Greater Manchester is known for its huge array of festivals and events which take place across the city in all shapes and sizes throughout the year. Here’s a round-up of the great events taking place in our city.

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Manchester Beer and Cider Festival
Bringing the finest beers & ciders to the heart of the city. Organised by the Greater Manchester branches of the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), the festival also brings together some of the best local and national street food traders. Find out more.

PUSH Festival
Presented in the intimate environment of HOME's Theatre 2 space, this is a chance for to support companies who are making waves, asking questions and delivering explosive experiences. Find out more.


Chinese New Year
Four days of the brightest celebrations across the city, culminating in the spectacular Dragon Parade. Find out more.

Queer Contact Festival
Each year Contact commissions an artist or company to create a new performance for Queer Contact Festival, Greater Manchester's celebration of LGBT arts and culture.The Queer Contact commission is open to LGBT artists, or artists who don’t identify from those communities but produce work that is relevant for those communities. Find out more.


Manchester Irish Festival
Now firmly established as Europe's biggest Irish Festival outside of the Emerald Isle, Manchester Irish Festival takes places across fifteen days, and features a full programme of Irish culture, comedy, heritage, literature, music, sport and theatre. Find out more.

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival
This well-known fun filled family event includes a chocolate themed street market featuring artisan chocolatiers, street entertainment, children's craft area, alfresco dining, craft and local food stalls. Find out more.

For over twenty years, FutureEverything has looked at big questions facing society through the lens of art and digital culture. This collaborative arts festival brings together a variety of artists to present their visions and concepts of 'the future' to audiences. Find out more.


Greater Manchester Marathon
A superfast course, great entertainment, outstanding crowd support and glorious finish at Emirates Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire Cricket Club, plus a medal and ASICS technical t-shirt for all finishers! Find out more.

Manchester Punk Festival
MPF is three days of punk rock in Manchester brought by Manchester DIY promoters TNSrecords, Moving North and Anarchistic Undertones.Find out more.


Dot to Dot Festival
Dot To Dot Festival is established as the UK's Premier Festival for unearthing the hottest new talent around, alongside established acts from across the globe. Find out more.

Sounds from the Other City
Sounds From the Other City festival (SFTOC) is a celebration of new music and performance, uniting the cream of the national and international scene with some of the city’s finest independent promoters, collectives and club nights. Find out more.

Great CityGames
The Games take place on the Great CityGames track on Deansgate in the heart of the city, and at the purpose built athletics arena in Albert Square, and is part of a great weekend of sport in Manchester, built around the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, Europe’s biggest 10k. Find out more.

Castlefield Food Festival
This unique urban Food Festival has a reputation for serving up lip-smacking Sizzling Street Food alongside the best our local farmers and producers have to offer. From Real Ale to Craft Gin’s and Quirky Cocktails the on-site bars serve up liquid refreshment to suit every taste. Find out more.

Great Manchester 10k
The UKFast We Love Manchester 10k is known for its fast route and friendly atmosphere as well as its popularity in the region – commonly known as 'the peoples race'. Find out more.


King Street Festival
Celebrate our beautiful city, its history and its residents. Enjoy a fashionable weekend all along Manchester’s iconic, historic shopping street. Featuring: al fresco dining, free fizz, gifts and goody bags, a glorious bandstand, pop-up parks, an art garden and stylish crazy golf. Find out more. Find out more.

Manchester Histories Festival
The festival takes place over 10 days with events held at a wide range of venues across Greater Manchester. The Celebration Day is a one day event on the last Saturday of the festival that is traditionally held in Manchester Town Hall and includes exhibitions, talks, film screenings, games and lots more. Find out more.

Manchester Day Parade
As well as an amazing parade through the heart of the city, Manchester’s city centre squares will feature a dazzling array of performances, decorations and mouth watering food and drink throughout the day. Find out more.

Manchester's biggest music festival returns every June with an even greater line-up as each year passes. Past acts include Chase and Status, Annie Mac and Snoop Dogg. Find out more.

Festa Italiana
Manchester’s Italian community stage a free Italian Festival for the city in Cathedral Gardens. With Italian-themed food, drink and entertainment. Find out more. 

Image: Manchester International Festival


Sounds of the City - Castlefield Bowl
Some of the most acclaimed live artists and shows take over Manchester's Castlefield Bowl throughout the first week in July. Find out more.

The Sparkle Weekend
The world's largest trans celebration is completely free to attend, and is hosted in Sackville Gardens in the heart of Manchester's Gay Village. The Sparkle Weekend encompasses live music and performance, comedy, club nights, educational talks and workshops, and many other events across the city, including the popular Sparkle Ball. Find out more.

For those who love brand new and classic horror, cult, fantasy and Sci-fi movies presented on the big screen then GRIMM is the place to be. Find out more.

Wigan International Jazz Festival
Some of the biggest names in jazz have played Wigan International Jazz Festival, and each year the festival increases in capacity and interest, as the festival takes over four days in July. Find out more.

Manchester Fringe Festival
The fringe festival collective brings together the best of Manchesters alternative scene - art, dance, theatre, new writing, cabaret, comedy, poetry, music, burlesque, workshops and exhibitions. Find out more.

Manchester International Festival
Manchester International Festival is the world's first festival of original, new work and special events and takes place biennially, in Manchester, UK. The next festival will take place from 4 - 21 July 2019. Find out more.

Manchester Jazz Festival
Accessible to all and mostly free, MJF features 9 days of contemporary jazz from the North West, the UK and abroad with national premières of original work and international debuts. Find out more.

It's the tribute act festival that brings blistering sets from the best rock and indie bands in the universe, without their costly ticket prices (it's free!) Find out more.

Bluedot is a festival of discovery at Jodrell Bank, the iconic observatory and heart of the quest for knowledge of the cosmos. Bluedot invites guests to camp out under the stars, and to explore a stellar programme of music, science, arts, technology, culture, food and film. Find out more.

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
The RHS Flower Show offers an exciting mix of gardening inspiration, spectacular summer floral displays, delicious artisan food from specialist producers and superb live entertainment. Find out more.

MCM Manchester Comic Con
A blockbuster weekend of geekery with special guests, TV, movies, comic books, cosplay & more. Kids go free! Find out more.

Experience the fantastic atmosphere and support the awe inspiring athletes in their quest to be become an 'Ironman'!  The breathtaking course consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. Find out more.


Caribbean Carnival of Manchester
Manchester Carnival has brought Caribbean culture to the forefront, annually for over 40 years, and is the North West's largest celebration of Caribbean music and carnival arts. Find out more.

Rochdale Feel Good Festival
Two days packed with fabulous free entertainment in Rochdale. Live music and first class cooking from world renowned chefs. Find out more.

Wigan Live Festival
A free 2 day live music festival across multiple venues in Wigan Town Centre –  a real celebration of local live music.With so many genres represented, from rock to blues to folk and beyond, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Find out more.

Manchester Pride Big Weekend
The Big Weekend is held over four days where Manchester's Gay Village becomes the focus for thousands of visitors to enjoy one of the best parties in the UK. Find out more.

Oldham LIVE
Oldham’s biggest free live music festival is back and this time it’s going to be even louder. Family entertainment begins at noon and this will be followed by a line-up of established acts. Find out more.

Bolton Food and Drink Festival
Victoria Square, in Bolton's town centre, hosts the Festival's live cookery theatre where celebrity chef demos take place. With food and drink stalls in the speciality markets, including an arts and crafts fair, live music, beer and cider traders, and a range of exciting children's activities, it's certainly not to be missed. Find out more.


Festejar Spanish Festival
The Spanish Market runs alongside an array of activity on the Square from Spanish Dancing lessons to Live Bands, for 4 days the Square is transformed into a "Little Spanish Oasis" in the Heart of the City. Find out more.

World Black Pudding Throwing Championships
This annual competition which dates back to the 1980s sees Black Puddings hurtled at a pile of Yorkshire Puddings on a 20ft high plinth. Competitors have three turns in an attempt to knock down as many Yorkshire Puddings as possible (they are arranged in a pile of a dozen) and must throw underarm. Find out more.

Head for the Hills
The beautiful town of Ramsbottom comes alive with an eclectic mix of music and great arts and family shows to showcase the very best in Lancashire hospitality. Featuring amazing artists and musicians including international acts, emerging UK talent and local heroes. Find out more.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival
An urban food and drink festival, with no single location. The Festival takes over as much of the City Centre and surrounding districts of Greater Manchester as possible. Find out more.

Indy Man Beer Con
Independent Manchester Beer Convention (Indy Man Beer Con/IMBC) is a world class showcase for the best breweries from the UK and beyond, taking over the stunning surrounds of the Grade II listed, architectural gem Victoria Baths. Find out more.


Manchester Literature Festival
With an amazing line-up of internationally renowned authors, exclusive performances of specially commissioned work, bespoke walking tours and topical discussions, Manchester Literature Festival makes Manchester the destination of choice for literature lovers each October. Find out more.

Manchester Oktoberfest
During a long weekend with five wonderful days, Manchester will celebrate German food, beer and music in a tent with space for 2,000 people. Find out more.

Manchester Science Festival
Play, create and experiment with your scientific side as Manchester Science Festival brings together a unique blend of art, make-it workshops, performances and big experiences for all ages across Greater Manchester. Find out more.

Neighbourhood Festival
Some of Manchester’s most prestigious music venues join together to host Neighbourhood Festival, a one day event seeing over 100 artists and bands from all over the world performing across the south side of the city. Find out more.

Women in Comedy Festival
Manchester's Women In Comedy Festival is Europe's only comedy festival dedicated to gender equality and takes place annually in Manchester, UK during October. The Festival launched in 2013 as a volunteer-led festival presenting both established and up and coming talent across the spectrum of stand up comedy, comedy theatre, improv performing arts, film, spoken work and visual arts. Find out more.

Manchester Folk Festival
Manchester Folk Festival is a major new festival of English folk and acoustic roots music. From songs of struggle to joyful reels, from traditional to experimental, the festival will celebrate contemporary folk as it straddles genres, embraces cultures and absorbs new influences. Find out more.

Halloween in the City
10 days of terrifyingly good events across the city, including Halloween displays, party nights and events and offers from the biggest, baddest, names in shopping, food, drink and entertainment. Find out more.


Manchester Christmas Lights Switch On
Every year, Albert Square is the setting for the biggest show in the city as stars of stage and screen come out in force topped off by a huge 10-minute firework display. Find out more.

Doki Doki Festival
The Manchester Japanese Festival is an event held yearly, celebrating both traditional and modern Japanese culture. Find out more.

Manchester Christmas Markets
Manchester’s award-winning Christmas Markets return each winter offering mouth-watering international food, drinks and delicately crafted Yuletide gifts in the heart of this buzzing city. With more than 300 beautifully festooned stalls and chalets spread across the city centre, the Christmas Markets are free and accessible to all. Find out more.

Manchester Animation Festival
The festival brings one of the UK's biggest animation hubs together and invites the international community to join together to delight in all things animated. Find out more.


Bolton Winter Festival
Bolton’s Winter Festival offers something for all the family from the popular covered ice rink, super fun snow slide, magical Santa’s Grotto and festive artisan markets. Find out more.




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