We Invented The Weekend

Creative Tourist
We Invented the Weekend
We Invented The Weekend.

We Invented The Weekend at MediaCity and Salford Quays, Manchester 15 — 16 June 2024 Entrance is free — Visit now

Get ready to dance, create, and celebrate as We Invented the Weekend returns, bigger and better than ever, to MediaCity and Salford Quays this June.

The completely free event takes place on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June, and includes over 200 activities, with the programme taking in everything from music to sport, talks to family activities, retail therapy to mass participation events.

The inspiration for this packed weekend festival goes right back to 1843 when workers’ rights activists launched a campaign to finish early on Saturdays. Headed up by Robert Lowes (Salford Lyceum director, activist and also Sir Ian McKellen’s grandfather), the movement successfully fought to win workers the right to leisure time on a Saturday. And so the weekend was invented, and so it is celebrated with this festival, in its birthplace of Salford.

Digging into the programme, music highlights include Manchester’s own Secret Night Gang, bringing a silky blend of soul, R&B, gospel and funk, plus a whole host of DJs: among them DJ Paulette, Zed Bias, DJ Roesh, Eves Drop Collective and – one for families – The Playhouse Project. And the party won’t just be on land – there’s a host of free boat parties hosted by the likes of Pride with drag performer Bailey J Mills, Manchester Lit & Phil and post punk trio LIINES. Central Bay, meanwhile, will be soundtracked by Salford underground favourites Sounds from The Other City, who’ll be inviting festival-goers to dance to a range of DJs on the waterfront terraces.

WITW Boat Parties.

There’s also an incredible amount of activities planned for families, from CBeebies-themed dance workouts with Mr Motivator to an event with The BBC Philharmonic, who’ll take kids through a Musical Storyland where folk and fairy tales are re-imagined with live music. Everyone’s favourite cartoon dog Bluey will make an appearance, as will a live version of CBeebies Bedtime Stories. There’s lots going on The Lowry, too, including an exhilarating aerial dance duet from All or Nothing on The Swings, a 5m high installation at the end of the Lowry pier.

As for sporty things, there are BMXing sessions with British Cycling, footie skills showcases with Manchester United Street Reds, plus climbing, skating and scooting with the team from Graystone Action Sports. Or if it’s more wellbeing-focused activities you’re into, there’s yoga, sound baths and even crystal healing. Or maybe good old fashioned retail therapy ticks your box. For the first time ever at the festival, Melanin Markets will be showcasing 10 Black-owned independent businesses and traders, alongside fashion and homeware by Charity Super.Mkt and Community Clothing.

Sounds From The Other City at WITW

Each year the festival hosts a series of We Think Big talks, with 2024’s guests including Patrick Grant,  who’ll be discussing his new book Less: Stop Buying So Much Rubbish: How Having Fewer, Better Things Can Make Us Happier, with more talks from fashion PR and outdoor lover Neil Summers, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord and festival co-founder, Wayne Hemmingway MBE. Add to this mass participation events like The People’s Catwalk and the much-loved Free Time Parade, plus an array of food and drink traders including Jerk Junction, Super Fry Guys and Hot & Wild, and it’s fair to say we’re spoilt for choice.

All of the above is free, though a small number of events may be bookable. Find out more information on that via the ‘Visit now’ button below.

We Invented The Weekend at MediaCity and Salford Quays, Manchester 15 — 16 June 2024 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near We Invented The Weekend

squipsoup commission at mediacity create festival salford
Event venue
MediaCityUK Piazza

Open air square – notably not a Public Square  – owned by Peel Holdings who are the developers behind the Media CityUK project as a whole. It’s a fairly large…

Ice Rink
MCUK Ice Rink
at Media City

Embrace that most Christmassy of activities and get your skates on outside of the chaotic city centre this winter. The Ice Rink at Media City will be serving festive fun till January 5th.

Booths Media City

The Booths branch at Media City, Salford Quays is much appreciated by TV, radio and media executives who work in the area.

The Botanist Media City

The newest branch of the Botanist, featuring high-class herbal-infused cocktails and a variety of world cuisine – including those impressive hanging kebabs.

at Salford Quays

Jump into waters of dock 9 at Salford Quays with Uswim, they bring the benefits and freedom of open water swimming to the convenience of a central location.

The Quays
The Alchemist Mediacity

The latest offering from the UK-conquering Alchemist has an energetic vibe similar to others in this highly-regarded chain of restaurants.

Shopping Centre
Lowry Outlet Mall

The Lowry Outlet Mall in The Quays district of Manchester sits opposite both The Lowry and MediaCityUK, Europe’s largest media hub and the home of BBC North.

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

Rebecca Watson author photo
Literature Events in Manchester and the North

In between working out, then working through, your holiday reading pile this summer, find inspiration for your next bookish acquisitions from our selection of live events and exhibitions.