From Parklife to Manchester Day, MIF to Beer Week, it’s set to be a busy month
MANCHESTER CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL | Various | Until 15 July
Launched as a four-day pilot in 2010, the Children’s Book Festival now takes up ten colourful, character-filled days across summer. Centred around the popular Family Fun Day on June 24, events include everything from illustrator Nick Sharratt’s Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants exhibition to cupcake decorating with bestselling author Cathy Cassidy. Theatre company Les Petits will be performing David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon, while Corrie’s Jennie McAlpine will pitch up in the story tent and record-breaking beat boxer Testament will be hosting hip clinics in the MMU business school. Full programme here. Various; check the website.
KING STREET FESTIVAL | King Street | 3-4 June
Described as a ‘fun yet fashionable weekend offering al fresco dining, exclusive in-store events, complimentary gifts alongside free fizz and tastings,’ the King Street Festival is back with another royally good line-up: from lawn games and gin cocktails at Grafene to a 1930s interactive window display at House of Fraser and a historic city tour with Confidential’s Jonathan Schofield. New for 2017 will be mini Ted talks, art garden, pizza making and ‘pocket parks’ - while stores will be offering giveaways, goody bags and exclusive discounts galore. For more June fests - including Eat & Drink and Festa Italiana - don’t miss our summer roundup. King Street, M2 4AH (free entry).
INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD OF WINE | Jurys Inn Hotel | Thursday 8 June
Ever fancied yourself as one of those people who can launch into an impressive spiel about a particular vintage at the merest whiff, or a casual swill around the glass? Enter Manchester Wine School’s introductory course and emerge a fully-fledged oenophile. You’ll taste six wines from around the world, discover the major wine regions and learn about elements such as acidity and tannins. Full tasting notes are provided, along with cheese and cold meats, all for just £25. Other introductory events this month include red wine and Prosecco. Jurys Inn Hotel, 56 Great Bridgewater Street, M1 5LE (7-9pm; tickets £25 at manchesterwineschool.com).
PARKLIFE | Heaton Park | 10-11 June
Frank Ocean, The 1975, Jess Glynne, Stormzy, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Wiley… Parklife is back with an interstellar line-up and intergalactic branding to match. Now in its eighth year, the music megathon will again take over Europe’s largest municipal park on the second weekend of June, with a sell-out crowd of 75,000 people expected each day. After-parties will take place each night, across Manchester city centre. Heaton Park, M25 2SW (Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 12pm-11pm; tickets £119 at ticketmaster.co.uk).
COMMUNITY FESTIVAL | Manchester University | Saturday 17 June
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the doors of Manchester University, now’s your chance to find out. Researchers from the world-renowned institution will be throwing open their doors for a family-friendly fest of live experiments, demonstrations, workshops and performances. Highlights include robotic research labs, 3D doodle pens and an interactive quarantine game across the campus. The festival coincides with the Great Get Together and The Big Lunch, a weekend of community events inspired by Jo Cox’s belief that ‘we have far more in common than that which divides us’ - particularly relevant in light of recent events. Manchester University, Oxford Road, M13 9PL (11am-3pm; free).
ALTRINCHAM FOOD & DRINK FORTNIGHT | Altrincham | 17 June - 1 July
Its popular market may have catapulted Alty into foodie fandom but the town has never had its own food and drink fest - until now. Expect two weeks of scoffing and supping: with a culinary highlights including a sushi night and Korean barbeque at sushi/Kimchi, a ‘Radiant Supper Club’ with health author Hanna Sillitoe at Eat:kaizen, experimental Gin Tasting at Riddles Emporium, a junior bakeoff at Sugar Junction and an intercontinental tapas trail. Various; check the website.
MANCHESTER DAY | Citywide | Sunday 18 June
They started out by converting an old Norwegian ferry into Europe’s first touring ship: 27 years later and Walk the Plank have lost none of their verve, making Manchester Day into one of the UK’s most dazzling outdoor events. The outdoor arts company will once again be working with the city council to put on a spectacular show, with this year’s parade taking ‘Abracadabra’ as its theme. Last year’s Eureka-based spectacle witnessed everything from spacesuit-clad dogs to Archimedes in his legendary bathtub, so who knows what we can expect? As ever, there’ll be citywide antics too, inspired by Manchester’s pioneering spirit and the magic of both science and make-believe. Various; check the website.
THE REAL STORY | Gullivers | Thursday 22 June
The world of imagination conjured up many a good story, but sometimes all you need is reality. That’s the case for The Real Story, a writer development project and journal devoted to promoting the form of nonfiction writing in the UK. Headlining the next live event is Flâneuse author Lauren Elkin, who will also be running a nonfiction workshop beforehand. Part memoir, part biography, part cultural meander, her captivating book explores why women wander, what we’re looking for and how - by putting one foot in front of the other - we can sometimes stumble upon the unexpected. Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, M4 1LW (8pm; tickets £5.50 at seetickets.com).
THE GREATEST SPECTACLE OF LUCHA LIBRE | Albert Hall | Thursday 22 June
For the first time ever, Mexico’s famous masked wrestlers will be battling it out in Manchester this summer - as they take to Albert Hall for a classic ‘lucha libre’ (free fight). Featuring some of the sport’s leading luchadores (fighters), The Greatest Spectacle invites spectators to experience the acrobatic, mythical, and often dangerous world of this Mexican institution. Dressed in flamboyant capes and outlandish suits, the wrestlers perform complex acrobatic moves, rapid sequence holds, and spectacular high-flying maneuvers - using ropes to catapult themselves towards their opponents - in a timeless clash of good v evil. There’ll be Mexican nosh available too. Albert Hall, 27 Peter Street, M2 5QR (7pm; tickets from £22 at seetickets.com).
MANCHESTER MIDNIGHT WALK | Manchester Central | 23 June
It’s not often you get to walk round Manchester under the cloak of darkness, with hundreds of other people, but St Ann’s Hospice offers the chance to do just that in its quirky annual 10km walk. Starting point Manchester Central will be open from 9pm - offering evening entertainment, goodie bags and the chance to decorate your official t-shirt - then it’s off for a midnight meander round some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Afraid of the dark? How about the 100in10 virtual challenge, running down dementia or walking over cancer? Or show your support with fashion: BHF are asking people to wear red, while Oxfam’s Dressed by the Kids Day (16 June) should prove interesting... Manchester Central, Windmill Street, M2 3GX (9pm; tickets from £10 at sah.org.uk).
0161 FESTIVAL | St Kent’s Irish Social Club | 23-25 June
Its name may be based on the Manchester area code, but 0161’s purpose is somewhat further-reaching - raising money for anti-fascist, anti-racist activists throughout Europe. Running quietly under the radar for some years, this unusual DIY fest invariably sells out: promising a variety of music, films, and activities throughout the weekend. New to 2017 is a series of tours and events celebrating the history of anti-fascism and workers’ struggles in Manchester. Organisers aim to show that, regardless of the music tastes or backgrounds, festival-goers are all united in their belief of solidarity. St Kent’s Irish Social Club, 36 Wilbraham Road, Fallowfield, M14 7DW (time; tickets from £15 at 0161festival.com).
MANCHESTER BEER WEEK | Citywide | 23 June - 2 July
Manchester’s only citywide beer festival returns for another boozy bonanza this year, after its inaugural event saw a whopping 10,000 visitors attend 94 events. With more than 70 breweries in Greater Manchester, 50 having opened within the last five years, there's plenty to go at. MBW events for 2017 span brewery tours to restaurant collaborations, summer fests to supper clubs, and that’s just for starters. The Central Manchester branch of CAMRA rounds off proceedings with its own mini beer and cider fest under the arches, at 53Two. Various; check the website.
GO FEST | SportCity | 24-25 June
Ever wanted to try something out, but don’t want to commit? Enter Go Fest, which geniously brings everything from zumba to archery under one roof - so you can have a go. The family-friendly event offers quality small group coaching and humongous choice of sport, dance, health and fitness: from paddle-boarding to karate, korfball to squash. Sessions are typically 30-45 minutes long, giving participants a proper gist, and divided into age groups for ease. There’ll also be tournaments, additional drop-in activities, eat well area and main stage entertainment. Sportcity Regional Arena, Rowsley Street, M11 3FF (time; tickets from £14 at gofest.co.uk).
DIDSBURY ARTS FESTIVAL | Didsbury | 24 June - 2 July
Reaffirming its place on South Manchester’s cultural calendar, this biennial multi-arts extravaganza is back with a lively programme centred on the theme of ‘roots.’ Highlights include a creative flash fiction workshop with writers Sarah-Clare Conlon and David Gaffney, the world premiere of Nicola Schofield’s FLIGHT, a performance by MIRO Roots Orchestra, novelists Jenn Ashworth and Andrew Michael Hurley discussing the haunted North, Aesthetica’s short film showcase and some ‘food sorcery’ at Waterside Hotel. Various; check the website.
MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL | Citywide | 29 June - 16 July
Back with a new artistic director and all creative guns blazing, Manchester International Festival promises eighteen extraordinary days of original work from around the world - taking in everything from puppetry at the Museum of Science and Industry to a series of themed tours (we’ll give you one guess who the guide is) and a catwalk in Piccadilly Gardens. Albert Square will again become Festival Square for MIF17; hosting live music, talks with the likes of Jah Wobble and food and drink aplenty. Various; check the website.