From Cirque du Soleil to a new Makers Market and Tatton Park’s Dog Fest, stick these in the diary…

Looking for more great things to do this June? Then check out our essential festival calendar - this month ft. Parklife, Manchester Day and more... 

OFF THE SHELF: BOOKS & THEIR BORROWERS IN 1850 | The Portico | 5 April - 24 June

Featuring the library’s favourite object - a rare, hand-coloured first edition of Humboldt and Bonpland’s seventeenth century zoological masterpiece - this quirky exhibition glimpse into the borrowing and reading habits of Manchester’s Victorian residents, and the residents themselves.

The Portico, 57 Mosley Street, M2 3HY (various times Mon-Sat; free)    

WE PLAY IN TIME | Weavers Factory | 1-30 June

Throughout June, the Weavers Factory Loom Shop will transform into Dobcross Square for a photographic exhibition about Saddleworth and its own Dobcross Silver Band. After a year of following the band closely, artist Simon Buckley transports visitors to Saddleworth at dusk to experience the legendary Whit Friday concerts through photographs and music.

Weavers Factory, New Street, Uppermill, OL3 6AU (various times; free) 

2019 05 05 Dobcross Band Simon Buckley
Simon Buckley profiles Saddleworth’s Dobcross Band Simon Buckley

PICNIC IN THE PARK | Platt Fields Park | Sunday 7 June

Enjoy an afternoon of street theatre, live music and activities at this free family-friendly festival. With puppets, ballroom dancing and even the opportunity to participate in a wedding ceremony (erm, OK…), this is far from your average picnic. Bring your own snacks or try local street food from across the globe.

Platt Fields Park, Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, M14 6LA  57 Mosley Street, M2 3HY (1-6pm; free) 

CHRIS MCCAUSLAND | The Lowry | Sunday 9 June

Using his own experiences as a blind comedian and a family man, Chris McCausland’s new show is heartfelt at hilarious at once. Also challenging preconceptions at the Lowry this month is award-winning theatre company Ockham’s Razor, whose This Time features a cast spanning thirteen to 60. The message? We are strong in different ways at different times in our life: age really is just a number. 

The Studio, The Lowry, M14 6LA  (8pm; tickets £12 from

2019 05 31 Chris Mc Causland
Chris McCausland’s new tour follows stints like Live at the Apollo

ABSTRACT ORCHESTRA | Band on the Wall | Wednesday 12 June

Leeds-based collective Abstract Orchestra mix hip-hop and big band jazz in their unique shows. Led by Haggis Horns saxophonist Rob Mitchell, the sixteen-piece ensemble group are keeping the culture of live hip-hop alive. Influenced by the likes of Jay Z and The Roots, the group will perform with guest MCs to create exciting new music live onstage. 

Band on the Wall, 25 Swan Street, M4 5JZ (8pm; tickets £17 at

CONTACT + YOUNG IDENTITY |Manchester Art Gallery | 12-16 June 

Two dynamic companies are joining forces to challenge popular culture and pose questions about our future in Old Tools > New Masters. Directed by Tunde Adefioye, Contact Young Company and Young Identity will take audiences on an alternative tour of Manchester Art Gallery with a mix of poetry, theatre and post-colonialism.

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley St, M2 3JL  (various times Wed-Sun; tickets £20 from    

2019 05 31 Old Tools New Masters
Old Tools New Masters explores what it means to decolonise public culture.

MICRODOT | Hatch | Saturday 15 June

In the warm-up to science and music festival bluedot, a free family-friendly party will take place at event space Hatch in collaboration with property company Bruntwood. Microdot features live music, roaming performers and 'DotTalks', curated by Jodrell Bank Observatory. Always wanted to try a David Attenborough themed disco? Well, now’s your chance.

Hatch, Oxford Road, M1 7ED  (midday-11pm; free) 

DOG FEST | Tatton Park | 15-16 June

Headlined by Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick and Clare Balding, the annual Dog Fest promises have-a-go activities, expert advice, live music and - most importantly - furry friends galore. Move over Glastonbury, DogFest is the paw-fect day out this June (sorry).  

Tatton Park, Knutsford, WA16 6QN (9.30am; tickets £16.50 from  

2019 05 31 Dog Fest
Supervet is back at Dog Fest

SALE MAKERS MARKET | Sale | Sunday 16 June

The popular regional Makers Market is launching at a new site in Sale; bringing together the usual food, drink and crafts from some of our finest local producers. Take a stroll, meet the creators themselves and sample the treats on offer.

Square Shopping Centre, Sale, M33 7WZ  (11am-4pm; free)

THE HAUNTING OF BLAINE MANOR | Waterside Arts Centre | Friday 21 June

Blaine Manor is said to be the most haunted building in the country. Step inside Waterside Arts Centre to be transported back to 1953 where renowned parapsychologist Doctor Roy Earle holds a séance to discover the horrors within the manor walls. Hollywood meets horror with this production of Joe O’Byrne’s stage play.

Waterside Arts, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, M33 7ZF (7.30pm; tickets £12 from

2019 05 31 Haunting Of Blaine Manor
Hollywood meets horror in The Haunting of Blaine Manor

UNITE & CONQUER | New Bailey | Friday 21 June

Fancy a challenge? Grab three friends to tackle an adrenaline-inducing obstacle course from Unite & Conquer. Designed to get hearts pumping and challenge participants both physically and mentally, obstacles include a Leap of Faith, Tyre Run and an Assault Course. All profits raised will be donated to the organisation’s chosen charity.

New Bailey, Stanley Street, Salford, M3 5JL (9-5pm; entry fee £125 for a team of four at

THE EAGLES | Manchester Arena | Wednesday 26 June

With more than 150 million album sales worldwide and six number one albums spanning almost 50 years, The Eagles' new tour is jam-packed with classics. It's also one of the first gigs where fans can take advantage of Manchester Arena's new partnership with Ticketmaster, introducing digital ticket technology at the arena for the first time.

Manchester Arena, Victoria Station Approach, M3 1AR (6pm; tickets from £147 at

2019 05 31 The Eagles
The Eagles are one of the bestselling bands of all time

BUBBLE RUSH | Wythenshawe Park and Gardens | Saturday 29 June

The Bubble Rush is a 5km course like no other. Starting in a sea of bubbles, with several stations en route, the family-friendly race ends in a 4ft deep bubble bath of coloured foam. The fun run is raising funds for St Ann’s Hospice, who care for thousands of patients affected by life-limiting illnesses.

Wythenshawe Park and Gardens, M23 0AB (11am-2pm; tickets £20 from

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: TORUK | Manchester Arena | 20-23 June

Remember James Cameron’s 2009 hit Avatar? In this visual spectacular, watch the Cirque du Soleil performers bring the world of Pandora to life for an official prequel. TORUK: The First Flight tells a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events of Avatar and features creative input from Cameron himself.

Manchester Arena, Victoria Station Approach, M3 1AR (8pm; tickets from £57 at

2019 05 31 Toruk
Toruk will feature Cirque’s spectacular stunts and visuals

A-Z OF SALFORD COLLECTIONS | Salford Museum & Art Gallery | Until 23 February 2020

From a self-pouring teapot to the zodiac, follow an alphabet trail through Salford Museum’s fascinating collections. Each section has been studied to share some of the most intriguing items; including decorative art, costumes and social history.

Langworthy Gallery, Crescent, Salford, M5 4WU (9.30am-4.30pm; free)

Written by Lucy Milburn 

For more unmissable goings on, take a look at our essential festival calendar.