Each year, I put together a list of dates for the most popular festivals in the Chorlton area of Manchester alongside a short summary of what you can expect there.
This is my 2015 Chorlton Festival Calendar.
Chorlton Arts Festival 2015
15-24 May 2015
This year’s festival boasts more than 100 events in over 30 Chorlton venues across ten days – 80 per cent of which are free. Far too much to mention everything here then, but 2015 highlights include a series of site-specific theatre performances in unusual places (such as a tram) called Theatre Exterior, novelist Olivia Piekarski’s live Q&A with The Fall’s former bass player Steve Hanley, and an audio-visual performance by folktronic singer-songwriter Minute Taker and visual artist Ana Stefaniak.
There’s also a return for the Chorlton Weekender, a mini music festival within the festival proper. This year it features O’Hooley & Tidow on Friday, 22 May (tickets £12 or £10 concessions), The Travelling Band (tickets £10 or £8 concessions) and Young Knives (tickets £10 or £8 concessions). You can also see the whole lot by buying a Chorlton Weekender Wristband (£25).
Manchester Vegan Fair 2015
Saturday, 16 May 2015 (11am – 5pm)
Organised by Chorlton-based charity Vegan Organic Network, the 2015 Manchester Vegan Fair has 70 stalls, live music and poetry, short films, talks and complementary therapies. There are also lots of quirky goings-on including a performance by bicycle dance troupe The Spokes, a circus-skills workshop, solar rickshaw rides, vegan speed dating and even a ‘roving stilt pirate’ (whatever that is).
Tickets for the fair, which takes place at Chorlton Irish Club on High Lane, are £2 or free for kids.
Chorlton Beer & Cider Festival 2015
2-4 July 2015
Run by Trafford & Hulme CAMRA and St Clement’s Church in association with Outstanding Beers, this time around there’ll be 90 real ales split over two bars – the first focusing on the ever-growing number of Greater Manchester breweries and the second offering beers from further afield.
We’re also promised an outdoor cider bar with more than 50 ciders and perries, the return of the New World Beers bar selling bottled beers from across the globe, and a few street-food stalls. Thursday (6pm-1030pm) will be a quieter preview event with limited advance tickets, while Friday (6pm-1030pm) and Saturday (1pm-930pm) are bigger affairs with live music.
Thursday tickets are £10 including £5 of beer tokens, while Friday and Saturday tickets are £10 including £4 of beer tokens.
Beech Road Family Fun Day 2015
Sunday, 5 July 2015 (Midday-5pm)
There’ll be a host of stalls in Beech Road Park, along Beech Road and into Chorlton Green as well as fairground attractions, performances, music, dancing demos, hula-hoop workshops, circus skills and other child-friendly activities.
The businesses along Beech Road each make a contribution towards the running costs of this free festival, and any profits are given to the Friends of Beech Road Park to improve the facilities for everyone.
Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2015: Chorlton Fringe
10-21 September 2015
Previous fringes have included free and paid-for events such as cooking workshops, tastings, forages and meet-the-producer days at a variety of venues.
Admittedly there’s no word yet on what’s planned for the Chorlton Fringe of the 2015 Manchester Food & Drink Festival but hopefully tie-ins will start to be announced soon.
Chorlton Bonfire Night 2015
Organised by the Horse & Jockey pub, the free Chorlton Bonfire Night 2015 traditionally features two fireworks displays (one for kids at around 7pm and one for adults at around 9pm) although both are fun regardless of age to be honest.
Bootleg Brewing Company, the microbrewery run from inside the Horse & Jockey, usually gets in on the act too by selling its seasonal treacle stout Treason & Plot.
Chorlton Book Festival 2015
20-28 November 2015
It’s still a fair way off, mind, so details are thin on the ground. Typically, though, you can expect a range of mostly free events including poetry slams, literature talks, author readings, writing workshops and (my personal favourite) a literary pub quiz.
Chorlton Christmas Lights 2015
The Beech Road Christmas Lights Switch-On on Chorlton Green is run by the Beech Road Traders’ Association and is not to be confused with the nearby Central Chorlton Christmas Lights Switch-On in the precinct run by Chorlton Traders.
Both are free events designed to get you into the festive spirit and typically feature stuff like carol singing, mince pies, mulled wine and guest appearances by one Father Christmas.
Chorlton New Year’s Eve Party 2015
Thursday, 31 December 2015
Organised by the Horse & Jockey pub, the Chorlton New Year’s Eve Party draws people from all over the area to see in the new year.
Chorlton Big Green Happening 2015
Deferred for 2015
The inaugural Chorlton Big Green Happening in 2014 included stalls specialising in food and drink, recycling, art, clothing and politics as well as performances and ethical fashion shows. The main festival took place during the day in and around St Clement’s Church on High Lane and was free to attend, while an accompanying gig inside the church later on cost £7 on the door.
Here’s hoping it returns again in 2016.
Horse & Jockey festivals
The Horse & Jockey Summer Solstice 2015 (Sunday, 21 June 2015)
Joktoberfest Beer Festival 2015 (September 2015 presumably)
The Horse & Jockey Winter Solstice 2015 (December 2015), and maybe even
Chorlton Green Food & Drink Festival 2015: Sup-Up & Eat (date unknown)
Keep an eye on their website or sign up to their newsletter for more details as and when they’re confirmed.
Important note: If there’s anything that needs changing or updating in the Chorlton Festival Calendar 2015, or you’ve heard of another festival that’s happening soon, message me in the comments section (below) and I’ll get it sorted. Thanks!