Women of the World Festival is coming to Manchester for the first time this month, taking over Aviva Studios for a weekend of innovative workshops, vibrant discussions, and a bustling Marketplace.

Manchester’s inaugural WOW festival welcomes world-class speakers, activists, and performers, including Mel B, Jordan Stephens, Julia Gillard, Maxine Peake, Zawe Ashton, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, DJ Paulette, and Chimene Suleyman.

From Fri 24 May – Sun 26 May, visitors are invited to unite with Greater Manchester and beyond for transformative conversations and incredible performances, while the Social will host a series of free events across the weekend including WOW pop-ups, poetry, workshops, and artwork.

WOW Manchester

On Fri 24 May, as one of the festival’s headline events, WOW presents Brutally Honest – an evening with artist and author Melanie Brown. Celebrating the launch of her critically acclaimed memoir, Brutally Honest, Mel and journalist and co-author Louise Gannon will sit down for an unfiltered discussion on Mel’s journey from being a Spice Girl and global icon, to Women’s Aid patron and champion for survivors of abuse.

Credit: Rachel Sherlock

The following evening, audiences are invited to step into the hilarious world of acclaimed comedian and writer Sara Pascoe as she joins WOW Founder and CEO Jude Kelly for an evening of conversation and readings from her debut novel Weirdo. Filled with insights, laughs and more, Sara offers a glimpse into what it takes to craft comedic and captivating stories on the page in an evening filled with gags, entertainment and inspiration.

On Sun 26 May, Masculinity, addiction and learning to love – An Evening with Jordan Stephens sees the Rizzle Kicks star in conversation with broadcaster and friend Miquita Oliver. In this rare public discussion, Stephens explores how his relationships with women, men and masculinity have changed and what learning to love yourself again looks like.

At the heart of the festival will be a bustling marketplace where creativity and activism unite. Here, visitors will have the chance to meet an array of talented artists and changemakers who are using their creativity for good — from feminist film screenings and South Asian art showcases, to fashion upcycling workshops led by ethical clothing brand Lucy & Yak.

Visitors can also pop by the Social for a range of free public events across the weekend featuring WOW pop-ups, mentoring, poetry, workshops, artwork and more.

For more information about the festival programme, head over to the Factory International website here.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Fri 24 May - Sun 26 May, Aviva Studios,
Aviva Studios, Water St, Manchester M3 4JQ
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Sat 4 May 2024