Pixel powers up for Manchester Day! (pic Manchester City Council)

It’s Game On in Manchester this weekend!

Johann Sebastian Joust game at Manchester Day (pic Manchester City Council)
Johann Sebastian Joust game at Manchester Day (pic Manchester City Council)

The wait is almost over as Manchester Day returns this Sunday 14 June, midday – 6pm, for a free family-friendly celebration of all things marvellously Mancunian.

More importantly for gamers, especially indie and board game fans, this year’s Manchester Day theme is Game On! – celebrating the idea that games have helped shape modern Manchester and will have an important impact on the city’s future.

Game On! will see a whole weekend of gaming-themed fun on Saturday as well as Sunday, with video games as well as games of the more traditional variety given imaginative interpretations, as more than 2,500 participants from more than eighty community groups take to the streets for a spectacular parade through the city.


In celebration of this year’s Manchester Day theme, a multi-platform gaming convention will come to Manchester’s Town Hall for the first time.

The free two-day gaming event will bring together the whole spectrum of gaming, from traditional table-top and board games to the best of UK and local computer game development.

The Manchester Day Games Room will have interactive fun for all ages, with a family orientated, creative and inclusive approach to video games and gaming.

Plugging in on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June (10am – 6pm each day), town hall will become the city’s living room for a weekend, giving gamers the chance to test their nerve at some of the newest indie titles and unusual board games.


Manchester has one of the fastest growing computer game development industries in the UK, with start-up companies finding support in new media hubs such as the Sharp Project in east Manchester.

More than 21,000 people are employed within the software, data and Games / AR industry in the city – with 5% of Greater Manchester’s population working within the digital and creative industries.

More than 300 creative start-up businesses each year are recorded in the city, with the next generation of coders finding the support network they need with coding clubs across the region. Coding is also taught in some primary schools as part of their curriculum.

Top titles such as Mutiny! and Sublevel Zero are hotly tipped as some of the most anticipated independent games on the market – and gamers will have the opportunity to have a go and meet their creators at the Manchester Day Games Room.

Also available to play is the much loved Johann Sebastian Joust game – a screen-less multiplayer game played using motion sensor technology in a battle of wits and a steady hand!

The Manchester Games Room will also showcase a range of low-tech alternatives with the help of the Tabletop Manchester group. Purveyors of extraordinary games, Tabletop are willing gamers away from the standard family favourites, opening a world of exciting board game fun.

Volunteers will be on hand to oversee some of the rarest and interesting board games, which most players won’t even have heard of. This is your chance to broaden your gaming horizon with some knowledgeable and enthusiastic experts!


Pixel powers up for Manchester Day! (pic Manchester City Council)
Pixel powers up for Manchester Day! (pic Manchester City Council)

And don’t forget to follow Manchester Day’s official 16-bit mascot, PIXEL – a highly advanced, sentient robotic explorer who has been researching the city in the run up to Manchester Day! Pixel will be tweeting enthusiastically about Manchester’s incredible history. Follow @PixelMcrDay for some fascinating facts about Manchester, as well as the most up-to-date Manchester Day news.

Cllr Pat Karney, Chair of Manchester Day, said: “Town hall is nearly 150 years old! It hasn’t seen anything like this! We might need to shore up the electric supply but GAME ON! I can already tell this is going to be very popular – the younger members of my family will be camped out here all weekend.”

Cllr Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “As the Manchester Games Room shows, Manchester Day is far more than a parade. Showcasing some of the most exciting game developers in the city, this is the sort of event that makes Manchester Day so special.

“David Hayward, Curator of the Manchester Day Games Room, said: “Manchester and the North in general have some incredibly talented videogame developers. While their work has a world stage, it’s not always obvious that such talented people are in your back yard. So I’m massively looking forward to helping them show their work off in the Town Hall over the Manchester Day weekend.”

Jim Rossignol, Rock Paper Shotgun, said: “Video games have long been one of the vital elements of the UK’s creative culture, and we’re thrilled to celebrate some of the best of independent contemporary design and invention for Manchester Day.”

Mike Rose, Founder of Tabletop Manchester, said: “I started Tabletop Manchester in the hope of bringing more people together to experience board games. Having the opportunity to share the group with thousands of people on Manchester Day is super exciting.”


Commissioned by Manchester City Council, and produced by local outdoor experts Walk the Plank, Manchester Day brings together artists from across the region to work closely with community groups, developing costumes, structures and performances for the parade.

More highlights from the day will include more than 100 dancers bringing different genres of video gaming to life in a high-energy display, a terracotta army created by Manchester’s Chinese Community, and a collective of Wythenshawe groups with a giant rolling compendium of games.

Meanwhile, the Indian Association of Manchester is paying homage to chess, reputedly invented in India, with a mobile game.

The parade will leave Liverpool Road at 1pm, weave its way through the city centre, and finish in Exchange Square at approximately2.30pm.

Last year, tens of thousands of people attended the day-long event, and expectations are high for an even bigger turnout this year.

Once again, the city centre squares will play host to activities and performances throughout the afternoon, and mouthwatering street food and drink will be available from noon to 6pm.

For more information visit www.manchesterday.co.uk or join the conversation on Twitter via #MCRDay.


If you’re heading into town to enjoy the annual Manchester Day Parade on Sunday 14 June, make the most of your day by planning your travel in advance. With thousands of people heading into the city to enjoy the parade, the roads and public transport network will be busy. Taking a few minutes now to plan your journey and allow extra travel time will help you make the most of the day.

Metrolink offers frequent services, calling at 92 stops across a network connecting the city centre with Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Didsbury, Altrincham, MediaCityUK and Eccles. The closest Metrolink stops to the parade route are St Peter’s Square, Deansgate-Castlefield and Shudehill.

Be advised that the Market Street stop will be closed as its transformation continues.

If you don’t live within easy reach of a tram-stop, you can use one of Metrolink’s free parking spaces the Park and Ride car parks across the network. Find out more and plan your journey at http://www.metrolink.co.uk.

For help planning your journey by bus, train or tram, give Traveline a call on 0871 200 2233, or use the online journey planner at www.tfgm.com/journeyplanner.