It’s the August bank holiday weekend, and Manchester’s Pride Festival is officially upon us.
Sadly, the iconic Pride Parade has been cancelled for the second year in a row as a result of Covid-19 restrictions – but regardless of that, Manchester has still pulled it out of the bag with a ton of exciting and eclectic events happening across the city to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community.
Here’s what’s on…
Manchester Pride Festival
Let’s start with the big one: The annual Manchester Pride festival will be taking place from August 27th – 30th.
A huge number of artists are on the bill to perform over the weekend: While the artists for Friday are yet to be revealed, Saturday will see the likes of Sigala, Annie Mac, Katy B, Example, La Discotheque and Anton Powers.
On the bank holiday Sunday, Zara Larsson, Ella Henderson, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Black Betty and Sian Bennett will be taking over the stage, along with a whole host of other exciting acts.
The roots of Manchester Pride and the Festival are firmly in the heart of Manchester’s world-famous Gay Village, who will of course be hosting four days of celebrations with performances, markets and parties alongside the festival.
Click here to buy tickets.
Affleck’s Palace Pride Garden Party
Manchester’s famed indie emporium recently announced that they will be throwing an epic Pride Garden Party. Taking place this Saturday, August 28th, the party will be acknowledging the theme for this year’s Pride, ‘The Garden of Freedom’ by encouraging all guests to attend in fancy dress.
There will also be drag DJs spinning tunes throughout the day along with a number of Drag Queens roaming Affleck’s itself, providing fun and flamboyant entertainment to the masses.
The independent traders within Affleck’s will also be joining in with the festivities and will be offering promotions to customers to celebrate the Pride weekend. Affleck’s very own Gay Pride Shop – which is the biggest LGBTQ+ shop in the UK – stocked with over 4,500 items, including Pride essentials such as flags, face paints and fans.
Affleck’s Palace, 52 Church Street, M4 1PW
0161 839 0718
Escape to Freight Island LGBTQ+ takeover
Starting tomorrow, Wednesday August 25th, Escape to Freight Island will be hosting an epic six-day long party in celebration, described as an ‘explosion of queer power.’
A whole array of exciting events are scheduled for the celebration, including the likes of Club Orchestra, who will be performing pride anthems, Amuse Bouche bringing their usual fun, House of Ghetto, and Creatures of Catharsis back with Performance is Power, alongside plenty more wonderful events across the week.
The event is ticketed per day and booking in advance is strongly recommended. However, walk-ups will still be available for 25th – 30th August. Get your tickets here.
Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PZ.
Ducie Street Warehouse ‘Something for Everyone’ Pride Programme
Ducie Street Warehouse is throwing a huge LGBTQ+ friendly programme featuring a plethora of performers, artists, characters, and world-renowned DJs for five days over the course of the August Bank Holiday – from Thursday August 26th to Monday August 30th.
Their in-house resident Mix-stress and Friends will be kickstarting the event on Thursday, while Kiss Me Again will follow to curate a weekend of parties from LGBTQ+ collectives and DJs from Manchester and beyond.
On the Saturday, there will be a drag brunch hosted by Sink the Pink DJs which will be dedicated to introduce Ducie Street Warehouse and Native Manchester’s charity partner, akt; with a donation of £5 from every brunch booking going to the charity.
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester M1 2TP.
0161 503 9460
Refuge ‘Come as You Are’ Party
The Refuge’s annual celebration of music, love and inclusivity will be kicking off with live performances, DJs and events from Friday afternoon right until the early hours of Monday.
There’s a huge list of performers including the enigmatic House of Ghetto, The Family Gorgeous and tonnes of world-class DJs.
The event description reads: “These full-venue takeovers incorporate the beautiful space in all its glory, from the intense outdoor atmosphere of Waterhouse Way, to the warm surrounding of the Public Bar, and the heads-down spiritual melting pot that is the Basement.
“The Come As You Are Weekenders, especially around Manchester Pride, have developed an electric reputation throughout the UK and has become synonymous with a special and unique togetherness that only Manchester can magic from its people.”
No bookings needed, simply turn up as you are.
The Refuge, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA.
0161 233 5151
‘The Most Depressing Pride of Your Life’ at YES
YES will be hosting a very unusual but very needed ‘break-up disco’ on the Bank Holiday Saturday where guests will be encouraged to come and purge their old relationships out on the dance floor with the help from a playlist of love songs and power ballads.
They’ll be focussing on the heartache, trauma and pain of the saddest songs ever written so if that’s your bag, get on down. Tickets are only £6 and it’s on til 3am. Buy tickets here.
YES, 38 Charles St, Manchester, M1 7DB.
0161 273 2725
Ezra & Gil Pride Special
Everyone’s favourite Northern Quarter brunch haunt will be hosting their debut Pride party on Sunday, August 29th.
The cafe has secured a number of impressive acts and performances, including Belinda Scandal, a live DJ set and a live violinist for their outdoor seating area.
For more information and updates, visit their website.
Ezra & Gil, 20 Hilton St, Manchester, M1 1FR.
Free festivals coming to Freight Island for ‘most electrifying season yet’
Get ready for a festival season of great food, drink and music at Freight Island!
Freight Island is gearing up for an epic free festival series throughout the spring and summer months, which promises to be its ‘most electrifying season yet’.
Back open in full swing on Easter weekend, Freight Island is set to re-open fully on Friday, March 29th featuring world-renowned DJs and the city’s finest talents to present top tier entertainment.
All free to attend, this year’s epic series is set to welcome some of the music scene’s most revered talents such as David Rodigan, Greg Wilson, Norman Jay, Luke Una and his special É Soul Cultura, Crazy P (DJ Set), Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, and many more.
Supporting acts include some of Manchester’s most celebrated DJs and collectives, including the likes of Sit N Bun, Supernature Disco, SK1 Records, Me Gusta Collective, Semi Skimmed Edits, Ghosts of Garage, and more.
In addition to the sensational spring/summer programming, Freight Island also hosts regular events including the famous pop club night Cherrybomb, mass karaoke, creative workshops, and more.
Continuing to champion independent traders from the North West, Freight Island will see a new addition to this year’s festival season with Liverpool institution Pattersons.
Guests can tuck into the North West spot’s famous mouth-watering fried chicken, which is brined for over 24 hours in Pattersons’ special mix of herbs and spices and dusted in secret recipe flour.
Hungry guests can also expect all of Freight Island’s amazing traders to be back open, including the premium smashed burgers from Burgerism, giant 22” pizza and slices from Voodoo Ray’s, slab shack from Lazy Tony’s Lasagnaria, and Indian and Nepalese street food from Payal.
As well as Greek street food from Mega Gyros, Venezuelan cuisine from Mia’s Arepas, pan-Asian cuisine from Fuku, open fire cooking from Smoking Coal, and cheesecake on a stick from Oh My Cheesecake.
Foodie programme resumes with Seconds carvery every Sunday, featuring quality roast meats and unlimited access to all the trimmings.
To book your FREE tickets for the Freight Island festivals, click HERE.
Freight Island opens for its epic spring/summer festival from Friday March 29th. Opening hours are Thursday from 4pm until 11pm, Friday from 4pm until 12am, Saturday from 12pm until 12am, and Sunday from 12pm until 10pm.
Chester Zoo letting school children visit for FREE to ‘inspire new generation of conservationists’
More than 35,000 of the free educational visit tickets are up for grabs
Chester Zoo is inviting children in education to visit for free as part of its aim to inspire a new generation of conservationists.
Pupils from nurseries, primary, secondary schools, and colleges can take advantage of the free places, which gives them the chance to explore conservation up close at the charity’s 128-acre zoological gardens.
Running since 2017, the zoo’s free ticket scheme has already seen more than 100,000 children and young people experience the wonders the zoo has to offer. This year, more than 35,000 of the free educational visit tickets are up for grabs.
This time round, the zoo is also opening the initiative to nurseries, schools and colleges that haven’t benefited from the scheme within the last three years.
Every school participating in the programme will receive a free resource pack to help maximise the educational impact of their zoo visit.
Charlotte Smith, director of conservation education and engagement at Chester Zoo, said: “Every one of us is a custodian of our natural world but it’s the next generation of conservationists – children and young people today – who are fundamentally important to overcoming the environmental and biodiversity challenges our planet is facing.
“They are inspiring and they give us hope, which is why we’re so keen to connect them with the awe and wonder of nature and help to nurture their passion and desire to make a difference.
“It’s proven that a visit to the zoo can significantly enhance people’s understanding of the huge efforts that go into conserving highly threatened species, while also bringing physical and mental health benefits, too.
“That’s why we particularly want to reach youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds and ensure they are the primary beneficiaries of the initiative – so we can provide them with the skills and know-how to go on and make a real, positive difference to wildlife in their everyday lives.”
Chester Zoo’s free educational visits are for between November 2024 and February 2025.
To apply you will need to fill out an application form and submit it online. The deadline is March 22nd.
To apply for a free educational visit to Chester Zoo, click HERE.
LS Lowry’s Sunday Afternoon painting to go on public display for first time in 57 years
It will go on display for the first time in 57 years before it goes to auction
LS Lowry’s painting Sunday Afternoon is to go on public display for the first time in 57 years.
The painting, worth more than £4 million will go on display in Christie’s London on March 13th before it goes to auction on March 20th.
Lowry, who was born in Stretford in 1887, painted industrial districts in Greater Manchester and around the North West. He mainly depicted Salford in his works.
Laurence Stephen Lowry’s Sunday Afternoon illustrates a densely populated industrial landscape, which shows what Lowry described as the ‘battle of life’.
Before his death in 1976 at the age of 88, Lowry produced more than 1,000 artworks.
Auctioneers expect the painting to go for between £4 million and £6 million at the Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale on March 20th.
The artwork was previously sold at the Christies in 1967 for a ‘record price’ and was obtained from the collection of Keith Showering, who was a former chief executive of Europe’s biggest drinks business Allied Breweries.
Phillip Harley, senior director at Christie’s, said: “Sunday Afternoon by LS Lowry will return to the public eye at Christie’s for the first time since it was last seen here 57 years ago.
“This important painting has remained in the collection of Sir Keith and Lady Showering since 1967, offering a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acquire a work of this magnitude and scale.
“The composition represents the wonder the artist felt as he recorded his many observations of the evolving society around him.
“We are thrilled to bring Sunday Afternoon back to auction in the Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale. We look forward to welcoming our clients and visitors alike to view the painting when it goes on free display in London on 13 March.”
LS Lowry’s Sunday Afternoon will go on public display at the Christie’s London from March 13th to 20th.
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