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October festival and event round-up

In the City, Food and Drink Festival, Literature Festival, Science Festival, The Halloween Ghost Walk – er, wow

Published on September 17th 2009.

October festival and event round-up

What is about October that makes festival organisers spring into action? Even the most energetic culture vultures could only scratch the surface of the events on offer this month, with five big festivals and one big event taking place within days of each other. Here's a quick overview of who's doing what in the weeks ahead.

Manchester Food & Drink Festival
1 – 12 October, various venues

The Food and Drink Festival will have 'hubs' in St Ann's Square and Albert Square. There’s the Fine Food Village at the former, and the MFDF pavilion at the latter. Both will be filled by a selection of Manchester's restaurants, brewers and food brands during the festival's final weekend.

MFDF even includes a festival within a festival with the first ever Manchester Whiskey Festival at MOSI on 10 October. This promises to 'showcase the spirit in all its glory' (and no doubt inebriate a fair proportion of the attendees at the same time). Other events we like the look of include 'The Fruits of Our Labour – A Small Holders Feast' which takes the form of a four course gourmet dinner sourced from That Café’s small holding, the Wild Moor, on Thursday 8 October, and the MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards on 12 October at the Palace Hotel where the winners of these much debated accolades will be announced by TV chefs The Hairy Bikers.

For the full line-up of events, foodanddrinkfestival.com.

Manchester Comedy Festival
15 – 25 October, various venues

Big names to see at this event include Jimmy Carr, Justin Moorhouse, Arthur Smith, Richard Herring and Michael McIntyre. It's not all about the established funny men though, with showcases for newbie comics, shows for youngsters, musical acts, cabaret, and films all finding a place on the festival calendar. The 90-plus events will take place in theatres, pubs, clubs, and bars throughout the city.

For the full line-up, manchestercomedyfestival.co.uk.

In The City
18 – 20 October, various venues

If you want to see the hot young things of the music scene before they become next year's NME cover stars, get yourself an In the City wristband. This new music festival and industry convention includes loads of gigs across the city, plus debates, seminars, and schmoozing in late night bars. The event has helped launch the careers of bands like Oasis and Radiohead, and has hosted now-legendary gigs by Daft Punk and Arctic Monkeys and many more.

Find out who's on this year and buy tickets at www.inthecity.co.uk.

Manchester Literature Festival
15 – 25 October, various venues

The city's literature festival has stepped up several levels this year – the line up has a whole host of widely-read and inspiring writers including Fay Weldon, Kate Atkinson, Eoin Colfer, Simon Armitage, Will Self and TV writer Jimmy McGovern. There'll also be writing workshops, a chance to pitch your novel idea to agents, and the launch of a collection of short stories inspired by The Smiths at Salford Lads Club. We'll be doing a full preview of this one nearer the time.

To see the line-up go to manchesterliteraturefestival

Manchester Science Festival
24 October – 1 November, various venues

A newish addition to the autumn festival scene, the third Manchester Science Festival is one for children and adults alike, with events ranging from hands-on activities to debates hosted by eminent scientists. The line-up hasn't been announced yet, but it will include walks, debates, and comedy, with the chance to look in to space, get spooky for Halloween and discover the future of robotics.

Go to manchestersciencefestival for more info.

The Halloween Walk
Saturday 31 October

Arranged by Manchester Confidential’s editor and Blue Badge Guide, Jonathan Schofield, there will be ghost tours galore round spooky city locations this Halloween. The focus will be Castlefield. This is the oldest part of Manchester dating back to the Romans so, as you can imagine, it’s rotten with ghouls – in fact even when you on your own you’re never alone in Castlefield. There will be numerous tours with various guides all guaranteed to scare the socks off you along routes which feature terrifying twists and turns, dank back alleys and former cemeteries. The tours start at 3pm and last forty to fifty minutes. The last tours of the day start at 9pm and 10pm and include a stop in a haunted pub or two. The earlier tours will be more family friendly than the later ones. Further details to be announced, including details of celebrations and Halloween events in Castlefield bars and restaurants. Contact jonathans@planetconfidential.co.uk for more information and for booking on the tours. Price: £6 adults, £5 kids and concessions.

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

SpookySeptember 17th 2009.

It seems imitation is the sincerest form of flattery with Jonathans new walks. This guy has been running some excellent ones for the past few months. See link for details of them. And no it's isn't mee but I have been on one and he is great!www.quaytickets.com/…/EventDetail.aspx…

Jonathan SchofieldSeptember 17th 2009.

Anyway all details of the Grand Castlefield Halloween Walk are going up tomorrow on the site....

AvoSeptember 17th 2009.

"the odd pisshead aside" I assume Gordo was tagging along?

johnthebriefSeptember 17th 2009.

Flecky Bennett, you sound just a little bit defensive. Chill out

Flecky BennettSeptember 17th 2009.

I would like to respond to "Spooky"! I think you need to be aware that your quote that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" I find very offensive. I am the creator and performer of Manchester Ghost Walk and my inspiration came from fellow actors performing as characters on a nightly basis in other cities! I have no idea who Jonathan Schofield is and have never been on a ghost walk in Manchester therefore i am not imitating anyone! All stories relating to Manchester's ghosts are free for any performer or guide to do as they wish! I would also like to question Jonathan Schofields comment "as long as there is quality control" I can assure anyone wishing to come along that my walk has been approved by Visit Manchester, Equity and recommended by the Urbis who themselves have been awarded a visit england quality assurance of which i too will have shortly! I therefore ask the question in return, what quality control have the previous ghost walks gained!

JinkiesSeptember 17th 2009.

Isn't Jonathan some kind of official Manchester guide that's been doing this kind of thing for years?

Jonathan SchofieldSeptember 17th 2009.

Jinkies indeed. I've been doing Halloween walks for ten years including several City Council sponsored events plus private ghost tours for the same length of time. This gentleman started his tours this year. But that's no problem anything that adds to the tourist offer in Manchester is welcome as long as there is quality control.

TomSeptember 17th 2009.

I was on the late night ghost walk hosted by Mr Schofield last year, and can confirm, the odd pisshead aside, that it's a fantastic tour providing an alternative view of the city. I will say this Jonathan, you did well to keep your temper with that one chap who it seemed had been at the port for most of the day.

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