Spring bank holiday in Manchester and the North

Image courtesy of The Refuge

Spring bank holiday in Manchester and the North

Chris Horkan, Music Editor

Spring bank holiday, or late May bank holiday as you may know it, offers the perfect time to do something a little different.

To help you take full advantage of your three-day weekend, we’ve gathered together our top tips – from a city-wide music festival and street-wide takeover by one of the city’s most beloved bands, via The Refuge’s hedonistic three-day-long party, through to the final performance of ‘one of the most impressive pieces of theatre you’ll see this year’, Manchester has plenty to offer.

Further afield, it’s your last chance to catch this year’s Leeds Indie Food Fest, while Liverpool’s diverse celebration of Sgt Pepper is only just kicking off. And if you yearn to escape the city, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is handily launching its latest high-profile showcase.

Read on for details of all of these – and why not check out our half term guide too?

Here are our picks

  • 1. Scorch at Contact

    Scorch at Contact
    © Ciaran Bagnall

    Scorch at Contact Theatre, Manchester, 23–26 May 2017, from £6.00 - Book now

    An important story vividly told, Scorch is one of the most impressive pieces of theatre you’ll see this year. Catch its final performance at Contact on Friday 26 May.

  • 2. Liverpool presents Sgt Pepper at 50

    Mark Morris Dance Group, by Stephanie Berger

    Liverpool presents Sgt Pepper at 50 at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, 25 May–16 June 2017 - Book now

    Liverpool is presenting a series of events to celebrate 50 years since The Beatles released Sgt Pepper – from mass-participation free music events to dance exclusives, plus exhibitions, brass bands and more. The city-wide party begins over the Spring bank holiday.

  • 3. Dot to Dot Festival 2017 in Manchester city centre

    Honeyblood

    Dot to Dot Festival at Albert Hall, City Centre, 26–27 May 2017, from £12.00 - Book now

    Dot To Dot Festival, the winner Live UK Awards 2016’s Best Festival award, returns to Manchester with the likes of Sundara Karma, Amber Run, The Growlers, Honeyblood and Pinegrove performing at venues around the city including the Albert Hall, Soup Kitchen and Old Granada Studios.

  • 4. Leeds Indie Food Festival 2017

    Leeds Indie Food Festival 2017
    Jessie Leong

    Leeds Indie Food Festival 2017, 11–28 May 2017 - Book now

    The Leeds Indie Food festival is back for a third mouthwatering edition, celebrating the best of the city’s thriving independent food and drink scene. Catch its closing weekend over the bank holiday weekend.

  • 5. The Electric Weekender 2017 at The Refuge

    Image courtesy of The Refuge

    The Electric Weekender at The Refuge, City Centre, 26–29 May 2017, free entry - Find Out More

    The Refuge hosts three fun-fuelled days of music, food and drinks – from a New York loft-style party on Friday, via a craft beer pub knees-up on Saturday, to Sunday’s all-day Balearic soiree.

  • 6. Tread Softly at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    John Benton-Harris, Maidenhead, Berkshire July 1975 (1975), Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © the artist.

    Tread Softly at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 25 May–9 September 2017, free entry - Visit now

    Artists explore childhood experience and familial relationships, revisiting and reassessing pivotal moments and people within their lives for this high-profile showcase at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

  • 7. The Charlatans Oldham Street Takeover

    The Charlatans

    The Charlatans Oldham Street Takeover at Piccadilly Records, Manchester, 26 May 2017, free entry - Find Out More

    To mark the release of their latest album, The Charlatans take over cafes, shops and more along Oldham Street for one day only, hosting listening parties, signing records, giving away gig tickets and more.

Places to go / stay / shop / eat / drink