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Blackpool Illuminations will be on for two months longer than usual this year

Amazing news!

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Visit Blackpool

Blackpool illuminations are set to be extended for an additional two months this year to help boost the seaside resort’s tourism.

VistBlackpool has revealed that the Illuminations will run for an extra two months this year from September 4th to January 3rd 2021.

They have also announced they will be hosting their first-ever virtual Switch-On concert in association with MTV Music UK.

This means the switch-on will be free-to-access for all in the online streamed event taking place on Friday September 4th.  

Originally the Switch-on was scheduled for the same date, but with an audience of 20,000 people at the Tower Festival Headline. 

Mark S Jobling/Wikimedia

Due to social distancing, this event cannot go ahead in its usual format. So instead, for the first time in 70 years, the resort will be holding an accessible virtual Switch-On event that can be seen all over the world.

There will be an hour-long concert with a mixture of pre-recorded and at-home performances as well as live performances filmed at a closed event in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

The event will be hosted by Diversity’s Ashley and Jordan Banjo, and will feature a star-studded line-up of talent, leading up to the all-important Switch-On moment.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture for Blackpool Council, said: “The annual Switch-On event is the biggest night in Blackpool’s events calendar. Sadly, it is simply not possible to stage an event of that scale given the current restrictions around social distancing and mass gatherings.

“However, it would be unthinkable not to launch our Blackpool Illuminations season with an extraordinary event. Staging the first-ever virtual Switch-On concert to a mass audience watching from home does exactly that. 

“We are very much aware of how much our tourism businesses are suffering as a result of the pandemic and we hope that by extending the Blackpool Illuminations season by two months, it will give them an opportunity to bring in some additional trade.

“We are planning for a safe, socially distanced Illuminations experience and will be keeping all Government health guidance under review as we move towards the autumn season.”

Details of the Switch-On concert’s line-up will be revealed over the course of the next few weeks, along with how you can view the streamed event. 

Plus VistBlackpool will also be releasing a preview of new features on the 2020 illuminations display. 

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What's On

Huge beer festival with more than 500 different varieties coming to Manchester

Can’t wait for this!

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Manchester Craft Beer Festival

Manchester Craft Beer Festival is back for another year, bringing with it more than 80 breweries and 500 different beers to sample.

The fourth edition of the festival will be taking place at Depot Mayfield on Friday July 5th and Saturday July 6th.

Cloudwater, Track, Marble, Northern Monk, Bundobust, Sureshot and Seven Brothers will be there to represent Manchester, alongside other UK stalwarts like Deya, Verdant, Siren and Leeds’ North Brewing Co.

Manchester Craft Beer Festival


Heritage breweries like Timothy Taylor’s, Chouffe and Timmermans will also be there, as well as international breweries from the US, Greece, Spain and Australia.

There will also be some great food options to line your stomach, including bao buns, crispy chicken and katsu tater tots at Bone Daddies, as well as Almost Famous, Bundobust, MorMor and Voodoo Rays.

Manchester Craft Beer Festival


Greg Wells, director of Manchester Craft Beer Festival, said: “It’s been a disheartening year for Manchester’s beer scene so far with closure of the beloved Indy Beer Con Fest and the unsuccessful debut of the International Brewing and Cider Festival, but we’re pleased to announce our return and bring more of what has been loved in the past three years.

“With even more breweries and experiences on offer and larger capacity this year, we’re buzzing to be back to satisfy all the beer lovers out there.

“The addition of a complimentary trade session to our programme is all about promoting this world class beer city and a small gesture to support all the incredible people who work across the drinks and hospitality industries.

“We all have a mutual understanding of the hardships our industries have faced in recent times so we thought it’d be a nice gesture to get everyone together for the love of drinks, food and music to celebrate beer and ourselves!”

Manchester Craft Beer Festival


The entry price includes all your drinks throughout your session, as well as festival glass and access to all the events happening.

And as it’s on during the Euros, it will be screening the football too.

Day tickets cost £57 per day session – with a discount for four tickets – or £145 for the whole weekend. Grab tickets HERE.

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New makers market with everything from dog accessories to house plants and jewellery coming to Manchester

Get this one in your diary!

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Supplied

A brand new makers market is coming to Manchester this late May Bank Holiday weekend, with something for everyone.

Taking place at New Jackson – a new urban neighbourhood located at the southern gateway to the city – Manchester Made Market will be held on Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th.

Over the two days you’ll be able to browse a selection of local artisanal traders and small businesses from across the region.

Supplied


There’ll be everything, from food produce, homewares, crafts and creations to dog accessories, house plants, jewellery and homemade soap.

Among the traders will be Manchester and Cheshire-based florist and floral artists Dot & Flora, graphic artist Ablott MCR selling music prints, HGT with crochet fashion and homeware designs, and artisan candlemakers Leaves and Prickles.

Elsewhere, there will be essential oils and other treatments from Grounded Wellness, permanent jewellery from Sealed Links, and desserts from Cake With Heart.

Supplied


There will be plenty of street food options to keep you topped up while you shop, including The Wild Grill, Food Sorcery, Salvi’s and new favourite Medlock Canteen.


Neighbourhood Brew will be supplying some great drinks as well.

Supported by Renaker, the market is free, but you can upgrade your experience with a limited, free VIP ticket with access to the dedicated bar area.

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Manchester Flower Festival returns with tributes to Sarah Harding and Caroline Aherne

It’s taking place later this month!

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The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

The legendary Manchester Flower Festival is returning to our city later this month, complete with pop-ups, installations and tributes to some local icons.

Taking place over the late May Bank Holiday, the event will be headlined by its ‘Floral Trail’.

This year’s theme is Manchester Icons, with a host of names past and present being honoured in flower form, including the late comedy legend Caroline Aherne, pop star Sarah Harding and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Collaborating with Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow, floral designer Liv Woodward will create a portrait of Caroline Aherne at the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street, using sustainably sourced plants and flowers.

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding will be remembered in a ‘tribute garden’, sponsored by the AO Arena, with visitors able to donate to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal by scanning the QR code at the display.

The homage to Pankhurst has been created by female-led Decordia, featuring an ornate wooden Manchester Town Hall-inspired planter with sashes, posters and colourful icons, alongside a wicker figure of the suffragette herself.

This can be found at the corner of Cross Street and King Street, adorned with purple, green and white plants – the colours of the suffragette movement.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Other local legends will also be honoured with their own installations, including Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta and iconic Manchester brewery Boddingtons .

Fringe events will be taking place too, at locations including Northern Quarter art shop Fred Aldous, The Bridgewater Hall, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct.

Selfridges Exchange Square, El Gato Negro, Tast Catala, Franco Manca, Grand Pacific Manchester and Urban Playground will also be taking part, with alfresco dining, festival-related dishes and cocktails.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Now in its seventh year, the Flower Festival, which is put together by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, with live entertainment, workshops, and arts and crafts markets.

It all happens from May 24th to May 27th – head over to the website HERE to find more information.

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