Grayson Perry Tapestry
Our top tips for making the most of the week ahead, with brilliant things to do across the whole of Greater Manchester… 


1. Watch brand-new theatre from the city’s creative upstarts

Greater Manchester Fringe festival is back with over 60 shows throughout September, showcasing the very best of the city’s raw creative talent. It’s a truly Greater Manchester affair with venues including Altrincham Garrick Playhouse, Antwerp Mansion, The King's Arms, Moston Small Cinema, Parr Fold Park Bandstand, Salford Arts Theatre, as well as a host of city centre venues. Highlights this week include: the world premiere of Bysmal Boys, a new play by Laura Genders, exploring the lives of Blue Watch, Macclesfield's fire service, during the Winter of Discontent in 1977; I Remain, a one-act drama based on the true story of writer Parissa Zamanpour's great, great, grandfather, Private Harry Hayes; and Dirty Old Town by Rob Johnston, which draws from historical records and personal memoirs, following Detective Jerome Caminada, believed to be the real-life inspiration for the Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional Sherlock Holmes. See the full programme here

2. Celebrate a 600th anniversary at Medieval Manchester Festival 

A family-friendly festival featuring live music, food, drink and medieval entertainment; Medieval Manchester Festival will celebrate the 600th anniversary of Manchester’s oldest building, and the oldest public library in the UK – Chetham’s Library. The two-day festival on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September honours the medieval buildings that date back to 1421 with events including performances from Horrible Histories, music from young Chetham’s School of Music performers, and activities also at The Stoller Hall. Entry to the festivities start at £3 and can be pre-booked online.   

3. Get stuck into The Great Big Green Week in Salford 

Taking place now until Sunday 26 September, the climate action campaign known as the Great Big Green Week will see thousands of people across the UK organising local festivals and events. The campaign aims to draw attention to climate change, destruction of the natural world, while also making a connection with these issues in communities like Salford, at the same time as showcasing actions to tackle climate change. Pop along to celebrate sustainability and climate action in Salford with a special week of events all over the city - from book swaps and allotment open days to litter picks and film screenings, there’s something for everyone. Keep an eye on the website for further details

4. Last chance to see Grayson Perry’s tapestries in Rochdale 

Not content with having a sell-out show, Grayson’s Art Club, at Manchester Art Gallery running until 31 October, a spin-off exhibition featuring six tapestries by the critically acclaimed artist Grayson Perry has been running at Touchstones Rochdale throughout the summer and ends this Sunday 26 September. Titled The Vanity of Small Differences the exhibit explores Perry’s fascination with taste and class, featuring six tapestries which focus on English class through the story of the life of Tim Rakewell. Find out more here

5. Discover one of the UK’s most diverse neighbourhoods 

Every September the diverse people, communities, and neighbourhoods of Cheetham Hill get together to throw open their doors to provide free food, music, and activities for Cheetham Cultural Festival. From the National Football Museum and the Manchester Jewish Museum to Abraham Moss Library and the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, there are events at venues across Cheetham Hill and there's even an organised bus tour on the Sunday. Take a look at the full programme here

6. Delve into the history and heritage of a Mancunian gem 

This weekend – Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September – Victoria Baths is opening its doors as part of their THEN//NOW The Big Community & Heritage Weekender. Every space of the iconic building will have activities taking place, with something for everyone to enjoy and the feeling of community connection at its core. The event will see the launch of Victoria Baths’ brand-new Water Palace Explorers family friendly trail developed in conjunction with local artist Molly Garner and an exhibition taking place in the Superintendent’s Flat presented by collective Dez Rez Artists Projects, with the work combining mixed media, oil paintings and more; some responding to Victoria Baths world of colourful tiles, beautiful stained glass and intricate ironwork. Entry is free with a suggested donation of £4 – click here for further details and to book

7. Enjoy week two of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival 

The much-loved Manchester Food and Drink Festival is back with a line-up of daily events, workshops and of course, food and drink until Monday 27 September. The festival is running at venues across the city, with the main Festival Hub taking residence in Cathedral Gardens. Highlights in the second week of the festival include a takeover from Tom Kerridge’s The Bull & Bear restaurant on Monday 20 September; an attempt to create Manchester’s Biggest Chippy Tea on Wednesday 22 September, Eat Well MCR’s kitchen takeover across the final weekend from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 September. Check out the full programme here.  

8. Take a trip down memory lane to When Football was Football 

Opening at the National Football Museum on Friday 24 September and running until the end of the year, When Football Was Football: The Photography of Sefton Samuels 1960s-1980s features a combination of portrait shots of legendary players and managers including George Best, Joe Mercer, Matt Busby, Brian Clough, Denis Law and Bill Shankly alongside stills of football grounds, fans and ball games on Manchester streets. Sefton Samuels is one of Britain’s most iconic photographers, was LS Lowry’s favourite photographer, and was once described by The Guardian as “The photographic equivalent of Ken Loach.” A lifelong Manchester City fan, Sefton is 90 years old and still living in Manchester. Find out more about the exhibition here

9. Hear experimental music as part of the Manchester Collective 2021/22 season 

Known for their experimental programming and daring collaborations, the work of Manchester Collective has expanded at breakneck speed since their formation in 2016. They now play in concert halls, warehouses and factory spaces across Europe and the UK, performing a combination of cutting-edge contemporary music, classical masterpieces, and staged work to new audiences. Their new season of bold collaborations kicks off the weekend with Voice of the Whale at Hallé St Peter on Saturday 25 September, which brings together a strange and unsettling set of otherworldly music. Other events throughout the season include: Heavy Metal which will feature big percussion, live electronics, and amplified strings; The Oracle which aims to connect listeners to the past, to the land, to ancestors and to forgotten songs; and Neon which looks to interrogate the darker side of our urban dreams, evoking the intrigue and momentum of sleepless nights and crowded streets. Read more about the full season here

10. Let loose with spectacular musicals at Manchester Opera House & Palace Theatre 

Exhilarating live theatre is back at Manchester Opera House & Palace Theatre, and after a such a long wait their programme is focussed on big, loud, feel-good musicals that everyone will enjoy. Currently running until Saturday 2 October, Bat Out of Hell the Musical, which premiered in Manchester in 2017, is back at the Opera House bringing to life the legendary anthems of Jim Steinman & Meat Loaf. Meanwhile opening at the Palace Theatre next week (from Tuesday 28 September), Dirty Dancing returns with heart-pounding music, breath-taking emotion and sensationally sexy dancing. Click here to check out the full run of shows coming up over the next few months, which include Rock of Ages, Heathers the Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical, Grease, Hairspray, and many more. 

+ Book Now: The Future of Sound at the Science and Industry Museum 

This October, the Science and Industry Museum is set to hold a special after-hours event, The Future of Sound – celebrating music and sound innovation in Manchester through live performances, demonstrations, media and an ‘in conversation’ with the legendary Peter Hook. The ticketed event will take place on Wednesday 6 October and has been inspired by the current Use Hearing Protection: Early Years of Factory Records exhibition and the impact the Manchester label had on the creative industries. It will explore how Factory Records reclaimed the city’s industrial past and spearheaded a new wave of creative industries in Manchester, as well as what innovation is happening across the city and what the future of sound might look like. Find out more and book here




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