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Rambert, The North’s first Charity Super.Mkt and Craig Charles added to We Invented the Weekend Festival programme

● The two-day free festival will also include a sneak-peek into Manchester’s Factory International, social sewing meet-ups and open water swimming amongst the already announced 200+ free activities taking over MediaCity and Salford Quays in June ● The festival will also embrace and celebrate the FA cup final match with footie themed craft activities, mini tournaments, themed music and much more…

We Invented the Weekend, the bold and imaginative free festival for the UK, from Salford, taking place in 6 weeks’ time on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June, is today announcing the latest programme additions for the brand-new culture led festival in Salford. The festival champions differences in how people spend their leisure time, situated where the weekend was originally invented in Greater Manchester, 1843.

Highlights from the latest programme announcement include Charity Super.Mkt’s first venture into the North, touring contemporary dance innovators Rambert and BBC radio host and DJ Craig Charles all descending into Salford to help celebrate all things weekend.

The weekend was invented when Salford Lyceum director and workers’ rights activist Robert Lowes (also Sir Ian McKellen’s Great Great Grandfather) campaigned to win mill workers the right to leisure time on Saturday afternoons. In this triumph, Greater Manchester gave an enormous gift to the world and We Invented the Weekend will honour this, in true style, celebrating leisure time, free time, quality time, and me-time.

In a first for the UK, We Invented the Weekend will see the North’s first Charity Super.Mkt pop-up, which will grant festival goers access to a curated collection of fashion, accessories and homewares from a dozen of the UK’s best local and national charity retailers. The sole purpose of the pop-up is to make a positive contribution to society and the world with every pound being spent donated to help environmental causes and social good.

One of the world’s most diverse dance companies, Rambert, will also be participating in community activity at the festival, transforming the everyday spaces in Salford and MediaCity into awe-inspiring, adventurous, and dynamic pockets of fleeting moments in celebration of the weekend. Rambert will also wow the crowds in a spectacular performance – one of the many happening at this year’s We Invented the Weekend.

Sunday 4th June will also see BBC radio legend and DJ-star Craig Charles spurring the crowd on whilst dropping feel good anthems during the Free Time Parade, which will invite everybody to take part in an exciting one-off, mass participation parade through the festival, directed by local movement director Ruth Jones. The moment will give all a chance to hold placards up with pride and in unison with others to celebrate free time. Free Time paraders will be invited to shout about what the weekend means to them and end at the main stage for a powerful finale moment.

Wayne Hemingway MBE, co-founder of the We Invented the Weekend festival commented on the final programme announcement “It’s nearly time to let loose and celebrate free time in a completely refreshing and new way this June. We Invented the Weekend is for everyone and we guarantee everyone will get to try a new pastime or ten  during the weekend celebrations . The festival has the perfect mixture of activities so no matter where you’re travelling from or who you’re travelling with, there will be something for you . And what is more, it’s FREE!”

Chief Executive Tom Stannard from Salford City Council said: “These latest additions to the festival line up further emphasize what an amazing event We Invented the Weekend is gearing up to be. With so many wonderful things happening and big names joining the celebrations, it truly will be a special weekend for the city and one not to miss.”

New to the over 100 ‘We Get Creative’ workshops will be a collaborative dance piece with Manchester’s Factory International, an unrivalled opportunity for weekenders to experience what is to come from Factory International when it officially opens later in June with a taster wellbeing workshop which will encourage people to connect with their bodies, gain awareness of how they might be holding onto stress and, through movement, find ways that encourages their body to feel better.

For the first time in history, it’s an all-Manchester FA cup final on Saturday 3rd June and in true We Invented the Weekend style this will be reflected across the festival…a place to join in the footie fun, or totally avoid it. Footie themed craft activities, mini tournaments and themed music will ensure the buzz for the sporting event is seen throughout the festival. As part of the Try Outs in the Weekend Arena, U-Swim will also host free open water swimming session for those looking to try out a new pastime.

‘We Get Green’ workshops include activities from RHS Bridgewater such as a plant swap, touring theatre performances with a gardening twist, as well as workshops from Lee Burkhill aka Garden Ninja, the award-winning blogger and presenter of BBC Garden Rescue; and Jason Williams, aka the Cloud Gardener, an RHS award-winning garden designer who will be sharing tips on greening up small spaces. BUPA are the lead event partner for We Get Green and will be inviting festivalgoers to join in craft and planting activities in the MediaCity community garden over the weekend, boasting family and solo activity fun with focus on gardening and sustainability. The latest addition today includes Manchester Sewing Social who will host a beginner and more experienced sewists to get their weekend stitched up.

We Think Big will take place in the University of Salford’s MediaCity campus with talks chaired by experts including Sky News’ Interview Producer Melissa Tutesigensi, CEO of Traid, Maria Chenoweth and BBC Radio Manchester presenter, Karen Gabay. The Saturday and Sunday timetable will be packed with insightful talks from industry leading panellists including journalists, environmentalists and architects across important topics across music, sport and of course the weekend.

Across the two-day weekender CBeebies Bedtime Stories LIVE will descend onto MediaCity and delight children of all ages, with festival guests and celebrities reading stories including fashion designer Patrick Grant and poet Mike Garry. Plus keep your eyes peeled for CBBC’s Hacker T Dog who will be popping up around the festival site.

We Invented the Weekend will also be hosting Art Battle I: The Next Generation, where young artists will compete in live painting competitions to be named champion. In a world-first, the event will take place at The Lowry, which sits in the heart of Salford Quays, named after the early 20th century-painter L.S. Lowry. Young artists will take part in the Junior Art Battle Manchester in the Compass Room, which sits adjacent to the historic L.S. Lowry collection.

Community Clothing, an ethical clothing brand based in the North, will be leading a pop-up and swap shop over the two day weekend allowing festivalgoers to trade in and exchange their Community Clothing pieces, whilst their founder and judge on BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee, Patrick Grant will join Wayne Hemingway MBE to discuss sustainable fashion and the history of the local textile industry, paying tribute to the Greater Manchester workers who fought for our right to have Saturday’s off.

At The Lowry, a key partner of We Invented the Weekend, there will be a whole host of activities as part of the ‘We Get Creative’ workshops organised by the festival, including Lowry by The Lowry, which will allow people to learn how to paint in the style of one of Salford’s most famous sons, LS Lowry, under the expert guidance of artist and Local Goggleboxer, Helena Worthington.

From a musical perspective, the powerhouse of North West talent and fronted by Pops Robert, Lovescene will be making an appearance as part of the ‘We Play’ performances as well as an unmissable Unity Radio Mainstage takeover including BBC Radio 1xtra heroes Luke Nelson, Nakia Oliver, Black Betty and Prido.

SFTOQuays brought to the festival by local heroes Sounds From The Other City and Get Your Docks Off musical themed boat trips on the ship canal. ‘Playhouse Project’ are also set to get the whole family going with soulful house, rare funk and broken beats on the MediaCity weekend stage, amongst a plethora of other DJ sets across the site

We Invented the Weekend will take place 3rd – 4th June in MediaCity and Salford Quays and is expected to attract more than 150,000 people to the area. More information and the festival programme can be found here.

Free tickets are available to reserve across the 200+ activities here. Bookings open in early May.

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