Endless Summer at Aviva Studios

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Mark Waugh

Endless Summer at Aviva Studios, Manchester 25 July — 31 August 2023 Entrance is free — Visit now

Manchester International Festival may be over, but the good times are still rolling at Aviva Studios, which is hosting a bumper series of live music, creative workshops and family activities throughout August.

There’s a lot of fun to be had at Manchester’s major new venue, whose riverside outdoor space (where you’d find Festival Square a few weeks ago) is back open throughout the day, ready for supping an afternoon pint. Inside, at the new café and bar The Social, you can grab a Middle Eastern inspired bite courtesy of Super Serve, a collab between the food operators behind YES in Manchester and Ox Club in Leeds.

Come evening, The Social will come to life with local bands, DJs and performers every Thursday to Sunday in August. Each week’s line-up is being announced on the Monday, with previous acts including the Hacienda’s own DJ Paulette, vocalist and harpist Ada Francis, and local party starters $EAMU$ & Friends. Take a look at Aviva Studio’s website (via the button below) for the full line-up, or just drop in and lucky dip it. No ticket required.

For something more interactive, there are creative workshops for both young people and families. Many of these take inspiration from Yayoi Kusama’s playful and psychedelic exhibition You, Me and the Balloons, which is still in full swing at Aviva Studios. Young people (anyone from 19-30) can upcycle a bucket hat, learn how to street dance or get lost in psychedelic drawing, all while mixing with fellow young creatives. Drop by from 4pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday to get involved – you can either lucky dip it, or check out the workshop schedule via the venue’s website.

From infinity rooms to polka dots and giant pumpkins, Kusama’s immersive universe is a big hit with families, and so Endless Summer’s family workshops take her art as stimulation for kids’ imagination and creativity, encouraging play and collaboration while linking back to their own learning in school and at home. Think daft dance, creative writing and craft making, taking place from 11am, Tuesdays to Fridays, all free.

While you’re there for all these Kusama-related activities, it’d be rude not to visit the exhibition itself, which is running through to 28 August. And to give you even more opportunity to see You, Me and the Balloons, the venue has just opened up evening slots on Fridays and Saturdays, when it’ll now run until 10.30pm, with last entry at 9.45pm.

Totally accessible and with a little something for everyone, Endless Summer joins You, Me and the Balloons as a great way to segue out of Manchester International Festival and into a bold opening chapter for Aviva Studios.

Endless Summer at Aviva Studios, Manchester 25 July — 31 August 2023 Entrance is free Visit now

What's on at Aviva Studios

Where to go near Endless Summer at Aviva Studios

Event venue
Old Granada Studios

Manchester’s old Granada Studios is an iconic piece of the city’s history and home to Sidney Bernstein’s television empire.

The Loft Manchester

Smart event space in the building previously occupied by Walkabout, and now host to all manner of exciting one-off happenings

Manchester Opera House by Phil Tragen
City Centre
Manchester Opera House

A commercial touring theatre, the Manchester Opera House is reopening in August 2021, all set to host the city’s finest mainstream theatrical productions, music gigs, opera and ballet.

City Centre
Music venue
Low Four Studio

Old Granada Studios has announced Low Four: a new studio and music project that will stream and archive live music performance as part of a new generation of music TV programming. The inclusion of a viewing balcony also means that these recordings, along with special events and concerts, will be made open to a few […]

20 Stories

High-end restaurant and cocktail bar, with stunning views of the Manchester skyline.

Smolensky Gallery

This appointment-only gallery is a hidden gem in Manchester. Art lovers and collectors can browse many high quality pieces.

Moxy Manchester City

Moxy Manchester City is a stylish 146-bedroom hotel in Spinningfields, with an attractive living room lobby and modern, well-stocked bar.

What's on: Families

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

Enjoy fun and creative activities designed to encourage your little ones to play freely in the fresh air, while exploring nature and the outdoors with family and friends.

free entry

Culture Guides