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Explore Manchester’s hidden underground world from the comfort of your home

Dive into what’s lurking beneath the city…

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Keith Warrender & Mike Peel

It’s no secret that there is a whole tunnel world underneath Manchester city centre. From bomb shelters to subterranean canals there’s a lot lurking below the surface…

A number of people have ventured down there and one person, Mark Crossfield has mapped the hidden tunnels which you can see here

Manchester historian Ed Glinert even offers tours of the tunnels but like most things, they’ve been put on hold in the pandemic.

Fear not though – they’re now on ZOOM baby! 

hidden-manchester.org.uk

The first of its kind event has been selling out so fast they’ve had to add new dates. You can get your hands on tickets for two upcoming events still though, on Friday February 12th and Saturday February 20th (this one is nearly sold out). 

The overview explains: “Explore in ravishing detail, with all the relevant pictures, the places you’d love to get down to but can’t anymore, thanks to meticulous and eye-opening research Manchester’s leading historian.

“We will take you to:

  • Manchester’s biggest World War II air-raid shelter: Still there, rotting away, complete with war-time relics.
  • The underground Manchester & Salford Junction Canal: From its open-air source, through to its submerged section where the water resolutely refuses to go away – what a story.
  • The atomic bunker that stretches for four miles under George Street, Piccadilly Gardens and Market Street that was built at a time of government paranoia.
  • The massive space under Manchester Cathedral, complete with toilets, stairs, space for bunk beds.
  • Manchester’s half-hearted attempts to create a proper underground tube system – where did it all go wrong?
  • Not forgetting the underground streams and rivers”

Tickets will set you back just £8.75 for the over an hour-long virtual event. You can find more info and book tickets here

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What's On

A family-friendly dinosaur jungle adventure land is coming to Greater Manchester

The perfect socially-distanced family day out!

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Totally Roarsome/Facebook

The social-distanced outdoor dino adventure in Hyde is set to reopen this spring following the lifting of restrictions.

Families loved Totally Roarsome when it opened to the public in the middle of last year once restrictions were eased.

Created in an untouched woodland in Hyde, the trail featured dinosaurs, jungle animals and Arctic creatures as well as a couple of superheroes, pirates and cartoon characters too. 

Named as one of the safest attractions for the family in Greater Manchester, families have been eagerly awaiting the news as to when the adventure will reopen after closure during the cold winter. 

Totally Roarsome/Facebook

The attraction has officially announced that it will be reopening for the Easter Holidays following Boris’ latest announcement.

Announcing on social media, Totally Roarsome wrote: “Enter into Jurassic Land, then onto the Jungle and once you’ve encountered our dinosaurs, lions, and tigers, it’s off on a Bear Hunt.

“Then take a trip through the Wild West and head down the rabbit hole into Alice’s Wonderland, before making your way into Neverland, where there are pirates everywhere you turn.

“Then we are off to the world of superheroes [where] Batman, Superman and Spiderman will all be there to greet you, before finally wandering through our fantasy land with dragons, unicorns and knights of the realm.

“With Dinosaurs, unicorns and superheroes all on the same day, what else do you need?”

Totally Roarsome/Facebook

The attraction now has a new home at Mottram Hall with strict Covid restrictions in place to ensure the safety of guests. 

Tickets are on sale now and will set you back £7.95 (plus a £1.50 booking fee per transaction). They must be booked in advance to enable for monitoring of numbers to follow the Covid-safety precautions and social distancing measures.

Find out more information and book your tickets here

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Manchester Pride confirms the festival will be happening this year

Some more good news

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manchesterpride / Instagram

Manchester Pride has today confirmed the good news that it will be going ahead this year.

Plans for a physical festival to celebrate LGBTQ+ life in Greater Manchester are coming together for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The charity is planning to hold the Manchester Pride Festival, in partnership with Virgin Atlantic, in its regular spot from Friday August 27th until Monday August 30th. 

On Monday Boris Johnson outlined England’s roadmap out of lockdown, with the plan that live events will be able return this summer. 

But with the pandemic always front of mind, Manchester Pride has revealed that it has alternative exciting plans which can be activated if the proposed dates for the roadmap out of lockdown change.

The four day event, which brings thousands of people to the city centre each year, is set to return for another weekend of campaigning, celebrating and fundraising for LGBTQ+ life, featuring activism, equality, youth and family, arts and culture, community and partying.

The team behind the festival is working towards a programme of events that includes all of the traditional elements, with some tweaks and allowances for the new restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The biggest difference will be a reduced capacity MCR Pride Live, which in response to audience feedback will be held at a smaller venue to ensure that the event is accessible, safe and viable. 

To ensure the safety and comfort of festival-goers, artists and the Manchester Pride team the event’s capacity will be reduced by 50% – the venue will be revealed later this year.

Manchester Pride Festival 2021 will be made up of:

  • THE GAY VILLAGE PARTY, 27th–30th August 2021
  • MCR PRIDE LIVE, 28th– 29th August 2021
  • MANCHESTER PRIDE PARADE, 28th August 2021
  • THE CANDLELIT VIGIL, 30th August 2021
  • SUPERBIA WEEKEND, 28th- 29th August 2021
  • HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM, 29th August 2021
  • YOUTH PRIDE MCR, 29th August 2021
  • FAMILY PRIDE MCR, 28th August 2021
  • + MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride, said: “Manchester Pride is proud to part of a global Pride movement that celebrates advancements in equality and challenges discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people. As both a charity and organisers one of the UK’s largest Pride festivals, we had to fight for our survival throughout 2020.

“Having to postpone the Manchester Pride Festival in 2020 was necessary but extremely hard for myself and the team and I am so pleased that we are able to plan for an event in 2021. Naturally there is some uncertainty over what will happen in the coming months but we have to plan now in order to be able to deliver a festival of this scale.

“We are confident that by reducing the capacity of MCR Pride Live we can deliver the event, as long as the government’s plans for vaccinations and reopening of events and hospitality remain on track. With the health and safety of everyone involved our key priority, we remain cautiously optimistic and have plans in place to respond to a number of potential scenarios.

“Whatever happens Manchester Pride will deliver a celebration of LGBTQ+ life in Greater Manchester this August and we will do everything we can to make it a Covid safe, live, in person event across the city. 

“If this just isn’t possible then we will host an alternative, innovative, world class celebration that incorporates socially distanced events and digital elements to ensure that LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester can come together to celebrate and ensure that our campaign for greater LGBTQ+ equality continues at this vital time.”

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic added: “We’re delighted that the Manchester Pride Festival is back for 2021 uniting people to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture. It’s been a difficult year for everyone and we look forward to working with Mark and the team to bring this much-loved festival safely back to the heart of Manchester.

“Virgin Atlantic has long been staunch supporters of LGBTQ+ rights and we strongly believe in making our business as inclusive and welcoming as possible. Although we haven’t been flying as many passengers as we’d like over the last year, we certainly haven’t been sitting still. 

“We are working with Open for Business to show the economic impact that anti-LGBTQ+ laws have on countries around the world and how these laws restrict tourism and limit growth.  In a post-Covid world, as travel and tourism recovers, it’s more important than ever for destinations to be open and welcoming to everyone.  

“It’s an exciting time for us and as travel restrictions relax, we look forward to welcoming people back onboard Virgin Atlantic, flying them safely from Manchester to their favourite destinations including  Orlando, Barbados, New York , Los Angeles, Islamabad and Atlanta.”

Tickets for all events, from Superbia Weekend to Youth Pride MCR, will be released over the next few months so keep your eyes peeled.

For those who bought tickets for the events due to take place in 2020, tickets were automatically rolled over to 2021. 

Should the event be cancelled or rescheduled, all tickets will be automatically rolled over to 2022, and anyone who doesn’t want to roll forward their ticket will have the option for a refund at face value. 

For more information about the festival, head over to the website here.

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Leeds and Reading festivals are both going ahead this year, organisers confirm

Who’s getting tickets to this?

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Leeds Festival

The organisers of Leeds and Reading festivals have confirmed that both events will be going ahead this year.

After months of uncertainty about whether big events were going to be allowed this summer, we finally had some confirmation this week.

On Monday Boris Johnson outlined his roadmap out of lockdown, saying he was hopeful that by June 21st all restrictions in England will have been removed.

This means large-scale events like festivals should be able to go ahead later in the summer, as long as Covid rates are kept low.

Tickets for the two events have been on sale since last summer, despite uncertainty over whether they would be able to go ahead, but now organisers have confirmed that they will.

They took to Twitter to confirm the good news, writing: “Reading and Leeds 2021. Following the government’s recent announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer. LET’S GO”.

The headliners for the two events have already been confirmed, and will include the likes of Liam Gallagher, Stormzy, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Post Malone, Disclosure, and Queens of the Stone Age.

They’re not the only ones confirmed so far either, with Lewis Capaldi, Mabel, Doja Cat, AJ Tracey, KSI, Beabadoobee and Charli XCX also set to perform.

And the lineup isn’t complete yet, with the festival saying there are ‘many more’ acts still to be announced.

You can find more info on the website here.

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