From Pride's Big Weekender to Daft Punk orchestral, our top picks for this August

Looking for more great things to do in August? Then check out our Essential Guide to 2018 - this month ft. the Caribbean Carnival, Bolton Food & Drink Festival and more...

TRACING PAPER | PAPER | Until 11 August

After ten months on the PAPER mentoring scheme, ten North West artists exhibit brand new paper-based works in this finale exhibition: from Iain Andrews’ faery tale twists to Ruby Tingle’s ethereal collage and Jack Brown’s unexpected observations on daily life. 

PAPER, Unit 12, Mirabel Studios, 14-20 Mirabel Street, M3 1PJ (Sat 11am-5pm)

HERSTORY | Touchstones Rochdale | 28 July – 29 September

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (what a name) began collecting contemporary art in 1992 and, now one of the most respected private collectors in Europe, has amassed around 1500 artworks by leading contemporary artists - many reflecting her interest in supporting women. Drawing on the collection, Herstory explores how major female artists like Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger have radically changed the face of art over the last 40 years. 

Touchstones Rochdale, The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AQ (Tues-Sat 10am-5pm; free)

OUBLIETTE | MMU | 1-31 August 

And what is ‘oubliette’ you may ask? Well, it’s a mathematics-themed escape room devised by Manchester Metropolitan University to get people more engaged in maths. Fair play to ‘em. With everything from seventies disco to Ancient Egypt and lasers, it sounds pretty good - and you don’t even have to be a whizz at maths.

MMU, Oxford Road, M15 6BH (various times; tickets £60 for team of up to seven) 

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The laser challenge at Oubliette

TÄPP FEST | The Peer Hat | Thursday 2 August

The talented musical duo behind the live music night TÄPP Presents, at Indigo in Withington, are ramping it up this summer with all-day festival: featuring an art studio, crafts markets, fashion, food stalls and a 52-strong selection of Manchester’s finest live musicians and electronic artists, from soul singer Yemi Bolatiwa to contemporary jazz-rock quintet Artephis. Reform Radio, meanwhile, will be filming and broadcasting live from the festival.

The Peer Hat, 14-16 Faraday Street, M1 1BE (from 2pm; tickets £5.83 at

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS | Manchester Arena | 3-4 August

This $20m production - inspired by the award-winning BBC documentary - is undertaking one final prowl round the UK, before it goes extinct for good. Featuring eighteen life-size creatures and state-of-the-art technology, it’s a fascinating insight into dinosaurs’ reign on earth over 200 million years. 

Manchester Arena, Victoria Station, Hunts Bank, M3 1AR (various times; tickets from £29.20 at

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Walking with Dinosaurs has been seen by over 9 million people in more than 250 cities around the world

RUM & REGGAE FESTIVAL | Bowlers Exhibition Centre | 11 August

Bowlers will be transformed into a tropical nirvana for this inaugural event, featuring ‘the widest selection of rums and the smoothest selection of reggae music in the UK.’ As well as a welcome rum punch and an atlas guide to the global selection on offer, visitors can expect carnival dancers, steel drum performances, traditional Jamaican food and free photo booth.  

Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Longbridge Road, Stretford, M17 1SN (from 1pm; tickets from £13.80 at

SOFAR SOUNDS | Green Quarter | Wednesday 15 August

This unusual worldwide concept sees musicians perform in unexpected spaces (which remain a secret until after booking), often residential. Musicians (also a surprise) span upcoming bands to the likes of Hozier and Bastille, and you’re welcome to BYOB. Due to the nature of the event, tickets must be requested - those selected from the draw will then be prompted to purchase.

Secret location (7-7.30pm arrival; request tickets here

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Sofar Sounds - a gig with a difference


While we’re on the subject of unusual gigs, how about a sixteen-piece ensemble playing Daft Punk hits - complete with immersive visuals and an elaborate light show for good measure? Re: Imagine have become renowned for their live orchestral performances of contemporary music, and for good reason. 

O2 Ritz, Whitworth Street West, M1 5NQ (7pm; tickets £20.50 at

SWITCH + TIPPING POINT | Upper Campfield Market Hall, 15-19 August

Circus company Ockham’s Razor will work with Contact and young people from north Manchester to develop Switch, - a brand new performance inspired by aerial circus, breakdance, martial arts and Shaolin stick fighting. Expect breath-taking aerial acrobatics as five performers use poles to swing, climb and astound high above the audience.

Upper Campfield Market Hall, Campfield Arcade, Deansgate, M3 4FN

2018 07 24 Ockhams Razor Mark Dawson
Ockham’s Razor is partly inspired by Shaolin stick fighting Mark Dawson

THE TEMPEST | Abraham Moss Community School | 15-18 August

After gaining rave reviews for their last show, Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company are back with a quirky take on Shakespeare’s classic play. School’s out for summer and it should be empty…but there's something (or someone) on the CCTV. Something strange is happening at Abraham Moss School. Rules are broken, souls are bared and can you ever really forgive?

Abraham Moss Community School, Crescent Road, Crumpsall, M8 5UF (various times; tickets from £5 at

THE MONSTER | Beyond |16-19 August  

Missed out on The Monster when it was at Manchester Central? Worry not, because it’s back - this time at Beyond, by the Trafford Centre. At nearly 300m long, with 42 obstacles, it’s the world's largest inflatable obstacle course and will be open for both adult and children’s sessions - fun for all the family. 

Beyond, Trafford Way, M41 7JA (various times; ticket links above) 

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The Monster is back... Jake Davis

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN | Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens | 17-19 August

Heartbreak Productions are back with their acclaimed summer theatre season, adapting beloved classics for the outdoor stage. This month it’s Edith Nesbit’s iconic tale, which follow three siblings’ heart-warming endeavour to reunite their family. Bring a chair (and maybe a picnic).

Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens, Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, M20 2SW (various times; tickets from £11 at 

THE LUNA CINEMA | Tatton Park | 24-26 August

More outdoor entertainment (let’s hope the weather plays ball) - this time of the film persuasion. Yes, the UK’s leading open-air cinema is visiting the picturesque ground of Tatton Park on its summer tour, with three popular flicks: The Goonies, Pretty Woman and The Greatest Showman. There’ll be food and drink available too. 

Tatton Park, Mereheath Drive, Knutsford WA16 6QN (doors 6.30pm, film 8pm; tickets from £7.50 at

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See The Goonies at Tatton Park

PRIDE WEEKEND | The Village | 24-27 August

Rita Ora headlines this year's Manchester Pride Big Weekend, which will see tens of thousands descend on the city's Gay Village for one of the largest annual LGBT celebrations in the UK. Other acts this year include Jake Shears (of Scissor Sister fame), Alexandra Burke, Pete Tong and Sigala. 

Various; check the website 

MANCHESTER SOUL FESTIVAL | The Printworks | Sunday 26 August

After three successful years, raising over £65,000 for The Christie, this charitable Motown music fest is back with a whole lotta soul and a healthy dose of nostalgia. Confirmed acts include Stax of Soul, Dave Starr and Fay L Jones, with more TBA.

The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, M4 2BS (wristbands minimum £5 donation from

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Manchester Pride returns

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