Where to spend the Easter bank holiday weekend in Manchester

From all-day raves to tap takeovers, there’s plenty to do across the long Easter weekend.

By Emma Davidson | Last updated 6 April 2023

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Image: The Blues Kitchen

Easter weekend is the first of two long bank holiday weekends in 2023 (cheers KC). Taking place from Friday 7 – Monday 10 April, the four days off mean an additional two days for pints in the spring sunshine, and, as day turns to night, you’ll probably be after somewhere to extend the party into the early hours. Luckily for you, we’re in Manchester, so a party’s a given.

Across the extended weekend, there are shows from Manchester music royalty Joy Division bassist Peter Hook, bottomless Mediterranean tapas in Ancoats and all-day parties at the infamous Derby Brewery Arms. There are also a few ‘family-friendly’ afternoon raves taking place if you’re armed with little ones over half-term, including a party at The Refuge with Manchester’s coolest parents, the Disco Mums. 

Read on for our definitive guide on where to spend the Easter bank holiday in Manchester. 

Head to Gorilla if you want an all-encompassing genre party. Image: Gorilla

Easter pancake specials and DJs at Pen & Pencil

Thursday 6 – Sunday 9 April
Northern Quarter OG, Pen & Pencil is known for its hangover busting brunch menu in which pancakes have a big part to play. For Easter, the restaurant has launched an eggs-tra special stack complete with Nutella, crushed mini eggs and a creme egg that you can enjoy over the bank holiday weekend. And, as day turns to night, Pen & Pencil will welcome its resident DJs for a packed party with good vibes galore. 

Club Lulva at Gorilla

Thursday 6 April
If you’re looking for a club night that incorporates pretty much every genre under the sun, look no further than Club Lulva. Hosted at Gorilla, the big bank holiday party “screams F**K U to the clubbing norms”, as DJs mix trancehall with Latin club, UK bass with Brazilian funk and a touch of anything else currently heating up their record bags.  

A Manchester music legend, Peter Hook is doing a string of dates in the city over Easter weekend. Image: Peter Hook & The Light

Peter Hook and The Light Easter homecoming

Thursday 6 – Saturday 8 April
One of the founding members of Joy Division, Peter Hook continues to tour the globe performing the band’s dark post-punk back catalogue. Returning to his hometown after a huge string of North America and European shows, the musician will play a trio of dates at Albert Hall with his band Peter Hook and The Light, where they’ll treat audiences to Joy Division’s two albums, New Order’s first two and both band’s Substance compilations in full across the three nights. Saturday and Sunday have already sold-out, but there are still a number of tickets left for Friday evening.

Albert’s Easter Weekender at Albert’s Schloss

Thursday 6 – Monday 10 April
Albert’s Schloss is doing what it does best across Easter weekend, with five full days of food, drink, and dance floor debauchery. Kicking off on Thursday with an Easter special sandwich featuring a lamb patty with brie and a spicy redcurrant jam served in a haus-baked challah bread, there’ll be live performances from the house band across Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Easter Sunday will also feature a lamb feast Henry VIII style, with a beer-braised lamb shank with mint sauce and buttery mash.

GaLacTicA launch party at The Carlton Club

Friday 7 April
A bit of pre-Easter Sunday partying is an excellent way to work off the 154 eggs that’ll be consumed over the following days. GaLacTicA is a new monthly party that’ll call The Carlton Club home, complete with DJs spinning funk, house, disco, soul and more to some outer space ravers. Entry is free, and there are 30 free cocktails mixed and ready for the first people through the doors. 

The Blues Kitchen is always a good place to end the night. Image: The Blues Kitchen

The Afrobeats Orchestra at The Blues Kitchen

Friday 7 April
Kicking off Easter weekend in true Blues Kitchen style, the venue’s upstairs music space will host a 12-piece orchestra reinventing the sounds of Ghana, Nigeria and beyond. Expect live versions of songs from Wizkid, Burna Boy and more as you’ve never heard them before, complete with string, brass, percussion and vocalist sections.

Tipsy Tapas at Canto

Friday 7 – Sunday 9 April
You might have already heard, but Ancoats Mediterranean small plates restaurant Canto offers an excellent alternative to a bottomless brunch. Tipsy Tapas allows you to choose three small plates from the nibbles, meat, fish, veg or dessert menus, alongside 90 minutes of bottomless booze. Usually only available on Saturdays, Canto is extending its run from Friday – Sunday for Easter. After all, it’s what Jesus would have wanted.

Manchester Punk Festival 2023

Friday 7 – Sunday 9 April
From the ale-soaked tabletop of a local pub to the stages of seven respected Manchester-based music venues, Manchester Punk Festival returns to the city for 2023. With over 140 acts, pogoers and head bangers can expect nostalgic sounds from bands including Discharge and Snuff, alongside debut performances from the underground DIY punk rock community. Tickets for the three-day event cost £90, and there’s also a warm-up gig taking place on Thursday 6 April headlined by Incision. Tickets for this are £9.

A party in a converted MOT garage? We’re in. Image: Do As You Please

Do As You Please at Ramona MOT

Saturday 8 April
Following their February party at Ramona’s MOT garage turned club, Do As You Please are back with another line-up of local selectors. Completing the bill across Easter weekend is Craig Harrison, both a Manchester and Ibiza regular, who will take to the decks alongside Joe Roche b2b Sharples, Ng.oma and Shimrise. From 6pm-1am expect music to dance to, drawing on UK club sounds from some of the most influential years.  

Eat Paint at SOUP

Saturday 8 April
A rescheduled one-year birthday party, Eat Paint lands at SOUP for a six hour bank holiday bash. Joined by k means, i-sha, Saltpeter and Airbnd, each DJ specialises in their own blend of funky bass led beats that are housed in yet another underground club night at SOUP

The Soul Club is just one in a number of events at The Refuge. Image: Home Run Soul Club

TranceParty:Metallic at The White Hotel

Saturday 8 April
Emerging from the early days of British dance music, Trance became one of the leading club genres of the late 90s. Still the music of choice for all-night parties, The White Hotel is hosting TranceParty:Metallic from promoters Oscillate Wildly on the Saturday of Easter weekend. Expect sets from Scott Brown, Yung Sherman, Evian Christ and SERETIDE in the hidden corners of this former Salford garage. 

New cocktails and the launch of HOT TAKE at Nell’s Kampus

Saturday 8 April
From 8pm on the Saturday of Easter weekend, Nell’s Kampus is launching its brand-new Saturday night party, HOT TAKE. With Joy Social, Manchester-based disco, house and boogie DJs on the decks, the bar will be giving out free samples of its new cocktail menu including the pink grapefruit Margarita, classic NY Sour and a lemon and basil drop shot. Their brand-new weekend happy hour will be in full swing, too, with cocktails at £6 and shots at £2.50 from 8pm ’til close.

Home Run Soul Club at The Refuge

Saturday 8 April
Taking things back to wax, Home Run Soul Club is a vinyl only club night specialising in Northern, crossover and modern-day soul. Coming to The Refuge’s underground club, The Vault, the Easter special will host rare soul DJs, Alex Johnson and local lad Michael Taylor from Altrincham’s Soul Club.

Nine hours of partying sounds like a pretty good way to spend Easter. Image: traumer

Trevor Nelson’s Easter special soul nation at Band On The Wall

Saturday 8 April
A pioneer of the pirate radio and warehouse parties of the 90s, Trevor Nelson returns to his Band On The Wall home on the Saturday evening of Easter weekend with his sell-out Soul Nation. His old school style of partying evokes a sense of nostalgia to those who joined him back in the day, and a sense of belonging to new bodies on the dance floor. Expect music from the 70s, 80s and 90s spanning soul, funk, R&B and more. 

Disco brunch at Ducie Street Warehouse

Saturday 8 April
Ducie Street is back for Easter with its disco brunch, welcoming glitter clad DJs and performers on Saturday 8 April. For £40 per person, diners can tuck into a classic Ducie Street brunch dish and bottomless drinks whilst listening to Manchester’s renowned Untold Orchestra perform pioneering disco hits with a live string quartet. Brunch classics include Manchester Smokehouse salmon and scrambled eggs, a halloumi and potato cake stack plus pancakes and a classic Knickerbocker glory.

Get-Traum at The Progress Centre

Saturday 8 April
One of Manchester’s newest all-day party destinations, The Progress Centre is welcoming in the spring sunshine with a nine-hour get together at its Ardwick mill home. Complete with an indoor and outdoor courtyard space, The Progress Centre will welcome rising French DJ and minimal house aficionado Traumer. He’ll be joined by Dyed Soundorom b2b Gene on Earth, Truly Madly and Loa Szala.

Bank holiday seems like the perfect opportunity to release a new beer. Image: Crown and Kettle

Vocation brewery collaboration event at Crown and Kettle

Saturday 8 April
Bank holiday weekend isn’t complete without a few pints with your best pals, especially if the sun is out and you’re sat on Crown and Kettle’s terrace. To celebrate the additional days off, the bar is collaborating with Yorkshire brewery Vocation on a brand-new hazy IPA THE TIME IS MEOW and throwing a massive party to celebrate. On Saturday 8, 15 lines of cask, keg, special and limited brews from Vocation will be on offer, with an additional bar outdoors serving seasonal Vocation tipples and Death by Cherries booze slushies.

Lana Del Gay and The Saturdays Disco at The Deaf Institute

Saturday 8 April
Specialising in sad pop anthems and dance music with a healthy dose of cheese, Girls Night Out returns to The Deaf Institute for Easter. Complete with iconic bops from the likes of Charli XCX, Nicki Minaj, Pabllo Vitar, Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift and more, Deaf Institute is opening all three of its floors for endless hours of 90s and noughties classics pulled straight from your Bush CD player.  

The Refuge is the place to be for a family-friendly rave. Image: The Playhouse Project

The Playhouse Project Easter rave at The Refuge

Sunday 9 April
After successful sell-out events with big names including Hacienda royalty Jon DaSilva, The Playhouse Project returns to Manchester for an Easter knees up at The Refuge. Joined by Manchester’s coolest parents, Disco Mums and MC Kwasi there’ll be a soundtrack of disco, house and funk, alongside circus workshops for both parents and kids. Award-winning multi-sensory baby experts, BLOOM will also be on hand to keep your little ones occupied.

A free music festival at The Oast House

Sunday 9 April
Manifest returns to The Oast House this Easter bank holiday weekend, bringing live music and DJs to the city’s popular outdoor terrace. From bands to solo artists, duos and more, performances will kick off at 1pm, with interludes from resident DJs spinning funk, disco, rock, soul and R&B until the early hours. The event is not ticketed and is free to attend on a first come, first served basis. Last year’s event saw queues at the door, so we recommend getting there early to avoid disappointment.

Shindigger takeover at Sandinista

Sunday 9 April
St Ann’s Square’s answer to a ‘hidden gem’, Sandinista is a dive bar complete with a playlist of punk anthems, craft beer and a lovely bit of bar food. This Easter bank holiday, the bar will welcome good pals Shindigger for a tap takeover as part of its annual Brewstock festival. Expect free pints until the first keg runs out, a DJ and Tex-Mex delights from Holy Hola Kitchen. 

An early party for anyone wanting to be in bed by 10pm. Image: Sticky Heat

Tussle & Subterranea Easter all-dayer at Derby Brewery Arms

Sunday 9 April
If, by Sunday, you’re far from done with piling Easter eggs into your mouth, you might want to pay the DBA a visit. Known for its boarded up back room turned hidden club that hosts sold-out parties most weekends, Easter Sunday continues this tradition with a 12-hour event headlined by Annie Errez. The electronic DJ and producer will be joined by Frenchy (BACKTOBASICS), Rory Flynn, Levi Bibby, Phil Warner and Matt Wood.

Supernature on Easter Sunday at Joshua Brooks

Sunday 9 April
A party for the early birds who want to wake up fresh on Easter Monday, Supernature’s Joshua Brooks takeover runs from 3-8pm. Joined by Muddy Feet and Marco Giannini from Sticky Heat, the afternoon soiree will feature the sounds of Studio 54 and beyond as DJs spin disco, house and soul.

Bottomless booze and four hours of board games is an excellent alternative to Easter eggs. Image: GRUB

Kultura Collective takeover at Band On The Wall

Sunday 9 April
Known for their underground parties at the likes of SOUP, The Loft and Hidden, Kultura Collective are quickly becoming a notable name in the city’s club scene. For bank holiday Sunday, the collective heads to Band On The Wall for a free takeover featuring some of its resident DJs spinning eclectic dance floor sounds that regularly float through afrobeat, ampiano, bass, reggaeton and UK funky.  

Easter Sunday bottomless game board brunch at GRUB

Sunday 9 April
Easter Sunday often prompts family get-togethers that result in arguments over board games. If you’re a gamer, but refuse to fall out with your competitive Dad, GRUB and Dungeons and Flagons are hosting a bottomless board game brunch on Easter Sunday with over 200 games available to play. For £22.50 per person, you get four hours of gaming and 90 minutes of bottomless fizz, mimosas, beer, wine and cider, alongside independent street food from the Red Bank traders.  

Bottomless brunch at Hatch

Sunday 9 April
Manchester’s food hall underneath the Mancunian Way, Hatch is launching its first ever bottomless brunch on Easter Sunday. Taking place from 1-4pm diners will be treated to a whole two hours of bottomless cocktails, prosecco, lager and cider, alongside a dish from any of its street food traders boasting flavours from India, Greece, Italy and beyond. Hatch has also launched an Easter themed cocktail made with espresso, Chocolate Baileys and Kahlua, which is then topped with whipped cream, Cadbury’s Mini Eggs, and edible glitter. This is also available as part of the bottomless deal.