Manchester is set to host the world’s biggest Banksy exhibition as part of its critically-acclaimed world tour, according to reports.
The Art of Banksy has already graced a number of major global cities on its tour, including Toronto, Tel Aviv, Miami, Melbourne, Sydney, and Gothenburg.
And next year, it is set to arrive in Manchester, where it will showcase some of the street artists’ best work and lesser known gems in a purpose-built gallery within the First Street development on River Street.
The plot has previously been used to host major events such as Pride and Homeground.
Manchester City Council and HOME are reportedly involved in the build of the new space, which will happen between Monday September 5th and Thursday September 22nd 2022.
There, a selection of prints, canvasses, screen prints, and limited-edition pieces dated between the years 1997 to 2008 will be displayed for visitors to see up close.
The exhibit will also feature the artists’ more recognisable pieces, such as ‘Girl and Balloon’, ‘Flower Thrower’ and ‘Rude Copper’, as well as some of Banksy’s lesser-known masterpieces.
Once open, visitors will reportedly be able to access the gallery from 10am – 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 10am – 7pm Sunday to Thursday.
Exact opening dates are yet to be confirmed, although it’s rumoured that it will be open to the public from late September until January 2023.
To find out more about The Art of Banksy exhibition ahead of its arrival in Manchester, you can sign up for the newsletter via its website here.
Banksy, whose identity has never been revealed, is one of world’s most infamous artists, renown for his politically-motivated street art and explosive ‘pranks’.
Back in 2018, he organised for his ‘Girl with a Balloon’ piece to be put through a shredder just moments after it had been sold at auction for £1.4m. Funnily enough, the shredded-version of piece shot up in value, making it more valuable than ever before.
Tinsel Town festive fairground and ice rink returns to Trafford Centre this Christmas
There’s even a festive funfair with an ice rink and a big wheel
The Trafford Centre has the festive season covered with plenty of events planned for all the family – check out what’s on.
From Santa’s Grotto to Tinsel Town, as well as exciting new store openings, book signings and exclusive brand pop-ups, there’s always something new to discover.
Here’s what’s happening at the Trafford Centre this festive season:
Black Friday Sales
November is coming to an end and Christmas shopping is well underway, so why not head over and grab some deals while you’re on the hunt for presents – you could even treat yourself.
Many sales have already gone live with the rest happening this Black Friday, November 24th.
Black Friday highlights include up to 50% off at Lakeland and Levi’s, 30% off everything at Ted Baker, and 25% off at Molton Brown and Carvela.
The Grotto: Dear Santa
Step into the immersive wonderland of Santa’s Grotto this Christmas. Families will journey through the Candy Cane Land and Enchanted Forest in search of Santa’s Merry Mailroom.
The Grotto can be found on Lower Peel Avenue, near the Dolphin Fountain. ‘Whispering Winter’ inclusive sessions are also available for those families who prefer a more relaxed experience.
The Grotto is open now until December 24th. Tickets cost £25 for children / £7.50 for adults and are available now, click HERE.
The huge festive fairground is back and has plenty of exciting rides suitable for younger kids and older thrill-seekers too.
Open now until January 1st, 2024, attractions include teacups, a caterpillar rollercoaster and funhouse. There is also the thrilling Snow Jets ride or the Starflyer, as well as a brand new attraction VOID – calling all you dare devils!
Christmas market stalls will be dotted around with a variety of food and drink vendors selling Yorkshire Pudding wraps, bratwurst, burgers pancakes, donuts, mulled wine, hot chocolates and plenty more.
Tinsel Town entry costs £2 if booked online in advance, or £2.50 on the day, with ice skating sessions sold separately. Purchase tickets by clicking HERE.
Skate at Tinsel Town
This ice rink is covered in a traditional-style canopy decorated with twinkling fairy lights and is open now until January 1st, 2024.
Take to the ice on a 25m x 20m shimmering, covered ice rink for a 45-minute ice skate session to celebrate the winter season. Glide away under a sky full of twinkling lights whilst festive music transports skaters to a whimsical, festive haven.
Ice skating tickets are £12.50 for adults and £10 for children off-peak / £15 for adults and £12.50 for children peak, for a 45-minute ice skating session, with entry to the Tinsel Town fairground sold separately.
Tickets can be purchased by clicking HERE.
Gandy’s Snowstorm 3: Northern Lights
Don’t miss this sensational ice-skating show live from the heated theatre big top, on 200 sq. meters of shimmering real ice. Be wowed by this all new production featuring 16 ice skaters, international circus stars, amazing special effects, and the return of the massive ice bears!
The show begins on November 24th and runs until January 1st, 2024. Tickets can be purchased by clicking HERE.
It’s back and it’s here until January 7th, 2024.
You’ll be able to enjoy all the glittering lights and sights as you soar above the ground at a staggering 55 metres high. Take in the incredible views and a little piece of magic this Christmas.
Letters to Santa at Selfridges
Bring the little ones along to post their Christmas lists to Santa. Don’t forget to include your return address – Santa just might write back. Make sure to get them in on time; last posting date is Monday, December 4th. Find out more on the Selfridges website HERE.
Charity gift wrapping
This handy service will be here to help with a dedicated team of volunteers from a number of North West charities from December 14th – 21st.
Volunteers will expertly wrap your gifts in return for a donation. Find them on lower Regent Crescent, outside JD Sports.
Ladbaby book signing at WH Smith
Ladbaby will be in-store on November 25th.
Social media phenomenon Ladbaby, aka Mark and Roxanne Hoyle, are the creators of the bestseller ‘Greg the Sausage Roll: Santa’s Little Helper’ and will be joining WHSmith for a Christmas signing of ‘Greg the Sausage Roll: 12 Days of Christmas: A LadBaby Board Book’.
Tickets are £7.99 includes entry and a of the book to be collected at the event.
Parents accompanying their children do not require a ticket (one accompanying adult per child with ticket.) Find out more and book HERE.
Get Prepped for Party Season at Selfridges
Don’t miss Selfridges Beauty Workshop Series from November 22nd – 26th where beauty brands CHANEL, Dior & YSL Beauty and more will be sharing their expert tips and favourite looks for party season. Find out more and book HERE.
New store openings
Lululemon and Lounge have opened new stores, ‘Skinwear’ brand Narvvi will be joining the centre this month, and Holland & Barret has had a store makeover. LEGO fans of all ages will love discovering their brand new store, and Marks and Spencer’s much anticipated new store will open on November, 30th.
Girls Aloud announce huge reunion tour with two nights in Manchester
They’re coming to Manchester!
Noughties pop sensation Girls Aloud have announced a huge reunion tour next year, including two nights in Manchester.
Cheryl Tweedy, Nicola Roberts, Kimberly Walsh and Nadine Coyle will regroup to embark on a massive arena tour to mark their 21st anniversary.
It’s been over two decades since they won over the nation on reality TV programme PopStars: The Rivals. It’s also been 10 years since they last performed together.
The anniversary tour, called ‘The Girls Aloud Show’, is set for next summer and will honour band member Sarah Harding who died of breast cancer at the age of 39, in 2021. The tour will include two dates in Manchester at the AO Arena on May 23rd and 24th, 2024.
The band have confirmed the show won’t feature any new music but instead will ‘be a celebration of Girls Aloud’s rich back catalogue and all the groundbreaking success they have achieved as a band’.
The hugely anticipated shows will feature all of the band’s historic pop hits including No.1 songs ‘Sound Of The Underground’, ‘The Promise’ and ‘I’ll Stand By You’, alongside cast-iron classics such as ‘Love Machine’, ‘Call The Shots’, Biology’, ‘Something New’ and ‘The Show’.
Rumours of a reunion started circulating online on Wednesday evening (November 22nd) after eagle-eyed fans spotted each band member had posted something to their Instagram platforms.
The posts were vintage cinema screens with numbers, seeming to create a countdown to something.
It started with Nicola on Sunday as she posted the image with the number ‘four’. Kimberly did the same on Monday with the number ‘three’, followed by Nadine posting the number ‘two’ on Tuesday.
Social media users soon understood that some big news would be announced. On Wednesday, Cheryl dropped the number ‘one’ and sent fans into a complete frenzy as her caption simply read ‘8:30am tomorrow’.
Information regarding tickets can be found on Ticketmaster, with Tickets due to go on presale on November 29th.
About the upcoming reunion tour, Cheryl said: “We all started talking about the possibility of doing something to celebrate Girls Aloud’s 20-year anniversary a few years ago.
“The anniversary seemed like an obvious thing that we would celebrate. But when Sarah fell ill all priorities changed.
“She passed away a year before the anniversary and it just didn’t feel right, it felt too soon. But now, I think there is an energy that does makes it feel right.
“It’s the right time to celebrate Sarah, it’s the right time to celebrate the band and the right time to celebrate the fact we can still do this 21 years later. That’s a big honour in lots of ways.”
Kimberley said: “It feels like something has changed and it does feel like the right time to celebrate Sarah and the 20-year anniversary that we didn’t celebrate at the time.”
Nicola continued: “It will be massive celebration of everything we’ve done up to this point. We want people to leave being like, ‘Wow, I’ve just had one of the best nights of my life’.”
And, Nadine added: “Girls Aloud are a band that made such a huge impact on people’s lives.So for us not to do something again feels like such a shame and a waste. We want to have that moment with fans where we can all enjoy it together.”
To find out information about the The Girls Aloud Show arena tour and tickets, visit Ticketmaster by clicking HERE.
Festive Sundays return to Manchester with huge FREE Christmas events line-up
They’re free to attend and welcome families
After a successful launch last year, Festive Sundays are set to make a return as part of the line-up of fantastic events happening across the city in the run up to Christmas.
The series of Festive Sundays will enchant the city with some winter magic as thousands are expected to flock to the streets once again while stunning parades dance and sing their way around town.
The countdown is officially on after the Manchester Christmas Markets opened on Friday November 10th, Big Santa took up residence in St Peter’s Square, and the ice-rink returned to Cathedral Gardens for all the skate enthusiasts.
To add to the list of seasonal activities, Festive Sundays are back this Sunday, November 26th, and will take place every following Sunday until December 17th.
Visitors to the city can embark on a wonderful wintery journey watching a parade of captivating street performers and illuminated acts take to the shopping streets across St Ann’s Square, King Street, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Square and Manchester Arndale.
Spectators can expect giant roaming puppets, street performers, live music and much more.
All will be accompanied by the vibrant sights and sounds of the Fat Cat Brass Band and Bloco Band, who will bring ‘Christmas cheer and tunes’ to the streets of Manchester.
The magical takeover will also feature bewitching woodland creatures including larger-than-life robins, the meandering arctic fox, a giant snowy owl – and Handmade Parade’s beautiful, illuminated reindeer.
The parades promise to ‘capture the imaginations’ and ‘bring festive magic’ to all. Come along with friends and family and enjoy an unforgettable day in the city together.
The Festive Sundays will see parades taking place all over the city. Here’s a quick run down of where and when they will be taking place:
Sunday November 26th
Parades will be held in Manchester Arndale, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Street, St Ann’s Square, King Street, and Deansgate from 12-7pm.
To kick start the season, street performers will be accompanied by musical bands as contagious Christmas cheer quickly spreads across town.
Sunday December 3rd
Parades will seen all across the city centre starting from 1pm.
Processions of spectacular characters, magical performances, and extraordinary acts will weave their way through the city’s streets to ‘sprinkle pure festive magic’.
Sunday December 10th & 17th
Visitors will see a stunning ‘Toy Procession’ take to Manchester’s iconic Christmas Markets as we edge closer to the big day.
Parades will take place at St Ann’s Square at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm.
Festive Sundays are free to attend and welcome families and all to enjoy.