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Manchester's massive October

A crazy few weeks starts with digital, food, literature, comedy and music festivals

Published on September 16th 2010.

Manchester's massive October

It’s festival season again.

In the next few weeks we have no less than six major festivals and also some vampires. There’s now officially no reason to leave Manchester before Christmas.

This is the roll-call of razzmatazz Manchester has coming up.

First up and free of charge is Abandon Normal Devices (AND), the new festival of digital culture and new cinema.

The description we’ve been given reads: ‘AND is a week long journey to invite thinkers, anarchists of the imagination and agitators to offer striking perspectives on the behaviour and systems that define us. Expect mind blowing art, screenings, performances, debates, workshops...in galleries, cinemas and public spaces.’

Sounds like the only way to learn about this is to visit it – so that’s what we’ll be doing. The festival runs from 1-7 October. Click here for more info.

Running at the same time but for a few days longer is the Manchester Food and Drink Festival from 1 October 2010 - 11 October 2010.

This beast of an event is focussing on Manchester’s heritage – its iconic brands, products and people.

The foodies’ marathon starts with the Oktober Festival, followed by the first Manchester Chocolate and Chilli Festivals – all in Albert Square. There’s also the Manchester Whisky Festival and 'Feast!' on St Ann's Square, which is apparently feels justified in using an exclamation mark. You can top off your gastro extravaganza at the Festival Finale Pavilion from 7th - 10th when Albert Square will be transformed with themed dining areas, entertainment, chef demos, multiple bars, a pop-up Rovers Return Pub in association with Holland's Pies, multiple bars and more.

More details at here.

Food is followed by music with In the City between 13 October and 15. Billing itself as the UK's premier new music convention, this baby will take over Piccadilly and the Northern Quarter for three days.

It’ll provide a forum for the music industry via keynote addresses, celebrity interviews, master classes, panels and seminars. At night, hundred of bands will perform at In The City Live throughout the Northern Quarter. Conference Passes and Festival Wristbands are now available.

For more information go to the In The City website (here).

Digital stuff, food, music.....what’s missing.

Ah yes reading matter. From 14 October to 25 October there’s the Manchester Literature Festival.

For this writers will be travelling to Manchester from as far afield as North Africa, China, Scandinavia and the United States to take part in the fifth Manchester Literature Festival.

Oh and as far away as Old Trafford.

The distinguished line up of guests includes Bernard Cornwell, Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney, Caryl Phillips, Michael Rosen and Lionel Shriver.

The programme features a Historical Readers Day and events commemorating the 200th anniversary of the pioneering Manchester writer, Elizabeth Gaskell. There’ll also be some unique MLF commissions, with some of the UK's hottest new talent, and inspiring the next generation of readers and writers with a tempting selection of family-friendly activities.

The person who’s travelling from as far as Old Trafford, by the way, is Jonathan Schofield, the Confidential editor, who will giving a talk about the city and buildings Anthony Burgess knew.

For more information go to the Manchester Literature Festival website (here)

And finally, after all this cultural engagement we need a punchline. This is what the Manchester Comedy Festival will provide (we hope) from 18 October to 31 October.

Now in its 10th year, the festival will dishing out a dazzling array of Mancunian talent, with a healthy dose of shows and acts from all over the globe. From the big names to the small and quirky, and with shows for all tastes and budgets, this year will be the biggest and best yet.

For more information click here.

Ha, tricked you. There’s more. Manchester Science Festival also occupies the final week of October from 23 to 31. It claims to be the country's most popular science festival and this year celebrates the International Year of Biodiversity. Find out about the plight of the bee, learn how to knit an endangered species and how to make chocolate, investigate lust vs love, play with the latest gadgets. There'll be sweet music, hilarious stand-up (hey shouldn’t that be part of the Comedy Festival), heated debate, crafty workshops, stories , science busking and much, much more. Click here for more information.

And honestly folks this is it. The roll call of October madness comes to a halt and a very final halt with death. It’s the Manchester Monster Mardi Gras on 31 October. Here you can join the spectacular Zombie Walk on Halloween Eve - a chance for families to dress up and take to the streets in their scariest outfits whilst raising money for charity. Check the website(here) for details of how to register.

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