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Lightopia is returning to Heaton Park this Christmas with a bigger and brighter ‘fantasy’ festival

Christmas is going to be huge this year…

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Lightopia Festival

BIG Christmas news: Lightopia is coming back to Manchester, and it’s going to be bigger and brighter than ever before.

Okay, I’m well aware that it’s only July and we still have at least a month of summer fun left in us… But, after last year’s dismal, socially-distanced festive period I have decided that it is never too early for Christmas announcements.

For the last two years, Manchester’s Heaton Park has been graced with Lightopia, a festival of immersive lights, lanterns and mesmerising installations and, low and behold, it’s coming back for its third event.

Lightopia Festival

The never-before-seen illuminated trail will feature magical and multi-sensory interactive lights, lanterns and installations, illustrating a story of an imaginative and fantasy festive world.

Lightopia 2021 will feature a fantastical ‘Magic Circus’ display, complete with illusional installations and interactive entertainment.

There will also be the ‘Fantasy Forest’, an area home to the most extraordinary and mystical animals to uncover. Guests will be able to walk through the enchanted forest and meet mythical creatures hidden in the woodland, including a nine tailed fox and unicorns.

Other attractions will include the ‘Fantasy Universe’ with a supernova display and bioluminescence plants; ‘Dragon’s Land’ featuring two huge 40m dragons and fabled fairies; ‘Candy Land’, a sweet-inspired illuminated dreamland; ‘Fantasy Bees’, the trademark Manchester’s bee brought to life in a fantasy world; and the ‘Wonders of the World’.

Lightopia Festival

Tickets will be on sale from July 28th but, if guests sign up to the pre-sale, they will get 20% off their ticket price. To sign up, visit the Lightopia Festival website here.

As for the finer details – Lightopia will be open to the public from November 19th 2021 until January 3rd 2022. The event will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except during school holidays, as well as Christmas Day.

To stay posted with any updates, make sure to follow Lightopia Festival on Instagram.

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Manchester is getting a new street food night market this summer

A whole host of Manchester’s best traders will be selling their goods late into the night

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@kampusmcr / Instagram

Manchester is set to welcome a whole host of independent food and drink traders with the launch of a new street food night market this summer.

The unique night market, courtesy of the popular Ancoats Pop-up, will see much-loved artisan brands pack out Manchester’s neighbourhood garden Kampus and the adjoining Little David Street on various dates across the summer.

Visitors can expect delicious food from Just Natas, curators of the traditional Portuguese tarts, Osaka Local, who will be dishing up authentic Japanese street food, and Bon St Local, who will be serving their Afro Brit hot eats.

Nells will also be on hand for the pizza lovers from their permanent home at Kampus.

@kampusmcr / Instagram

Visitors to the night market will then able to sample tipples from Cloudwater and Levanter, part way through their residency at the Bungalow and garden.

The new market comes after the hugely successful collaboration between Kampus and Ancoats Pop-Up, which hosted a number of markets since February this year.

Alice Longson from Ancoats Pop-Up said of the new night market: “This is our first ever night market and we’re chuffed to be bringing something new to Manchester’s thriving independent scene.

“The Kampus garden is a hidden oasis, it’ll be the perfect place to spend a really chilled evening sampling some of the city’s best street food indies and supporting artisan makers.

@osakalocal.mcr / Instagram

“Our monthly weekend markets have proved a hit at Kampus and this is a lovely, limited run for the summer to showcase our city’s best creatives on the, hopefully warm, summer nights.”

The Night Market at Kampus will be making its debut on Thursday June 9th, and will be open on various dates through until the end of summer on Thursday September 15th, and will be completely FREE to attend.

For more information and to stay up to date with news and announcements, follow Kampus and Ancoats Pop-up on Instagram.

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Aitch releases new tour dates with huge Manchester homecoming gig

Aitch’s debut album is set for release this summer

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@aitch / Instagram

Aitch has unveiled his upcoming ‘Close to Home’ UK and Europe tour, and there is a massive Manchester gig in the pipeline.

The New Moston-born rapper shared the details of his tour across social media this afternoon, where he announced fourteen dates across the UK and even more further afield.

The tour will kick off in Dublin on October 3rd, before visiting other locations including Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol and London.

The tour will then conclude in Manchester on October 24th with a show-stopping concert at the O2 Victoria Warehouse. 

While tickets aren’t on sale yet, anyone who pre-orders Aitch’s debut album ‘Close to Home’ – set for release on August 19th – by this Friday, May 27th will get exclusive access to early bird tickets. 

Aitch – real name Harrison Armstrong – recently released the single ‘1989’, which samples The Stone Roses’ hit track ‘Fools Gold’ and brief vocals from Happy Mondays’ very own Shaun Ryder. 

Read More: Aitch says men are ‘hiding’ from liking plus-size women following music video backlash

In an interview with The Face, Aitch said Ryder took very little persuading to feature on the track, unlike Liam Gallagher, who ignored his recent offering of £7m for a collaboration

The Happy Mondays frontman croaks for the intro of the song: “I’ve [had] loads of nights out involving drugs, sex, f***ing – you name it.

“But the great thing is I can never remember it.”

The rapper recalled: “[Ryder] said, ​‘I’ll come to the studio if you bring me four cans of Guinness'”.

On the new track, he added: “There’s not really been a representation of Manchester on a worldwide scale since Oasis and The Stone Roses, so it’d just be good to carry that on.”

To get priority access to the ‘Close to Home’ tour, click here.

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Manchester City announce open-top bus parade today to celebrate Premier League title

The Blues secured the Premier League title after beating Aston Villa 3-2 last night

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Wikimedia Commons

Manchester City will be parading through Manchester this evening to celebrate their Premier League title victory.

In yesterday’s dramatic match against Aston Villa, Man City overcame a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 in the last twenty minutes, securing their fourth title as Premier League champions in five years.

In the aftermath of their win, the Blues confirmed that they would be parading through Manchester in a traditional open-top bus parade today, Monday May 23rd, at 6pm.

Man City said in a statement: “Manchester City will celebrate retaining the Premier League title with an open-top bus parade through Manchester city centre on Monday 23rd May.”

Detailing the parade’s itinerary, the statement continued: “Pep Guardiola and the squad will depart from Exchange Square at approximately 6pm, travel onto St Mary’s Gate and then south on Deansgate, before finishing at the Beetham Tower where a live stage show will take place with the Champions.

“Onstage entertainment will start at 4:30pm with the players expected to arrive at approximately 7pm.

Read More: Etihad Stadium to host independent food and drink vendors this season

“The parade will be hosted by Manchester City’s City Square presenters Danny Jackson and Natalie Pike, who will be joined by former players and special guests.

“There will also be live music from bands and DJs.”

Commenting on the parade, Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Winning back-to-back titles is a fantastic achievement which I’m sure City fans will be eager to celebrate, especially as the pandemic denied them the chance to do so last season.

“The Council are happy to support the parade and expect a memorable occasion as tens of thousands of fans gather in the city centre to share the moment.”

Ahead of lifting the trophy for the last time, Club skipper Fernandinho said: “To finish my nine years at City by winning my fifth Premier League title is a dream come true.

“This squad is genuinely special. The togetherness of the players is like nothing I have experienced before. These guys are my brothers, which makes winning the title even more special.”

Visit the Manchester City website for more information on tonight’s parade. 

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