Arts and Culture

Manchester Day 2024 to transform the city into giant playground

The city centre is set to be transformed – for one day only (Saturday 27 July) – into Manchester’s biggest ever playground for Manchester Day: Let the Games Begin!

Inspired by an international summer of sport, the city’s streets and squares will be filled with music, dancing and have-a-go activities designed to bring out the inner athlete in visitors.

The city council is working with outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank on a programme for the day that provides something for all ages and all sporting abilities.

Activities include a hip-hop wrestling ring for breakdancing, wrestling, opera and drag, along with a vintage fairground, and an actual reality arcade filled with larger-than-life console games.

Councillor Pat Karney, Chair of Manchester Day, said: “We know how much Mancunians of all ages love to celebrate the city’s special day with us and this year we’re really going for gold.  

“We’ve got an absolutely fantastic day lined up, stuffed full of free things to see and do for all the family, all with a sporting flavour – so grab your granny and your trainers and come on down and join us!”

Dancers performing at Manchester Day

Manchester Day is set to have a large variety of performances, including the award-winning dance company Motionhouse with their outdoor show Wild, an acrobatic dance-circus production. 

No Fit State Circus is also set to perform an act of acrobatics using a towering series of bamboo structures.

There is also an array of musical performances planned, with youth-led Jubacana, DJs across the city, the Bridgewater Hall Choir, the Global Grooves procession, and live soul bands the Detroit Soul Collective.

Bev Ayre, Senior Producer, Walk the Plank, said: “We’re delighted to be helping produce the Manchester Day programme again this year. We’ve some of the best music, dance, theatre and performance the city has to offer.” 

Brass band performing at Manchester Day

The city has also partnered with some of the UK’s leading sports bodies to bring a whole sports-day worth of taster sessions in all kinds of different sports and fitness activities.

There will be opportunities for visitors to give taekwondo, netball and turbo charged cricket a go with British Taekwondo, England Netball and The Hundred taking part in the day.

Manchester United Foundation’s Panna Cage, in partnership with Manchester FA, will also be attending Manchester Day for football fans to try their hand, or foot, at some football skills.

Gold medals will be awarded throughout the day with categories including cheekiest grin and best Dad dancer.

Ayre said: “Where else would you find a wrestling drag queen, a sporting dinosaur and a hip hopping opera singer. So – Let the Games Begin!”
Information and latest updates on Manchester Day 2024 can be found online.

Images provided by Manchester City Council.

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