Manchester Weekender returns for its fourth year to celebrate the best of art and culture that our glorious city has to offer. There’s a lot on, but we’ve compiled a list of the absolute must-sees.

Jeremy Deller’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air at Manchester Art Gallery
It’s no secret that Manchester played an integral part in Brtitain’s Industrial Revolution, which has since shaped popular culture in ways that nobody could have expected. Jeremy Deller’s new exhibition, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air illustrates this, combining contemporary music, film and photography with 19th century material to explore the lasting effects of the revolution and focusing in on the key figures within these themes – such as Adrian Street, the wrestler born into a Welsh mining community and James Sharples, the blacksmith and self-taught painter. There’s also an after party at 2022NQ with a DJ set from Everything Everything, DJs Dave Haslam and Will Tramp, with further special guests to be announced closer to the event.
Opens Sat 12 Oct, Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL, 6pm – 9pm, FREE,

Women in Comedy Festival
Even in this supposed modern age of equality for all, women still get pretty bad press when it comes to comedy. Seeking to shatter this perception is the first Women in Comedy Festival, showcasing the best of female funnies across a range of platforms including live comedy, theatre, spoken word, book readings, film, visual art, improv, photography, workshops and debates. The festival is led by founder of Laughing Cows Comedy Hazel O’Keefe, and during the Manchester Weekender itself the event boasts a fantastically strong line-up including Suzi Ruffell, Norris & Parker, Kerry Leigh and Lucy Porter, to name just a few.
1 – 27 Oct, Various venues, Various prices,

Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War at the Imperial War Museum
This exhibition sinks its teeth into the consideration of how we perceive war and conflict in an age where it is constantly moulded by the media, as well as by the never-ending abyss we call the internet. Featuring over 70 works from the likes of Steve McQueen, Kennard Phillips (work pictured), Langlands & Bell, Edmund Clark, Paul Seawright, Ori Gersht, Miroslaw Balka and Jananne Al Ani, Catalyst uses photography, film, sculpture, oil paintings, prints and book works to explore the issues through a range of multimedia. Expect to be moved, humoured and outraged by an exhibition that seeks to make us reflect upon conflicts past and present, illustrating the power that art can hold in allowing us to think not only about the immediate impact of conflict, but also its long-term implications.
Opens Sat 12 October, Imperial War Museum, The Quays, Trafford Park, Trafford Wharf Road, M17 1TZ, FREE,

See the full Manchester Weekender programme at

Thu 10 Oct - Sun 13 Oct
Jess Hardiman
Published on:
Sun 6 Oct 2013