We’re all rejoicing with double-faceted Hallelujahs this week, not only because the sun has been sneaking its way out from behind the clouds, but also because we find ourselves with both Friday and Monday off. Both! But what to do with these potentially sunny extra two days off from the daily grind?
1978 exhibition at Federation House
Take a brief pause from supping sickly fruit cider in the pub garden and inject a little culture into your bank holiday weekend with the 1978 exhibition. We’ve featured this exhibition in our roundup of free events before, but now it returns to the city in association with Manchester Fashion Week and in its new home at Federation House. Aiming to highlight the importance of contemporary art and film in present day culture, 1978 covers a broad range of media including projection-based films, sculptures, paintings and digital and photographic prints, which have been created as a response to one of four documentaries.
Thu 17 – Sun 20 Apr, Federation House, Federation Street, M60 OAF, Thu: 6pm – 10pm, Fri - Sun 12pm - 6pm, FREE, www.1978filmfestival.wix.com
Free Gig Friday at The Bay Horse
Free things are always great, but live music that asks for nothing but your attention and appreciation is particularly special. To enjoy such treats, head down to The Bay Horse for their regular Free Gig Friday, which this week welcomes Manchester girl and acoustic singer-songwriter Chantelle Elliot, as well as an acoustic set from local punk-rockers Muttley. And as if all this free music lark isn’t enough, you could even head down a little earlier to check out the Manchester Spins vinyl launch plus exhibition from Manchester designer Trevor Johnson, all as part of Record Store Day (from 2pm).
Fri 18 Apr, The Bay Horse, 35-37 Thomas Street, M4 1NA, From 9pm, FREE, www.thebayhorsepub.co.uk
Vintage Swing Festival at The Printworks
It’s no secret that swing music holds the unique power to turn even the unlikeliest of dancers into the room’s greatest and most willing mover, and this Sunday swing music and dance event company Katz Korner are urging everyone to get toe-tapping with their 11th annual festival at the Printworks. Live music comes from rockabilly trio The Hicksville Bombers, soundtracking proceedings with blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll all stylised with the upbeat feel of the 50s, as well as rockabilly singer-songwriter Donna Dunne and swing DJ sets throughout the day. If you find yourself in need of a break from the dancing you can also peruse an array of market stalls selling vintage clothing, crafts, cakes, sweets and drinks, or ogle some pretty sweet vintage rides.
Sun 20 Apr, The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, M4 2BS, From 12pm, FREE, www.theprintworks.com
Eighty Six Easter Special at The Beagle
Arguably the best spot in Manchester for some Bank Holiday bronzing, The Beagle opens up its suntrap of a terrace this Sunday for a day of chilled Easter goodness hosted by Eighty Six. Hopping across the Pennines from their own bar Outlaws Yacht Club are special guests Joe and Craig (pictured), who dabble in music both as DJs and as a band. With a music policy that aims to create a laid back atmosphere among friends, the boys will be on board to get your Sunday revved up to the max with those rare no-work-tomorrow vibes. Eighty Six DJs will also be gracing the decks, and you can tuck into The Beagle’s new menu of sunshine-appropriate Mexican style dishes whilst lapping up the feelgood factor of The Beagle's first alfresco bash for 2014.
Sun 20 Apr, The Beagle, 456-458 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton, M21 0BQ, 4pm – late, FREE, www.facebook.com
First Draft: Two's Company at The Castle
See out the Bank Holiday in style with a night of music, comedy, drama, storytelling, fiction, poetry, spoken word and more as Manchester-based cabaret night First Draft celebrates turning two. Ensuring the festivities get weird and wonderful are Jez Hewes and Abi Hynes, James Varney and Lenni Saunders, Ailish Breen and Jenny Browne, Richard Lomax and FirstnameFrank - to name just a few - and the night will be guest hosted by Trisha Anne Starbrook.
Mon 21 Apr, The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, M4 1LE, 7.30pm, FREE, www.facebook.com
And if none of these tickle your fancy, you can also catch a vintage fair at The King's Arms on Saturday, a Record Store Day shindig at Indigo this Sunday, Band on the Wall hosts its monthly Acoustic Bhuna also on Sunday and Trof has its weekly Open Mic night on Monday.