Every year I put together a list of dates for the biggest festivals in Chorlton (south-west Manchester) along with a bit of info on what to expect this time around.
Here’s my Chorlton Festival Calendar for 2014.
Chorlton Big Green Happening 2014
Saturday, 26 April 2014 (1pm to 5pm)
It’s being organised by a couple of the original CBGF team (alongside a few new faces) and takes the concept of celebrating sustainable living even further with the introduction of a Green King and Queen competition and a green business angels tent.
That aside, there’ll be plenty of features familiar to CBGF regulars. So CBGH will have stalls dedicated to food and drink, cycling, clothing, politics, art and recycling. There’ll also be performances and ethical fashion shows. And the main festival, which is free to attend, takes place once again in and around St Clement’s Church on High Lane.
The CBGH team is also putting on a Warm Digit gig in the evening inside St Clement’s Church (£7 on the door).
Chorlton Arts Festival 2014
16-26 May 2014
There’ll be more than 130 events, of which 80 per cent are free, spread across 40 venues and 10 days. This year’s highlights include Vini Reilly, former frontman of the Durutti Column, being interviewed by Manchester music icon Dave Haslam and playing a live set, and a visual arts commission featuring bespoke work from seven artists displayed around Chorlton.
Chorlton’s biggest festival also incorporates the third Chorlton Weekender. Running between 22 and 25 May 2014, this mini music festival features gigs from Liam Frost, Paper Aeroplanes, John Smith, The Family Rain and Lisbee Stainton. Individual tickets are £10 (£8 concessions) or you can buy Weekender Wristbands, giving access to every show, for £28.
Manchester Vegan Fair 2014
Saturday, 17 May 2014 (11am-5pm)
Organised by the Vegan Organic Network, a Chorlton-based charity, the Manchester Vegan Fair will be held at the Chorlton Irish Club on High Lane. Visitors will be able to browse 60 stalls and enjoy vegan foods, live music, live poetry, films, talks, workshops, vegan speed dating (!) and wind-solar rickshaw rides (!!).
Entry to the Manchester Vegan Fair 2014 costs £1 (kids free).
The Manchester Vegan Fair After Party is being planned for the same venue from 7pm to 1am, featuring a vegan meal, vegan beers and live music which may or may not be vegan. Tickets are £12 on the door or £10 in advance.
Chorlton Green Food & Drink Festival 2014: Sup-Up & Eat
Saturday, 24 May 2014 (12pm-12am)
This free festival is the brainchild of the Horse & Jockey pub. Festivalgoers will be able to meet local food and drink producers and listen to live music. There’ll also be demonstrations/hands-on activities throughout the day, including whisky-pairing, chilli-eating and chocolate-making.
As a precursor to the festival, the Horse & Jockey pub is hosting an opera premiere on the evening of Friday, 23 May 2014. A Taste of Opera features a Prosecco reception and a three-course Italian meal, all accompanied by Italian opera performed by Salford-based opera company Pint-sized Opera. Tickets for A Taste of Opera are £25.
Chorlton Beer Festival 2014
3-5 July 2014
There’ll also be food stalls to soak up the alcohol and live music to keep everyone entertained. In previous years, it’s only been a two-day event but this time round it’ll sprawl over three days to truly test your stamina.
Traditionally, the Chorlton Beer Festival is jointly organised by CAMRA (Trafford and Hulme branch) and St Clement’s Church, and takes place in and around St Clement’s Church on High Lane. Tickets are usually £5 including your pint glass (pictured).
Chorlton Green & Beech Road Family Fun Day 2014
Sunday, 6 July 2014 (12pm-5pm)
The crucial word here is ‘family’. In an effort to avoid the trouble that marred the 2011 Beech Road Festival, there’ll be no alcohol sold outdoors on Beech Road and no live bands.
Instead the Beech Road Traders’ Association, which organised the Beech Road Festival and now organises the Chorlton Green & Beech Road Family Fun Day, is promising more family-friendly stuff with Unity Arts Manchester offering activities such as music, art and circus skills. There’ll also be dancing demonstrations, fairground rides, hula hoops, a choir, and stalls peppered along Beech Road.
Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2014: Chorlton Fringe
18-29 September 2014
In recent years, venues and organisations throughout Chorlton have run tie-in events such as tastings, cooking workshops, forages and meet the producer nights under the Chorlton Fringe banner.
Expect more of the same in 2014.
Chorlton Bonfire Night 2014
5 November 2014
There’s always a Chorlton Bonfire Night celebration happening somewhere on 5 November.
For example, the Horse and Jockey pub can usually be relied upon to organise an impressive free bonfire and fireworks display on Chorlton Green.
Chorlton Book Festival 2014
The festival usually takes place across multiple Chorlton venues over ten days or so in November. Typical events include author readings, talks about literature, writing workshops, literary pub quizzes and poetry slams.
Chorlton Christmas Lights 2014
Beech Road Traders’ Association runs the Beech Road Christmas Lights Switch-On on Chorlton Green (pictured), which usually features carol-singing and mince pies aplenty. And Chorlton Traders runs the Central Chorlton Christmas Lights Switch-On in the precinct, which typically involves yet more carol-singing followed by food and drink in Chorlton Library.
Manchester Coffee Festival 2014
Sometime in 2014
Cafes and bars across Chorlton joined in to stage special events such as drinks workshops, poetry readings, live music and comedy gigs, and much of it was free. Chorlton Central Church also became an exhibition space, dubbed the Chorlton Coffee Festival HUB, for the day.
Now the Chorlton-based volunteers who organised it have rebranded the event as the Manchester Coffee Festival. Last I heard, they were looking for an event space to rent each year, starting in 2014. Here’s hoping that space is in Chorlton.
Important note: If you see anything that needs changing or updating in the 2014 Chorlton Festival Calendar, or know of any other Chorlton festivals that you’d like to see included, drop me a message in the comments below and I’ll do the rest. Cheers!