With up and down weather and no school in sight just yet, there are still heaps of free events happening in Manchester later this August for everyone to enjoy. From photo exhibitions to car boot sales, here’s the rundown of the best free things to do this week in Manchester featuring the brand new Tony Wilson mural, the Thank you Manchester Weekender, and much more…

First viewing of the Tony Wilson Mural | Withington | Wed 11 Aug | From 10am

Brighton street artist, The Postman, is set to make their Manchester mural debut with a shrine to the legendary Tony Wilson. Taking place at the Mensroom Barbershop – the perfect spot for the mural as the local barbershop on the same street as The Haçienda – The Postman will use celebrated rock photographer Kevin Cummins’ image of Wilson as inspiration. With a triple artwork piece of Wilson, reflecting the three different aspects of his life – the man, the record label genius and the night owl, Withington Walls couldn’t have found a better place for Withington’s newest mural. The placement of the mural in Wilson’s former hometown makes the artwork even more special.

1 Palatine Road, Withington
See the #BehindClosedDoors Photography Exhibition | Manchester Central Library | Mon - Thurs 9 am - 8 pm, Fri - Sat 9 am - 5 pm

Greater Manchester mental wellbeing charity MancSpirit has just launched a photography exhibition by an NHS worker who volunteered to work in ICU during the peak of Covid-19. The exhibition reveals never-seen-before images from inside an intensive care unit where former Senior Sister and passionate photographer, Petro Bekker, volunteered during the pandemic. As Petro was illuminating such a significant piece of history, the hospital gave her permission to document what she saw. She only used lighting that was naturally occurring within the ICU setting as all the photographs were taken during her breaks and in her own time at the ward. Showcasing life inside a Greater Manchester ICU at height of the pandemic is a testament to the strength and resilience of Manchester’s NHS workers and the exhibition is truly a snapshot of such a tumultuous point in history.

Manchester Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD
Be part of the Thank you Manchester Weekender | Manchester City Centre | Sat 14 Aug | 1 pm - 6 pm

Coming to the squares of Manchester City Centre this summer, you’re invited to this all-inclusive fun-filled festival of thanks, designed to bring laughter back and a smile to all. With street theatre, live music, dancing, stilt walkers, and giant flamingos, there will be something for everyone. The iconic venues of Cathedral Gardens and Piccadilly Gardens will host a range of great live music, from brass bands to samba squads. Whatever you choose to listen to, this weekend is sure to have everyone dancing in the streets. Fancy a shop too? Exchange Square will be taken over by the Manchester Market, with all things Manchester-related up for sale. From Manchester-themed clothing to locally-grown produce, the market will be a fine celebration of our great city and its resilience over this testing time.

Manchester City Centre, Various venues
Visit Cotton On MCR's Art All-Dayer | Ancoats | Sat 14 Aug | 11 am - 6 pm

Ready to showcase the absolute best of Manchester’s art scene into one amazing event is Cotton On MCR’S Art All-Dayer. Featuring a huge affordable art fair, workshops, a pop-up exhibition and more – this all-day event is the first of its kind. The art fair will feature 60 stalls of amazing art, from paintings to prints and pottery to photography. With an emphasis on only featuring the work of creatives living and/or working in the Greater Manchester region, this is event is making sure to promote the best local talent this incredible city has to offer.

40 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BF
The Laughięnda Comedy Club | The Lions Den Bar | Thu 12 Aug | 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Hitting Deansgate with some great live comedy is The Laughięnda. With Manchester’s top new comedians to keep you entertained all evening – this free event is sure to make you laugh out loud. Guaranteed to bring laughs, gasps and guffaws, check out the Lion’s Den Bar this Thursday – a whole new kind of social space located on Deansgate Mews within the Great Northern Complex. Seating is first-come, first-served – so reserve your seat to avoid disappointment!

New sculpture at the Quays Festival | Salford Quays | Sat 1 pm & 4 pm, Sun 15 Aug 11 am & 3 pm

As theatre auditoriums return to capacity and people enjoy shared experiences together once again, Quays Festival launches a bold programme of performances and events set to transform Salford Quays across the weekend. The daytime programme is designed to be family-friendly and suitable for all ages, with highlights including a spectacular new aerial performance created by specialists Scarabeus Aerial Theatre. The festival also celebrates the launch of a new sculptural installation Through No.4 by Liz West. Installed permanently on MediaCity steps, the six metre-long, prismatic corridor of light will invite people to pass through and see the world around them transformed by colour. 

Salford Quays M50 3BE
Mon 9 Aug - Sun 15 Aug
Rhiannon Ingle
Published on:
Mon 9 Aug 2021