A bold and imaginative, free, family friendly festival is taking place in Salford celebrating the invention of the weekend, a world changing moment that took place in Greater Manchester in 1843. Aptly-named We Invented The Weekend, the festival will take place on September 10th and 11th, throwing open all of MediaCity and Salford Quays’ spaces and places, inviting tens of thousands of people to celebrate the joy of free time with a glorious mix of creative activities for all.
On offer will be screen-printing, painting and poetry, a communal Sunday Roast, boat parties, bands, DJs, music shows and a community orchestra, voguing, circus acts and Indian dance, fashion styling and sustainable shopping, sports and games, gardening and greening, plus shows for your fashion, your veg and even your dog.
Festival highlights include:
The Weekend Orchestra with the BBC Philharmonic
Hundreds of local musicians and singers of all levels and backgrounds will join the BBC Philharmonic for a huge and joyful musical celebration which will open the main stage on both days of the festival. Michael Betteridge (Artistic Director of The Sunday Boys – Manchester’s LBTQ+ low voice choir) will conduct the piece and has also written ‘Docks Unlocked’, a special song based on an original poem by Salfordian Poet, Lynn Walton, which celebrates the history of Salford Docks.
MediaCity Weekend Stage on the MediaCity Piazza, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, 12.30pm
Lowry by the Lowry with local Salford artist and Goggleboxer Helena Worthington
Now it’s your time to draw like Lowry! Join Gogglebox star and Salfordian artist, Helena Worthington who will guide you through three different workshops centred around creating a self-portrait, painting your pet, and finally capturing the local landscape in exactly the style of L.S Lowry. Think thick paints, earthy colour schemes and a whole lot of fun!
Pier 8 Terrace at The Lowry, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, 10am – 5pm. Bookable and walk-in sessions available.
Weekend Woofers Dog Show
Does your dog have the waggiest tail? From pups to old dogs with new tricks, get stuck in with this dog show. Brought to you by Animal Direction, the UK’s Pet Modelling Experts, there’s plenty of opportunities for your four-legged friend to win a prize over the festival weekend.
The Lowry Plaza, Saturday 10th Sept: 11am – 12.30pm, Sunday 11th Sept: 12.30 – 1.30pm. Free booking required to enter, no booking required to watch.
Get Your Docks Off musical boat rides
Jump on board and celebrate the most iconic artists from the legendary Manchester music scene and beyond! We Invented the Weekend are set to present Get Your Docks Off, a series of fabulous, genre-themed canal cruises, sailing you through all the best musical decades.
Manchester Ship Canal, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th Sept, various times throughout the afternoon. £3 per person, book in advance. Options include: Disco 2000, House Music All Night Long, Disco, Disco, Disco, Northern Soul, Lovers Rock & Reggae, 90s R&B and Hip Hop, Country Cruising, 1980s Love Boat
The Big Sunday Roast with Eat Well MCR
Create your perfect Sunday at We Invented the Weekend. Join 100 diners at what will be (temporarily) the longest table in Salford as chef Mary-Ellen McTague cooks one of the nation’s favourite dishes – the classic Sunday Roast complemented by piles of Sunday papers, Bloody Marys, a soothing vinyl soundtrack courtesy of Be With Records and your favourite Sunday telly. So, bring your family, friends and an empty stomach and leave full of delicious food, knowing you’ve supported a fantastic cause. Is there a better way to spend a Sunday?
Upstairs at The Open (dock10 Studios), Sunday 11th September, 12pm and 3pm. £30 per adult/£10 for under 14s (ticket prices fund 50 meals back to the community).
Wicked Wicketz, football skills and a whole kit bag full of sport
Feeling inspired by Freddie Flintoff and friends? Come along and see if you can hit the Wicketz with The Lancashire Cricket Foundation Inflatable Bowling Cage. The festival also sees the revival of Quay Culture’s Colour Swim – a unique fusion of open water swimming, live Samba music and dancing. If you want to get out on the water without getting (too) wet, try out a katakanu courtesy of Salford Watersports Centre.
If staying on dry land is more your thing, join in with Manchester United Foundations Street Reds hugely successful football sessions or learn some skateboarding skills with Northern Rolling. There’ll be taster sessions for all the family, from parachute games to kettlebells, and whether you stroll, squat, jump, run or just fancying giving something new a go, the team will get you moving.
Saturday 10th September, 10am – 6pm, and Sunday 11th September, 10am – 5pm. Bookable sessions and walk-up sessions available.
Free Time Parade- the festival finale
Design Art Studio Mikesian will be setting up shop for you to make a placard proclaiming what the weekend means to you now, or what you wish it to be in the future – celebrate free time, reclaim work life balance or take time to campaign for positive change. Placards will be displayed in the shop over the festival weekend.
Sunday 11th September, from 3pm. Plus placard workshops all weekend at The Open Centre.
Discover all of the events taking place at We Invented The Weekend here.