So here we are – the last Bank Holiday for absolutely ages! In fact, for all you calendar watchers the next one is at the end of August, which is probably the best of the year because you have Pride. This one though is pretty bloody good – as usual the establishments of Manchester have come up trumps with some corking events for your pleasure. Check it…
Electric Weekender @ Refuge
I’ve already written plenty about the fantastic Electric Weekender at the lovely Refuge over this Bank Holiday weekend – in fact there is a complete list of the events right here. It’s 3 days & 3 nights of courtyard parties, basement gatherings, pop up food, bars & much more. It looks proper brilliant this – anyone who’s into a bit of Ibiza action or enjoys having a good time should cruise on round. You’ll likely see the Manchester’s Finest boys there, if you see us come on over. I’ll have a lager. Gal will have a lager. Ste will have a lager sometimes tap water.
The Refuge by Volta, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
0161 233 5151
They’ve had a shed load of events going on at Cottonopolis these last few weeks, and the Bank Holiday is no exception. They are starting off on the Thursday with a Native Youth sample sale – where you can buy some clothes and that – as well as have some treats from NQ cream-smearers Black Milk. Friday they will be hosting the official Dot To Dot Festival after party with a PINS & Revolver DJ set, while Saturday sees DJ Jamie Bull & Ifran Rainy banging out some disco, boogie, latin, soul and afrobeat til late. The weekend’s events culminate on Sunday with an all-day takeover by Manchester outfit Ghetto Child who will be blasting out an eclectic mix of tunes from noon ‘til rather late in the evening. Most of this is free too.
Cottonopolis, 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE
0161 236 5144
Trof NQ 10th Birthday
For their 10th birthday, NQ Trof have decided to run a weekend full of events – which can all be read about here in this dedicated piece I popped up. Highlight of the weekend must surely be La Petit Discotheque, with those legendary Discotheque peeps heading down from Albert Hall to take over and show the NQ how to have a bloody good boogie.
Trof, 8 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1EU
0161 833 3197
Bury Arcade Club
Get on the Metrolink and take your boyfriend to Bury over the Bank Holiday weekend and show him a bloody good time at the Bury Arcade Club. Here they have bloody loads of old school arcade machines which are free to play once you pay a tenner to get in. There’s way too many of them to start listing them here but if you can think of it – they’ll probably have it. The only one they don’t have is Aliens vs. Predator from 1994 which reminds me of a holiday I had as a kid to Pontins in Prestatyn with all of the Brown crew. I spent a full weekend shoving 10p’s into that machine and still couldn’t get past the 3rd level. Ah memories.
Arcade Club, Cork St, Bury BL9 7BW
0161 464 9796
Dot to Dot 2017
Friday 26th May
Spread out over about a million venues in the city, and shared between Bristol and Nottingham, Dot To Dot Festival is pretty much established now as one of the best places to unearth new talented acts, alongside slightly more established ones from all over the world. They are proud to explain that they helped put top acts such as The xx, Mumford & Sons and Jake Bugg on the map. Yeah – that’s nothing to be proud of boys! But if you’re looking for some live music, the festival will hit our streets on Friday, and you can expect the likes of Sundara Karma, Amber Run and The Growlers to be on. As I said, there’s gigs being held all over the city so check out their website for detailed information and set lists.
The Lowry May Gala Dinner
Friday 26th May
If you’re not particularly interested in getting drunk, eating street food and dancing until you get a stitch – worry not – there is still plenty to do this Bank Holiday. One such thing is a stunning May Gala Dinner at the 5 star Lowry Hotel – basically a night where you get to feel like Leo de Caprio in that scene in Titanic when he goes into 1st class (but without the bourgeois belittling). The event is limited to 22 people and is a night of luxurious food elegantly paired with some truly sumptuous wines. It’s £125 per person and you can buy tickets by emailing email@example.com.
The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf, Manchester. M3 5LH
+44 161 827 4000
Pop Bubble Rock! vs. Crash The Wedding
Friday 26th May
If you’ve been to Pop Bubble Rock before then there’s no point in reading this rubbish. You’re probably already going to their Friday party at Joshua Brooks which is a special PBR vs. Crash the Wedding one. If you’ve never been you can expect loads of bunting, balloons, confetti, pop-punk, free pizza, hip-hop, motown, power ballads, funk and plenty of cheap drinks. It’s always a guaranteed good night – so cruise on down and get involved. Tickets are £4 and can be bought here.
Joshua Brooks, 106 Princess St, Manchester M1 6NG
0161 273 7336
Bottomless Booze N Bowl @ All Star Lanes
Saturday 27th – Monday 29th May
This bad boy is on here because I think it’s a pretty good deal. Sure, there are bottomless booze & brunch places popping up left, right and centre nowadays but this one includes bowling! So for £35 you get unlimited Prosecco, wine or beer, American nibbles and as much bowling as you can do within the 2 hour time limit. When I go bowling I only get better and better as I drink more booze – so I’ll probably be bowling a perfect 300 by the end of it.
All Star Lanes, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
0161 871 3600
Take That Afterparty at Gorilla
Saturday 27th May
I must admit that I used to enjoy a bit of Take That. Not only are they local lads, but their 90’s tunes are pretty mint – especially when you’re at a wedding and you’re smashed off your face. That song they did for the movie Stardust is proper good too – and Mark Owen used to live on Copperstall Road in Oldham so he can’t be too bad. The only problem is that they decided that they didn’t want to pay their taxes. Which seemingly made Jason Orange leave. Which annoyed me. Oh, and I hate Gary Barlow more than I hate anyone ever, living or dead. If you disagree and still like them, Gorilla are holding the Official After Party for the lads as a little cherry on top of their Manchester live dates. Most importantly – Howard Donald is DJing.
Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW
0161 826 2998
Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club ft. The Exacters
Saturday 27th May
I once met Craig Charles in the Green Room of Coronation Street and he proceeded to try and wind me up – playing a gag on me while Deidre stood outside giggling her glasses off. In all fairness, I think he’s a top geezer, and his Funk & Soul Club at Band on the Wall has rightly attained the status of being one of the best nights in the city. This Bank Holiday sees Craigy Boy hitting the decks as usual – scratching and spinning plenty of funk and soul – as the name of the evening would suggest. Special to this particular performance, he will be joined by special guests – The Exacters – who are a Manchester band who specialise in heavy funk and soul aswell.
Band on the Wall, 25 Swan St, The Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 5JZ
0161 834 1786
Street Eat @ Rochdale Town Hall Square
Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th May
If you live in or near Rochdale – perhaps you are from Milnrow or Balderstone or Skye – and you can’t be bothered to get on the Metrolink this Bank Holiday then no need to worry – those gold necklace wearing councillors have sorted it all out for you with Street Eat on the 27th & 28th May. Cruise on down to the lovely Town Hall and you can sample loads of street food as well as drink loads and dance loads to their live entertainment. If you’re burdened with a couple of manky little sprogs – not to worry – there’s rides and activities for kids as well which will hopefully keep them occupied long enough for you to down a few Jagerbombs. Admission is free.
Great CityGames & Great Manchester Run
Friday 26th & Sunday 28th May
As well as all the boozing and eating that I’ve listed here – a certain percentage of people in Manchester will go the complete opposite way this Bank Holiday and become fitness gurus in the run up to the Great Manchester Run. Held on the Sunday, once again it promises to be a massive event – with over 30,000 people putting on a vest and running 10k to prove that they go to the gym. On top of this there is the Great CityGames on Friday where they get some burly blokes to erect a big long running track down Deansgate where people with 6 packs then run down it really, really fast. Some of them might be famous, I don’t know – I don’t really follow sports because I’m usually too busy watching Star Wars in bed with a big packet of Twiglets and some full fat Coke.
Solis @ Old Granada Studios
Sunday 28th May
The weather forecast, although about as reliable as a lottery prediction from Russell Grant, tells us that it’s going to be proper sunny next weekend – which should be great news for anyone looking to head to legendary street party Solis at Granada Studios on Sunday. There’s set to be a large outdoor area, coupled with a considerable indoor beer hall in which you can enjoy plenty of street food, loads of DJs, live music and a fuck load of bevvies – including the standard craft ales, cocktails and fizz. There will also apparently be designated Gin and Prosecco bars, so if you’re from Cheshire, or have mental thick painted on eyebrows – you’ll be covered. Tickets are selling out proper fast so head here to buy them.
Atherton St, Manchester M3 3GS