With lockdown lifting, Manchester’s events scene is blooming once again…

ALL SORTS TO DO | Citywide | Ongoing

Continuing the council’s All Sorts To Do activity programme, this summer sees a bumper programme of activities for children and young people - all socially distant and safe, with most free of charge. From discovering dinosaurs in the city's parks to exploring the wonders of Ancient Egypt, there’s lots to do both citywide and at home. Summer holiday boredom? Banished.  

ESCAPE TO FREIGHT ISLAND | Mayfield | From Friday 24th July

Manchester's exiting new outdoor food market and event space, Escape to Freight Island, launches on 24th July with its first phase ‘Platform 15.’ There will be performances and takeovers by both local and internationally renowned artists, collectives and club brands - from Giles Peterson to Homoelectric - as well as festival takeovers from the likes of Manchester Pride. We’re excited about the food too, including taco titans Madre.

2020 06 26 Escape To Freight Island
Escape to Freight Island launches this month

VILLAGE SCREEN DRIVE-THRU CINEMA | Middlewood Locks | Until 2nd August

With their usual quirky indoor locations off the cards, Village Screen are swapping the likes of Victoria Baths with a series of ‘drive-thru’ cinema experiences at Middlewood Locks instead. Films include Thelma & Louise, Knives Out, Drive, Joker and Back to the Future.

A WEEKEND IN OUTER SPACE | Online | 24th - 26th July

bluedot may be cancelled this year but you can still enjoy its signature starry fusion of music, science and cosmic culture thanks to this three-day virtual fest; spanning Elbow to Orbital and Brian Cox. It’s free to view but donations are welcome, with all proceeds supporting Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.

Bluedot 2017 Saturday Orbital Lovell Stage 2
Orbital are amongst the line-up for A Weekend in Outer Space


Celebrating designer-makers, GNCCF spans fine jewellery to functional homeware, statement accessories to unique prints. While they’ve had to cancel GNCCF this year, organisers will instead be championing would-be exhibitors online and are hosting a virtual fair this month featuring 160 exhibitors. 

SOCIAL AVENUE | Trafford Park | From Saturday 25th July

Hosted by event planners JMB in a Trafford Park car park, this six-week series will see music and food-pops take place every weekend. Mason Collective headline the first party; followed by brands and DJs like Darius Syrossian, Moxy Muzik, Haus22, OC & Verde. There will also be street food traders onsite, as well as fully-stocked bars for you and your ‘social bubble’ to enjoy.

2020 24 07 Oc Verde
OC & Verde play Social Avenue

THEATRE SUPER AUCTION | Online | Until Sunday 26th July

With live indoor performance still not permitted at normal capacity, most performance venues remain closed as they continue to endure what has been an agonising few months. Raising money for the theatre industry, this star-studded auction spans Joan Collins’ jewellery to Strictly dinner parties and Wicked

BE RIGHT BACK | Band on the Wall | 31st July - 1st August

With music venues also affected by performance restrictions, Band on the Wall is closing for its planned renovation earlier than originally intended, reopening in September 2021. The Manchester icon is hosting a farewell party (socially distant of course), featuring a line-up of local faves and headlined by Mr Scruff.

2020 06 25 Band On The Wall Credit J P Brown
Band on the Wall is saying farewell for now J P Brown

Read more: Manchester arts and culture - What’s reopening when?

Also: COVID-19 - Manchester events cancelled or postpone