What's On Northwest 21-28 Apr: Vegan Festival

The Northwest's food and drink scene has the Northern Vegan Festival and Liverpool Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival for you this weekend, while MONEY head to O2 Ritz, Turn returns to Contact, Free For Arts Festival takes over Manchester and more.

Feature by Jess Hardiman | 21 Apr 2016

Northern Vegan Festival
Various venues, Manchester. Sat 23 Apr, 10am

Veganism's never been bigger, and whether that's for environmental/ethical reasons or simply an avenue to a better bod, there's no denying it's got benefits left, right and centre. At this weekend's Northern Vegan Festival you'll find 200 vegan and animal rights stalls, presentations and workshops, beer, wine and cider, live music, cookery demos, a vegan organic farmers' market and more, meaning that even if you're just hoping to cut down on your meat and dairy intake without making the full commitment, there'll be plenty to get stuck into.

Transform 16
Various venues, Leeds. Fri 22-Sat 23 Apr, times vary

Transform 16 is a weekend of bite-sized performance and events, sprawling across various Leeds venues to present innovative new work from the local region and beyond. Highlights include the world premiere of the specially-commissioned Wanted, by Chris Goode and Company, plus the UK premiere of Schönheitsabend / It's a Beautiful Evening (pictured) by international choreographer Florentina Holzinger and Vincent Riebeek.

Ritz, Manchester. Fri 22 Apr, 7pm

It seemed a bit unfair when local-boys-done-very-good MONEY had to postpone their February hometown show, while the rest of the UK and even Europe lapped up their newly stripped-back, murky sounds. But fret no more, as they're finally taking to that stage at the Ritz in support of their latest LP, Suicide Songs, joined also by Stealing Sheep and Bernard + Edith, making it a triple hitter of great names from the Northwest.

Photo: Joe Wilson

Arabs Are Not Funny!
Bluecoat, Liverpool. Fri 22 Apr, 7.30pm

Warm up for this year's Liverpool Arab Arts Festival with an evening of stand-up comedy, which also coincides with Bluecoat's group exhibition Double Act: Art and Comedy. Headliner Nabil Abdul Rashid, known as the youngest black comedian to perform stand-up at the Hammersmith Apollo, will be joined by Welsh-Egyptian comic Omar Hamdi and Tunisia's Marouen Mraihi (pictured), who represents Arts Canteen, the organisers behind the event.

Legacy of a Struggle: Patricio Guzmán's The Battle of Chile
70 Oxford Street, Manchester. Mon 25 and Tue 26 Apr, 6pm

Detailing the political tensions of early 1970s Chile, The Battle of Chile is Patricio Guzmán's seminal documentary, which established both him and his work as leading lights of documentary filmmaking. The three-part doc will be screened at the former Cornerhouse site across two days, along with his 1996 film Chile, Obstinate Memory, complete with introductions and accompanying talks from lecturers at Manchester Metropolitan University.

ADVERTISEMENT | Stockport Old Town Folk Festival
Seven Miles Out Arts Centre and the Market Square, Stockport. Thu 28 Apr-Sun 1 May, times vary

The Stockport Old Town Folk Festival runs from Thursday 28 April to Sunday 1 May, with activities in Seven Miles Out Art Centre and the Market Square. The festival features contemporary folk performances from Liam McClair, The Hayes Sisters and Dr Butler's Hatstand Medicine Band on Foodie Friday, and Dave Fidler and Jo Dudderidge from The Travelling Band on Saturday. May Day Madness on Sunday begins with the Folk Parade at 11am and includes traditional folk music and morris dancing, free ukulele workshops, street performances, Punch and Judy, fete games and Taffy Thomas, the storytelling laureate.

The Lamellar Project
Unity Theatre, Liverpool. Fri 22-Sat 23 Apr, 8pm

Set in the near-future when the eco-system is changing – and not for the better – The Lamellar Project is a profound play that spills out beyond the confines of the stage and into the digital world, filled with vivid imagery of locusts dropped from warplanes and strange flowers choking waterways to explore the issues of contemporary global life, the consequences of climate change and the worrying future of genetic modification...

Turn 2016
Contact Theatre, Manchester. Fri 22-Sat 23 Apr, 7.30pm

Featuring 20 short pieces of new dance works set over two evenings, Turn festival returns for 2016 to bring Contact theatre to life once more with innovation and vibrancy. We suggest you take a full two-night pass (£11; £6 concessions) for a spin, through which you can immerse yourself in performances by Jo Ashbridge (pictured), Gayathri Ganapathy, Brink Dance Company, Gracefool Collective, Holly Rush, Lauren Tucker, Sap Dance and many, many more.

Photo: Jerome Whittingham

Liverpool Food, Drink and Lifestyle Spring Festival
Sefton Park, Liverpool. Sat 23-Sun 24 Apr, 10.30am

Liverpool's glorious Sefton Park gets the springtime treatment this weekend with the return of the Liverpool Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival. Along with the region's food and drink elite, including Bold Street Coffee, Fritto, Holy Crab and Poffertjes King, there will also be lots of booze from the likes of Edinburgh-based Pickering's Gin, the award-winning Sipsmith Gin, Elephant Gin (made using rare African botanicals), Kin Toffee Vodka and – lock up yer mums – Baileys.

Photo: Antonio Franco

Free For Arts Festival
Various venues, Manchester. Fri 22-Fri 29 Apr, times vary

Hosted by Juncture Collective, Free For Arts Festival returns with a cultural medley of exhibitions, events, performances and workshops, all popping up at various venues in Manchester across the course of a week. After an opening night bash at Kosmonaut, highlights include a playful performance from Art Vanguard (pictured), a discussion about art and offence by Anti-Social Networking Club, Colouring Club at Common, a drawing performance by Ruby Tingle and so much more. Check out the full line-up here.

Out of Africa
Various venues, Liverpool. Fri 22 Apr, 3.30pm

Drumming up suspense for this year's Africa Oyé in June, the festival has teamed up with Hustle for a free evening of original Afrobeat, world sounds and Afro-infused disco and house grooves in the wonderful Botanical Garden. The main attraction is house producer Ralf Gum, who makes his Liverpool debut, while Hustle DJs hold the fort for the rest of the day. Free priority tickets have gone, but get down early and you should be alreet. Then if you're still not ready for bed, there's an after party at Constellations, also free entry, from 11.30pm.

Illustration: Andrew Denholm