It’s official. We made it through a pretty grey and gloomy spring to the official start of summer: June, sweet June. With the promise of warmer weather comes an array of fun events and activities – including outdoor summer beer sessions, fun-filled festivals and so much more. Without further ado, here’s our guide to the best things to do in Manchester this June.
1. Visit Gordon Ramsay’s new Manchester restaurant Lucky Cat
Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay will finally open his highly-anticipated restaurant Lucky Cat in Manchester this month. Lucky Cat fuses the vibrant atmosphere of 1930s Tokyo kissas and drinking dens, where diners can expect Asian-inspired dishes such as Korean spiced black cod, sirloin weeping tiger and bonito fried duck leg bao. Set to open from June 1, the Manchester location promises to be “a dining experience like no other”, capturing the essence of the original Mayfair eatery in a breath-taking Art Deco building at the top of King Street, alongside Manchester’s iconic Hotel Gotham.
2. Dance the day and night away as Parklife returns to Heaton Park
Parklife really needs no introduction, and the pop, house and dance festival is now synonymous with Manchester. This year will see the likes of The 1975, Aitch, The Prodigy, Little Simz and Wu-Tang Clan tread the grass of Prestwich, in addition to incredible DJs and Parklife veterans including Groove Armada, Honey Dijon and Annie Mac. One to put in the global festival calendar, Parklife returns to Heaton Park in Manchester on June 10 and 11 to raise the game once again.
3. Sit back and enjoy the rays from this lavish hotel’s rooftop terrace
As the weather is predicted to be glorious for the start of June, one of Manchester’s luxurious hotels is opening its tucked away terrace for the public to enjoy the sunshine, views and delicious drinks. This little suntrap of a terrace located at King Street Townhouse right in the city centre of Manchester will not disappoint thanks to it being south-facing and the chance to take in the stunning cityscape from the hotel’s rooftop. The King Street Townhouse South Terrace on the sixth floor is usually reserved for guests of the hotel, however between May 29 and June 4 it will be open to everyone.
4. Watch an authentic flamenco show as part of The Royal Opera Of Madrid’s world tour
An authentic Spanish flamenco show will be making its way to us in Manchester this June part of a tour of Europe, the US and Asia this year. Taking place at Contact Theatre, The Royal Opera of Madrid will take to the stage with their lauded flamenco show between June 2–10. Flamenco originated in the southern region of Andalusia, Spain, and is a traditional style of music and dance. The acclaimed flamenco dancers and live musicians taking to the stage in Manchester are part of The Royal Opera of Madrid, one of the most esteemed performing arts institutions in Spain.
5. See United and City go head to head in the FA Cup final
For the first time in the history of English football, a Manchester Derby will take place for this year’s FA Cup final and it’s going to be massive. This will be Manchester United’s first FA Cup final since their loss to Chelsea back in 2018 and Manchester City’s first since 2019 when they went on to win it against Watford. However Manchester football fans are set to be hit by train strikes on the day of the FA Cup final, but there will be plenty of spots in the city screening the game if you’re unable to get hold of tickets or head down to Wembley.
6. Head to a rooftop cabaret show with circus acts and comedy
Trailblazing cabaret, La Clique, is coming to Manchester for its very first North of England residency on the rooftop of Depot Mayfield. La Clique will showcase the world’s best circus and cabaret acts for an exclusive and limited 6-week run in a beautiful 1920s Spiegeltent venue. Alongside La Clique and the Spiegeltent, entertainment company Underbelly will bring its signature summer pop-up experience with a beautiful outdoor bar and local street food traders, making it the perfect space for outdoor summer drinking and eating for pre and post-show.
7. Exchange your unwanted garms at Selfridge’s sustainable swap shop
Many people have clothes in their wardrobes that they aren’t wearing, so instead of throwing them away, how about swapping them for dreamy garms of a similar value? A fantastic Swap Shop is arriving at both Selfridges Manchester Trafford and Exchange Square this month to circulate them, prolonging their life and making sure you get something out of it too! Fashion lovers can pop into either Selfridge’s to swap once-loved items for new obsessions thanks to this one-off collaboration with LOANHOOD.
8. Hear iconic tunes from The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones at this candlelight concert
Calling all fantasy film and TV buffs, this is the candlelight concert for you. From The Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones soundtracks, you can hear them both surrounded by glimmering candelight within Manchester Cathedral. Nothing says magical quite like the ethereal notes of The Passing of the Elves or the trumpets and cymbals of The Cavern of Isengard sound across the sanctuary – you can’t help but get the chills as you’re reminded of Saruman’s rise to power. Plus, you’ll hear renditions of popular soundtracks from the Game of Thrones franchise, including Winter Is Coming and Fire and Blood (House Targaryen theme), as well as highly recognized scores from Rings of Power.
9. Take a trip to Salford for as the free festival We Invented The Weekend returns
We Invented The Weekend will celebrate the joy of free time, treating guests to sports, music, comedy, theatre, dance, workshops, talks, food, charity, wellness, crafts and more. The two-day event will take place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June in MediaCity and Salford Quays. From water sports on the canal, community feasts and dance performances, to getting your hands dirty with planting workshops and finding gems at vintage markets, festivalgoers will meet new people, try new things, and make memories together.
10. See the nocturnal animals in action at sunset at Chester Zoo
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on after dark at some of the UK’s biggest zoos like Chester Zoo, now’s your chance to witness nocturnal wildlife first-hand with the return of the ‘Into The Night’ events. Bringing back their sunset special – allowing guests nighttime entry – Chester Zoo will host 10 wildlife-filled evenings this summer, where guests will be treated to sights of the zoo’s many nocturnal animals who’d usually be hiding throughout the day.
11. Get that Glasto feeling in Manchester at GRUB’s festival weekender GRUBstonbury
Didn’t get Glastonbury tickets? Don’t worry, neither did we. Luckily for us, we have the next best thing over at street food hub GRUB, as the team has announced its cleverly named Glastonbury weekender ‘GRUBstonbury‘. Expect a whole weekend of street food, live DJ sets, a glitter bar, tap takeovers, film screenings, workshops, a garden rum bar, a family party from ‘Born To Be Wild Child’ and, of course, the whole weekend at Worthy Farm showing on big screens throughout the venue.
12. Be immersed in huge, brightly coloured artwork at Colors Festival
Colors Festival in Manchester is set to display the works of 30 established and local artists on a huge scale. The event will be taking over Regent Retail Park in Salford, with the 800m² space being completely reimagined. Expect artwork that covers entire walls in a venue that’s been completely repurposed for the exhibition. You’ll find yourself strolling through brightly coloured immersive rooms that have the XXL sized art plastered across the spaces creating a unique art experience you can interact with.
13. Discover Manchester’s literary heritage at this year’s Festival of Libraries
Celebrating Manchester’s literary scene, the Festival of Libraries returns taking over a number of libraries across will take place all over Greater Manchester. Running from Wednesday 7th to Sunday 11th June all over the region, the festival will be full of exhibitions, performances, talks, workshops and art installations that all reflect Greater Manchester’s huge pride in its libraries and their value to their communities. Plus, all of the events are free to attend.
14. Celebrate Székler culture at this festival filled with food, drink, live folk music and dancing
A huge Hungarian celebration of Székler people is coming to Manchester this summer, shedding a spotlight on the little known culture of the Hungarians that reside in Transylvania. Taking place at Cathedral Gardens, Góbéfest will combine food, drink, live folk music and dancing, bringing the very best of the Székler culture back to the city. Between June 23 and June 25, the little slice of Transylvania will be home to plenty of delicious, Hungarian street food, alongside steins of central European style beer with a Mancunian swagger from Manchester Union Brewery and Szicsek Palinka cocktails. Expect langos, paprikash and chimney cakes, alongside steaming bowls of goulash as well as plenty of activities for all of the family to get involved in.
15. Step into the magical land of Hyrule with this candlelight tribute to The Legend of Zelda
Any Zerd out there will tell you that the iconic music from The Legend of Zelda will make you swell with pride and courage, as you follow Link in his quest to save the magical land of Hyrule from the evil warlord Ganon. The famous Japanese composer Koji Kondo, known for his work in various Nintendo games, including Super Mario, composed different music for scenes and characters for the initial games, so that the players would immediately orientate themselves within the game. His playful and fantastical melodies will come to life at Hallé St Peter’s in an otherworldly evening of classical music that will unlock memories and inspire minds.
16. Indulge in pastries and sourdough loaves from the newly-opened Gail’s bakery
London’s much-loved bakery, Gail’s, known for their fancy loaves of bread, maple bacon brioche and afternoon tea treats, has announced that it will opening the doors to its King Street store on June 7. Having already opened North West branches in Wilmslow and Altrincham, with a Didsbury branch coming soon too, this will be Gail’s third bakery in the region. Plus, it means Mancs in the city centre will finally be able to feast on a seasonal menu of soups with freshly baked sourdough, sandwiches and sweet treats.
17. Enjoy music, art and food at this festival held in a Manchester garden centre
Celebrating all thing music and arts, Green Island Festival is small but mighty, presenting a three-part series of day festivals and afterparties in Manchester, with line-ups that place underground, underrepresented, emerging artists from across the UK and global sounds at the forefront. The 500-capacity festival will see Hulme Community Garden Centre’s flora paradise transformed into an arts mecca, housing three stages. The festival will span across summer and early autumn, with the first chapter kicking off on Saturday 17th June.
18. Sip on a selection of beers at this waterside garden party at Kampus
Following a successful event last year at city centre hotspot Kampus, Summer Beer Thing is set to bring back beer, food and music to the waterside destination again this year, as part of a three-day garden festival with some of the best local brewers. Summer Beer Thing will be a celebration of all things beer, and is set to take place between June 30 and July 2 below Kampus’ bustling bungalow. With DJs bringing the garden party vibes all weekend long, beer taps will be nestled through the lush gardens, offering hoppy, session, fruits and sours amongst others.
19. Get a good dose of art, culture, music and more at Manchester International Festival
Manchester International Festival (MIF) provides the first opportunity for audiences to experience Factory International‘s new venue, the largest new national cultural project since the opening of Tate Modern in 2000, ahead of its official opening in October. Taking place from June 29 to July 16, the festival will be the biggest yet, with the best of music, art, theatre, film and so much more on display in our city. Attendees can expect appearances from international superstar Janelle Monáe and Greater Manchester legend Maxine Peake, in addition to a jaw-dropping exhibition from surrealist Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
20. Shop for vintage furniture at Manchester’s Victoria Baths
Vintage Home Show is set to arrive at Victoria Baths on June 4, where visitors will find top-quality mid-20th Century designed furniture, ceramics, textiles, lighting and art alongside mass market retro and kitsch. With all the household classics and iconic items from 48 specialist dealers covering the decades from 1930s to 1970s, it’s a homemaker’s haven. Browse the stalls, make some unique purchases and take the opportunity to explore the stunning Victoria Baths too.
Also published on Medium.