Things To Do in Manchester this week: 13th - 19th April 2018

It's been a busy week this one, with plenty of comings and goings, a few tears, some laughs and plenty of sunken pints. We seem to be in a bit of a no man's land between winter and summer at the moment (which many people call Spring) and nobody seems to know what to do or when to do it. It's been quite difficult finding some good things to do this week, but I've scraped the barrel and found a couple of things for you...

By Ben Brown | 13 April 2018

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VICE & Old Blue Last Beer present Canchester
All Week
All those people with beards and small beanie hats that work at VICE in that London and New York have made their own beer and they are launching it in Manchester all next week with a series of events throughout the city. I managed to get my hands on the beer a few weeks back and it’s a pretty odd tipple, but perfectly fine for getting sloshed with. It’s called Old Blue Last Beer, comes in a trendy gold can and there will be thousands of the little buggers flying around the city all next week for free so just head down to one of their events and full your boots. There’s free beers this Saturday with UberEats, there’s VICE screenings at Manchester Academy, a pub quiz at Bunny Jackson’s and even a bit of Open Mic Karaoke at The Whiskey Jar. Get more info here.


Fast & Furious Live @ Manchester Arena
Friday 13th – Saturday 14th April
As if the terrible films weren’t enough, the Fast & Furious bandwagon continues this weekend with a ‘live’ performance at the Manchester Arena. The tagline says ‘Real Action, Real Fast’ which is probably the worst bit of marketing that’s ever come out of a human’s head but I suppose it gives you an idea of what to expect. The action will be ‘real’ insofar that it will exist in front of you in a tangible way. If you wanted to you could actually touch the cars or get run over by one of them or watch one of them explode and feel the heat from the flames. It will also be ‘real fast’ which is an idiot’s way of saying that the drivers of said cars will be driving ‘really fast’. So, you’ll probably get all excited watching wheels screech and bones crunch, all while shoving a hot dog into your pie hole, wearing a giant foam finger and recording a video on your iPhone 5C that you’re never going to watch ever again. I’ll see you there!

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Chorlton and Whalley Range Big Green Happening 2018
Saturday 14th April
Everyone is going green now – even my mum has started to recycle in the hundreds of tins of Spam she goes through every week in her butty shop – and if she can do it, anyone can. This weekend sees the people of Chorlton, and the less affluent people of Whalley Range get together to host the Big Green Happening 2018 which is a series of stalls, markets, events, music and workshops which all revolve around the green theme. Most of the action will be at the Carlton Club in Whalley Range where there’s a bit of a village fete going on, as well as shops, street food and swap shops. Throughout the day will be live music, including a brilliant Northern Soul Dance Class and into the evening there will be some DJs getting on some decks and banging out tunes until 1am. I’ll see you there!


Manchester Antique & Vintage Textile Fair 2018
Saturday 14th April
If the sight of people dressed up like they are in an episode of Goodnight Sweetheart makes you giggle with joy then you’re in luck – this vintage fete is headed to the Armitage Centre and there will be loads of all that. There’ll be stalls stocking the latest in 30’s fashions including stiff, itchy dresses, tight girdles, misshapen tweed fedoras and all manner of bits in between. Personally, I’ve always wanted to wear some of those men’s sock suspenders that were so popular amongst human men in cartoons in the 40’s and this would be the place to find them. There’s also a range of antique textiles on sale, talks, workshops, cakes and perhaps even the odd air raid siren knocking about throughout the day. I’ll see you there!

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The Grand National
Saturday 14th April
This Saturday sees 20 little blokes ride horses towards big bloody fences for the viewing pleasure of the Queen and millions of her loyal subjects. Of course, there is always an on-going controversy surrounding the Grand National because ultimately loads of the horses die and that’s totally not fair. I’m not here to talk deep, serious issues though – you can always just head to the comments section of the Guardian for that. Instead I’ll just tell you about The Range showing the National on their HUGE 160-inch screens, which you can book below, and let you make your own mind up.

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The Psychedelic Funhouse
Saturday 14th April
If your idea of a good time is watching a midget prance around naked while riding a dragon that breathes rainbows – then this is the event for you. The Psychedelic Funhouse is coming to town and they will be bringing a goody bag full of odd shit that will make you think you’ve been drinking Febreze again. There’s not many tickets left so you’ll have to be quick but they promise a trip on “a kaleidoscopic adventure, via altered realities, surreal experiences and other worlds with mind bending entities.” Just look at the pictures – it looks fucking mental. I’ll see you there!

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ScienceX @ The Trafford Centre
Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th April
Instead of spending 300 quid on a pair of shoes and a crappy dress that you’re only going to get kebab sauce on, use your time wisely at The Trafford Centre this weekend and poke your nose into their annual SpaceX festival thingy. It’s a free science and engineering event with loads of interactive activities for people of all ages – which usually means it’s mostly for kids. But there’s stuff for adults too including robots, virtual reality and even the chance to mix some chemicals in an attempt to make some sort of slime. Dave Benson Phillips won’t be there though so you might have to just dump it on a sales assistant in Woolworths instead. I’ll see you there!


Northern Business Expo
Wednesday 18th – Thursday 19th April
Okay so this is a lot different than the usual snippets of wrestling, eating, drinking and watching Predator in the cinema that usually features in these round ups but this Expo actually looks like fun – regardless of the fact that there will probably be too many suits and filofaxes hanging around. Looking to be providing everything from the business world, if you’re looking for one of those little desktop toys or aiming to exploit some workers in a 3rd world country – you are in the right place. The best thing they have though is a Dragon’s Den type thing where you can go and pitch your business idea to some people with the chance to win 5 grand – no strings attached. A solar powered cigarette lighter? Here I come!


Manchester Punk Festival
Starts Thursday 19th April
Like a lovely bit of Ronseal, this does exactly what it says on the tin. Well – the poster. They promise to have over 90 bands from all around the world playing across 3 days, all featuring copious amounts of leather, safety pins, tartan and mohawks. I once heard a story about punks and how they do their hair which I don’t know whether is true or not. Perhaps someone can email in and help? Basically, when doing their hair in mental ways they rub soap bubbles into it when it’s dry, style it into whatever obscure shape they want and then put their head in the oven for a bit until it sets. There was one woman once who put her head in the oven for too long that she cooked her brain from the inside like a lasagne. So be careful out there. If you’re a punk or was a punk or like punks – this is for you. Simples.