From Hungarian folk dance to Cocktails in the City and Manchester's famous 10k, there's plenty going on this month
PILOT LIGHT TV FESTIVAL | Various | 4-7 May
Following a successful first season, Pilot Light airs for a second time, celebrating the best of worldwide episodic content from past, present and future. Opening with a screening of American Gods, the soon-to-be hit series based on Neil Gaiman’s bestselling novel, season two gets underway with everything from soap opera writing panels to Mad Men and new comedy heroes. Time to depart the sofa, turn off Netflix and get stuck in.
HOME & Central Library (various times; tickets from £5 at pilotlightfestival.co.uk).
MANCHESTER CURIOUS | Citywide | 5-7 May
Drawing inspiration from London Open House and Heritage Open Days, this independent fest unlocks hidden spaces across the city for an all-access weekend exploring some of Manchester’s finest buildings. Historic city tours are another key strand; from Ordsall Chord to ‘the world’s first industrial suburb’ (that’s Ancoats by the way). With the typical blend of contemporary and classic Manchester does so well, locations this year span the former Law Library to Chetham’s and the BDP offices.
Various; check the website
LITTLE NORTHERN CONTEMPORARY CRAFT FAIR | Altrincham Town Hall | Sunday 7 May
The LNCCF returns to Altrincham this month, with 40 selected designer-makers and artists selling a diverse selection of contemporary craft: from one-of-a-kind jewellery to handmade leather bags, functional ceramics to statement interiors. All proceeds go towards providing complimentary space for exciting graduates at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair - this year taking place at Upper Campfield Market, 12-15 October.
Altrincham Town Hall, Market Street, Altrincham, WA14 1PG (10.30am-4.30pm; tickets £3 on the door).
HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD | HOME | Monday 8 May
Alarmingly, it may already be too late to stop some of the worst consequences of climate change. At least according to Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox (Gasland), who continues to investigate ‘the greatest threat our world has ever known’ in this eye-opening documentary, traversing twelve countries on six continents in his quest for answers. But it’s not all doom and gloom, as Fox also ponders what the greenhouse effect can’t destroy. What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away? Part of the UK Green Film Festival.
HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN (5.45pm; tickets from £5 at homemcr.org).
FOOD N FILM | Printworks | Tuesday 9 May
After watching the demise of the planet, you might well be needing some light relief. Enter Food N Film, a new monthly networking event from movie addict Scott Hadden which includes some hearty Hard Rock scran, popcorn, premier seats, access to the Odeon bar post-movie and even ‘tasty themed biscuits.’ Oh, and the film itself of course. May’s chosen title is Guardians of the Galaxy 2, the latest in Marvel’s popular superhero series.
Hard Rock Café, M4 2BS (5.45-11.30pm; tickets from £15 ateventbrite.co.uk).
COCKTAILS IN THE CITY | Old Granada Studios | Friday 12 May
One inebriated eve of specially-created £6.50 cocktails and mixology masterclasses, frequented by some of Manchester’s best bars - little wonder Cocktails in the City is so popular. Venues taking part this year include established haunts like Hawksmoor, alongside fresh new faces like Roc & Rye and Roxy Ballroom. You can even try drinking cocktails in the dark, courtesy of London pop-up Pitch Black (just maybe save that new shirt for another time). Tickets include one Duppy Share rum punch cocktail and a second drink from any of the pop-up bars.
Old Granada Studios, Quay Street, M3 3JE (6-11.30pm; tickets £12 at cocktailsinthecity.com).
MOSS SIDE FOOD FESTIVAL | Alexandra Park | Saturday 13 May
Slowly but surely, Moss Side is shedding its negative connotations in favour of a more multicultural, enterprising image. From the long-established Caribbean Carnival to nifty initiatives like Moss Cider Project, a group of young residents are determined to celebrate the area’s positive aspects with the area’s first ever food festival. Alongside a choice of over twenty different dishes, visitors can also sample music, arts and crafts, sports events and free face fainting for children.
Alexandra Park, 80 Russell Street, M16 7JL (12-4pm; tickets £5/£2.50 for children).
GÓBÉFEST| Albert Square | 13-14 May
There’s more to Transylvania than towering castles and bloodsucking nocturnal creatures, and Góbéfest - the UK’s first official Transylvanian Hungarian festival of Arts and Culture - is out to prove it. Following a launch at the Dancehouse with Háromszék Dance Ensemble, Albert Square will be filled with the sights, sounds and flavours of central and south-eastern Europe. Highlights include live music from Hungarian and Romanian musicians, folk dance and an artisanal market boasting traditional crafts and cuisine.
Albert Square, M2 4JW (11am-9/10pm; free).
PINT OF SCIENCE | Citywide | 15-17 May
Forget stuffy lecture halls, Pint of Science brings some of the world’s leading scientists to a bar or pub near you. Sup away and, er, oil the old grey matter as you discuss extreme weather, celebrate the little things in life (literally) and venture along the cutting edge of scientific research. This month also sees The Business of Science Conference, which explores the intersection of science and commerce following last year’s European City of Science celebrations.
Various times and venues; tickets £4 at pintofscience.co.uk
MANCHESTER AFTER HOURS | Citywide | Thursday 18 May
As Manchester After Hours returns for its annual evening of quirky nocturnal happenings, expect the unexpected: from gigs on wheels to video projections on the Avro Shackleton aircraft and experimental electronics in Chetham’s courtesy of Dutch musician Wouter van Veldhoven. With a free MAH metroshuttle stopping within 1-4 minutes walk of each of the fifteen venues - even throwing in some live music along the way - there really is no excuse not to hop aboard. More info here.
Various; check the website
BREAKIN’ CONVENTION | The Lowry | 19-20 May
The world's biggest festival of hip hop dance theatre, Breakin’ Convention showcases ‘the very best from around the world and around the corner.’ A Lowry-Sadler’s Wells partnership, this year’s high-octane line-up includes Soweto Skeleton Movers (South Africa), Just Dance (Korea) and Tentacle Tribe (Canada) plus local acts from across the region. For a dance spectacle closer to HOME, don’t miss Rosie Kay - one of the UK’s leading choreographers - when she gambols into Manchester as part of hypnotic new tour MK ULTRA.
Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ (7.30pm; tickets from £5 at thelowry.com).
SWEET PROJEKTS | Projekts Skatepark | Saturday 20 May
For something a little off the beaten track this month, head down to 97 London Road, where Sweet Nothing - a community organisation who raise money for the homeless through art, music and poetry - will be teaming up with ProjektsMCR for a skatepark one-day fundraiser. While we’re dubious about the promised ‘sunshine,’ the other things we can believe: music, graffiti, art, food, booze and even a skate comp for those feeling brave.
Projekts Skatepark, 97 London Road, M1 2PG (3pm-2am; free entry until 8pm, £8 thereafter).
VERBOSE | Fallow Café | 22 May
Bringing words to the ‘burbs, one of Manchester’s most longstanding live lit events returns to Fallow Café for another showcase of writing talent from the North West and beyond. This month, of course, the prose is particularly illuminating as Confidential’s very own Sarah Tierney will be reading from her new book Making Space, a Manchester-based literary romance about a girl who falls in love with a hoarder. Trust us, it’s a belter. She’ll be joined by fellow Sandstone Press author Stephen May and Unbound’s Martine McDonagh with Narcissism for Beginners.
Fallow Café, 2A Landcross Rd, Fallowfield, M14 6NA (7.30-10pm; free).
DOT TO DOT FESTIVAL | Citywide | 26-28 May
D2D calls itself the ‘the UK’s premier festival for unearthing the best new talent’. We suspect other music fests might beg to differ but you can’t deny it’s made some pretty accurate scoutings over the last twelve years: Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons and Florence + The Machine to name but a few. No longer confined to Nottingham, D2D now takes in Bristol and Manchester. Local promoters Sweet Sweet Records are hosting a stage at No 1 Watson Street while Sundara Karma heads a line-up playing across venues citywide.
Various venues (2pm; tickets £13.20 at alttickets.com).
GREAT MANCHESTER 10K RUN | Citywide | Sunday 28 May
Now with the additional option of a half marathon, the 10K sprints back into Manchester this spring. As ever there is the option to run for a charity of your choice, on your own or with a team. Even the kids can get involved, with a junior and mini event on Saturday 27. Both 10K and half marathon routes pass landmarks like IWM North and Old Trafford, with plenty of music and entertainment keeping up motivation.The event is preceded by Arcadis Great Citygames on Friday 26; this year featuring Olympians Tiffany Porter, Orlando Ortega and Sally Pearson.