We’ve officially reached the final month of summer at lightning speed, meaning we have no other choice but to truly make the most of it. Sorry, bank balance. From epic events to get you on the dance floor to food festivals and a good dose of summery feels, here’s our guide of the best things to do in Manchester this August.
1. Celebrate 100 years of Warner Bros. Studios‘ storytelling at this Candlelight concert
This 2023, Warner Bros. celebrates 100 years of storytelling. And to celebrate their 100th anniversary, the most iconic songs from the Studios’ most beloved series and films will be brought to life a unique —and once-in-a-lifetime— candlelit concert. Take note because on August 25, Manchester Cathedral will be filled with thousands of candles as a magnificent string quartet plays some of the most iconic soundtracks of Warner Bros. films and series.
2. Watch Lionesses in action at the Women’s World Cup on the big screen
The Women’s World Cup is upon us and we’re in danger of getting a bit carried away here in Manchester. Fans are daring to believe that it could actually be coming home, so best make the most of it and soak up the magic at one of many World Cup screenings. From official fan zones to your classic pubs or sports bars with large screens, soak up the atmosphere and cheer on the Lionesses as they take on teams from across the globe in Australia and New Zealand.
3. Taste your way around 100 stalls at the Halal Food Festival
Celebrating what this city has to offer when it comes to halal dining, is a brand new food festival set to make its debut in Manchester this August. With over 100+ exhibitors, street food vendors, 4 indoor arenas and an outdoor fun fair, festival-goers can expect a tasty weekend. The Halal Food Festival will feature street food vendors representing countries from across the globe, ensuring a wide variety of tastes and ingredients.
4. Catch the world’s biggest Yayoi Kusama exhibition before it leaves the city
Bringing her largest ever immersive environment to Manchester, this exhibition by Yayoi Kusama will feature works that are over ten metres tall – including giant dolls, spectacular tendrilled landscapes and a vast constellation of polka-dot spheres. Known as You, Me and the Balloons, the exhibition, which ends on August 28, will celebrate three decades of the pioneering Japanese artist’s inflatable artworks. Her hallucinatory paintings, sculptures, and immersive environments take us beyond ourselves and make us feel part of something greater so catch whilst you still can.
5. Visit the Trafford Centre’s retro beach and fairground
The Trafford Centre is celebrating summer with a new, family-friendly installment – which includes its very own sandy beach (complete with deck chairs), plenty of fairground rides, and even a cocktail bar for the grown-ups. Located outside the food court, guests are free to turn up whenever they choose, however, if you do fancy booking ahead, you can find out more here.
6. See the well-known ogre and his companions on stage in this Shrek-tacular musical
Set to paint the town green this August is a re-telling of the beloved story of Shrek and his companions, taking place at Manchester Opera House. The new production recreates the award-winning Broadway and West End show Shrek the Musical, with an all-new creative team at the helm. Boasting a team of big names who’ve worked on globally loved productions such as Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast and Rock of Ages, guests are in for an epic ride when watching the show.
7. Head to this eco-friendly farm in Stockport for an epic weekend of live music
Moovin is one of the most sustainable music festivals in Manchester, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality. They say: “For the last few years, zero waste from the festival has gone to landfill, it goes to the tip, gets sorted into recycling as much as possible by a machine, and then the rest gets taken to a place where it is incinerated to produce energy and electricity.” Of course, it’s first and foremost a music festival, and the growing list of local and acclaimed artists is pretty impressive for the little farm. The likes of Groove Armada and Todd Terry are headlining Moovin Festival this year, ensuring a day full of dancing and fun for all the family.
8. Be bowled over by all the action with The Hundred at Emirates Old Trafford
The brand new sports competition The Hundred is heading to Manchester this August, bringing with it four weeks of spectacular entertainment and intense cricket action at the height of the summer. Kicking off from August 1, the competition promises high octane men’s and women’s sporting action, live music, and a host of family-friendly entertainment. Emirates Old Trafford will host its first fixture on Saturday 5 August, with the Manchester Originals men’s and women’s teams kicking off their competition against London Spirit.
9. Immerse yourself in yummy Italian grub at Festa Italiana
Big fan of Italian grub? Celebrate the beloved cuisine at this August Bank Holiday’s free Festa Italiana festival, which will see a number of local Italian traders take to Cathedral Gardens, serving up delicious grub, tasty aperitifs and insightful masterclasses. Stay tuned with the latest on the event updates here.
10. Enjoy a summer of film magic at this dreamy outdoor cinema at Tatton Park
The Luna Cinema will once again be taking over iconic venues up and down the country including Tatton Park for another summer of cinema under the stars. Screenings at Tatton Park start on August 25 with a showing of Top Gun: Maverick starring Tom Cruise. This is followed by Mamma Mia on August 26 then Pretty Woman on August 27. Then last but not least for the August Bank Holiday offerings is The Great Gatsby, based on Fitzgerald’s novel, on August 28. More info and tickets available here.
11. Celebrate our city’s LGBTQ+ scene at Manchester Pride
Manchester Pride returns again this year from August 25 to 28, with a huge programme of events and activities planned to celebrate. Expect the usual party antics in the village, a stunning Candlelight Vigil, live music from Natasha Bedingfield, Gok Wan on the decks and more, and of course the parade to attend. Manchester Pride has revealed its most diverse line-up to date for this year’s Gay Village Party, which has been co-created with Manchester’s queer communities and it’s definitely worth getting excited about.
12. Twist and shout as you listen to the best of The Beatles at this Candlelight concert
Come together as String Infusion will be working their magic by playing songs from one of the most successful bands of all time, The Beatles. Known for their powerful tracks, respectively, their music makes for the perfect soundtracks for intimate, candlelit concerts. Providing a home for the Hallé orchestra’s rehearsals and recordings, the elegant space of Hallé St Peter’s is the perfect venue to host this magical Candlelight concert dedicated to The Beatles.
13. Take a trip to Cheshire for the region’s first ever Balloon Fiesta
Between August 4-6, a whole host of wonderful balloon shows will be taking place all within the grounds of the beautiful Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire, just over an hour away from Manchester city centre, with the Fiesta celebrating all things air-filled and colourful. The incredible line up for the weekend’s musical performances include The Vamps, Sister Sledge, Scouting For Girls, Gabrielle and so many more, ensuring all music lovers out there are kept thoroughly entertained. There will even be the opportunity to ride some of the hot air balloons, because what kind of balloon fiesta would it be without that?
14. Laugh out loud as the ‘Mrs. Brown’s Boys’ live show heads to Manchester
Marmite mammy Mrs. Brown will be touring the country this year, taking her Mrs. Brown Rides Again play on the road once more. Written by and starring Brendan O’Carroll as the main character Agnes Brown, the play sees O’Carroll’s beloved character try to outfox her children’s plan to put her into a home. Mrs. Brown Rides Again will be performed on the Manchester Opera House stage from August 30 and there’s sure to be plenty of laughs.
15. Celebrate the bank holiday weekend at this free music festival at The Oast House
Following its success over the past bank holidays, Spinningfields bar The Oast House is bringing its brand-new music festival Manifest back to the city this August bank holiday weekend for its final summer instalment with a jam-packed line-up. Taking place on the large outdoor terrace at The Oast House on August 27, complete with a dedicated stage, Manifest will run from 1pm in the afternoon until late, with a packed roster of musicians lined up including bands, solo artists and duos taking to the stage throughout the day with interludes from resident DJs. Attendees can expect a party atmosphere all night and sounds of rock, pop, soul, R&B, funk, disco and blues.
16. Hit up Heaton Park for a huge food and drink festival
Following mega success back in Leeds, the North Leeds Food Festival is set to spread its wings this summer, bringing back to Manchester the Heaton Park Food & Drink Festival for its second year. Kicking off on August 12 and 13, Mancs will be able to enjoy a gastronomic gathering like no other, with tons of incredible activities and, of course, plenty of grub to get stuck into across the two-day event. The dog-friendly event will combine great food, drink and live music this summer, bringing with it an ocean of deck chairs where friends and family can gather for the occasion – while soaking up the summery atmosphere that will be accompanied by the scent of locally-made street food.
17. Watch Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds perform at Wythenshawe Park
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will be playing a special homecoming show in Manchester on August 26, which will mark the band’s first full headline performance in the city since 2019. Plus, for the first time ever, Wythenshawe Park will host a major outdoor summer concert, headlined by Noel Gallagher who grew up nearby in Longsight, Manchester. Support will come from two internationally acclaimed acts, Primal Scream and Future Islands.
18. Gorge on numerous wings at the world’s largest chicken wing festival
The world’s largest chicken wing festival, Wing Fest is returning to the city once more, but at a new location, to pay homage to one of the top poultry dishes. Taking place on August 12 and 13 at Love Factory for the very first time, the shopping centre will be transformed into a poultry eating, music thumping, axe throwing, beer and bourbon drinking space of epic proportion. Manchester Wing Fest will showcase a range of restaurants, street food traders and pop-ups, who will display their culinary talents and compete against each other to decide who really makes the best wings in the UK.
19. Enjoy a spot of yoga and bubbles on King Street Townhouse’s terrace
Every Saturday throughout August , King Street Townhouse is hosting a yoga and bubbles event, an experience aiming to revitalise your mind, body, and soul. The event commences with a refreshing one-hour Pilates session (open to all fitness levels) on the hotel’s picturesque terrace, offering panoramic views of the vibrant Manchester cityscape. Following the workout, you can indulge in two exquisite courses from King Street Townhouse’s brand-new spa menu, carefully curated to prioritise health and well-being, plus a glass of fizz to enjoy on the terrace.
20. Sit back with a film and enjoy the Miami Beach experience at Backyard Cinema
Head to the rooftop of Depot Mayfield for Backyard Cinema where you’ll be transported to an 80’s beach oasis in the sky andultimate film screening space. As well as the immersive sets and unique venue, there’s a lineup of special nights to look forward to this August. Those partial to singing their heart out can enjoy one of the singalong nights (Grease, Mamma Mia and The Greatest Showman are all on the agenda). Plus, for the school holidays there’ll be special matinee shows for all the family to enjoy beachy bliss.
21. Try your hand at padel as the tennis and squash hybrid sport arrives in Manchester
Manchester is set to welcome its own Padel club this summer, with the launch of Club de Padel at Deansgate Square, bringing the world’s fastest growing sport to Manchester for the first time. A fun, fast-paced and addictive mash-up of tennis and squash, and almost always played in doubles, Padel was invented in Mexico in the late 1960s, but has exploded across Europe in recent years, with the likes of Andy Murray, David Beckham and Serena Williams all professing their love for the sport. Launching on Owen Street with four brand new courts, Club de Padel aims to establish an inclusive and thriving Padel community in Manchester, with social matches, coaching, tournaments and corporate events taking place throughout the year.
22. Check out NQ64’s brand new venue in the Northern Quarter
A must for all gamers and those in search of nostalgia when visiting the Northern Quarter, NQ64 has officially moved out of its OG location to a new Manchester spot. On August 1, the retro arcade game venue will be levelling up and opening the doors to its brand new home which is… next door to its current site. The loads bigger venue will boast booths and banquette seating galore, which will increase the venue’s indoor capacity to 350 people, plus the outdoor terrace will host two new arcade machines, allowing customers to soak up some sun whilst honing their gaming skills.
23. Head to Albert’s Schloss for après-work drinks offers and a six weeks of bier extravaganza
Every Tuesday – Friday afternoon, throughout summer, Albert’s Schloss will present showtime performances with live music and entertainment as well as after work drinks at delicious prices. Indulge in spritz and seasonal cocktails from the brand new summer drinks menu for just £6 as well as £5 pints of Pilsner and £25 bottles of Prosecco between the hours of 4pm and 7pm, Monday to Friday.
Launching this August, Schloss will also be hosting a six weeks of bier extravaganza showcasing a different bier each week including: Pilsner Urquell, Erdinger Weissbrau, Stiegl Goldbrau, Fruli and Paulaner Munich, all of which are available for £5 to enjoy post-work. Plus, the bar will be one of the first UK venues to welcome Munich bier Hofbräu.
24. Cruise around the UK’s first live action go-karting video game experience
Offering a new way to hit the pedal to the metal is Chaos Karts, an all new attraction which combines real-life racing with augmented reality, and it’s coming to Manchester at the end of August. The UK’s first live action video game experience throws players into a virtual world, living inside a real-life video game to race-battle their friends, family and rivals. With no physical obstacles on the track and anti-collision technology, helmets and driving suits are not required to create a fun-fuelled experience for all to enjoy.
Also published on Medium.