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Guide

Headline act: Manchester’s best festivals

3 weeks ago

There’s more to the festival season than just Glastonbury.

Greater Manchester has main stage energy too with festivals aplenty. The season is just getting into full swing so get your tickets now and celebrate music, culture, wellness and glittery face paint.

We’re focusing on urban festivals here so, with the exception of Buckle and Boots, there’ll be no happy campers. Instead, you can find somewhere more comfortable than canvas to come back to with Confidential Guides’ hotel recommendations.

From Pride to Parklife and wellness to wordsmiths, here is our ultimate 2024 guide to Manchester’s festivals.

  • Kezia Gill performs at Buckle and Boots Festival, photograph by DB Photography
    Marple

    Buckle and Boots

    Festivals

    This annual weekender on the edge of Stockport won the ‘Best Festival’ award from the British Country Music Association in 2023, securing its place as one of the most popular events on the UK Country music calendar.

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  • Nerdvana, a Nirvana tribute band at Festwich
    Prestwich

    Festwich

    Festivals

    Festwich is the music festival with all the biggest names, from The Doors to Nirvana. Ok, so they’re not the real thing but it’s as close as you’ll get without a time machine. The emphasis is on fun and ticket prices are a lot more accessible when you’re watching a tribute act.

    Festwich is hugely popular. It has a rock edge but it’s family friendly too. Think of it as a cross between Reading (and Leeds) Festival on the hardcore day crossed with Stars In Your Eyes.

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  • Manchester Jazz Festival 2022
    Manchester City Centre

    Manchester Jazz Festival

    Festivals

    Manchester Jazz Festival brings the best new emerging jazz artists, homegrown talent, and living jazz legends to the city centre every May for ten days of live performances, many of which are free.

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  • David Nicholls, Manchester Literature Festival 2024
    Manchester City Centre

    Manchester Literature Festival

    Festivals

    Manchester Literature Festival has grown considerably in size and stature since it debuted back in 2006. Held annually in October, it’s now known as one of the north’s leading festivals for book-lovers.

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  • Canal Street during Manchester Pride 2023.
    Gay Village

    Manchester Pride

    Festivals

    Held annually over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Manchester Pride is a joyful, loud and proud celebration of queer identity and expression. The festival is one of the most important LGBTQ+ events in the country – but it isn’t just one sun-soaked weekend. Manchester Pride is also a charity that supports all areas of LGBTQ+ lives in the city all year round.

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  • Tyler the Creator at Parklife Festival in Manchester
    Prestwich

    Parklife Festival

    Festivals

    It’s the big one, at least for the under-25s amongst us. Parklife is a huge two-day music festival held every June at Heaton Park. Featuring top artists across the worlds of electronic, dance, rap and pop, it brings a massive number of music fans to the city in all their neon-wearing, glitter-loving glory.

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  • We Invented the Weekend - one of Greater Manchester's best festivals.
    Media City

    We Invented The Weekend

    Festivals

    We Invented the Weekend festival is a massive, free, two-day celebration of all the cool stuff people do in their free time. After a successful launch in 2023, it’s back at Salford Quays and Media City on 15 and 16 June 2024.

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  • Wythenshawe

    Wellnergy Manchester

    Festivals

    The first ever Wellnergy Manchester takes place on 6 July 2024 in Wythenshawe Park, after a successful debut in London last year. It’s a day full of classes, music, food and good times, all centred around the concept of wellness (though they promise it’s not just for people who are ‘into wellness’).

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