From gin cinemas to dinosaurs and festivals galore, it’s looking lively…

HOME REOPENING | HOME | From 4th September

Cinema kicks off HOME’s phased reopening, with an explosive film programme spanning new releases to 4k restorations and the finale of ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Film Festival - cut short due to lockdown. HOME isn’t the only cultural icon reopening this month: check out who else is returning and what’s in store via our article

NIGHTFLIX GIN CINEMA | Burnage Rugby Club | 4th - 5th September

This outdoor ‘gin-ema’ hits Stockport in September with Edward Scissorhands on the 4th and A Star is Born on the 5th - aired on huge inflatable outdoor screens. Hire a deck chair or giant bean bag, or bring your own pew, and enjoy a G&T from a choice of 20 different gins along with a Schweppes tonic mixer. If gin’s not your poison, other drinks (including softs) will be available, alongside a selection of hot food and sweets.

MACMILLAN COFFEE MORNING | Nationwide | September

Macmillan’s popular fundraising event, which usually sees people host coffee mornings countrywide, celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. With such gatherings off limits for many due to COVID-19, the cancer charity is encouraging people to raise money in other ways; from sponsored walks to virtual brews.  

MANCHESTER HISTORIES DIGIFEST | Online | 4th - 5th September

Designed to share and celebrate Greater Manchester's diverse history and heritage, this biennial festival is usually held in June but will instead become a late summer 'digifest' in September; marking the 50-year anniversary of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act (CSDPA) 1970. From a pop-up TV studio, DigiFest 2020 will broadcast short films, discussions, speeches, digital art, music, comedy, song and more.

2020 08 01 Jackie Hagan
Activist artist and educator Jackie Hagan hosts Digifest

FORM | Saul Hay Gallery | 5th - 20th September

Saul Hay Gallery's first ever show dedicated solely to sculpture includes work by some of the most acclaimed artists working in the UK today. Showcasing the huge variety in style, material and technique to be found in contemporary sculpture, Form spans ceramicist Halima Cassell to bronze maker David Cemmick.

DIPPY ON TOUR | Rochdale | 7th September - 12th December

Forced to isolate when lockdown hit in March, Dippy the world-famous dinosaur is set to welcome visitors once again this September. The Natural History Museum ‘dino-star,’ currently on a national tour, is extending his Rochdale stay due to the hiatus - visit Dippy himself (actually a very realistic diplodocus cast) at Number One Riverside and experience the immersive exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale.

2020 02 07 Dippy Colin Davison
Almost 115,000 people visited Dippy in Rochdale before lockdown hit in March Colin Davison

PINT OF SCIENCE | Online | 7th - 11th September

This worldwide pub-science festival usually brings some of the world’s leading researchers to pubs and cafes in 24 countries. Organisers will instead be hosting an online version this year, spanning curiosity to the ‘Lynx effect’ and social media addiction.

THE BEATLES: AN ORCHESTRAL RENDITION | Escape to Freight Island | Tuesday 8th September

What, a gig that’s not online? Yep that’s right…this real-life performance from The Untold Orchestra takes place at Manchester’s coolest new outdoor events space. Eat, drink and enjoy renditions of Beatles classics - with tickets £15 when you make a reservation at Escape to Freight Island on the above date after 6pm. Keen to support more musicians? In other news, Band on the Wall have launched a new fundraising album featuring local emerging talent.   

HERITAGE OPEN DAYS | Various | 11th - 20th September

England’s largest festival of history and culture, HODs returns this summer with a mixture of COVID-safe physical events and, for the first time ever, virtual tours and digital experiences. From recycling centres to historic landmarks, explore unusual places and hidden spaces; find out more here.

2019 09 09 Heritage Open Days
HODs is England’s contribution to European Heritage Days, taking place across 50 countries

GB SPRING CLEAN | Various | 11th - 27th September

Last year featuring over 650,000 #litterheroes volunteering their time, this event - run by Keep Britain Tidy - sees community clean-ups take place nationwide. This year’s COVID-safe format invites participants to host their own private clean-up or pledge a minimum of 15 minutes individually. 

CLIMATE CHANGE FESTIVAL | Online | 12th - 13th / 19th - 20th September

Hosted by Sustainable Living in the Heatons, this Zoom fest explores one of the most pressing issues of our time. Hosted over four days, content spans interviews to family quizzes and the science behind climate change. While some is Heatons-focused, all has wider relevance and there’s much of general interest too.  

2017 08 30 Climate Of Fear
Issues like global warming are drastically impacting on our planet

CHEETHAM CULTURAL FESTIVAL | Online | Sunday 13th September

A reduced online version of the annual Cheetham Cultural Festival, which is usually four days, this YouTube event will celebrate one of the most diverse areas in the UK - Cheetham Hill. It follows a virtual ‘Spring Fling;’ which bought dance, music and art to audiences at home. 

CHORLTON BOOK FESTIVAL | Online | 19th - 25th September   

Now its sixteenth year, Chorlton Book Festival spans everything from family fun days to quiz nights, history walks and much more. This September, the literary larks take place online instead. Expect performance poetry, crime panels, comedy legends and much more besides.

249 Daliso Chaponda Lg
Comedian Daliso Chaponda will explore how literature helped him survive lockdown

MANCHESTER FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL | Citywide | 24th September - 5th October

The first major festival to take place in the city centre since the COVID-19 crisis began, MFDF is back this autumn with a packed calendar of events (all socially distanced of course) to celebrate our prized hospitality scene in what has been its most challenging year yet. If you fancy having your say on this year’s awards, find out how here

RECORD STORE DAY | Various | Saturday 26th September

Involving thousands of people and small businesses, Record Store Day sees vinyl shops host special events across the world. While cancelled in its normal format, it will now take place via RSD 'drop' dates; including this month, Saturday 26th September.

2019 08 10 Vinyl Records
Support indie record stores this month

JOURNEYS FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL | Online | 28th September - 18th October

A contrast to the negative publicity surrounding immigration, this festival - celebrating the artwork, music, culture and experiences that refugee artists bring to the UK - offers a refreshing alternative perspective. Organisers of the autumn event, usually held annually across three cities, have instead programmed three weeks of digital experiences for 2020; split into a trio of vibrant chapters.  

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

Also: COVID-19 - Manchester events cancelled or postponed