Sounds From the Other City, May Day & The Best Things to do in Manchester this Week

Also including Hedwig and the Angry Inch at HOME, free coffee at Hampton and Vouis and creative networking at The Lowry.

By Emma Davidson | 25 April 2022

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Monday 25th April – Sunday 1st May

This week is a mega one for Manchester folk. As we slowly trudge our way through the mundane Monday to Friday, we’ll soon be met with another long weekend to celebrate the start of May this Sunday.

If, like me, you’re wondering where the beginning of this year has gone, there’s plenty to distract you from the discourse of life that’s very quickly flashing before our eyes.

This week sees some great film and onstage debuts hit the city, including Edinburgh Fringe’s If This is Normal at 53two, AND it’s Sounds From the Other City this weekend, too! Arguably one of Manchester’s very best festivals, the day will champion local talent alongside some huge acts, mint food and glorious DJs spinning tunes all day long in the sunshine.

Art & Culture

Image: @len_grant

Tomorrow, HOME is hosting an exclusive screening of What Stops Us From Being Well? a short film by Benji Mitchell and José Sherwood that explores a multitude of circumstances that get in our way and stop us from enjoying life to the full. Alongside the film there’ll also be reflection, spoken word, a game show, fun, art and absurdity – so dress up or down for an event that was made to make light out of the darkness!

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After being postponed last week, Caroline Dowsett’s brand-new MOTHER exhibition debuts at Le Social this Saturday! If you can’t wait that long, though, on Thursday you can join Caroline and Ben Vulliamy for an evening of wine, food and art.

The event will offer guests the opportunity to get to know the artists and understand their work, while tasting some beautiful wines. Tickets are £35, inclusive of the wine tasting experience and snacks.

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The Lowry is currently showcasing Julian Gray’s Stories For Us exhibition which is centred on work by the Manchester based illustrator. As a queer, trans, disabled and mixed race artist, Julian champions authentic representations of marginalised populations in comics and graphic novels.

This Thursday, from 6pm – 7.30pm, there is a Creatives Matchmaking event taking place alongside the exhibition for writers and illustrators to meet and begin collaborating. If you’ve got an idea in the pipeline and are in desperate need of an illustrator, or vice versa, this is a great networking opportunity to meet some of the city’s best creatives.

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Believe it or not, we’re being gifted with ANOTHER long weekend this week! May Day Bank Holiday is almost in full swing, and the weather’s not looking too shabby either. It might finally be time to change over to the summer wardrobe and cement yourself in your favourite beer garden again. What else was the bank holiday weekend made for?

Starting this Wednesday, Hedwig & The Angry Inch comes to HOME! Starring drag race legend, Divina De Campo the musical is an onstage adaptation of the 2001 film exploring the story of gender-queer Punk Rock singer, Hedwig from East Berlin as they travel the US touring with their band. The film became a cult classic after exploring the realms of an unlikely love story rooted in gender, politics and self-acceptance, and you can catch the performance at HOME until Wednesday 11th May.

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Another onstage adaptation happening this week is the live performance of Jessie and Lennie Ware’s Table Manners podcast. The show that’s accompanied many ears on the morning commute to work will come to life onstage at The Bridgewater Hall. Now one of the biggest, award-winning podcasts available you can expect all the usual gags, alongside a very special guest and plenty of food to get you conversing.

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Finally, If This is Normal begins at 53two this week. Starting tomorrow, the play addresses the process of developing into an adult in an extremely oversaturated world. Written by Lucy Danser, the story follows the journey of siblings Madani, Maryam and their school friend, Alex as they navigate their way through growing up in Kilburn, North-West London. It’s currently on its UK tour, already stopping off at Bristol, Guildford and Oxford, and will be in Manchester from the 26th – 30th April.

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An exciting return for 2022, The Lounge Allstars is at The Lowry this Saturday for an evening of comedy with an all-star line up. Featuring star of Black, British and Funny (Channel 4), Slim, along with Kamilah 5 Star, David ‘Sideman’ Whitley, Aurie Style and Eshaan Akbar, the evening has been described as “one of the best nights out and favourite places to perform” by no other than Mo Gillighan. The platform is all about shining a light on the city’s best comedic local talent, and will sure have you laughing from beginning to end!

Book Tickets


Food & Drink

This Wednesday, if you pop into Hampton and Vouis and wish them a ‘happy birthday!’, you’ll get your coffee absolutely free. The cafe on Princess Street is celebrating four whole years of operation and the offer is only available for the first 40 people through the door.

Starting from today, Smithfield Social in Northern Quarter is offering all of our wonderful readers 50% OFF their entire evening menu for 2 weeks, if you book in advance and quote ‘Manchester’s Finest’ in the comments. They do a banging Fish and Chips, which you can grab for just £7, as well as a Korean Fried Chicken burger (£6 with the discount) and the Chicken Milanese, just £7.75 when using the Manchester’s Finest code. You’re welcome!

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This Sunday the Spring Food & Drink Fair at Platt Fields Park will bring together some very talented hospitality friends to the idyllic location of Platt Field Market Garden to spend a day celebrating spring produce, and the joy of excellent food and drink. Some of the vendors include Gathering Dusk, Gingers Comfort Emporium and Wildfire, and they’ll be joined by workshops, tastings, activities for kids and DJs from 11am – 8pm.


Music & Clubs

Salford’s infamous Sounds From the Other City festival will take place this weekend! The 2022 event is set to recapture the true, sweat drenched, hands-on DIY SFTOC spirit, and will take place throughout the festival’s spiritual home of Chapel Street, as the community festival of new music, performance and art returns to the pubs, churches and corners of Salford. Included in the list of incredible artists performing this weekend is Jazztronica, LayFullstop, LYR (Land Yacht Regatta), Glue 70 and Pip Blom.

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Kurupt FM’s very own Decoy will take to the decks at the Old Abbey Taphouse this weekend, too. The all-day party is hosted by AK Gramm and will see Danny Rankin (Decoy) joined by Meme Gold, Litek, G33, Sophia Violet and Burgaboy.

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In celebration of Luke Unabomber’s brand-new compilation album, E Soul Cultura, Escape to Freight Island is hosting an insane line-up of DJs on Sunday! Get ready to escape to Better Days, the new Sunday destination featuring an alfresco BBQ, family disco, pop-up shop and the finest music selectors.

Luke Una will be joined by Gerd Janson, Maurice Fulton, Alexander Nutt, Lil Minx, Aficionado, and Disco Mums in Electric High Chair to spin some of the finest Brazilian, outsider pop, cosmic, street soul, boogie, spiritual jazz, disco, deep velvet US garage, house and sunshine music.

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Another one to make note of for this Sunday is May Day at Pen and Pencil. From 7pm – 1am, the Northern Quarter restaurant will have sets from Will Tramp and Veba, alongside all of its finest food, beers and cocktails. Expect big, disco, house and boogie vibes to soundtrack your weekend!

Finally, tickets for the biggest 90s pop concert go on sale this Friday! Taking place at the AO Arena on Saturday 29th October 2022, legendary bands and artists including AQUA, B*Witched, FIVE, Gareth Gates and Liberty X will play a mammoth throwback gig for the 90s babies of Manchester. You can sign up for priority access to tickets via the link below.

Priority Access