have your eardrums begging for mercy—in the best way possible.

And let’s not forget the extras. Damnation Festival hooks you up with merchandise stalls, so you can snag some killer band merch and show off your metal cred. 

Plus, there are chances to meet and greet your favourite artists, so you can geek out and have those “pinch me, I’m meeting my idols” moments.

Pro tip: 

  • Make sure to carve out time to explore the merchandise stalls. They’re a treasure trove of band merch, CDs, vinyl records, posters, and all things metal.
  • Embrace the mosh pits, headbanging, and the raw energy of the crowd. 

The Kings of Amapiano Outdoor Festival

Address: Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester

Good for: cultural expression, friends, community

Opening: June

The Kings of Amapiano Outdoor Festival is coming at you with all the vibes, beats, and culture you can handle. We’re talking about a festival that’s not just about the music – it’s a full-on celebration of Southern African culture, food, arts, and fashion.

But it’s not just about the music, my friend. The Kings of Amapiano Outdoor Festival is bringing you the whole package. We’re talking about mind-blowing live performances from Amapiano legends, along with DJs spinning the hottest tunes in genres like Gqom, Kwaito, and Afrohouse. 

And guess what? We’ve got a lineup of UK DJs, dancers, collectives, and some very special guest headliners from South Africa and Europe. Get ready to witness pure fire on that stage!

And it’s not just your ears that are in for a treat. We’re serving up incredible visuals that’ll take your breath away, along with mouthwatering food to satisfy those festival cravings. 

Plus, get ready for a feast for your eyes with a showcase of fashion, culture, and arts that’ll have you in awe.

Pro tip: 

  • While the music is the main attraction, The Kings of Amapiano Outdoor Festival has so much more to offer. Take breaks between sets to explore the various stalls, food vendors, art installations, and cultural showcases.
  • The beauty of festivals is the element of surprise. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore new artists or genres. You might stumble upon your new favourite act or discover a whole new dimension to the Amapiano scene.

Medieval Manchester Festival

Address: Hunts Bank, Manchester M3 1DA, United Kingdom

Good for: history, friends, cultural

Opening: September

Brace yourselves for the most epic festival of the century at Chetham’s in Manchester! I’m telling you, this celebration of their 600-year-old buildings is gonna be off the charts!

I’m talking mind-blowing storytelling, falconry that’ll make your hair stand on end, and mediaeval games that’ll test your skills (and your ability to avoid tripping over your own feet). 

And guess who’s providing the killer tunes? Yours truly, Manchester Baroque and Chetham’s Cathedral Choristers! Get ready to groove like it’s the Renaissance!

Now, listen up, folks: Chetham’s isn’t just an ancient building. Oh no, it’s home to the UK’s biggest music school (where I rock the harpsichord like a boss), a concert venue that’s cooler than a dragon’s breath, and the legendary Chetham’s Library—the OG of public libraries!

Pro tip: 

  • When you hit up the Chetham’s festival, make sure you head straight to the historic courtyard. Why, you ask? Well, that’s where all the action is going down!
  • But here’s the real secret sauce: Seek out the storytelling sessions. Trust me, those hidden gems are like magical time portals that transport you right into the heart of medieval tales.

Manchester Folk Festival

Address: Multiple Venues

Good for: folk lovers, friends, party

Opening: October

Hey there, fellow music enthusiasts! Check it out: the Manchester Folk Festival is about to hit the scene in the hip Northern Quarter. Get ready for a folkin’ awesome time, my friends!

We’re talking multiple venues, urban vibes, and some seriously talented artists who are gonna rock your socks off with their contemporary folk jams. It’s like a sonic adventure, taking you on a journey through the vibrant world of folk music.

Circle October 19th to 21st on your calendar, ’cause that’s when the magic happens. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this groovy extravaganza!

Pro tip: 

  • Don’t limit yourself to just one venue. Explore like a musical adventurer and check out as many venues as you can handle.

The Magic of Thailand Festival in Manchester

Address: Platt Fields Park, Platt Lane, Manchester M14 5NF

Good for: friends, cultural, 

Opening: July

I’ve got exciting news! The Magic of Thailand Festival is happening in Manchester’s Platt Fields Park this summer. It’s a two-day extravaganza where you can dive into Thai culture and feast on world-class food.

Picture traditional music, dancing, Muay Thai boxing, and even a Ladyboy show! Treat your taste buds to aromatic curries and street food galore. There’s a Thai beer garden for refreshments, and you can unwind with a traditional Thai massage. 

Don’t miss the unique eating competition and a play area for the kids. Mark your calendar for this incredible weekend of Thai magic in Manchester!

Pro tip: 

  • Don’t forget to bring some cash, as it will come in handy for purchasing delicious Thai delicacies and souvenirs.
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