Festivals

Creative Tourist

Ah festivals. We do them well up north. From giant, inhibition-loosening weekends in farmers’ fields to inner-city parties that showcase the best of local, underground scenes, festival lovers are spoilt for choice.

Here we pick our highlights for spring/summer 2024, taking in everything from hedonistic escapes to brain-tickling festivals of ideas, via family-friendly fun. What’s more, a number of our picks below are free, and accessible to anyone!

Our top picks

We Invented The Weekend

We Invented The Weekend at MediaCity and Salford Quays, Manchester, 15–16 June 2024, free entry - Visit now

We Invented The Weekend is a bold and creative free festival for everyone, celebrating all the activities that make the weekend great, from live music to street sport to family fun.

We Invented the Weekend
We Invented The Weekend.

Green Island Festival at Hulme Garden Centre

Green Island Festival at Hulme Community Garden Centre, Manchester, 15 June–7 September 2024, from £20.00 - Book now

Set in the flora-filled sanctuary of Hulme Community Garden Centre, Green Island champions underground, underrepresented, and emerging artists from across the UK, and places global sounds at the forefront.

Festival-goers at Green Island
Image supplied by Green Island Festival.

SMILE at the Star & Garter Weekend

SMILE at the Star & Garter Weekend at The Star & Garter, Manchester, 21–23 June 2024, from £6.00 - Book now

SMILE returns to the Star & Garter at the end of June for a weekend of all-singing, all-dancing alternative anthems, celebrating the life of Andy Martin, the pub’s legendary licensee.

Smile Star & Garter Weekend
Emma Daffin

GASP! Horror Film Festival 2024 at CULTPLEX

GASP! Horror Film Festival 2024 at Cultplex, Manchester, 21–23 June 2024, from £5.00 - Book now

More the indoor type? No problem. GASP! Horror Film Festival returns to Manchester’s CULTPLEX bigger and better, with a full weekend of scary movies from underrepresented voices.

My Mother's Eyes - GASP! Film Festival
My Mother's Eyes - GASP! Film Festival

Manchester Festival of Nature

Manchester Festival of Nature at Heaton Park, Manchester, 30 June 2024, free entry - Find Out More

Join Manchester Nature Consortium for a day festival celebrating the natural species found around Heaton Park.

Manchester Festival of Nature
Heaton Park

The National Festival of Making

The National Festival of Making at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Lancashire, 6–7 July 2024, free entry - Find Out More

For two days a year, The National Festival of Making fills the streets of Blackburn with an ambitious programme that “celebrates making from the kitchen table to the factory floor”.

The National Festival of Making
The National Festival of Making

Horizons Festival 2024 at HOME

Horizons Festival 2024 at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 21–23 June 2024, free entry - Find Out More

As part of Refugee Week, HOME present Horizons Festival 2019, a week-long celebration of theatre, film, art, performance, workshops and debate.

Horizons Festival 2024 at HOME
Image courtesy of Shirlaine Forrest.

Manchester Craft Beer Festival

Manchester Craft Beer Festival at Depot Mayfield, Manchester, 5–6 July 2024, from £45 - Book now

Manchester Craft Beer Festival returns this July with a world-class selection of craft beer from over 50 breweries – some local, some international – alongside big-name DJ acts and a great line-up of restaurants.

Manchester Craft Beer Festival

TOTfest Cheshire

TOTfest at Chester Racecourse, Cheshire, 21 July 2024, from £12.00 - Book now

Tiniest festival goers can look forward to TOTfest Cheshire, packed with endless entertainment for kids and their grownups.

TOTFest Cheshire
TOTFest Cheshire

Festa Italiana at Cathedral Gardens

Festa Italiana at Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, 23–25 August 2024, free entry - Find Out More

Now in its seventh year, the country’s biggest festival celebrating Italian food, drink and culture is one of Manchester’s most popular events with over 40,000 visitors flocking to last year’s fun-packed event. Check out what’s on this year.

Festa Italia

Manchester Psych Fest 2024

Manchester Psych Fest at Albert Hall, Manchester, 31 August 2024, from £45.20 - Book now

Manchester Psych Fest, an all-day celebration of psychedelic music and art, returns this September with more musicians, DJs and visual artists than ever before.

Image supplied by Manchester Psych Fest.

Góbéfest at Cathedral Gardens

Góbéfest at Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, 20–22 September 2024 - Book now

Góbéfest, Manchester’s original international urban folk music and dance festival, is back at Cathedral Gardens this September.

The band She'Koyokh with their instruments in a park
She-Keoyokh. All images supplied by Sara Teiger PR.
Spotlight on

Father's Day in Manchester and the North

This year's Father's Day is Sunday 16 June. Get out and about and spend some quality time with the old man in Manchester.

Take me there

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