Posted by: Richard Frost | April 7, 2018

Chorlton Festival Calendar 2018

Every year, I pull together a list of festivals happening in my backyard – the Chorlton area of south Manchester – so that everyone can get the dates in their diaries nice and early.

This year sees the usual suspects joined by a couple of festivals that are making a welcome return following a break in 2017. It’s good to have them back.

Here is the Chorlton Festival Calendar 2018.

Chorlton Big Green Happening 2018

Saturday, 14 April 2018

A celebration of sustainable living at St Clement's Church

Chorlton Big Green Happening

Also known as the Chorlton & Whalley Range Big Green Happening, the successor to Chorlton’s Big Green Festival took a year out in 2017 but is now back with a bigger focus on Whalley Range.

Whereas most of the action took place at St Clement’s Church on Edge Lane in Chorlton last time around, this time the Carlton Club on Carlton Road in Whalley Range will host the majority of the programme.

Unusually, the free daytime events between 1pm and 5pm are split between St Clement’s Church and the Carlton Club – Chorlton’s offering includes Dave Bishop from the Friends of Chorlton Meadows and cultural masterplanner Dan Dubowitz, while Whalley Range is promising live music, food and drink stalls, book and toy swaps, and yoga. The evening event from 7pm till late also takes place at the Carlton Club and is ticketed, costing £5 via TicketWeb, with various DJs and musicians taking turns to entertain partygoers.

As ever, the Chorlton & Whalley Range Big Green Happening seeks to celebrate the environment, sustainability and wellbeing in a fun and accessible way.

Chorlton Arts Festival 2018

18-26 May 2018

Chorlton Arts Festival's new logo

Chorlton Arts Festival

Chorlton’s biggest festival, Chorlton Arts Festival, features a myriad of activities over the course of a week in May 2018.

The mantra of newly appointed director Thomas Moore is ‘Excellent Art for Everyone’ and the 2018 festival aims to appeal to a broad audience with a programme spanning the theatre, music and film, comedy, food and family-friendly activities. A dynamic new festival logo has already been rolled out and standout projects in the calendar include bringing Richard Dawkins’ bestselling book The God Delusion and Netflix documentary film Cowspiracy to the stage for the first time, and collaborating with Sunday Brunch presenter and Chorlton resident Simon Rimmer on a three-course dinner to showcase food’s credentials as an art form.

Some of the events at Chorlton Arts Festival, including the trio mentioned above, are paid-for so you’d best get in early if you want to bag a ticket.

Chorlton Open Gardens 2018

Sunday, 24 June 2018

A show garden on Claude Road in Chorltonville

Chorlton Open Gardens

Chorlton Open Gardens took a year out in 2017 but it’s back for 2018, with 23 private gardens, a communal alleyway and a communal allotment opening to the public from 11am to 5pm.

Some of the participants sell hot drinks, homemade cakes and pottery, and a few even put on live music to entertain visitors, so it’s always an enjoyable day out. There’ll also be a plant swap at the community garden next to Chorlton Library in case you’ve been inspired to grow your own.

It costs £5 to buy a Chorlton Open Gardens programme, which gives you access to all of the gardens. These programmes will be sold by Creative Recycling, Chorlton Bookshop, Blossom Florists and Chorlton Plant Nursery from mid-May, plus outside Unicorn Grocery in June at the weekend.

Chorlton Beer & Cider Festival 2018

12-14 July 2018

Chorlton Beer and Cider Festival

Chorlton Beer Festival

The Chorlton Beer & Cider Festival, to give the event its official name, returns to St Clement’s Church on Edge Lane in mid-July.

Also known as Chorlton Beer Festival or simply Chorlton Beer Fest, this annual institution is organised by the church in association with Trafford & Hulme CAMRA. This year’s punters can choose from more than 200 real ales, beers, ciders and perries at the festival, which will also hold the North West round of the Champion Speciality Beer of Britain competition.

The event will start with a quieter preview night on Thursday, before ramping up the atmosphere with the help of live music throughout Friday and Saturday. The Thursday and Friday sessions will run from 6pm-1030pm, with the marathon Saturday session running from 1pm-930pm (children are welcome until 7pm on Saturday and there’ll be special activities put on for them).

Entry prices for the 14th Chorlton Beer Festival are being held at the same level as 2017 – £10 per person, which includes a souvenir festival glass, a programme with tasting notes for the beers, and a £4 beer token. Card-carrying CAMRA members also get a free beer voucher.

Beech Road Summer Fete 2018

22 July 2018

Logo for the Beech Road Summer Fete on 22 July 2018

Beech Road Summer Fete

The Beech Road Summer Fete is a community fundraising event to help raise money for Beech Road Park.

Activities are split between Beech Road Park, Beech Road, Chorlton Green and the Bowling Green and take place from 11am to 5pm. In the park, there’ll be a family fun day featuring a bouncy castle, kite-making, a penalty shoot-out, belly dancing and Zumba while, on the street, several of the bars and restaurants will put on live music. On Chorlton Green, meanwhile, there’ll be a fete so keep your eyes peeled for the hook-a-duck, coconut shy, raffle and tug-of-war among other things, and last but not least the Bowling Green will host yoga and tai chi (bring your own mat and towel).

It looks as though entry to the Beech Road Summer Fete is free, though I imagine you may have to pay for some of the activities.

Chorlton Bonfire Night 2018

5 November 2018 (presumably)

Spectacular fireworks on Bonfire Night

Fireworks display

For years, the biggest free Guy Fawkes Night party in Chorlton was organised by the Horse & Jockey pub on Chorlton Green – there wasn’t a bonfire as such, but there was a spectacular fireworks display and outdoor food and drink stalls.

Last year, however, the pub announced that it wouldn’t be hosting an event on Chorlton Green “following advice and detailed consultation with all relevant authorities” and specifically concerns over “the safety and welfare of the increasingly large numbers of people attending”.

At the last minute, the Lead Station pub, the Chorlton Fireworks shop and West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC stepped in to collectively organise a replacement Guy Fawkes Night fireworks display at the Recreation Ground off Brookburn Road in Chorltonville.

It’s too early to say what’ll happen this November – but be sure to check the latest before setting off to avoid disappointment.

Chorlton Book Festival 2018

November 2018?

Chorlton Book Festival celebrates Manchester's most literary suburb

Chorlton Book Festival

Chorlton Book Festival traditionally takes place at the end of November.

The festival’s coordinated by the Chorlton Book Festival Group, which comprises representatives of Manchester’s libraries, galleries and culture, councillors, businesses, schools, community groups and residents, and I’m just waiting to hear back from them about what’s in store for 2018.

In previous years, Chorlton Library on Manchester Road has served as the Chorlton Book Festival hub and hosted a lot of the main activities, albeit ably supported by other venues across the suburb on specific events. There are usually poetry slams, author readings, literature talks, writing workshops and a literary pub quiz.

Many of the events are free, but a few are paid-for.

Chorlton Christmas Lights 2018

Winter 2018?

Christmas tree on Chorlton Green

Christmas Lights

There’s typically some sort of organised activity around the switching on of the Chorlton Christmas Lights.

The Beech Road Christmas Lights Switch-On, for example, has in the past featured a lantern parade by local schoolchildren led by Father Christmas.

This procession starts in Beech Road Park at around 545pm, moves down Beech Road and ends up on Chorlton Green for the big switch-on at about 615pm, with revellers tucking into mince pies and mulled wine as they listen to a church choir performing a few festive carols.

It’s usually a free event.

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  1. Reblogged this on msamba.


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