Spend your September laughing, dancing and eating chicken wings 'til you're sick
The kids are going back to school, the last dregs of the summer festival calendar are scheduled, and tins of Quality Street are starting to appear in Tesco Extra. However, if you think September means that things start to slow down on the Manchester scene, you're seriously mistaken.
Still holding onto little miss sunshine, there's outdoor fun at Fog Lane and Platt Fields parks, there's crafty stuff, comedy gigs and a global get-together in Stalybridge. If you've never tried Burmese food you can do that too, or if you fancy getting away for the weekend, we know a great doggo-friendly spot in Wales.
Read on for a list of the best things to do in and around Greater Manchester this September.
Outdoor Theatre Experience | Fog Lane Park | Friday 2 September and Saturday 9 September
Heartbreak Productions travel all around the UK bringing old favourites and new productions to outdoor venues and public spaces. This September it's Burnage's turn as Jane Eyre and Much Ado About Murder! are coming to Fog Lane Park on Friday 2 September and Saturday 9 September. With the aim of being "fun, inventive and interactive", this theatre experience is a bit different from your usual trip to the Palace, and the company collab with loads of different actors, designers, composers and crew to create a proper piece of theatre that can be enjoyed in the great outdoors. Reader, we're getting a ticket.
139 Fog Ln, Parkville Rd, Park, Manchester M20 4UP
The Street's on Fire| The Carlton Club | Sunday 4 September
May from Rice Over Everything and collaborative organisation A New Burma are organising a Burmese art event focusing on the coup and spring revolution artworks. Hosted by The Carlton Club on Sunday 4 September, the event will aim to unite Manchester's Burmese community whilst showcasing the best authentic Burmese food and a range of contemporary artworks from Myanmar. Having also been displayed in London earlier this summer, the art focuses on "the challenges being surmounted by the brave and bold youths of Myanmar as they fight for a future free of brutal oppression". To support the cause, every penny raised will go straight to the artists, who are currently on the run from the military. A range of Burmese food and drink will also be available and the event runs from 3.15pm - 6.15pm.
113 Carlton Road, Whalley Range , Manchester M16 8BE
Japan ‘70: Cinema on the Edge| HOME | Sunday 4 September - Tuesday 14 September
"51 years ago, Japanese cinema offered young (and not so young), daring and dangerous filmmakers exciting opportunities to push the boundaries of cinematic language" and HOME is using the first two weeks in September to celebrate just that. With risky subject matters, new wave themes and some gritty storylines, the season allows Manc audiences to experience films that are rarely seen in UK cinemas. Representing Japanese society in the '60s and '70s, the films explore issues like youth culture, social class, film form and politics. Tickets for all screenings are available on the HOME website, and there's an introductory chat on Tuesday 6 September for some context.
2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN
The Beeswing wine tasting| Kampus Bungalow | Saturday 10 September -
The Beeswing is one of Gordo's favourite spots at the mo, in fact, he thinks "it's a gas". If you also believe the hype and fancy trying out some vino for yourself, this Kampus cool kid is doing a wine tasting event on Saturday 10 September in the bungalow. Running from 3pm - 5pm, the wines will be introduced by Scott White from Boutinot Wines and chef Joe will be serving up some Beeswing snacks. If you like anything you try, you can order a bottle to enjoy again at home and tickets are £35 each. There's also an event scheduled for Saturday 17 September, but details are yet to be confirmed so we suggest you follow The Beeswing on socials to stay in the loop.
Kampus, Aytoun St, Manchester M1 3GL
Looking For Me Friend: The Music of Victoria Wood | Sonata Piano & Cabaret Lounge | Saturday 10 September
If there's anything that screams "let's do it", it's a night dedicated to the Prestwich-born legend Victoria Wood. An incredible comedian, lyricist, pianist and creative, Victoria and her Dinnerladies apron are sadly missed by all at Confidentials, and we're dead excited that her legacy lives on at Sonata. Performer Paul L Martin aka Paulus, explores all of her hilarious songs as well as the musicality of her sketches and catchphrases - the show is also directed by multi-award-winning cabaret star Sarah-Louise Young. Tickets are £14 and the performance starts at 7pm, we advise you get there early for a tipple and some charcuterie first though.
St Ann’s Alley, Manchester M2 6AJ
We Invented The Weekend | MediaCity and Salford Quays | Saturday 10 September - Sunday 11 September
We announced this "ambitious reimagining of what the weekend means to us all" back in January, and the weekend is finally here. Spread across different locations in MediaCity and the Quays, the itinerary includes a giant communal roast cooked up by Mary-Ellen McTague, a mass community performance from the BBC Philharmonic, and loads of sports, music, comedy, theatre, dance, workshops, talks, food, and charity. The events programme is longer than Chapel Street and almost everything is free. The weekend was invented in Salford back in 1843 after all.
Salford Quays, Manchester M50 3AZ
Global Grooves Cotton Carnival | Stalybridge Civic Hall | Sunday 11 September
A Global Grooves carnival is the only thing Stalybridge seems to be missing at the mo thanks to its town of culture status, so they're putting one on. Creating a full carnival performance with over 200 community performers from across Tameside and beyond, everyone will have the opportunity to come together and put on a proper professional procession. The parade will bring the streets to life with everything from costumed dancers to brass instrument players, and you can join in by registering your interest online. All levels of experience are welcome as long as you're ready to commit to some rehearsal sessions, or you can just watch and cheer from the sidelines as the carnival spreads through the community.
Stalbridge Civic Hall, Trinity St, Stalybridge SK15 2BN
Doug Stanhope Live | O2 Apollo | Friday 16 September
If you love a tispy comedian from across the pond, Doug Stanhope is set to take the stage at the O2 Apollo this September with his witty real-life observations and dark humour. Favoured by fellow comedian Ricky Gervais, Esquire has deemed Doug "the most fearless man in comedy", and after two years off, this tour comes off the back of filming for new movie The Road Dog. The New York Times describe Stanhope's humour as "an acidic blend of prickly hostility, elaborately articulated self-loathing and righteous anger", and the show covers everything from the world's ills to well-crafted analogies. Tickets start at £41.80.
Stockport Rd, Manchester M12 6AP
Hello Old Friend | Old Naval Yard | Saturday 17 September - Sunday 18 September
Heverlee Premium Lager is sponsoring a two-day art, music and food fest this September, and this criminally underused spot in Ancoats is the cool hidden gem everyone should know about. Thai BBQ food is coming courtesy of newbie Neon Tiger, cocktails are flowing thanks to The Jane Eyre, and there's an exhibition by Manc illustrator Harrison Edwards aka The Fresh Prints. DJs are yet to be announced, but for six quid a ticket, you'd be daft not to head into M4 and bag a free pint of Heverlee. The fest is spread over two days and runs from 12pm - 11pm.
110 George Leigh St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BD
Laughterama | Castlefield Bowl | Wednesday 21 September - Sunday 25 September
September has a festival for wings, a festival for Japanese cinema, and now a festival dedicated to lolz. With big names like James Acaster, Reginald D Hunter, and Nish Kumar on the agenda, you can spend five whole days laughing your head off at Castlefield Bowl thanks to this brand new event. Pair all the laughter with craft beer and street food and you won't know what to do with yourself when it's all over. Each night has a combination of big names and new faces so you can discover some fresh talent whilst indulging in your favourite one-liners and skits. The shows start at 7.30pm every night and you can buy tickets for each individual performance on the Laughterama website. You'll have abs of steel after this.
Castlefield Bowl, Manchester M3 4RU
Art All Dayer: Autumn Edition | 100 Barbirolli Square | Saturday 24 September
Moved into a new home with empty walls? Need an artsy gift? Or just fancy learning some new skills with a cuppa in hand? Cotton On's Art All Dayer is back in a new location with an all-day event. Bigger than all the previous All Dayers, the event is expanding its repertoire with a mini food market, but rest assured that the same local talent and affordable artworks will be taking centre stage. After the drop-in workshops were a big hit earlier in the year, you'll get the chance to learn how to use watercolours and acrylics, and there's a solo sculpture show by Hattie Kongaunruan. Tickets are £1 and the event runs from 11am - 6pm.
100 Barbirolli Square, Manchester M2 3AB
Spice Girls Brunch | Impossible | Saturday 24 September
Slam your bellini down and wind it all around because the five spices are coming to Impossible for a bottomless brunch. Tickets are £44.99 each for three hours of bottomless booze, a brunch and endless bangers. Dressing up is encouraged (Luvyababes does a great Union Jack bodycon) and guests should arrive at 11.30am for a 12pm set featuring the likes of 2 Become 1, Wannabe and Say You'll Be There. Spice up your life for god sake.
Impossible, 36 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR
Manchester Wing Fest | The Trafford Centre | Saturday 24 September - Sunday 25 September
We challenge you to cram the Art All Dayer, a Spice Girls bottomless brunch and Manchester Wing Fest all into the same weekend. Seriously, do it. Serving up over 200,000 wings from 20 different traders, restaurants and BBQ teams, this fest isn't for the faint-hearted. Not just about wingin' it, the event will also have live music, plenty of bourbons, and a proper judging panel to rate those sweet, spicy, tender little suckers. We wonder if any of our favourites will make an appearance?
The Trafford Centre, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AA
Your Dad Sells Avon | The Star & Garter | Saturday 24 September
A few months back we interviewed iconic male go-go dancer Ali Saeedian, and one thing we added to the diary straight away was the artist's brand new queer rave night Your Dad Sells Avon. A night that's set to be "unashamedly queer, outwardly eccentric and propa Manc", Ali deems the night "the Kate Moss of queer raves" and the theme is simply "come as you are". Inclusive and accessible club nights should always be championed, and with a mix of deep house and techno set for The Star & Garter, this one shouldn't be missed. £1 from every ticket sale is also donated to the George House Trust in your name. Big up, Ali.
The Star & Garter, 18-20 Fairfield St, Manchester M1 2QF
Junior Park Run | Platt Fields Park | Every Sunday
If you're constantly looking for ways to wear out your little terrors, take them for a jog on a Sunday morning at Platt Fields Park. The whole thing is free and the route is pre-planned, so you just show up at 9am and let the kiddos run two kilometres. Runners must be aged between four and 14, and you have to register online to make sure you get a time at the end. Parents can cheer from the sidelines like it's the Olympic 200-metre final, and everyone has a coffee at Fallowfield Café when the hard work is over. Simple.
Platt Fields Park, Fallowfield, Manchester, M14 6LA
Estrella Galicia Gastronomy Month | various venues| Throughout September
Discounts, supper clubs, and pints are three of the solid pillars that keep Confidentials standing, and Estrella Galicia is hosting a full gastronomy month packed with all three. With special events at Blossom Street Social and The Embassy in Hale, there's also a "beer & a bite" deal at participating bars and restaurants throughout September including La Bandera, El Rincon de Rafa, The Embassy and Sao Paulo at Blossom Street Social. Two ticketed events are scheduled with The Embassy hosting a tasting menu special on Thursday 8 September, and Caroline Martins cooking up some Brazilian-British fusion at Blossom Street on Sunday 11. There's pints of Estrella flowing at every one, so clear your gullets and cop some tickets. Salud.
Read next: Our gig guide for Manchester: September 2022
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