A regularly updated list of public events affected due to the coronavirus
Updated 1st April
As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc and social distancing becomes the necessary norm, so the Manchester events calendar continues to collapse. Man City's Etihad stadium and events venue Manchester Central have become temporary home to the NHS, several hotels have been asked to house the homeless, Manchester Airport has closed all but one terminal and only key TfGM services continue to run in what has become a drastically changed landscape - one in which public venues must stay closed and the tourism and events scene take a temporary back seat. You can find out about the latest updates on Manchester City Council's coronavirus portal.
Below we’ve listed the major public events currently cancelled or postponed in Manchester. This list is subject to change and will be kept updated.
MANCHESTER MIDNIGHT WALK | Postponed until Friday 19th June
St Ann’s Hospice’s flagship fundraising event has raised over £2million since its launch. Its fourteenth episode, originally due to run in April, has been delayed until Friday 19th June. Organisers say they ‘could not guarantee the appropriate levels of staffing to run a safe event’ if there is a peak in the virus, as currently expected. Statement here.
RECORD STORE DAY |Postponed until Saturday 20th June
Involving thousands of people and small businesses, Record Store Day sees vinyl shops host special events across the world. Having postponed celebrations until Saturday 20th June, organisers are now working with all those involved to make the change ‘as smooth as possible.’ Statement here.
MANCHESTER HISTORIES FESTIVAL | Postponed until 4th - 7th September
Manchester Histories is a growing and dynamic charity that works collaboratively with people, organisations, and partners to reveal, share and celebrate Greater Manchester's diverse history and heritage. Its biennial June festival has been postponed to 4th - 7th September. Statement here.
PINT OF SCIENCE | Postponed until 7th - 9th September
This worldwide pub-science festival brings some of the world’s leading researchers to boozers in 24 countries. Its UK branch, including Manchester, has announced it will be postponed from May to 7th - 9th September. Statement here.
NOT QUITE LIGHT FESTIVAL | Postponed until Saturday 24th October
Founded by acclaimed local photographer Simon Buckley in 2016, this quirky arts fest spans art, music, guided tours, architecture and debate - with all 2020 proceeds donated to charity Henshaws. In a statement that also highlighted his concern for the self-employed during this unprecedented time, Buckley announced he hopes to hold the festival on Saturday 24th October. Statement here.
RAMSBOTTOM CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL | Postponed, date TBA
Ramsbottom Markets made the decision to postpone this popular family festival, after fearing developments in the coming weeks could necessitate a last-minute cancellation; even more damaging to local traders and potentially costing organisers £15,000. Meanwhile, they are encouraging people to support the traders who were due to attend on their Facebook page.
MANCHESTER RUM FESTIVAL | Postponed, date TBA
Manchester Rum Festival was due to take over new event space Viadux with over 50 rums, cocktails, food trucks, live music, talks and workshops. In his statement, owner said 'rest assured this is not a cancellation, (the event) will be going ahead in 2020 and I'm sure will be welcomed with open arms once the current pandemic is controlled.' Statement here.
MANCHESTER MARATHON | Postponed until Sunday 11th October
Now one of the UK’s leading events of its kind, the Manchester Marathon was due to take place on Sunday 5th April. Organisers have announced a new date of Sunday 11th October. Statement here.
MANCHESTER PUNK FESTIVAL | Cancelled
With over 100 bands, comedy and poetry stage, vegan nosh, punk cinema and pop-up record store, this festival has become a punk calendar staple. In a painfully honest statement, the DIY indie fest said it has lost thousands of pounds and encouraged people to check out its merch store. Statement here.
SCIENCE X | Postponed, date TBA
A free, interactive festival of exploration and experiments - and a great chance for kids to discover the fun behind science and engineering - this annual event is for young thrill seekers, space explorers and creative minds alike. Organisers hope to reschedule the festival at a later date.
WEST DIDSBURY COMEDY FESTIVAL | Postponed, date TBA
This local laughathon was set to make its debut with charity fundraising and new act competition plus quizzes and a line-up spanning Robin Ince to Tez Ilyas - selling 1000 tickets with six weeks to go. Organiser Kev said updates on a new date will be posted soon. Statement here.
GM WALKING FESTIVAL | Postponed, date TBA
This region-wide walking fest sees hundreds of free walks across all ten districts. Organisers have postponed the festival until further notice but, as fresh air and exercise is so important for physical and mental health, will meanwhile be publishing ways you get out and enjoy nature. Statement here.
MANCHESTER DUCK RACE | Cancelled
Raising money for children's charity Brainwave, this bank holiday favourite was due to return for its eleventh edition on Good Friday. Brainwave is attempting to limit the impact cancellation will have on the charity by going ahead with the best dressed corporate duck contest via online poll. Statement here.
WORDS WEEKEND | Cancelled
Following a successful debut in Gateshead, this dynamic literary festival was due to make its North West debut at the Lowry with the likes of Emma Jane Unsworth, Stuart Maconie and Sir Ralph Fiennes. The festival has decided to take the lead of major literature events like London Book Fair and make ‘the incredibly difficult decision to cancel.’ All ticket buyers will be contacted. Statement here.
GÓBÉFEST | Cancelled
This free Hungarian-Transylvanian festival attracts thousands with its traditional performances, craft market, family entertainment and regional delicacies like chimney cake. Organisers say it will return next year. Statement here.
SOUNDS FROM THE OTHER CITY | Cancelled
One of Manchester’s longest running music fests - famed for its blend of indie promoters, upcoming talent and the fabled ‘Sounds’ atmosphere - SFTOC would have celebrated its sixteenth anniversary this year. The Chapel Street fest is giving ticket holders the opportunity to use their ticket for next year’s event. Statement here.
MANCHESTER JAZZ FESTIVAL | Cancelled
MJF is the city’s longest-standing festival and the UK’s leading showcase for contemporary jazz; with a diverse range of musicians at venues citywide. 2020 would have been its 25th year. Statement here.
PARKLIFE | Cancelled
Lining up crowd-pulling chart-toppers year on year, Parklife has become the UK’s biggest metropolitan festival; this year due to celebrate its tenth anniversary with another cross-Atlantic blitz of big names, from Khalid to Lewis Capaldi. Statement here.
PILOT LIGHT TV FESTIVAL | Postponed, date TBA
Pilot Light brings together all kinds of TV series - new, old, never-before-seen - and a sneak peek into what goes on behind the scenes; as well as events like masterclasses, panels and quizzes. Organisers hope to host its 2020 episode around August. Statement here.
IRLAM LIVE | Postponed until 18th - 20th September
Founded in 2016, Irlam Live has since become a festival fixture; attracting thousands with local legends like the Lancashire Hotpots, and headliners spanning Billy Ocean to Toyah. This year is headed by Madchester tributes, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Scouting for girls. Statement here.
GREATER MANCHESTER FRINGE | Postponed, date TBA
Now something of an institution, this inclusive fringe festival traverses comedy, drama and everything in between. Organisers plan to postpone the festival to October or November. Statement here.
NB: This list does not include individual theatre shows, concerts and smaller events; many of which are also affected. In the event of cancellation or postponement, anyone who has brought a ticket should contact their point of purchase. For further information on COVID-19, see manchester.gov.uk