Manchester in 2019: A Lot to Look Forward to

Congratulations!

If you’re reading this, you have made it through #BlueMonday, the most depressing day of the year. It wasn’t all that bad, was it?

Now that it is out of the way, it is time to crack on and look forward to what 2019 has in store for us.

Are you ready? Good, let’s do this.

Being based in the heart of the city centre, everyone at ActiveWin Media are proud to call Manchester home.

After a truly unforgettable 2018, we’re looking forward to yet another year of celebration, music, sport and further development in this wonderful city of ours.

Our football teams are flying high in the Premier League, there are restaurants opening up all over town as well as musical acts to rival any other city. There are even plans for a zoo to be opened!

Take a read of our blog of all things Mancunian this coming year. Like what you read? Head on over to the ActiveWin careers page and enquire about joining our thriving city-centre team.

Manchester: The Capital of Football

The Reds: A Club United

The red side of Manchester has certainly experienced a bright start to 2019. Their beloved club is finally playing some entertaining football, and caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has re-instated some belief into fans that were beginning to lose faith in the club’s hierarchy.

Now operating with a spring in their step, the United players are finally being setup with an offensive outlook to their game and it seems that the traditions of the club have been temporarily restored. After winning his opening seven fixtures, the Norwegian manager is now being tipped by many to stay in charge on a permanent basis.

Champions League qualification is now firmly in their sights, with the Red Devils dreaming of an historic end to the season. We are not sure what next season holds for United, but for now, the aura of rejuvenated spirit looks destined to stay at Old Trafford.

Can Man City Defend Their Crown?

While the red side of Manchester might be experiencing something of a renaissance since the arrival of Solskjaer, the blue side has quietly been carrying on out of the spotlight.

Much of the media focus has been on Manchester United’s change in fortunes and Liverpool’s charge for the title, but Pep Guardiola’s men aren’t doing too bad themselves. Despite some wasted points over the Christmas period, they remain very much in the race to defend their title and are still battling on in all the cup competitions they were eligible for.

Can Guardiola's men defend their Premier League trophy?

While they must rely on Liverpool dropping points if they want the Premier League title, they’ve shown that they can beat anyone put in front of them at the top of their game. This will put them in good stead in the upcoming cup fixtures and it would be a shock if they ended the season without any silverware.

Another city centre parade, anyone?

Salford Push For Football League

As a City, we’re extremely lucky to be blessed with two Premier League heavyweights that draw in tourists from around the globe.

However, one team quickly playing catch up is Salford City.

Currently competing in the Conference Premier, the club could well find itself in the Football League next season, if they can overcome the most competitive task in the sport – promotion. The Ammies have given themselves every chance and will be in contention for a top two finish until the end of the season.

We’re certainly right behind them.

Making a Noise Through Our Music

Form a Queue For Hugh

Before the film adaption of Les Miserables and last year’s monster musical hit The Greatest Showman, most people knew Aussie actor Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in the X-Men films. However, Jackman actually began his career as an all singing and dancing stage star, and is going back to his roots with a one-man world tour. He will be belting out hits from both films, plus The Boy from Oz and other Broadway and film numbers. The tour lands in Manchester for three shows over two days, Friday 24th and Saturday 25th May, where a million dreams are set to come true.

Ariana Grande's Return

Jackman’s not the only superstar to be gracing Manchester Arena with his vocal prowess this year either. Ariana Grande won the hearts of the people here when she returned to our heartbroken city just two weeks after the terrorist attack which took place at her concert on 22nd May 2017. Grande not only visited victims and their families in hospital but pulled together One Love - an all-star concert featuring Miley Cyrus, Coldplay and more, to raise money for those affected.

Ariana Grande is set to return to Manchester this year

This year, as part of her ‘Sweetener’ world tour, the songstress has promised to deliver a special one-off show in Manchester, with the details and date still to be announced. The tour kicks off in August with two London shows, so the Manchester date is likely to be sometime in September.

Ariana will always hold a special place in the hearts of Mancunians, and we will welcome her back with open arms.

Sporting Events

The Ashes

If it was football that was coming home last summer, then 2019 could be the year that cricket returns to our green and pleasant land in the shape of the Ashes.

England were hammered 4-0 by the Aussies down under in the last series, so it’s time for Joe Root’s men to get their own back and regain the famous urn.

There’s a chance for us Mancs to catch the action as well, with the 4th Test taking place at Emirates Old Trafford from the 4th – 8th September. With Lancashire stars Keaton Jennings, Jos Buttler and Jimmy Anderson likely to be involved, there’s every reason to grab your mates and head for a few pints in the late summer sun (hopefully!).

If it’s a tight series, there’s every chance that England could clinch the Ashes at Old Trafford, so there really is no excuse. Tickets are already sold out for the Saturday, so be quick!

Old Trafford: Theatre of Dreams or Nightmares?

Will Manchester United’s Old Trafford be the Theatre of Dreams or nightmares for rugby fans?

That is the question on the lips of every Super League follower with the new season fast approaching.

Despite Salford Red Devils (just one of the many names they have had over the years) being the only Mancunian outfit in the Super League, Manchester plays host to the biggest game of all – the Grand Final.

Now 20 Old Trafford finals down the line, only four teams have left Manchester as champions. Will a fifth step up to the challenge this campaign?

With the beginning of the season around the corner (Thursday 31st January), the 12 competing outfits have their sights set on the ultimate prize.

You might be used to seeing football played at the 75,000 stadium but, believe us when we tell you, this isn’t an occasion you want to miss.

Manchester Pride

Last year’s Manchester Pride event filled the city with rainbows in a glorious celebration of equality and diversity. However, when it was announced that the main stage would be moving in 2019, many attendees were concerned that the festival would lose its identity and that business in the ‘Gay Village’ would suffer.

Now that it has been confirmed that the main stage will be located in the Mayfield storage centre, adjacent Manchester Piccadilly station and just a ten-minute walk from the village, most people are excited to see the new-look show.

A new home for the colourful festival

The iconic vigil will still take place in Sackville Gardens, and the ‘Gay Village Gathering’ will return, with an outdoor stage, indoor sing-a-long cinema and much more.

It may, in fact, bring further business to more places in the city as the festival will not be confined to the Village.

This year Manchester Pride will also include ‘Youth Pride MCR’ specifically for young people and the alcohol-free 'Superbia Weekend', so anyone who wants to fly the flag for inclusivity can enjoy the event from 24th to 25th August.

Chinese New Year

Since the random disappearance of several Wings takeaways last year, us Mancunians have been in desperate search for a good old sweet and sour on our lunch break.

What better way to hunt one down, and throw off the shackles of a healthy January, than celebrating Chinese New Year on Tuesday 5th February.

For you trivia geeks, it’s the year of the pig and there’s plenty going on in the city to get involved with.

The red lanterns are already in place hanging from the trees about town, but you can look forward to Chinese street food throughout the week in St Ann’s Square, plus the iconic Dragon Parade from Albert Square to Chinatown on the 10th February.

In a nutshell, there’s plenty going on. Come and see for yourself.

Happy New Year / 新年快.

A New-look Manchester Airport

For many of us, Manchester Airport is our gateway to the world.

From tripping off for a weekend away with our mates to long-haul family adventures, without our airport, we’d be pretty dam screwed – even if they do have that stupid drop-off charge!

It’s only right that, with increased demands come growth, which is why you’ll be seeing one or two changes as you jet off from MAN in 2019.

Fresh from being named as the UK’s best airport for the fifth year running, the first parts of the airport’s £1bn transformation will open to the public, including a new passenger pier, road ways and a multi-storey car park. That’s all before we see the completion of the Terminal 2 extension in April 2020.

Happy flying as they say!

A Change of Scenery For the Famous Manchester Markets

It may feel like they’ve only just disappeared, but there’s no harm in reigniting that warm feeling a good mulled drink and a famous Yorkshire pudding wrap can give you. You guessed it, it’s Manchester’s Renowned Christmas Markets!

The traditional German bratwurst, currywurst, gluhwein and a good old pint of German beer are often the main attractions at the markets among other ornamental stalls and food outlets.

When they return in time for the festive build up in 2019, we’ll be seeing a few changes. Santa won’t be sat at the Town Hall, for starters. Due to a revamp, Albert Square will no longer be the main feature of the Christmas markets after 20 years.

The famous markets won't be in Albert Square this year

The markets are also spread out around Cathedral Gardens and the Corn Exchange, and most of the side streets between there and Albert Square. The question is, where will the main event be in 2019?

A poll ran by the Manchester Evening News among the public had votes for Piccadilly Gardens to be the main attraction. But what about all of the pigeons?! The second highest response was Castlefield Bowl, followed by Cathedral Gardens, where they could expand what they already have up that end.

Time will tell what the final decision is, but for now let’s just imagine we’re all huddled up inside the karaoke chalets singing Christmas songs.

More Plans in Place For the Future

We hear you, that’s an awful lot to take in.

Well, we have news for you, the powers that be around Manchester show no sign of slowing down. 2020 promises to be as hectic as 2019, and we can hardly wait!

City Centre or Trafford Centre? That is the question that local shoppers frequently have to ask themselves. Well, such a dilemma is soon to be a thing of the past.

Trafford’s new Metrolink line will add six new stops with a direct route to the second-biggest shopping centre in the UK.

Soon enough you’ll be able to finish up your shopping in town and head on over to the Trafford Centre, courtesy of the ultra-efficient Metrolink system.

That isn’t all that is in the pipeline for our trend-setting City.

The Manchester Zoo project was announced in December of last year, with the multi-million-pound plans expected to be finalised by the end of 2021.

Johnpaul Houston, former assistant head keeper at Blackpool Zoo, hopes to be able to announce an exact location by April.

Sounds fantastic to us, although we don’t believe for one minute that this will be the end of the extravagant plans for Manchester – a city of firsts.

Saving the Best For Last... ActiveWin Media

The best thing about all of the above, as far as we’re concerned, is that it’s happening right on our doorstep – quite literally.

Much like the decision makers in Manchester, we have no interest in resting on our laurels and have plans of our own that we’re excited to implement in 2019 and beyond.

We’re active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, so give us a like / follow and keep an eye on what we’re up to.