Taking Place from Sat 11 – Sun 19 Nov, Manchester’s sensational new cultural venue celebrates its inauguration with The Welcome, an incredible programme of free live music, workshops and talks showcasing the staggering talent and creative spirit of communities around the city.

Throughout the series, visitors can arrive at any time of day to discover a thrumming hub of activities to enjoy at no charge, with the option to stick around as long as you like and explore the building at your leisure.

Family-Friendly Events

Throughout The Welcome, families with children of all ages can stop by and get involved with a wide range of creative, engaging events and workshops. Early-years children can explore the foundations of music, instruments and uninhibited noise with Shake, Rattle & Roll, hone their big top skills with Skylight Arts Circus, watch an enchanting puppet theatre performance from Pui Ka Cheng, enjoy storytelling sessions with sensory materials and more. Alternatively, families can head to the dedicated Play Zone to get involved with crafts, games and drama in a less structured environment.


Alongside an eclectic array of educational events for younger visitors like Skylights Arts Circus, Diddi Dance Class and even Projekts MCR’s skateboarding coaching sessions, The Welcome offers a sprawling programme of workshops for adults to check out across the week, from a beginner’s introduction to West African dance rhythms with Kalabanté Productions and Brazilian carnival drumming with Katumba to screen-printing lessons, drag queen tarot reading, mushroom-growing, cultural dance, inclusive art history clubs, creative writing with renowned author Anita Sethi and even a class on the art of empathetic storytelling through hip hop and soul, led by multitalented artist LayFullstop.

See the full workshop programme below.


With performances taking place across the week, Aviva Studios welcomes a wondrously diverse lineup of musicians, vocalists and dancers to captivate audiences with a slate of global sounds and rhythms. Folk fans can take in the ‘joyful and uplifting’ melodies of Watson & Lockett and the elegiac lyricism of Evie Eve, while the Jill Scott-inflected tones of Dija Bhlue alongside the vibrant, jazz-backed vocals of MIF Sounds alumnus Mali Hayes is guaranteed to satisfy lovers of neo-soul. Dance enthusiasts can head to the ‘super-inclusive and genre-defying’ Silent Disco, hosted by Silence of the Jams and Carlton Club, while local DJ Andrea Trout traverses the wild terrain of modern dance tunes, from 80s soul to pop classics and new house with sweeping abandon.

Check out the full music programme below.


Featuring low-key, casual and welcoming discussions with Talking Points, unique explorations of the city’s working class history through archival footage and interviews in Manchester Across the Decades, and a captivating discussion with Filipino artist-designer Leeroy New, whose breathtaking Balete Spacecraft installation takes over the Social throughout the week, The Welcome hosts a diverse array of fascinating talks and panels which visitors can enjoy for free.

On Sat 11 Nov, visitors can meet Factory Assembly, curators of The Welcome, and hear first-hand accounts of the extensive planning and collective vision which goes into the planning of a major cultural event.


From the quiet, diverting joy of art therapy to a relaxing, cathartic stroll around the city, The Welcome covers all the bases of wellbeing and mindfulness with a selection of events on offer throughout the programme. There’s even something for kids, with The Sea Within’s Jessica Wilkinson leading a calm, playful introductory yoga session designed for children aged 6 and above.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Sat 11 Nov - Sun 19 Nov, Aviva Studios,
Water Street, Manchester, M3 4JQ
, Tel: 0333 322 8679, FREE
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Mon 30 Oct 2023