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What's On

Manchester International Festival starts tomorrow with loads of exciting free events to explore

Here’s what’s on…

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Manchester International Festival

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for – after weeks of build up, the highly anticipated Manchester International Festival 2021 is officially launching tomorrow.

Running for over two weeks until July 18th, the annual festival boasts a whole array of exciting and – most importantly – free events for people from all over the region to take part in and enjoy. 

And, to kick start the festivities tomorrow, MIF is pulling out all the stops with a spectacular dance performance takeover down Deansgate.

@mifestival / Instagram

Described as a ‘human flip book sprung to life on the streets of Manchester’, Sea Change will feature 150 of Greater Manchester’s residents in a beautiful celebration of post-lockdown life, choreographed by French choreographer Boris Charmatz. 

Sea Change will fill Deansgate with a chain of both professional and non-professional dancers, each performing and repeating a section of unique choreography.

Rather than the work moving on in front of you, it’ll be up to you to ‘move on’ the work: walking or even running past waves of dancers to animate the action into your very own living flip book.

@mifestival / Instagram

Charmatz said of the immersive performance: “Designed as both a large festive gathering and a work of art, Sea Change works on two levels: viewers will perceive a single organism, one single continuous movement made by the many, and each participant singularly embodying the piece.”

Sea Change is completely free to attend, but tickets are required – get yours here.

And that is only the beginning – throughout the next few weeks, MIF will be hosting a whole array of exciting and free events, performances and exhibitions.

Festival Square, the home of the entire event, will be taking over Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens where there will be a whole array of food and drink stalls and free entertainment from international artists and Greater Manchester-based performers – including curated nights from Jamz Supernova, Homoelectric, Mr Scruff and DJ Paulette.

@mifestival / Instagram

There will also be the Global Playground, an uplifting new show mixing dance, music, theatre and puppetry tailored specifically for children and family audiences.

On the artistry front, guests can enjoy a whole array of cultured and thought-provoking exhibitions, such as the Portrait of Black Britain –  a powerful and timely exhibition by artist, activist and campaigner Cephas Williams posing a timely and poignant question: ‘What does it mean to be Black, living in the UK?’ This will be found in the Manchester Arndale. 

Captioning the City will also give residents the opportunity to explore around the city centre and experience Manchester in a whole new dimension.

To see the whole list of events taking place over the next few weeks and to book tickets, visit the official Manchester International Festival website here.

What's On

An award-winning George Michael tribute act is coming to Manchester later this year

Calling all George Michael fans!

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@Faithtour / Wikimedia Commons & @roberttaylorlive / Facebook

A live performance dedicated to the late George Michael will be taking place in Manchester later this year. 

On Christmas Day 2016, the world lost an icon: Wham! frontman and pop music legend, George Michael, sadly passed away at the age of fifty-three.

Since his death, a huge hole has been left in the music industry but, later this year, fans of the singer will be able to experience the next best thing

@roberttaylorlive / Facebook

Award winning tribute artist Robert Taylor will be reprising his role as George Michael at a concert at Altrincham’s Bowdon Rooms this coming December.

Along with his bass player & backing singers, Robert will pay tribute to the beloved singer, covering all the George Michael and Wham! classics in a fantastic and touching tribute show.

Hits such as ‘Club Tropicana’, ‘I’m Your Man’, ‘Freedom 90’ and ‘Fastlove’ will be performed with a high level of authenticity, and will have concert-goers dancing and singing along all night long. 

@roberttaylorlive / Facebook

The concert will be taking place on Saturday December 18th at 7pm at The Bowdon Rooms. Get your own tickets and more information here. 

Located in Bowdon, Altrincham, The Bowdon Rooms is an example of stunning Edwardian architecture with Art Deco influences in the immaculate interior.

Dating back to 1903, the award-winning venue is a great choice for exclusive events with its abundance of old style charm and grandeur, authentic character and beautiful features.

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What's On

Trafford Centre unveils massive new outdoor summer event with beach, fairground rides and a bar

And people say Manchester has everything but a beach…

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The Trafford Centre

Our beloved Trafford Centre has today unveiled its brand new outdoor event space complete with a beach, fairground rides, pop-up bars and food stalls.

Summer Social is a huge 8,000 sq ft event space situated outside The Orient, opposite The Great Hall entrance of the shopping complex.

The aim of Summer Social is to bring together all the retro fun of the fair, the beach and live music and entertainment, alongside a whole host of fantastic food and drink by the likes of local gems The Angelic, Kitakaze and Boujee Bar.

There is a dedicated covered events space where people can relax and enjoy sports, live music and entertainment if the weather takes a turn – because let’s face it, it definitely will. 

The Trafford Centre

Live musicians, street artists, and buskers will also be welcomed at Summer Social, with the covered stage area set to host a number of ‘Trafford Discovers’ events over the coming weeks.

As for the fun fair, there is an offering for every member of the family – there is exhilarating rides for both little ones and grownups, including The Star Flyer, Log Flume, Apple Coaster and Cruise Ship.

Zoe Inman, Centre Director, said: “Summer Social is going to be a unique and vast outdoor area, offering people a safe space to gather, eat, drink and have some fun.

“With over 200 stores, restaurants and leisure attractions to also explore within the centre itself, it’s time to plan a sensational day out at The Trafford Centre this summer – don’t forget your sun cream!”

The Trafford Centre

Opening hours are 11am – 9pm daily, with the food and events space open 12pm -10pm Sunday – Thursday, and 12pm -11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are priced at £3.50 per person, and £3 when booked in advance. Fairground rides are priced individually.

Pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment, and token and wristband packages will be available to pre-book.

For more information and to make your own booking, visit the official Summer Social website here. 

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What's On

The free seaside Splash Park in Lytham St Annes has reopened for the summer holidays 

Get your swimsuits at the ready

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Splash Park St Annes / Facebook

The popular seaside Splash Park in Lytham St Annes has reopened in time for the six week summer holidays.

With temperatures continuing to soar during this heatwave, families and their youngsters will be able to cool down at the Splash zone in Lytham St Annes’ Promenade Gardens.

The attraction – which is completely free to use and enjoy – is situated in the former disused paddling pool area, which is surrounded by amphitheatre style seating and modern landscaping.

Splash Park St Annes / Facebook

There are a number of interactive water play features within the park, which accommodates children aged three to twelve.

These include in-ground jets, above ground features for toddlers and large above ground features for juniors. There is also a jet zone on the right of the splash pad, which produces a shallow splash zone, allowing the toddlers who are less confident with water to have a calm experience without getting sprayed or overwhelmed. 

Earlier this week, the Splash Park announced on its official Facebook page that it will be reopening tomorrow, Friday July 23rd, where it will be open daily from 10am until 4pm until September 24th.

Demand is high for fun in the sun, however, so families have been advised to book a time slot in advance to avoid disappointment. 

Splash Park St Annes / Facebook

Families are also warned to arrive at the park prepared as there are no changing rooms or facilities – though there are public toilets nearby that cost 20p to use.

Refreshments including ice-creams, lollies and cold drinks will also be on sale near the site throughout the summer.

Sessions will be taking place at 10am, 11:15am, 12:30pm, 1:45pm and 3pm, and will each last for an hour.

Sessions for children under the age of five will run at 10am on Mondays, and sessions for children with disabilities and special educational needs will run at 10am on Tuesdays.

For more information and to book your own session, visit the website here.

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