We bet you’ve got that Friday feeling, haven’t you? That sensation’s a fairly universal one, but all too often people just don’t know what to do with it other than drown it in a bottle of Pinot Grigio. There isn’t anything wrong with that (after all, who are we to judge?) but should the wine leave you in any way unfulfilled, here are some alternatives that are completely free.

Manchester Canal Festival (pictured)
Plenty to do this weekend thanks to this one, with an itinerary boasting lots of music, food and drink, street art and cinema. With all kinds of local businesses and faces on board, such as Pasta Paul, Streatza, Kosmonaut and Takk, and live performances from the likes of Thugs on Wolves and Literature Thieves, the lineup is set to be pretty meaty. Without a doubt the highlight is the pop-up cinema, which will be showing cult classic films in a glorious canal-side setting – the Sunday screening is Life of Pi, perfect for ending the weekend with some good wholesome, soul-stirring stuff whilst looking down at your reflection upon the water and pondering life’s biggest questions. Once all that’s done, head down to 2022NQ for the after-partay.
Sat 7 – Sun 8 Sep, Brownsfield Mill, Port Street, M1 2EG, 12pm – 10pm, FREE, www.manchestercanalfestival.co.uk

Wigan Diggers Festival
No, this isn’t a festival paying homage to the humble JCB, though it’s easy to see how that assumption could have been made. The Wigan Diggers Festival is actually something a whole lot more cultured, being a celebration of the life of locally born and bred Gerrard Winstanley, who pioneered the Diggers movement of the 17th Century. The Diggers, or ‘True Levellers’ as they were also known, fought for equality and were among the first to truly campaign for full rights for both men and women. To honour this, the festival blends poetry, music, song and film with various other activities to bring the movement back into the limelight.
Sat 7 Sep, The Wiend, Wigan Town Centre, Wigan, WN1 1NH, All day, FREE, www.wigandiggersfestival.org

Sunday Acoustic Sessions at Band on the Wall ft. The Birdman Rallies and RoBoT aLiEn
Band on the Wall have always been good at providing something to keep the folk of Manchester amused, and this Sunday they’re keeping up with tradition. Sunday Sessions is an acoustic night showcasing the best in emerging new talent, complete with some open-mic slots up for grabs. This week welcomes The Birdman Rallies to the stage, a group of four from Harrogate who have already shaken up BBC Radio 1 and 2 and 6 music with their enchanting melodies, as well as Robot Alien (a.k.a Robert Allen), whose cleverly crafted lyrics should help ease you through the last breaths of the weekend.
Sun 8 Sep, Band on the Wall, 25 Swan Street, M4 5JZ, 6pm, FREE, www.bandonthewall.org

Fri 6 Sep - Sun 8 Sep
Jess Hardiman
Published on:
Thu 5 Sep 2013