Things to do in Manchester this weekend: 23-25 September, from Oktoberfest to Laughterama

Here’s what is happening in Manchester this week – featuring comedy, chicken wings and steins of beer.

<p>Manchester Food and Drink Festival is celebrating 25 years this year</p>

Manchester Food and Drink Festival is celebrating 25 years this year

Manchester Food and Drink Festival

Cathedral Gardens and various locations, Thursday 22 September – Sunday 2 October

Manchester Food and Drink Festival returns to the city centre this weekend for its 25th year. The event, which is spread over two consecutive weekends, brings together the best restaurants, bars and traders for a celebration of Manchester’s food scene.

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    The Artisan food market will run for the duration of the festival, which will also include masterclasses, a Festival Fire Pit takeover, and a Coffee Rave. A highlight of the festival includes an awards ceremony at Freight Island.

    The Festival Hub at Cathedral Gardens is free to enter, but some of the events are ticketed, so check the website for more details.

    Manchester Food and Drink Festival is celebrating 25 years this year



    Castlefield Bowl, 21–25 September

    A who’s who of the country’s best comedians will be at Castlefield Bowl this weekend for the first ever Laughterama festival. Everyone from Nish Kumar to Rosie Jones, from Tim Key to Aisling Bea.

    With such an impressive lineup, some of the shows have already sold out. But tickets for the remaining shows – which still include top-tier comedians like David O’Doherty, Dylan Moran, and Rose Matafeo – are available on the festival website at £25.

    Irish comedian, writer, actor and filmmaker Dylan Moran is probably most recognised as the grumpy bookshop owner in Black Books, which he also co-wrote. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two children



    Escape to Freight Island, 23–25 September

    Dust off your lederhosen and get down to Escape to Freight Island this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, where the Ticket Hall will be transformed into a German bierkeller for a two-day Oktoberfest. There will be comedy comperes, a traditional oom-pah band, German beer served in steins and food specials.

    Entry is free. More information can be found on the Freight Island website.


    The Trafford Centre, 24-25 September

    This weekend an estimated 200,000 chicken wings will be sold by the 20 traders at this year’s Wingfest at the Trafford Centre. This festival of all things chicken wings will also be inviting ticket holders to vote on their favourite wings and enter eating competitions. Drinks can be purchased at the bars and there will also be live music, BBQ cooking demos, hot sauce making demos and fairground rides and games – including axe throwing!


    Early bird tickets cost £20 and standard tickets cost £25. More information can be found on the website.

    Chicken wings are seen before a chicken wing eating contest, on National Chicken Wing Day

    Girl from the North Country

    The Lowry, 20–24 September

    Bob Dylan fans, take note. This week, the musical Girl from the North Country by playwright Conor McPherson comes to The Lowry theatre at Salford Quays. The show takes place in 1934 America and features the music of folk hero Bob Dylan. It tells the story of a group of “wayward souls” who meet at a guesthouse at a turning point in their lives.

    Tickets start at £21.50 and can be purchased on the Lowry website, where you’ll find a full list of dates and showtimes.