From the UK’s first cachaça fest to Gung Ho! and Manchester Print Fair - our fifteen top things to go see this month

Looking for more things to do this month? Then check out our Essential Guide to 2018 in Manchester...

THE ALCHEMY OF COLOUR | John Rylands Library | 15 March - 27 August

Poisonous paints, blackened bones and beetles steeped in booze. Discover the strange and curious recipes that artists used to create some of history’s most vivid colours in John Rylands’ latest exhibition. John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH (Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun-Mon 12-5pm; free)

THE GAME | National Football Museum | 23 March 2018 - 17 May 2019

Having documented football through a camera lens since 1989, Stuart Roy Clarke returns to the home of the beautiful game to present a collection of his most significant work from the last three decades. National Football Museum, Cathedral Gardens, Todd Street, M4 3BG (Mon-Sun 10am-5pm; free) 

2018 03 28 The Game
The Game

TEN THOUSAND WAVES | The Whitworth | 30 March - 30 August 

Jointly acquired by Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery and the Whitworth as part of Art Fund’s new Moving Image Fund for MuseumsTen Thousand Waves (2010) is inspired by the Morecambe Bay cockle-pickers’ tragedy in 2004. The Whitworth, Oxford Road, M15 6ER (Fri-Wed 10am-5pm, Tues 10am-9pm; free)

SPRING AWAKENING | Hope Mill Theatre | 31 March - 3 May

Winner of eight Tony and four Olivier Awards, the iconic rock musical - which explores the tumult of adolescence amidst the censured world of nineteenth century Germany - receives its first major UK revival in a bold new production at Hope Mill this spring. Hope Mill Theatre, 113 Pollard Street, M4 7JA (various times; tickets from £20 at

2017 12 11 Ten Thousand Waves
Ten Thousand Waves

EASTER VINTAGE SWING | The Printworks | Sunday 1 April

The Printworks will be transforming into a fifties haven this Easter Sunday, as it hosts the fifteenth annual Swing Fest. Expect an afternoon of vintage cars, live rockabilly music from the likes of The Neutronz, Lindy Hop classes and family entertainment aplenty. The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, M4 2BS (12-5pm; free)  

MICA MILLAR | Band on the Wall | Wednesday 4 April

Cited as ‘one of the best vocalists in the UK’ by the BBC - and supported by an all female backing vocal trio, string quartet and additional four piece band - Manchester-born soul powerhouse Mica Millar launches her third album The Defender live. Band on the Wall, 25 Swan Street, M4 5JZ (7.30pm; tickers £11.50 at

2018 02 27 Mica Millar
Mica Millar

GUNG HO | Heaton Park | Saturday 7 April

A chance to take on ten of the greatest inflatable obstacles on the planet (including the world's largest obstacle, and Europe’s biggest ever inflatable slide) plus raise money for charity - the popular 5K fun run is back. Jump on it. Heaton Park Middleton Road, M25 2SW (various times; tickets from £47.48 at

CACHAÇA FESTIVAL | Sachas Hotel | Saturday 7 April

Apparently the first ever in the UK and the largest in Europe, this celebration of the Brazilian bevy (make with fermented sugarcane) promises masterclasses, music, food and many leading brands. Plus, of course, cocktails - and not just caipirinhas. Prefer Mother’s ruin? This month also sees the Gin Society Fest at Manchester Cathedral. Sachas Hotel, Tib Street, M4 1SH (12-6pm; tickets £16.73 at

2018 03 28 Cachaca Festival 2
Cachaça Festival


100 years on, Manchester commemorates the Battle of Manchester Hill with several events citywide: including a cultural event at the Cathedral, featuring over 60 artists and performers; a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph and an an exhibition at the Central Library. Various; check the website

MANCHESTER PRINT FAIR | Manchester Cathedral | 14 April

Having started as a handful of students displaying their work in Night & Day Café back in 2011, Manchester Print Fair has been celebrating the best of design, illustration and independent zines ever since. MPF #15 boasts over 60 creatives, offering the chance to find that perfect piece. Manchester Cathedral, Victoria Street, M3 1SX (10am-4.30pm; free) 

Battle Of Manchester Hill
An officer of the 16th Battalion Manchester Regiment writes home amid the desolation of the battlefields

UK COFFEE WEEK | Citywide | 16-20 April

Manchester venues taking part in this nationwide celebration of our favourite caffeine include Mancoco, Coffee Cranks and Grindsmith. As well as a latte art competition by Takk, there’ll be comps and events throughout the week - plus those taking part will donate a percentage of proceeds from all sales to the Project Waterfall charity. Various; check the website

BONGO’S BINGO | Albert Hall | Tuesday 17 April

An insane mix of live show, rave and heads-down game of bingo…unsurprisingly, the cult of Bongo’s Bingo continues to catapult worldwide. Move fast if you want to catch this last available April date with Jonny Bongo (main image). Albert Hall, 27 Peter Street, M2 5QR (8pm, doors open 6pm; tickets £8 from

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Bongo’s Bingo at Albert Hall

KAHLUA BRUNCH CLUB | The Loft | 21 April - 28 May

One of the first events at Pernod Ricard’s new ‘Loft’ venue on Quay Street, this series of boozy brunches pairs the popular coffee liqueur with the likes of Kahlua-infused pancakes from Grape & Grain and two ‘Chokahlúa Orange’ cocktails - created by bartender Chris Bains of nearby Australasia. The Loft, 13 Quay Street, M3 3HN (various times; tickets from £12 at

VEGAN LIFE LIVE | EventCity | 20-22 April

Anyone interested in veganism is in for a treat this month. Not only is it the Northern Vegan Festival on Saturday 7, another veganza is joining the mix - promising expert advice, cooking demos and talks from industry bigwigs. Tickets for Vegan Life Live include entry to the OM Yoga Show and the Mind Body Soul Experience. EventCity, Phoenix Way, Stretford, M41 7TB (various times; tickets from £6 at

TEZ ILYAS | The Lowry | Sunday 29 April

Armed with his trademark cheek and uncompromising approach, ‘heavyweight pontificator’ Tez Ilyas ‘teztifies’ what it means to be a working class, Northern and British Muslim in his slick, smart and typically subversive new show. The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ (5pm & 8pm; tickets from £10 at

Tez Ilyas
Tes Ilyas

For more unmissable goings on, take a look at our Essential Guide to 2018 in Manchester