The One Big Summer Weekend brings Picnics, Jazz and Clowns to the City Centre

At the end of the month, from Friday 28 July to Sunday 30 July to be exact, you’re going to notice loads of tents, stalls and general activity in and around St Ann’s Square and Exchange Square.

Walking past you’ll be like “What’s going on here then?” and “Oh that looks fun. Why didn’t I know about that sooner?” and “Who am I even talking to? I’m so lonely.” Well, Manchester’s Finest is here to help as usual – here’s what’s happening…

Friday 28th July will see The Manchester Picnic, Manchester Jazz Festival and the city’s first Clownfest take over Exchange Square and St Anne’s Sq. to provide a weekend of family fun filled with food, music, entertainment and shopping.

The Manchester Picnic, returning for its seventh year, will be serving a selection of the city’s finest street food alongside tastings and demos from 10am-6pm each day in St Ann’s Square. You will get the chance to kick back and relax in a deckchair and soak up music from the main stage of Manchester Jazz Festival which will conveniently be held there too.

This year’s street food will include some classic wood-fired pizza from I Knead Pizza, fusion tacos boasting world flavours including Chinese, Indian and Jamaican, alongside the classic Mexican at No Tacos as well as some cracking Spanish tapas and drinks from Lunya.

Grab something sweet from The Waffle Shack or the purveyor of Manchester’s tastiest gourmet ice cream Ginger’s Comfort Emporium. You’ll be pleased to know that there will also be a bar serving a selection of local beers, gin and prosecco as well as coffee from Rapha.

Providing the music, Manchester Jazz Festival will be taking over the Music Stage with the likes of Mighty Stranger Trio, Mali Hayes, Lucy Mae and Umbrellabird all performing over the weekend.

To top the entertainment off Z-Arts – fresh from their success at Manchester International Festival – will be bringing their Welcoming Party children’s show to the Picnic – turning it into a multi-cultural modern British fete.

Families will be greeted by quirky W.I. characters who will welcome everyone to the square for a fun afternoon of flower arranging and flag waving. There’s also a treasure trail and crafts, all for free. Just bring your picnic basket.

Over at Exchange Square you will find Clownfest Manchester. Fresh from London and with many acts en route to the Edinburgh Festival, this festival will see some of the UK’s top clown influenced performers spread mirth and laughter across the city. Taking place in a unique Omnitorium – a 100 seat vaudevillian tent, there will be performances for all – including family shows, activities and walkabout street theatre and shows for adult audiences in the evening.

For more information on The Manchester Picnic head to:
For a full listing of Clownfest activities – check out their site:



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