THIS autumn, The Manchester Weekender returns to the city for its fourth year. More than just a festival, it offers a weekend-long snapshot of how we ‘do’ culture, showcasing the brightest and best Manchester has to offer.
Definitely a one off, there was certainly some thinking outside the box when this event was planned. I don’t even think there were any boxes.
From craft fairs to cover shoots, from pedal-powered cinema to inspiring and powerful drama, from musical mash-ups to original pop-ups, the Manchester Weekender features more than 70 events to choose from. And for the wallet watchers among us, many of them are completely gratis.
The Manchester Weekender is undoubtedly a tourist draw, acting as a taster menu, allowing the uninitiated to nibble on a bit of Manc creativity or graze on some northern tunes. It kick-starts the city’s Autumn programme in its galleries, theatres and concert halls. It also offers a chance to get up close and personal with a host of writers, artists and performers in interesting and intimate settings, revealing a place that even residents may be surprised by.
Programme highlights include:
Thursday Lates at Manchester Art Gallery: The Fashion Special
Come On, VogueAn evening of fashion to coincide with Vogue’s Fashion Night Out which comes to Manchester in October. There’s a pop-up vintage fair with rare and beautiful wares or you can turn the clock back on yourself with a vintage makeover – just pick your decade and learn how to recreate its signature look. There will also be the chance to become a cover star in your own right with the Vintage Vogue photoshoot. Professional photographers will recreate some of the magazine’s most iconic fashion moments and you could be their cover girl.
Free. Thursday 10 October 6pm-9pm
That Dame Upstairs at Cornerhouse
Femme Fatale?Cult performance collective, The Sisters Gorgeous, will be hosting a life drawing and photography night in the Cornerhouse. Classily clad in an homage to the alluring femmes fatales of film noir, the models are a tribute to the Double Indemnity exhibition currently running at Cornerhouse. Sharpen your pencils now.
Free. Thursday 10 October 6pm-9pm
Jeremy Deller: All That Is Solid Melts Into Air at Manchester Art Gallery
A new exhibition examining the roots of working class music culture, from nineteenth century folk to 80s glam rock via Deller’s own work, newly commissioned banners and protest art, historic works from William Blake and Morris, and much, much more.
Free. Opens Saturday 12 October. Mon-Sun 10am-5pm. Thurs until 9pm
Manchester Style: The Art, Fashion and Craft Tour at Manchester Craft and Design Centre
Meeting at Manchester Craft and Design Centre, this tour takes in exhibitions at the craft centre, the Chinese Arts Centre and Manchester Art Gallery before giving you the chance to meet artisans in action, experience 21st century style and finally wind up at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Spinningfields. Here, as part of the special launch night, there will be a ‘sound’ performance from Hanna Neilsen who creates wearable craft. Expect more than just the swish of skirts. Woven through the tour is the story of Manchester’s textile industry and its planned renaissance.
£7. Thursday 10 October. 4.30pm-6.30pm
Darn That Picasso – Conversations and Craftism at People’s History Museum and the Working Class Movement Library
Trailblazers? Trailcardies more like.Definitely a one off, there was certainly some thinking outside the box when this event was planned. I don’t even think there were any boxes. Set off on a guided walk from the People’s History Museum by following a knitted trail handcrafted by the King’s Arms Knitters. Along the way, you will be regaled with tales of creativity and activism by a tour guide before arriving at the Working Class Movement Library to join activists stitching Picasso’s Guernica into banner format.
Free. Saturday 12 October. 2pm-5pm
Hot Bed Press present The Radical Pop-Up Print Shop on Oxford Road
Trundling its way up and down Oxford Road will be a portable printing press. As it winds its way along, 1000 bespoke pieces, be they prints, posters or pamphlets, will be given away for free. When not distributing the fruits of Gutenburg’s labours, the printing press will be in operation, churning out more of the printed word.
Free. Saturday 12 October. 11am-5pm
Hey! Manchester presents a Promenade Tour on Whitworth Street West
Promoter Hey! Manchester will give a select group of music fans the opportunity to catch a series of one-off, pop-up sets from a diverse range of artists and bands in unexpected locations. The line-up remains a closely guarded secret but there are definitely some surprises in there.
£5 adv. Saturday 12 October. 2.30pm
State of the ‘Zine at National Football Museum
This is a one off event that makes the most of the National Football Musuem’s not inconsiderable collection of football paraphernalia as well as match day ‘zines, in order to create a day devoted to the ’zine in all its glory. Football culture mag SPIEL and design collective OWT Creative will be creating new work, while the public can drop in and make their own DIY ‘zines celebrating both the beautiful game and the beauty of DIY print.
Free. Sunday 13 October. 11am-3pm
The Un-convention Convention Manchester Weekender at Manchester School of Art
Expect cover art, design, live music, innovation and goodness knows what else at this day-long Un-convention Convention. A complete album with 200 individually designed sleeves will be created and manufactured in just one day (rather putting The Stone Roses to shame with their tardy Second Coming).
Free. Saturday 12 October. 11.30am-6pm
All My Sons at The Royal Exchange Theatre
Arthur Miller’s classic play investigates honesty, guilt and the corrupting power of greed. With a strong cast, this landmark piece of theatre is certain to be a highlight of the new Autumn season at the Royal Exchange.
£10. 25 September-26 October. Daily (times vary)
Tickets and full listings for events are available from individual venues and online here.
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