There will be dancing, live music and authentic tapas across the event
Manchester is set to welcome a taste of Español with the arrival of a huge festival with dancing, live music and the very best food the country has to offer.
Flamenco Fever will be taking over Kampus for one day only this weekend, where it will pay homage to the Spanish culture and cuisine.
The event will adopt an open-mic format, inviting guests to take to the stage and show off their best flamenco dance moves to music by guest flamenco musicians and singers, Carlos Van Tongeren, Jose Manuel Benzepon, Jack McCarthy, and Tom Metcalfe.
Dance teachers will be on hand throughout the event to show guests a thing or two and, of course, to get the full audience involved.
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And it wouldn’t be a Spanish festival without good food, would it?
Ramsbottom’s very own Levanter Fine Foods, which currently resides in The Bungalow at Kampus, will be serving up its menu of authentic Spanish cuisine, including delicious tapas and a giant paella.
Sarah Chambers, founder of Espíritu Flamenco, said: “People don’t realise but there’s an amazing flamenco following in Manchester.
There’s a diverse flamenco community in the city, from those just starting out to the more accomplished dancers. Our festival at Kampus will be a vibrant, joyous celebration of what is a real art form which is enjoyed by people of many nationalities and cultural backgrounds – with loads of dancers taking to the stage and live music.
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“We want people to come down, get involved, and soak up the Spanish vibes in what, we think, is the best al fresco spot in the city.”
Joe Botham from Levanter Fine Food added: “Kampus just lends itself so well to that outdoor, summer celebration. We’ve had a proper summer to remember, serving up dish after dish of Spanish goodness.
“The Flamenco Fiesta will take the Spanish vibes up a notch and be a real celebration of the music, moves and atmosphere that I fell in love with on trips around Spanish villages and towns.”
Flamenco Fever will take place at Kampus on Saturday August 13th from 2pm – 6:30pm, and will be completely FREE to enter.
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The cinema features lower sound levels and stronger lighting to ensure dogs are as comfortable as possible
Dog owners and their pets will soon be able to enjoy the big screen experience together with a miniature dog-friendly cinema, complete with a whole array of canine-tailored treats.
To celebrate International Dog Day this Friday (August 26th), Ducie Street Warehouse will be bringing back its famous dog cinema – the first of its kind in the UK – with a FREE showing of Scooby Doo.
The thirty-six-seater ‘Mini Cini’ features lower sound levels, stronger lighting and regular toilet breaks in order to make pooches and their owners as comfortable as possible.
Ducie Street Warehouse
Furry guests will also receive healthy goodie bags from dog snack brand Denzel’s, which makes low-calorie snack collections from 100% natural ingredients which are gently baked into tasty, bite-sized treats.
And that isn’t all Ducie Street Warehouse has to offer for guests and their beloved pets; dogs are welcome throughout the venue, including the restaurant, terrace, bar, lounge and adjoining Native Hotel.
Native Manchester has even teamed up with Denzel’s to create the perfect overnight stay for its furry guests.
The hotel will be kitting out rooms nationwide with bespoke dog beds, towels, bowls and treats as well as giving guests a Denzel’s discount to spend on its dog snack favourites, such as protein bars and nut butters.
Ducie Street Warehouse
And that isn’t all Ducie Street Warehouse has on the bill for the summer holidays; the restaurant is allowing kids to eat free from its children’s menu with favourites such as Grandad’s Local Cumberland sausage and Mini Cheshire Beef burger up for grabs, with vegan and vegetarian options also available.
Kids Eat Free’ is valid on Monday to Friday only, during the day until 7pm, until Wednesday 31st August 2022.
The Scooby Doo screening at Ducie Street Warehouse’s ‘Mini Cini’ will take place this Friday, August 26th, at 12pm. The showing is completely free to enter, though availability depends on a first-come-first service basis. Register here to reserve spaces.
To see what else Ducie Street has on for the remainder of the summer, click here.
It’s all happening at Festa this weekend…
Manchester is in for a treat this bank holiday weekend with the return of the UK’s biggest Italian food festival.
Described as ‘the country’s most exciting and vibrant festival of Italian food, drink and culture’, Festa Italiana is a unique celebration of the very best of Italian culture, and will once again be gracing Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens for the August bank holiday weekend.
The festival found life five years ago by the family-run Italian restaurant group Salvi’s, and was quick to grow in popularity, with over 38,000 people visiting during last year’s event alone.
And this weekend, a number of the festival’s most popular faces will be returning alongside some exciting new additions.
Here’s what’s on the line-up….
To kick start the festivities on Friday August 26th, there will be a cooking masterclass from Festa founder Maurizio Cecco and his daughter Sienna at 1:30pm, while the team from I Sapori di Corbara Tomatoes will be flying in from Naples for a talk on their brand and products at 2:30pm.
At 3:30pm, Giulia Martinelli of The Pasta Factory will be showcasing her best pasta-making techniquies and, at 4.30pm, the Luxardo Maraschino team will guide guests through the versatility of their cherries in desserts and drinks. And to round up the day at 5.30pm, there will be a Campari cocktail masterclass.
The following day on Saturday August 27th, there will be a Pasta Masterclass from Maurizio Cecco at 1:30pm, followed by masterclasses and book signings from Gennaro Contaldo, UK brand ambassador for Parmigiano Reggiano at 2:30pm. Then, there will be a meet-and-greet with celebrity chef Aldo Zilli at 3:30pm, and at 4:30pm, the Aperol team will be talking you through the methods behind some of the most loved Italian drinks.
Sunday 28th August will see masterclasses and book signings from Giancarlo Caldesi at 1:30pm, while Gennaro Contaldo will be back at 2:30pm. Great British Bake Off 2021 winner Giuseppe Dell’Anno will be looking after things at 3:30pm and at 4:30pm, there will be a very special pizza making masterclass by the team from Pizzeria Da Michele.
Carmela Sereno Hayes will also be hosting ‘Carmela’s Kitchen’ across the entire weekend, with free drop-in sessions teaching pasta loving adults and kids alike how to make the perfect – and most beautiful – pasta.
On Saturday 27th August, there will be an intimate chefs’ table dinner featuring top class Italian celebrity chefs, Gennaro Contaldo, Giancarlo Caldesi and Aldo Zilli, hosted and cooked by Maurizio Cecco, with fresh pasta made from scratch by Carmela Serano Hayes (Carmela’s Kitchen).
Guests will dine with the legendary Italian restaurateurs and will be able to engage in conversations about Italian food, drink and culture throughout the feast.
The evening will be toasted with a Gin Mare drinks reception, and Italian wine will flow throughout the delectable four course meal, with all drinks for the evening included in the ticket price.
Get tickets for the Festa Feast here.
It wouldn’t be an Italian festival without good food, would it?
Over the course of the weekend, returning Festa favourites Café Cannoli will be selling delicious cannoli made using authentic ingredients imported directly from Sicily, local lads Paul and Mike from I Knead Pizza will be bringing their wood fired oven along to serve up their highly acclaimed Neopolitan pizza, while Lucky Mama’s will be serving extruded pasta with fresh homemade sauces.
Proove will also be joining the line-up with their authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizza, T’arricrii will bring the essence of Sicily to Cathedral Gardens with their mouth-watering arancini and Fritto Misto, while Manchester’s very own Pasta Factory will be serving up a menu of simple, authentically Italian fresh pasta.
Café Azul will be serving up Kickback Coffee, hot and cold drinks, snacks, cakes and grilled paninis all weekend long, while Destination Doughnut will be dishing out delightful doughnuts described as: light, airy and the perfect balance of sweetness.
Also on the bill, the driving force behind Festa Italiana, family run Salvi’s will be selling sweet treats and branded Salvi’s delights from their Deli.
Festa Italiana’s famous Festival Bar will be making its grand return, and will showcase incredible signature serves across the weekend, including the perfect serve Gin Mare Capri and Gin Mare. Birrificio Angelo Poretti will also be bringing its craft Italian beers served from its Airstream Bar.
The Aperol Spritz Bar will be doing exactly what it says on the tin by serving up everyone’s favourite Italian summer refresher while the Main Festival Bar will be bringing you all of the Italian classics including Gin Mare, Gin Mare Capri, Luxardo, Aperol Spritz, Italian craft beers, Ponte Prosecco, the very best Italian wine and soft drinks.
Let’s Grow Allotment – brought by Ben Faulks, the co-creator and presenter of the award winning CBeebies brand Mr. Bloom’s Nursery – delivers a truly unique experience by combining the core themes of Mr Bloom’s Nursery with the shows of Ben’s theatre company ‘Plunge Bloom’.
Championing nature, nurture, wellbeing, and imaginative play, with a deftness of touch that leaves an indelible impression upon audiences of all ages.
There will also be the a pop-up allotment by Let’s Grow Nannies, which will offer parents a mix of gardening and childcare. The show takes place in a charming pop-up allotment which serves as an interactive play space hosted by two Let’s Grow Nannies with their family of baby fruits and vegetables.
The Let’s Grow Allotment show runs at 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm each day across the weekend.
Music and Festa Italiana go hand-in-hand and, this year, Compagnia Sole Luna will be flying over from Naples to bring the city’s traditional folk music to Manchester. There will also be a full line up of local artists and bands including the city’s best loved opera singer The Manchester Tenor, while DJs will be spinning records each night.
Festa Italiana will take place at Cathedral Gardens from Friday August 26th to Sunday August 28th, 12pm – 11pm every day.
Find out more here.
Contact kick started festivities this week with a fifty hour poet lock-in…
Manchester’s historic Contact Theatre is marking its fiftieth birthday this month and, to celebrate, is throwing a whole host of unique and exciting events and giveaways.
The theatre, which recently underwent a massive £6m refurbishment, opened all the way back in 1972 as the Manchester Young People’s Theatre, with it eventually changing its name to Contact Theatre in the 1990s.
The theatre was made a reality by Hugh Hunt, the man responsible for producing and directing some of the UK’s most successful and critically acclaimed shows throughout the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.
After serving in the war, Hunt settled in Manchester and founded the drama department at the university, eventually instigating the University Theatre building which opened in 1965.
Contact Theatre was born nearly a decade later to give students and other young people a chance to ‘change their lives through the arts’, taking on a unique approach of placing the students at the heart of everything, including programming, decision-making and even staff appointments.
It was revolutionary for its time, and still is to this very day, fifty years on. So, to celebrate half a century of Contact Theatre, there’s a whole host of very special events and giveaways… fifty of them, to be precise.
Contact has already kickstarted its eclectic roster of events, activities, competitions and giveaways to mark the special anniversary, with the theatre starting celebrations with its first ever ‘Poet Lock-In’ earlier this week.
This saw poet Georgie Brooke be locked in the building for fifty long hours to write a fifty word poem.
Joel Chester Fildes
Other events on the line up include a 50m walk, which will see the first person seen receive a £50 ticket voucher, and 50% off shows for Contact members.
And throughout November, anyone who calls Contact on the fiftieth minute of the hour gets a 50p ticket to a show and, on National Hot Chocolate Day, there will be a free hot chocolate given to the first fifty people in the building.
Keisha Thompson, Artistic Director and CEO of Contact said: “Contact has been a huge part of my life for almost two decades, but our organisation’s incredible history, and its impact on Manchester, reaches far beyond that.
“I’m so excited to look back at our achievements during our birthday, but even more excited to set the vision for what the next fifty years of Contact could look like.”
For the listings of all of Contact’s 50th birthday celebrations, including exclusive productions, events, workshops and more, head on over to their website.
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