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.
Are you ready? Good, let’s do this.
Based in the heart of the city centre, everyone at ActiveWin Media are proud to call Manchester home.
After a genuinely unforgettable 2018, we’re looking forward to yet another year of celebration, music, sport and further development in this beautiful city of ours.
Our football teams are flying high in the Premier League; restaurants are opening up all over town as well as musical acts to rival any other city. There are even plans for a zoo!
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 growing city-centre team.
Manchester: The Capital of Football
The Reds: A Club United
The red side of Manchester has undoubtedly 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.
Champions League qualification is now firmly in their sights, with the Red Devils dreaming of a 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 team has quietly been carrying on out of the spotlight.
Pep Guardiola’s men aren’t doing too bad themselves and remain very much in the race to defend their title.
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. It 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 fortunate 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 ambitious 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 began his career as an all-singing and dancing stage star and is going back to his roots with a one-person 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 at her concert on 22nd May 2017. Grande 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.
This year, as part of her ‘Sweetener’ world tour, the songstress has promised to deliver a select 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.
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 was 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 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.
Last year’s Manchester Pride event filled the city with rainbows in a glorious celebration of equality and diversity.
Now that it has been confirmed that the main stage will be located in the Mayfield storage centre, and just a ten-minute walk from the village, most people are excited to see the new-look show.
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 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 a 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 plenty is 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, plenty is going on. Come and see for yourself.
Happy New Year / 新年快乐.
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, roadways 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 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 voted 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 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.