Art: Kosmonaut Charity Street Art Auction Launch, Tariff Street, Northern Quarter, Friday 9 August, 6pm till late
Kosmonaut has been a champion of street art from the get-go, anyone that has stumbled in to the trendy East NQ bar and seen the apocalyptic killer robots splayed across the walls will testify to this. Throughout August fifteen works by acclaimed graffiti artists will be displayed in Kosmonaut as part of an exhibition and auction to raise money for the Manchester-based Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a charity dedicated to clearing landmines and unexploded ordnance amongst communities across the globe.
Friday night is the ‘bloc party’ launch party with all sorts of graffitting stuff going on in the private backalley, including live painting by artists Dan Birkbeck, Liskbot and Russ Mehan, barbeque food and music from Continental Shift DJs. The silent auction running until August 31 will officially open at the launch on Friday, so get there and get bidding, it’s all for a good cause. Landmines won't clear themselves you know.
FREE to attend. More information here.
Faire: Manchester Mini Maker Faire, MOSI, Castlefield, Saturday 10 August – Sunday 11 August
Ever wanted to fire a potato from a cannon like some kind of starchy plant tuber pirate? Of course you have, who hasn’t? If like me you’ve ever dreamt of waging vegetable warfare on your foes, litter droppers, people who stop to chat in shop doorways, topless men walking around the city centre when it’s only 17°C and that bloke in the silver Porsche who nearly ran me over on a pedestrian crossing the other day (git), then this may very well by the faire for you.
Manchester’s second Mini Maker Faire is part of an international movement to celebrate innovation and creativity of the individual across technology, design and art. Makers range from techies, crafters, artists, scientists to garage tinkerers. There’ll be around 50 ‘makers’ attending this year’s event, from robots to an electronics emporium, an Urban Woodland Village to a spot of hacking a Raspberry Pi. Not as delicious as it sounds, the Pi is a £32 mini-computer that has nerds sweating like Eric Pickles at a Bem Brazil.
More information on Manchester’s Mini Maker Faire here.
Carnival: Caribbean Carnival of Manchester, Platt Fields, Saturday 10 August
The largest celebration of Caribbean music, arts and culture in the North West region is moving from its natural habitat in Alexandra Park to Rusholme’s Platt Fields this year as Alexandra undergoes a £5.5m renovation. All the festivities are to be packed in to one day as opposed to the usual two day stretch.
The carnival has been bringing a pineapple slice of Caribbean culture to the city for over 40 years now with an extravaganza of song, dance, music, food and the most garishly flamboyant costumes this side of Gay Pride. There’ll also be a parade winding through the streets with over 45 dancing troupes, a main stage featuring calypso, soca and reggae music, countless folk shaking their junk and more twerking backsides than you could throw a Jamaican Goat Curry at.
Music: Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Gorilla, Whitworth Street, Saturday 10 August, 6.30pm
If you were born within the last forty years or so, you may not have heard of Martha and the Vandellas. What you may have heard, however, is Dancing in the Street, Jimmy Mack and for all those 'boppers' out there, Nowhere to Run.
Still going at the age of 72, Martha has got her funk back after a brief stint as a politician from 2005 - 2009 in her home city of Detroit, birthplace of Motown and a city renowned for its political corruption. A city that has also recently gone bankrupt. Only in the land of hope and glory.
Up there with Diana Ross, this is your chance to see a real queen of soul.
£28.25. Tickets avaliable here.
Festival: Dig The City: MCR's Urban Gardening Festival, City Centre, Until Sunday 11 August
When you think of gardening, you may think of WI ladies in sun hats trimming roses and going weak at the knees for a mucky Alan Titchmarsh. You may even picture Charlie Dimmock’s peaky nipples. You may not, however, think of show gardens on New Cathedral Street or an urban forest with 70 trees of 16 varieties rooted in Manchester’s bustling Exchange Square.
If you haven't yet been, this urban gardening festival has attempted to turn Manchester city centre all green and bucolic for this week only. From King Street to St Ann’s Square, up Exchange Street and on to the Cathedral, the centre has been transformed with flowers, a forest, a fete, food, show gardens, a tractor and around 100 tonnes of soil. Highlights this closing weekend include Dig The City Disco with Selfridges, talks and demonstrations from the Nigella of Gardeners’ World, Rachel de Thame and a fete hosted by Manchester WI (woops, sorry ladies) in Exchange Square on Sunday.
Film: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Cornerhouse, Opens Wednesday 7 August
Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge has been a few things in his 21 year career: local radio DJ, television presenter, author, all of them relatively unsuccessfully. But chief negotiator in a hostage scenario he’s never been.
That is until night-shift Irish DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney: that curly haired Irish bloke from Star Trek) gets the bullet and subsequently stages a shotgun siege at the office party taking the workers hostage. Pat refuses to discuss terms with anyone but his old pal Alan, who was all for sacking Pat anyway. Alan broadcasts live from inside the siege and attempts to negotiate his own skyrocketing national profile while also trying not to get gunned down. Cashback.
Tickets for Alpha Papa can be booked here.
Sport: UK Backward Run, Heaton Park, Sunday 11 August, 9am – 1.30pm
The London Marathon, The Great North Run, The Manchester 10k, The Race for Life... all ran forwards, all a bit samey.
So if running forwards (yawn) has ran its course for you, why not try the UKs fourth Backward Run this Sunday in Heaton Park. Apart from the clearly humorous element to be gained from running backwards, mainly people falling over (which never gets old), some ‘experts’ believe running backwards is actually the way forward… so to speak. It’s said to be easier on the joints, better for toning and gobble up a fifth more calories than running forwards. Granted that extra fifth is picking yourself off the floor, but a fifth is a fifth.
£10 to enter. Late entry is £12.50. Sign up here. There is also a fun run with proceeds going to local charity Forever Manchester. Sign up here.
Family: Viking Sunday, Tatton Park, Sunday 11 August, 12pm to 5pm
Over a millennia after the barbaric and beardy Norsemen first crossed over in to the North West, the Vikings are heading back once again for the Old Hall of Tatton. Some suggest that they have a prenchant for Tudor architecture, others that they'd heard Katherine Jenkins was in the area and fancied plundering her (three weeks late chaps), but most say that they’re simply there to perform a re-enacted invasion. The latter probably being the more likely.
The Vikings of Middle England group are renowned for the authenticity of their battle displays, but it’s not all about who’s got the biggest and longest sword… around 30 members of the roaming horde will be setting up camp in the grounds and demonstrating the more domestic and civil aspects of Viking life with open fires, wood-cutting, spinning, dyeing, weaving and trying out the longbow whilst wearing chainmail. Not so domestic that last one.
Adult £6, Child £4, Family £16, Car Entry £5. More info here.
Theatre: Save The Last Dance For Me, Palace Theatre, Opens Monday 12 August
‘For the first time without their parents, two siblings embark on a holiday to the seaside. Full of freedom and high spirits they meet a handsome young American who invites them to a dance at the local US Air force base but, young love and holiday romance is never as simple as it sounds, and the sisters soon realise that while the world around them is still watching itself in black and white, life and love can be much more colourful.’
N’aww nice. Think Dirty Dancing in an Air Force Base… but less dirty, same amount of dancing.
From the writers, producers, creators and director of Dreamboats and Petticoats, Save the Last Dance for Me will take you back on a loveboat down the tunnel of nostalgia through the early 60s, a time when each passing week brought another Rock ‘n’ Roll classic like Sweet for my Sweet, Viva Las Vegas and Hermans Hermits’ I’m Henry VIII, I Am.
Kids: CBBC’s The Slammer, Dock10 Studios, MediaCityUK, Salford, Wednesday 14 August – Thursday 15 August, 2.30pm – 7pm
If your kids are fans of CBBC’s The Slammer, a panda pop version of Britain’s Got Talent, clowns, dogs and the like, then take the scallywags down to MediaCity and give them the chance to be in the live audience of filming for the show.
The BBC are looking for groups of siblings and friends aged 8-12 to attend the filming for FREE between 2.30pm – 7pm. A parent or guardian will need to stay with the group for the entire filming period. But you can probably sneak off for one, Dock Bar is fairly close by you know.
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