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Everything happening for Pride in Manchester this weekend

Here’s what you need to know

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@manchesterpride / Instagram & @therefugemcr / Instagram

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

@manchesterpride / Instagram

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

@afflecks_manchester / Instagram

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

@escapetofreightisland / Instagram

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

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

@therefugemcr / Instagram

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

@isthisyourchild / Instagram

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

@ezraandgil / Instagram

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.

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Chester Zoo launches spooky Halloween trail with dragons, spiders and snakes

Guests will be tasked with identifying a ‘magic word’ hidden across the indoor trail

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Chester Zoo has unveiled its first ever immersive Halloween-themed trail complete with dragons, spiders and snakes.

Luna’s Lost Spell Halloween Trail will take place at the conservation zoo from October 1st – October 31st, and will give guests the chance to learn about a variety of ‘sinister’ species with six animal stations.

Along the indoor trail, visitors will encounter the formidable Komodo dragon, gaboon viper,
poison dart frogs, blue Komodo viper, tarantula and the eerie upside-down jellyfish.

Each animal station will boast spellbinding facts about these hair-raising species, all of which will contain a secret letter.

Chester Zoo

Using augmented reality, visitors will be tasked with identifying and collecting these letters to form a ‘magic word’. Each letter will be revealed through a QR code with a fun and interactive experience before being stamped on a virtual postcard.

Those who can crack the code and figure out the magic word will be rewarded with a sweet treat.

Gemma Bamford, Chester Zoo’s Admissions and Membership Manager, said: We’re so excited to launch our very own Halloween themed trail around the zoo this October.

“As well as learning cool facts about animals around six locations in the zoo, guests can collect a letter at each area that spells out a secret word. Once visitors uncover ‘Luna’s lost spell’ they can head to the apothecary at the zoo entrance for a sweet treat.

Chester Zoo

“Halloween is the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the unknown species Chester Zoo is home to, inspiring visitors to care for our cause of preventing extinction of not only the renowned species like elephants, giraffes and rhinos, but the more unusual and extraordinary animals that may just shock, surprise or spook you!”

The trail will be completely free to take part in, and will take around two hours to complete.

The theme of the trail is linked to the BIAZA Vital Venom and Practical Poisons campaign which aims to raise awareness of the ‘cool, perhaps creepy, but crucial creatures venomous and poisonous’.

Throughout October, Chester Zoo will also be running a Halloween-themed bus tour where guests are driven to each of the six locations on the trail before the zoo opens.

Chester Zoo

The bus will also make a stop at the Fruit Bat Forest, giving guests the rare opportunity to see the bats before the lights go down.

Luna’s Lost Spell Halloween Trail will take place at Chester Zoo from October 1st – October 31st.

Entry to the trail is free, though slots will need to be booked in advance.

For more information and to book your tickets, visit the Chester Zoo website.

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There’s a FREE ’80s disco night with cocktails and live music coming to Manchester

Live DJs will be spinning classic anthems from the 1980s across the night

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Prestwich Social

The disco night to trump all disco nights is coming to Manchester this weekend with the promise of cocktails, dancing, and some good old fashioned nostalgia.

Prestwich Social will be bringing a taste of the ’80s to the popular Manchester suburb, which was recently named as one of the best places to live in the whole of the UK.

The 350-capacity bar and restaurant is nestled within the heart of Prestwich, and has become a firm favourite among locals thanks to its varied food menu, tempting deals and expansive list of unique and quirky cocktails.

Prestwich Social

And now, Prestwich Social has unveiled its brand new Social 54 ’80s Party Night, which will take place every Saturday night from 9:30pm til late.

The event is completely free to attend, and will include live DJs spinning classic anthems from the 1980s and a whole array of ’80s-themed cocktails, such as a boozy Ghostbusters-centric drink complete with sparklers, marshmallows and, of course, a giant figurine of the famous Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. 

Fancy dress is also encouraged, with free wigs, glasses and visors straight from the legendary nightclub era available to use and try on throughout the night. 

Prestwich Social is the only late-night bar in the neighbourhood, so the Social 54 ’80s Party Night is certain to be an evening to remember.

The first event is set to take place this Saturday (October 1st) from 9:30pm til late with free entry all night long.

Walk-ins are welcome, but to book a table, visit the Prestwich Social website.

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Victoria Baths to be transformed into night market with street food and live music

As well as over 100 local vendors, there will be an array of tasty street food and live entertainment across the evening

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The Night Market & Victoria Baths

Manchester’s historic Victoria Baths is set to be transformed into a magical night market with over 100 independent vendors, street food and live music.

The Night Market will be taking over the iconic building next month to showcase the very best talent Manchester’s local business scene has to offer.

There will be everything any passionate shopper could hope for, varying from artisans, artists, jewellers, designers, bakers and candlestick makers.

@victoriabaths / Instagram

Also in attendance will be an outdoor street food village for hungry shoppers, complete with numerous themed bars and a ‘Vintage Pool Party’ filled with vintage treasures with a live DJ.

And this year there will be The Turkish Rest Room Salons, which will see three of Manchester’s most exciting singer-songwriters – Dilettante, Anna McLuckie and Ellen Beth Abdi – transform the exquisite Turkish Rest Room into a performance space.

This unique concert venue promises to be a ‘hidden delight and an oasis of calm within the bustling market’, and has been handed over to the artists themselves, who will each ‘own the room’ for their one hour concert set.

The Night Market

The Night Market will be taking over Victoria Baths on Friday October 7th from 7pm til late.

Early Bird tickets are £6, though two can be bought on offer for £10. There is also the option to purchase a Night Owl ticket for £4 for those planning on arriving later in the evening.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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