Things to do in Manchester this week: 15th – 21st September 2017

This week sees the students arrive back in town and with it being Fresher’s Week you can expect 3 things:

By Ben Brown | Last updated 15 September 2017

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1) Fresher’s Flu everywhere, 2) The journey time from Didsbury to town on the 142 to take 10x longer and 3) Loads of bars and clubs starting new ‘nights’ to try to entice students to spend mum & dad’s hard-earned bunce. You will also be pleased to know that there’s a load of other things happening elsewhere in the city over the next 7 days – so here you go…

Coors Light Ice Cave
Starts Friday 15th September
Even if you’re not as mainstream as myself when it comes to beers, you should still be able to appreciate a bloody Ice Cave in Albert Square this week. Even though they may not be serving a bunch of new IPA’s, brewed by a man and his 3-legged dog in a garage in Marple, with a trendy can designed by a bearded, beanie wearing lad in his Scandinavian office in the NQ – Coors Light is decent enough to warrant a visit. There’s still chance to cruise on down during the week – you’ll get given a 30 minute window in which to put on a parka, stand around in a freezer and drink Coors and Coors related cocktails.


Head For The Hills Festival, Ramsbottom
Friday 15th – Sunday 17th September
It looks to me like Head for the Hills will be the final swan-song of 2017’s festival season and so why not see it out in style by heading on over to lovely Ramsbottom. There’s still a few tickets flapping about, and with 3 days of decent acts – there’s worse things you can do this weekend. Headlining are Maximo Park on Friday, Beth Orton on Saturday and The Stranglers on Sunday – but there’s a shit-load more acts on and things happening that I just cannot be bothered listing here. Head for the website and it will explain all, and if you’re looking for tickets you can buy them there too. Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing!?

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The Lords House @ The Whiskey Jar
Friday 15th September, from 10pm
There’s always a ton of events happening over at Whiskey Jar – in fact I’m surprised they even have enough time to order any more whiskey for behind the bar to add to their already massive list of about 3 million. As well as their brilliant Open Mic night on Tuesdays, and loads of taster sessions, they’ve also got The Lords House this Friday – with what they call “vocal uplifting house music”. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but Gaz Lord is a good lad, and Kris King spells his name with a ‘K’ so he’s probably really, really cool. Head on down if that’s your vibe.

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Oktoberfestival @ Albert Hall
Friday 15th – Sunday 17th September
There’s not much I can write here that isn’t already conveyed in the title. There’s an Oktoberfest thing at Albert Hall this weekend. That’s it. You know what to expect. If you get there on Friday and find people wearing grass skirts and dancing the hula then I sincerely apologise. That’s not going to happen though is it?! It is bloody big beers, long juicy sausages and them lederhosen all over the place. It’ll be mint.

Albert Hall, 27 Peter St, City Centre, Manchester M2 5QR
0844 858 8521


Pizza and Prosecco Festival
Saturday 16th September
I think it’s safe to say that these things can usually be a bit hit and miss. If you can remember the Sausage & Cider one last year you will know what I mean. In fact, if you were at that one, you’re probably still queuing up for a drink – it was ridiculous. Actually – the same could be said for a few events I’ve been to this summer, but obviously not to that extent. Watching Jazzy Jeff & Will Smith in Blackpool, there was only 1 tiny bar and around an hour wait for getting served – surely these people know that we are in England and everyone wants to get tanked up? I can’t guarantee there won’t be similar problems at this Festival because I’ve not organised it – but there will be Pizza and Prosecco in abundance so it may be worth the risk.

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Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Longbridge Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 1SN
0161 876 0007


Manchester Vegan Beer Festival
Saturday 16th September
The 2nd Manchester Vegan Beer Festival is back this weekend and it looks like the perfect place for some proper tasty vegan beers, vegan street food and everything else you can think of that can be vegan. Which I’m not. But probably should be. As most people probably should be. But it’s too hard and I have no willpower. And I’m a quitter. And I probably could never give up Strongbow. Or cheese. Sorry. Please don’t hate me – I did try it once but it was a disaster – not only for me but for everyone who interacted with me during that period. Have a nice Beer Festival though – it looks top.

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Islington Mill, 1 James St, Salford M3 5HW
0161 278 6404


Make-A-Scene: Clueless @ Texture
Saturday 16th September, 3.30pm
There’s still tickets available for Make a Scene’s latest event which has surprised me because these things usually always sell out within about an hour. I believe they may have been extra kind to the slow coaches and added a few more dates and times though which is very nice of them. This time they will be getting a little too interactive with Clueless – the modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Henry V, featuring Alicia Silverstone as the Benvolio character and Brittany Murphy as Spock. It’s been around 15 years since I watched it but I’m pretty sure that’s right. Expect immersive sets, actors, and even a 90s disco – oh and there is a clothes swap thing which is a genius idea for this film. Saturday at 15.30 is what’s left.

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Texture, 67 Lever St, Manchester M1 1FL


The British Street Food Awards 2017 Final @ GRUB
Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th September
GRUB has been hosting an eclectic range of street food vendors over the last few months and even though it’s based in what can only be described as a clapped out, old pile of bricks and weeds, they’ve actually managed to create a decent space that’s perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon eating, drinking and chatting shit. This weekend sees The British Street Food Awards arrive, with finalists competing to be crowned the best in the country with a chance to then compete in Berlin. I suspect it will be very competitive, and at some point there will be tears – head on down to sneer and laugh while stuffing your face.

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Futureshock Wrestling @ 53Two
Sunday 17th September, 5.30pm
It’s starting to become a bit of a tradition for me to put wrestling in this round-up anytime it’s in town – and it’s based solely on the fact that no matter how overweight the wrestlers are, how terrible their choreography is and how fake it looks – it always manages to make me piss myself when I watch it. Especially after a few bevvies. I’m sure none of those problems will plague this performance at 53Two on Sunday though – you should expect rippling biceps, tighter than tight budgie smugglers and a few kicks to the gonads. Great fun for all the family I’m sure you will agree.

53two, Lawrence House, 8 Albion St, Manchester M1 5LN


Aladdin @ The Lowry
Wednesday 20th – Saturday 23rd September
Probably one of the best Disney films out there, I think Aladdin is only pipped to the post by Beauty and The Beast based solely on the performance of the old geezer who played Belle’s dad and the Sultan. His performance in Aladdin was a bit erratic – I had difficulty believing him as a rich Sultan, whereas when he was playing an eccentric inventor in Beauty and the Beast – he was exceptional. Definitely nothing like the Disney version, David Bintley’s Aladdin comes to The Lowry this week, performed by the Birmingham Royal Ballet lot. Expect plenty of smoke, prancing about and some fantastic music.

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The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ
0843 208 6000


Rob Brydon @ The Palace Theatre
Thursday 21st September
I’ve been watching The Trip again this week and it really is a brilliant bit of telly – made all the better with the chemistry between Coogan and Brydon. I remember as a lad at college, watching Marion and Geoff on telly and being blown away by it – it’s just a bit of a shame that Brydon is now remembered more for Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, Gavin & Stacy and a Little Man in a Box than he is for it. This week he’s at the Palace Theatre with his stand-up for two nights and there’s still a few tickets knocking about if you fancy it.

Get Tickets

Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6FT
0844 871 3019