Top Things to Do in Manchester this Summer

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Girl partying at outdoor festival
Krists Luhaers

Mancunians need no excuse to party. Throw in a big dose of sunshine, some of those infamous Manc beats, some beers, and you’ve got a great summer’s day to brag about in the office on Monday morning.

Parklife, 8-9 June

Poster for parklife listing all the band names in red, black, blue and yellow
Parklife 24

Heaton Park

This now legendary Manchester festival started life 13 years ago in Rusholme.  It’s gained hugely in popularity in its lifetime and attracts over 80,000 people across two days in June.   Over the years, it’s seen the likes of Rudimental, Disclosure, The Chemical Brothers, Mark Ronson and Tyler play. This year’s line-up won’t disappoint with over 22 acts playing across the Saturday and Sunday with Doja Cat, Disclosure, Sugababes, ANOTR and J-Hus headlining.

Weekend tickets start at £148 each and is for over 17’s. Under 18s much be accompanied by an adult.

You can buy Weekend tickets here

Moovin’ Festival, 23 – 25 August

David Dvořáček

Whitebottom Farm, Etherow Country Park, Compstall, Marple Bridge, Stockport SK6 5JQ

Moovin’ is a dedicated for music lover’s mix of bass, funk, soul, reggae, house and D&B and will ‘get you dancing until the cows come home.’ It’s now in its 10th year, Moovin started life as a small cow-barn party at Whitebottom Farm in Marple Bridge with only a few hundred people. Today is attracts thousands over the long Bank holiday weekend.   It’s a festival with a good friendly vibe which promotes an eclectic mix of favourite artists to breaking acts.  We like the fact it uses ethically sourced foods and cocktails, and you can get involved in yoga and other mindful activities during the festival. This year’s line-up includes Sampa, Mr Scruff, Crazy P, Souls of Mischief and Jaguar Skills. You get the vibe!

Camping is optional and you can check out the options and prices here

You can buy tickets here and they start at £143

Creamfields, 22 – 25 August

Ravers in a dance tent with green and blue strobe lights
Aditya Chinchure

Daresbury Estate, Warrington

Is a hugely popular dance music festival (from the Cream brand) which has been running for over 25 years. It attracts over 250,000 party-goers from across the North West during the August Bank Holiday weekend – Thursday till Sunday.  There’s a jam-packed line-up of British dance-music and world-class DJs acts including Pete Tong, Al, CamelPhat, DJISMC and Fat Boy Slim across the festival.

Camping is an option if you’re joining in for more than a day and there are a limited number of pre-pitch tents still available.  Click here

You can buy a two day, three day or four day pass here. Prices start at £240.

Pride 23 – 26 August

Pride Festival
Terry Hamlett

Various venues across Manchester

Manchester has been celebrating its LGBTQ+ community for as long as we remember. The city really comes alive during the August bank holiday weekend with the spectacular Manchester Pride parade, Village party, and Pride Live Concerts.   Most Manchester Pride events are free to attend with the exception of the gay village party.  Day tickets and weekend tickets are available, with all events scheduled on Monday 28 August free to attend. £2.50 from every ticket will be donated to the Manchester Pride Community Fund, with the money going directly to LGBTQ+ causes and projects in Greater Manchester through the distribution of grants.   There’s usually a fitting candlelit tribute to those who we have lost to HIV and those who have been persecuted in the LGBTQ+ community, both here in the UK and around the world.

You can buy tickets here

Craft Beer Festival 5 – 6 July

People sitting on wooden tables drinking beer
Manchester Beer Festival

Mayfield Depot

The Craft Beer Festival does what it says on the tin. It celebrates over 500 beers from over 65 breweries including – Seven Brothers, Arbor, Timothy Taylor’s, Two Blokes, Brewgooder.  It runs over 2 days in July at the ever popular Mayfield Depot in Manchester’s city centre.  Tickets are priced at £45 + £5 booking fee and includes all your beer. So, you can try a beer. Then try another beer.    But don’t worry if you’re not a beer fan, they’ll have drink producers and artisanal snacks for you to try from cocktails to whisky and wine to ciders. It’s got a great buzzy atmosphere with lots of dancing to a good line-up of DJs and live bands.

You can buy tickets here

Heaton Park Food and Drink Festival, 3 – 4 August

Heaton Park Food and Drink Festival

If you don’t fancy large crowds, bangin’ music and long queues for the loo, Heaton Park Food and Drink Festival is a good alternative this summer.  Heaton Park Food & Drinks Festival is a great day which has something for the whole family to enjoy.  Now in its third year, the festival attracts tens of thousands of people and it’s easy to see why it’s become a popular event in Manchester’s summer calendar.   Of course, there’s a ton of international street food which are all independent and there really is something for everyone’s palette. Sink into a colourful striped deck chair in the sunshine and sip on a cold beer, a glass of Champagne or a Cocktail loaded with fresh Strawberries. There are 8 Independent bars across the festival and a specialist bar squeezing fresh lemonade and juices on the spot.

The region’s best chefs will be cooking up a storm – each showcasing their unique talents across a variety of cuisines.  There’s a great line-up of artisan stalls across the festival selling everything from cheese, cured meats to gooey brownies.  You definitely won’t go home hungry!

A festival wouldn’t be a festival without some live music and there’s jazz, soul, pop and swing to while away the chilled day. There’s also plenty of entertainment for the kids who can select from traditional fun fair rides, arts and crafts and giant inflatables.

You can buy tickets here

Laughtarama, 4 – 8 September

Castlefield Bowl

Castlefield Bowl, Manchester M3 4RU

Laughtarama is a brilliant line-up of the best comedians playing across five nights in September at Castlefield Bowl.  This open-air arena in the Castlefield is fully seated and a great place to watch a bit of comedy on a balmy evening. Catch an unrivalled compilation of comedy talent including 8 Out of 10 Cats team captain and stand-up master Jon Richardson , British Comedy Award winner Stewart Lee multi award-winning Sara Pascoe, Taskmaster star Phil Wang and task-champion Dara Ó Briain, BAFTA nominee Simon Amstell, and Irish queen of comedy and podcast supremo Joanne McNally. Plus, many (many!)

There are 5 comedians to see each night and it’s well worth the modest £25 ticket price.

The event is outdoors; please check the weather forecast before you arrive and dress accordingly!

You can buy tickets here

Summer Concert, 8 – 17th August

Hunts Bank Manchester M3 1DA

Like Classical music? There’s a varied line-up of Chetham’s International Piano Summer School public performances running throughout August.  It brings world class and legendary musicians to a vibrant community in central Manchester. Alongside lectures, open lessons and opportunities to develop new skills, you can discover a daily programme of recitals from world-class performers. On day Four, 11th August, they have the first of their Young Artist recitals at 1.45pm. Robert Andres lectures on Frederic Horace Clark at 5.15pm and Michael Lewin performs Liszt alongside some 20th century works at 7pm. Peter Donohoe rounds out the evening with Chopin and more at 8pm.

You can take a look at the full line-up of the many artists appearing at Stoller Hall and events per day here

You can book tickets, starting at £22.50 for recitals and £322.50 for the full ten days, here.

Apophenia, Factory International, 18th September


The Hall, Aviva Studios, Water Street, Manchester M3 4JQ

This is a one-off night which sounds too good to not include in our top line-up of events to go to this summer – especially if it just happens to be a rainy night in Manchester. Surely not?!  Playing at the inspiring arts and culture venue, Factory International, the intriguingly titled Agophenia is set to be a sensory show like no other.  Manchester’s own GoGo Penguin team up with cognitive design studio, X Tenentnet, for a feature-length show that combines live music with ground-breaking visuals. GoGo Penguin have crafted an emotionally expansive sound that fuses electronica, trip-hop, jazz, rock and minimalism. Featuring Chris Illingworth on piano, Nick Blacka on bass and Jon Scott on drums, the trio are known for their captivating live performances.

Sounds original, doesn’t it?

You can book tickets here