Doki Doki, the Christmas lights switch on and a magic lantern festival...

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH ON | Albert Square | Saturday 4 November

Can you believe it’s already that time again? We can’t either. Doing the honours this year will be DJ Sigala - joined by the likes of Pixie Lott, BGT’s Tokio Myers, theatre performers and the requisite Corrie star - ahead of a spectacular firework display. The Christmas markets will launch the following week, on Friday 10 November.  Albert Square, M2 5DB (7.30pm; free).

MANCHESTER COFFEE FESTIVAL | Victoria Warehouse | 4-5 November

It sure is great cup north, as this beany bonanza returns for its fourth innings this winter. With everything from coffee tastings to brewing workshops and the ‘Ted Talks of coffee,’ you’ll be bouncing off the walls.  Victoria Warehouse, Trafford Wharf Road, Stretford, M17 1AB (Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm; tickets from £10 at

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Cup North

SLEEPOUT | Manchester Cathedral | Friday 10 November 

Homelessness has become an increasingly visible problem in Manchester, but few of us realise what it’s like to be without adequate shelter come nightfall. That’s why, in the Booth Centre’s annual Sleepout, participants forsake their beds for sleeping bags and kip out at Manchester Cathedral. Manchester Cathedral, Victoria Street, M3 1SX (7pm; registration from £15 at

OFF THE RECORD | Northern Quarter | Friday 10 November

Following a successful 2016 debut, OTR enters the festival fray with another one-day musical shebang across the Northern Quarter: featuring 30 budding artists curated by the likes of Brix Smith Start, and a host of panel events. Various; check the website

RENT PARTY | Adelphi Court | 10-11 November 

What do you call something that’s a mixture of theatre, dance, politics and party -  oh, and takes place in a Salford high-rise? That would be Darren Pritchard’s Rent Party, an immersive musical about austerity Britain. Compelling stuff. Adelphi Court, off Cannon Street, Salford, M3 6HU (8pm; PAYF)

DOKI DOKI FESTIVAL | Sugden Sports Centre | 11 November

A diverse celebration of Japanese culture, Doki Doki spans calligraphy demos to kimono styling, traditional board games to anime screenings and a cosplay after-party. And yes, there’ll be sushi aplenty too.  Sugden Sports Centre, 114 Grosvenor Street, M1 7HL (10am; tickets from £10 at

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Eclectic outfits are a given at Doki Doki


From Japanese to Jewish now, as the UK’s leading Jewish film festival celebrates its 21st birthday with a selection of premieres at Cineworld Didsbury and HOME: spanning docs like Remember Baghdad to crowd-pleasers like The Women’s Balcony and heartwarming comedies like Let Yourself Go! It’s another boon for Jewish culture, as Manchester’s Jewish museum recently received a £3m lottery grant towards its ambitious redevelopment. Various; check the website

NEW MUSIC NORTH WEST FESTIVAL | Citywide | 13-18 November

50+ composers, 20+ concerts and 20+ premieres…RNCM’s experimental, thought-provoking annual showcase is back with more genre-bending concerts than you can shake a baton at. Highlights include Psappha’s Wonderland and The Arsonists: a tragi-comic opera about love and economics. Various; check the website 


Another November staple, MAF is now the UK’s biggest celebration of the animated art form. Alongside a wealth of talks and short film screenings, there’ll also be a conference with Cosgrove Hall Films, whose fascinating archive is currently on show at Waterside Arts CentreHOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN (various times; tickets from £40 at

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Manchester Animation Festival takes place at HOME from 14-16 November

LOUDER THAN WORDS | The Principal | 10-12 November

‘The only festival that interrogates that enduring love affair between music and the written word,’ LTW grows louder each year. John Robb, Horace Panter and Jah Wobble are amongst the personalities confirmed for 2017, which also celebrates future voices through poetry slams, workshops and the Wilko Johnson Writing Award. The Principal, Oxford Street, M60 7HA (various, check the website)

CHORLTON BOOK FESTIVAL | Chorlton | 17-25 November

The literary love-in continues over in Chorlton, whose thirteenth episode promises to be anything than unlucky. Events span murder mysteries, Manky Poets and the traditional pub quiz at The Beech Inn. Various; check the website

WOMEN'S WORDS MCR PROJECT | Online | Until 24 November

As part of the 2018 centenary of women’s votes, Manchester City Council and The Pankhurst Centre are inviting women to submit their stories of living and working in Manchester - all will be archived in the Central Library, and several will appear in a reimagination of the original The Suffragette magazine. Need some inspiration? The Real Story’s Kate Feld will be hosting a life-writing workshop at Chorlton Library on Saturday 4 November. Full info on the website

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The Pankhurst Centre, birthplace of the suffragette movement

MAGICAL LANTERN FESTIVAL| Philips Park | 24 November - 1 January

A dazzling visual feast of colour, light and artistry, Magical Lantern Festival promises everything from penguin colonies to an eight-metre-high recreation of Beijing’s Temple of Heaven and even a game of footie; all evoked through illuminated handcrafted lanterns. The Manchester debut is not to be missed. Philips Park, Stuart Street, M11 4DJ (Wed-Sun, 5-9pm; tickets from £9.08 at

PEN:CHANT | HOME | 24-25 November 

Spoken word, live music, comedy, cabaret and plenty of surprises along the way: there’s no night out that’s quite like Pen:Chant. This month, the ‘nomadic beast’ is at HOME with a protest and revolution special headlined by the enigmatic Rosy Carrick. HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN (9pm; tickets £10 at

TOUGH 10 | Heaton Park | Sunday 26 November

This thigh-burning 10k run through Europe’s largest urban park may sound daunting (OK, it is) but it’s actually ranked one of the easiest in Cancer Research’s Tough 10 series - great for regular runners or first timers looking for a challenge. Heaton Park, Prestwich, M25 0BW (11am; registration £25 at

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Magical Lantern Festival