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A Stranger Things-inspired Upside Down bar is coming to Manchester

This will be mint!




Stranger Things fans are in for a treat this year, as a pop-up bar based on the popular series is coming to Manchester.

The Stranger Things-themed bar will transport you back to the 1980s with their immersive experience.

Monster hunters will get to experience all the best parts of the 1980s – the great films, arcade games, as well as DJs spinning classic ‘80s tracks all day and night.

The Upside Down Bar

They’ll be games to play, puzzles to solve, prizes to be won and room to show off your best moonwalk, and when you get hungry there’s even some themed food – and of course, booze.

But the Upside Down Bar has a dark secret, and once you’ve had your fill of ‘80s-themed fun, there is a dark and dangerous mission to complete – are you brave enough to venture into another dimension and face the unknown?

It’s happening from Thursday August 20th until Sunday August 23rd at a secret city centre location, so keep your eyes peeled.

You can get your hands on tickets here – but be quick, as you don’t want to miss out on this one.

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A 10-day light and illuminations festival featuring the Floating Earth is coming to Salford Quays

Lightwaves will be completely free to attend and will feature dozens of artistic installations



@nick_roscoe1 / Instagram & Lightwaves Festival

The dark and cold nights are set to become a little less dreary with the arrival of a magical light and illuminations festival at Salford Quays.

Lightwaves will be arriving at Salford’s Media City this Friday, December 3rd, and will bring with it a whole array of exciting illuminated installations.

With a focus on bold new commissions, Lightwaves supports international artists alongside local and emerging talent, with this years commissions focusing on an important message of protecting the planet and building a sustainable future.

Here’s what’s you can expect to see…

@koffee_and_sunsets / Instagram

Lightwaves Festival

Perhaps the most talked about installation is Floating Earth by acclaimed artist Luke Jerram. The centre piece of the festival, this awe-inspiring artwork will give visitors the chance to see the planet floating on the surface of the water in three dimension.

Measuring ten metres in diameter and created from 1200dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earths surface, Jerram created the installation to give visitors a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment. 

Also on the line up is Sirens, a ‘beautiful but haunting’ display of water-based projections curated by Davy and Kristin McGuire. The artwork shows life-like mermaids and sea creatures encountering the devastating effects of plastic pollution and climate change.

The mesmerising water ballet Cygnus by LOOMALAND will also be on display throughout the festival, featuring twelve synchronised robot swans, all of which are illuminated from the inside and change colours to the rhythm of the music from within their bodies.

Lightwaves Festival

Lightwaves Festival

The immersive laser projection, LASERTONIC will utilise sound and colour to transform its surroundings into a meditative environment. The colourful laser light will dance in time with the surround sound, creating a serene environment to engage the subconscious mind and imagination.

Also on the lineup will be the Manchester bee-themed interactive arch of light HIVE MINDS, the fun and spontaneous music making experience ILLUMAPHONIUM by Michael & Gemma Davis, and experiential artwork MYSTERY BIRD, which has been developed as a static installation especially for Lightwaves 2021. 

Lightwaves 2021 will be launching on Friday December 3rd alongside festive makers markets at Quayside. The festival will be completely free to visit with no tickets or advanced booking required.

For more information and to see the artistic lineup in full, visit the Quays Culture website.

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VAN GOGH ALIVE: How to get discounted tickets for the world’s most visited immersive art exhibition

Here’s everything you need to know



Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive, the world-famous immersive exhibition dedicated to the work of Vincent Van Gogh, is offering an exclusive discount on tickets for its Media City residency. 

Described by the Sunday Times as ‘glorious, stunning, but also very moving,’ Van Gogh Alive allows guests to experience the artist in a multi-sensory art exhibition that gives a unique glimpse into the life and work of Van Gogh.

It is currently the world’s most visited immersive art exhibition, having mesmerised a global audience of over 8 million across seventy cities. 

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Over 3,000 images from his vast catalogue of work – including iconic works like Starry Night, Sunflowers and lesser-known paintings that were inspired by his love of Japanese woodprints – explore and showcase different periods of the artists’ somewhat troubled life.

The exhibition, which has proven to be a massive success in Salford’s Media City, also offers immersive experiences for art fans to get stuck into – the life-sized recreation of one of his most famous pieces, ‘Van Gogh’s Bedroom’ brings the painting to life while allowing visitors to sit on Van Gogh’s bed, his chair, use his mirror, and pose for a photo.

Budding artists can also try their hands at using Gogh’s techniques and learning his craft to create their very own masterpiece in the Art Activity Area.

Sounds a bit better than your old school trips to a dusty art gallery, doesn’t it?


Van Gogh Alive

The exhibition also supports The Christie charity by using the experience as a platform to help raise funds to continue its work in cancer care, research, and education. Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to make a donation to the charity when either purchasing tickets or while at the exhibition.

Van Gogh Alive will be at Salford’s Media City until January 23rd 2022, and there’s an exclusive discount on tickets for those over the age of sixty-five, full time students and patrons with disabilities.

Family tickets are also discounted by 25%, and children under the age of five get to enter for free. 

For more information and to book your own tickets, visit the Van Gogh Alive website.

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There’s a new Italian Christmas Market in Manchester selling pizza, pasta and mulled wine

There’s a new Christmas market in town…




As the festive season gets into full swing, Manchester has gained the unlikely addition of an authentic Italian Christmas Market, and it is the thing of dreams.

Now, Italian Christmas Markets do things a little differently to the typical German-style markets we’ve become so accustomed to; instead of bratwursts and spiced cider, the Christmas Markets over in Italy boast a selection of tasty pastries, traditional cookies, fresh pasta and, of course, their finest regional wines.

So we can expect some fantastic things from Manchester’s new Italian Christmas Market, which has come courtesy of a collaboration between local Italian restaurant Salvi’s and contemporary neighbourhood Deansgate Square.

The unique markets have come as the family-run restaurant prepare the launch of its own eclectic food hub, which is billed to open at Deansgate Square in the new year.



So, what can we expect from Manchester’s Italian Christmas Market?

The markets, which opened over the weekend and will run until December 22nd, are serving up the very best in authentic Italian food and drink from a two-tipi hub, four festive huts and a cosy fire-pit with complimentary blankets.

Also on the bill is a number of DJs, live music, entertainment, Christmas gifts, hampers, panettone and tiramisu making workshops, kids events, and plenty of other exciting seasonal extras.

There is also the Aperol and Campari Bar, which is serving up a number of unconventional festive tipples such as a Hot Mulled Negroni, a Fig Negroni, Aperol Spritz (obviously) and Vin Brule, a special mulled wine hailing from Piemonte, a northern region at the foot of the Italian Alps.

On the food side of things, guests will be able to indulge in a selection of Salvi’s finest Italian street food, such as freshly baked pizza, pasta and sweet treats like soffietti. There will also be hampers, panettone cakes, oils, pasta, aprons, pasta sauces, cheese, salamis and limoncello up for grabs, too.



There will also be live music every Thursday and Sunday, DJs every Friday and Sunday, lots of events with music and entertainment, interactive workshops including panettone and tiramisu making, and a variety of kids and family-friendly classes that will be announced by Salvi’s very soon.

Salvi’s owner Maurizio Cecco said on the new markets: “We are so excited to be involved in the Christmas market at Deansgate Square; with our new venue opening there in early 2022 we want to create an authentic Italian festive wonderland for customers old and new.

“Come along for food, drinks, dancing, or just a chat if you’re passing… The Salvi’s door is always open.”

The Italian Christmas Markets are open at Deansgate Square now. Head over to the Salvi’s Instagram page for news and updates.

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