Here it is: our round-up and rundown of the very best free things to feast your eyes, ears and other sensory apparatus upon.

Dig the City
It’s not ideal festival weather, but that hasn’t stopped the Dig the City gardening festival from taking root in the centre of town. Booze, food and fashion mixes with horticulture as pop-up gardens appear all over the city – ranging from community projects to big, sponsored gardens sculpted by the country’s best landscapers. There’s plenty going on for horticulture hounds of all ages – and you can check out the details in our full preview here
Fri 31 Jul – Thu 6 Aug, Various city centre locations, 10am – 8pm,

Manchester Jazz Festival
Manchester Jazz Festival has rolled back in to town, occupying the space left by MIF. Now in its 20th year, the festival aims to bring together artists – local, national and international – from all corners of the jazz community. The shows vary in price from a fiver to £24, but there is a solid contingent of free shows. The Jazz North northern line Showcase runs on Monday 3 from midday to 10pm, at various venues, and features a variety of musicians from all over the North of England. Tuesday sees Yesa Sikyi and James Girling take to the stage for nowt; Wednesday sees power-jazz trio Taupe take to the Pavilion stage; and on Thursday you can catch Agua Pasa and Kalakuta. There are free shows running into the weekend as well, but it you’re itching to part with some cash, we’ve done a rundown of the best of the rest here.
Fri 31 Jul – Sun 9 Aug, various venues,

Protect Exhibition at People’s History Museum (pictured)
Thirty years since the end of the miners strike, we can now look back on it and the huge impact it had on our culture, values and the political direction of Britain. Sculptor Al Johnson’s installation is a commemoration of this fight. It consists of a huddle of free-standing riot shields emblazoned with the slogans of the struggle to evoke the spirit of the time. Most PHM exhibitions are free, but a small donation is recommended.
Tue 4 Aug – Thu 17 Sep, People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, M3 3ER,

Mon 3 Aug - Thu 6 Aug
Jon Whiteley
Published on:
Mon 3 Aug 2015