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Rum festival bringing tiki vibes and calypso beats to Manchester next month

Taste different rums from around the world for World Rum Day

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Manchester Rum Festival

Rum lovers get set to descend on Manchester as an annual rum festival will bring Tiki vibes and Calypso beats to the city this summer – and you can win FREE tickets to it and a year’s supply of rum.

Manchester Rum Festival is on its way to the Mercure Hotel on July 8th — World Rum Day — where visitors can sip on some of the finest rums from around the world as well as bop to funky beats from Calypso inspired DJ sets while they munch on tasty Caribbean foods.

For a very special treat, visitors will be able to purchase a one-off, limited-edition bottle of the official festival rum, named ‘Punk Croc’ which is a collaboration with the Outlier Distilling Company.

Manchester Rum Festival

This 41% abv limited edition blend is a Manx rum with a cask-aged bite. Perfect for Mojitos and Daiquiris with attitude, the bottling will only be available at the festival, so rum lovers can take home a very special souvenir this year and recreate the cocktail magic at home.

The event will see a variety of distillers including Distillers Direct — bringing a very special limited edition single cask of Chairman’s Reserve Rum, which has been produced in partnership with The Drinks Trust. 

The UK’s largest rum distillery, DropWorks will be making their very first rum festival appearance after launching at the latter end of May. 

Manchester Rum Festival / Gregório Cunha

Also debuting at the festival are Rhum JM, an historic rum from Martinique in the Caribbean with a super sustainable background focusing on biodiversity and the preservation of nature, as well as Takamaka, the first ever rum from the idyllic Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

Visitors will be able to sample all of the brands, purchase their favourites and have a great time entertained by fantastic music, eating delicious food.

For the very first time, MONIN will be at the festival with the official cocktail bar if you fancy a Pina Colada, Mojito or Daiquiri, and the event will be sponsored by Stratford Sodas who will be providing the perfect mixers for your favourite rum delights. 

Manchester Rum Festival

Two rums from Madeira  – 970 and Tristão Vaz Teixeira – will become the first brands ever to exhibit at the festival from the Portuguese Island. And, a rum from Outlier Distillery on the Isle of Man that has recently been featured on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch will be available to taste.

Last but not least, Ron Piet from Panama, Tilambic from Mauritius, Eminente from Cuba, Paranubes from the mountainous Oaxaca region in Mexico, and Bone Idyll — a rum distillery based in Kingston upon Thames — will also be making their Manchester debuts.

Manchester Rum Festival founder, Dave Marsland, said: “The 2023 festival is set to be the biggest and best yet with rum brands from all over the planet descending on Manchester for what has become a must-have diary date for rum lovers.

Manchester Rum Festival

“Visitors can expect a smorgasbord of samples, uplifting DJ sets and Caribbean Street Food from Nyammin’, which always gets the taste buds tingling. 

“It really is a fantastic day out and has cemented itself as a brilliant annual event for rum fans across the UK and beyond. For added fun this year, visitors can snap some pics in a special photo booth and take group selfies with a special frame, so you can share the memories with friends.”

To win a year’s supply of rum and two tickets to the legendary Manchester Rum Festival this July, simply head HERE.

General tickets are priced at £25 each. For more information and to book a ticket click HERE.

Manchester’s first and only dedicated and official rum festival takes place on Saturday July 8th, 12-7pm, at the Mercure, Manchester in Piccadilly Gardens. 

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New makers market with everything from dog accessories to house plants and jewellery coming to Manchester

Get this one in your diary!

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A brand new makers market is coming to Manchester this late May Bank Holiday weekend, with something for everyone.

Taking place at New Jackson – a new urban neighbourhood located at the southern gateway to the city – Manchester Made Market will be held on Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th.

Over the two days you’ll be able to browse a selection of local artisanal traders and small businesses from across the region.

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There’ll be everything, from food produce, homewares, crafts and creations to dog accessories, house plants, jewellery and homemade soap.

Among the traders will be Manchester and Cheshire-based florist and floral artists Dot & Flora, graphic artist Ablott MCR selling music prints, HGT with crochet fashion and homeware designs, and artisan candlemakers Leaves and Prickles.

Elsewhere, there will be essential oils and other treatments from Grounded Wellness, permanent jewellery from Sealed Links, and desserts from Cake With Heart.

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There will be plenty of street food options to keep you topped up while you shop, including The Wild Grill, Food Sorcery, Salvi’s and new favourite Medlock Canteen.


Neighbourhood Brew will be supplying some great drinks as well.

Supported by Renaker, the market is free, but you can upgrade your experience with a limited, free VIP ticket with access to the dedicated bar area.

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Manchester Flower Festival returns with tributes to Sarah Harding and Caroline Aherne

It’s taking place later this month!

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The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

The legendary Manchester Flower Festival is returning to our city later this month, complete with pop-ups, installations and tributes to some local icons.

Taking place over the late May Bank Holiday, the event will be headlined by its ‘Floral Trail’.

This year’s theme is Manchester Icons, with a host of names past and present being honoured in flower form, including the late comedy legend Caroline Aherne, pop star Sarah Harding and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Collaborating with Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow, floral designer Liv Woodward will create a portrait of Caroline Aherne at the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street, using sustainably sourced plants and flowers.

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding will be remembered in a ‘tribute garden’, sponsored by the AO Arena, with visitors able to donate to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal by scanning the QR code at the display.

The homage to Pankhurst has been created by female-led Decordia, featuring an ornate wooden Manchester Town Hall-inspired planter with sashes, posters and colourful icons, alongside a wicker figure of the suffragette herself.

This can be found at the corner of Cross Street and King Street, adorned with purple, green and white plants – the colours of the suffragette movement.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Other local legends will also be honoured with their own installations, including Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta and iconic Manchester brewery Boddingtons .

Fringe events will be taking place too, at locations including Northern Quarter art shop Fred Aldous, The Bridgewater Hall, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct.

Selfridges Exchange Square, El Gato Negro, Tast Catala, Franco Manca, Grand Pacific Manchester and Urban Playground will also be taking part, with alfresco dining, festival-related dishes and cocktails.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Now in its seventh year, the Flower Festival, which is put together by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, with live entertainment, workshops, and arts and crafts markets.

It all happens from May 24th to May 27th – head over to the website HERE to find more information.

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Billie Eilish announces FOUR Manchester shows as part of world tour

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Billie Eilish / Instagram & Co-op Live

Pop star Billie Eilish is coming to Manchester, with four dates confirmed at the new Co-op Live arena.

The Grammy and Oscar-winning pop icon will be playing Manchester’s newest arena on July 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd, 2025.

The dates are part of a full world tour taking place next year, in the wake of Hit Me Hard And Soft, her fourth studio album which is due out on May 17th.

The full UK dates:

  • 7 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 8 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 10 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 11 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 13 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 14 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 16 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 17 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 19 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 20 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 22 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 23 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester


Presale tickets go live tomorrow, Tuesday April 30th, at 12pm and are exclusive for Co-op members only.

To become a Co-op member, click HERE, and enjoy exclusive benefits.

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