Manchester International Festival kicks in this week so there are loads of weird and wonderful events happening around the city. I’ve not listed them here though because there’s also a shed load of other things going on.
I’ve chosen things that are inside too because this weather is just starting to do my head in now. The last great Summer we had was all the way back in the hazy days of 2006 – I think we’re well overdue a hot spell. Anyway – here’s the list…
Central Manchester CAMRA Beer Festival
Friday & Saturday
You can’t beat a good old Beer Festival. Not only is there an abundance of beards and North Face jackets but there is also loads of beer and loads of cider and usually some good food and some music on top. Taking place at 53Two, the new theatre slash arts venue near the Bridgewater Hall, you can expect Mancunian beers from the likes of Beer Nouveau, Blackjack, Cloudwater, Runaway and Marble as well as nationwide breweries and ciders. Friday’s entrance is £3 while Saturday is going to cost you a whopping £4. If you are a member of CAMRA though you can get a 2 quid discount on these prices. Congratulations.
53two, Lawrence House, 8 Albion St, Manchester M1 5NZ
Doggy Social @ Oddest
Saturday 1st July, 12pm
There’s been a lot of dogs flying round this column recently – last week it was a dog bar crawl and this week is a Doggy Social over at Oddest in lovely Chorlton. It sounds pretty much like doggy heaven down there this Saturday with Dog Fancy Dress, Dog Beer and a Dog BBQ which I can only assume is a barbeque FOR dogs, not a BBQ with dogs. That would be seriously frowned upon – even in Whalley Range. There’s also a proper BBQ for homo sapiens, as well as proper beers and proper live music featuring Leonard Hammersley & Shane Robertson. It all sounds like it would be something Scooby Doo would be well into, or Snoopy, or Wishbone, or Lassie. But not Clifford. Clifford is too big. He’s not invited.
Oddest Bar, 414-416 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0SD
0161 860 7515
Colour Run @ Etihad Stadium
Saturday 1st July, 11am
What’s better than having to run 5 kilometres? Answer: Anything. Running is one of the most boring things you can do – because not only is it monotonous but it also starts to hurt after a while. You also get sweaty and look horrible and start to wheeze and cough up some weird black stuff – although I don’t think that happens to everyone. If you enjoy running though, or find it barely tolerable, then you should head on down to the Etihad stadium on Saturday where you can run around while throwing colours at everyone else. Basically it’s just an excuse for people to get pictures for their Instagram or walk around town in the afternoon with a slightly smug demeanour. If you fancy doing that or need more likes – cruise on down.
Etihad Stadium, Ashton New Rd, Manchester M11 3FF
Mr. Scruff 18th Birthday
Saturday 1st July, 9pm
Mr Scruff turns 18 this weekend and to celebrate he is having a big bash and is inviting his friends from school – including a little lad called Jamie 3:26. Jamie is called Jamie 3:26 because it was at that time when he was in Year 7 that he got into a fight with Martin Halsall round the back of the tennis courts and became the cock of the school. That’s also why he’s been invited, Mr Scruff is a little bit scared of him and so lets him play some of his jazz, soul, funk, reggae and afrobeat tunes. Although he’s now technically an adult, Mr Scruff is pulling out all the stops for his 18th birthday including pass the parcel, ten-pin bowling, a FIFA competition and some of those little triangle sandwiches on a plate served with Beef Space Raiders.
Wimbledon @ The Pen and Pencil
From Monday 3rd July
Wimbledon kicks off next week and so everyone who works at the BBC will get all excited, start wearing white and descend upon SW17 proclaiming Andy Murray to be the new Messiah. Not only will Cliff Richard come out of the woodwork in a vain effort to have a sing-song and sell some more albums, but The Pen and Pencil are getting involved by screening all of the footage on their big screens, while trying to ram cocktail specials, Pimms and strawberries & cream into your face. To be perfectly honest, I do actually enjoy a bit of tennis – it’s one of the only sports I can watch without getting bored in minutes so this might be decent.
The Pen And Pencil, Fourways House, 57 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EJ
0161 660 3303
BFI Film Festival at SPARK
Tuesday 4th July, 6.30pm
Part of the line-up of Spark, Manchester’s Trans Art Festival, the BFI Film Festival is a collection of handpicked trans and non-binary films screened in the North for the first time. Attempting to tell positive and empowering stories around family, transitioning, and gender expression, there’s a total of 7 movies showing complete with Eli, one of the subjects of one of the films at the end. For more information on what the line-up of films is, and to buy tickets (only £6), head on over to
Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH
Ricky Gervais Humanity
Tuesday 4th July, 7.30pm
Love him or hate him there’s no denying that Ricky Gervais is definitely coming to Manchester on Tuesday to stand on stage, probably in a black v-neck t-shirt and tell jokes. Some of the jokes may be funny, some of them may be rubbish – I don’t know – I’ve not seen his new show – Humanity – and it’s unlikely that I will get the chance to. Not because I don’t like him. I think The Office is one of the best things to ever grace British television, but because I don’t want to spend money on a ticket. I’ll just borrow the DVD off Ian Baylis when it comes out and never give it him back. If you want to spend the money, and watch the ‘chubby funster’ tell some gags – there’s surprisingly still some tickets left. You can buy them here: