The Refuge has announced its latest programme of events, with a spectacular line-up confirmed for the Easter and spring bank holiday weekends.
Manchester’s iconic hangout, The Refuge will combine wellness activities; a stellar line-up of DJ sets; a collaboration with one of the UK’s leading festivals, Bluedot, Manchester’s iconic symphony orchestra The Hallé and The Whitworth Art Gallery; plus the return of its annual takeover with Ibiza’s legendary Pikes hotel – and much more!
The Refuge is curated by DJs-turned-restaurateurs, Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford – the team behind the award-winning Volta restaurant. This outstanding programme of events has something for everyone, from family-friendly fun and wellness retreats, to renowned food and those looking to celebrate the bank holiday weekend in style.
Easter Weekend: ‘We Are Family’ – Thursday 18th April – Monday 22nd April
The Easter Weekend will kick-off with Dr Sid’s Honey Cooler in the Public Bar, on Thursday 18th from 5pm-10pm; playing the best soundtracks in Big Band Swing, Jump Rhythm & Blues, Jukebox Mambo and Killer Calypso. The evening will unfold with A Refuge Arms Pub Rave, as Steve Davis, snooker legend and bonafide owner of an incredible music collection, and his wingman Kavus Torabi takeover the decks in The Basement, free entrance starting from 8pm-12.30am.
Friday 19th April will be dedicated to a range of cultural activities, focusing on wellness throughout the day – to release any body tensions and ease your mind with motivating yoga classes, gong bath, sound healings and raw baking sessions.
Create positive vibrations in the Reggae Yoga class, provided by Cariad Yoga, in The Den from 11am-12:30pm. The class will focus on vinyasa flow, where movement is linked to breath in a beautifully smooth, reggae rhythm. Mixed level class and beginners are welcomed. Tickets are £5 each. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reggae-yoga-with-eirian-from-cariad-yoga-tickets-57016130782
Express yourself in thunderous tribal energy with the Heart Rhythms class, conducted by Matthew Pickles in The Basement from 11am-12pm. A mixture of group drumming and Kundalini yoga, starting with the use of Tabla (Indian percussion) to control the breath, followed by some simple movements to synchronise the body, and finally taking a place in the drumming circle. There is no experience needed and all equipment is provided. Tickets are £5 each. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/heart-rhythms-with-mat-pickles-tickets-57021098641
Experience a Gong Bath Relaxation & Meditation class with Jane Blackburn in The Basement. The first hour-long class will be held at 12:30pm and the second at 5pm. Gong meditation is a unique type of sound practice that involves using therapeutic gong sounds and vibrations to bring about healing. Tickets are £5 each. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gong-bath-relaxation-meditation-with-jane-blackburn-class-1-tickets-57022519892 AND https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gong-bath-relaxation-meditation-with-jane-blackburn-class-2-tickets-57022998323
Satisfy your sweet-tooth and join Evie, founder of the Raw Bake Station, for a Raw Baking class in The Den at 2pm. Evie will guide you in a 90-minute hands-on raw baking workshop, taking you step by step through her favourite raw and vegan dessert recipes. Learn how to spoil yourself by making sweet treats; free from gluten, dairy, wheat and refined sugar that don’t skimp on flavour. Tickets are £15 per person. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/raw-baking-with-raw-bake-station-ltd-tickets-57023335331
Ease yourself into the Easter weekend at the Yin & Tonic Yoga class, hosted by Eirian from Cariad Yoga, in The Basement from 2.30pm-4pm. Tickets are £10 each and includes a refreshing G&T or soft drink after an exhilarating Yin Yoga session. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/yin-tonic-yoga-with-eirian-from-cariad-yoga-tickets-57023943149
Refuge residents Chris Massey & Tim Lawton will takeover The Public Bar on the Friday evening, starting from 5pm-1am, whilst the Basement will see The Refuge favourite, Zutekh return once again with ‘A Love From Outer Space’ featuring Andrew Weatherall & Sean Johnston. They will be guiding revellers through the deepest realms of space with a chugging hypnotic house formula that draws influences from dub, disco & acid, but keeping to their mantra of ‘never knowingly exceed 122bpm’, all night long from 10pm-4am. https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Manchester/The-Refuge/A-Love-From-Outer-Space—Manchester-/13481799
On Saturday 20th, pioneers of ultimate family party-makers, Our Kids Social will bring free family fun to the weekend. Choose from three different activities, including creative and multi-sensory classes from 11am-1pm, all held in The Den. Drop in to the Arts and Crafts station and create unique and striking designs with the Lino Postcard Printing workshop, or let kids discover their hidden acrobatic talents with the Circus Skills class. Face painters will also be on hand to provide dazzling designs for your children and keep them entertained from 10:30am.
The Refuge continues the celebration with another collaboration with The Hallé, who will be holding a free singing meet-up, from 2pm-5pm, in The Basement. Designed to be accessible to all, the Hallé Choral Conductors, Michelle Robinson and Matthew Roughley will be inspiring Manchester to sing, guiding guests through chorus and verse. Pick up tips from the masters, on how to use your voice and learn songs that will be performed at the end of the meet-up. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/singing-meetup-with-the-halle-at-the-refuge-tickets-57024358391
Saturday will also see a live performance of the nationally revered, The Hallé Ancoats Community Choir, in The Public Bar, along with local DJ sets starting from 3pm-1am.
Easter Sunday sees a jam-packed line-up at The Refuge, exploring everything from science, space, arts and crafts, fashion and music.
Our Kids Social will host four special Easter activities, all starting from 10am-12pm, held in The Den, which includes a fantastic Easter Egg Birds of Paradise Trail starting in The Public Bar; an Arts & Crafts class; a Lino Postcard Printing workshop and a Circus Skills training. Face painters will be returning again from 10:30am free of entrance.
In celebration of the Lunar Landings anniversary, spot the walkabout alien and spacemen performers, and explore the themes of science and technology, space, and identity and friendship with a specially commissioned performance by renowned dancer & choreographer Ruth Jones & dancers – all from 11.30am.
From 12pm – 5pm the Basement will play host to a Vinyl and Vintage Clothing Fair. Browse stalls from 89 Vintage, Dirty Disco, Suzy Loves Milo, Lord Chester, Tom Lyn, Irfan Rainy, Neil Diablo, Basement Wax, Dig Deep Records & many more.
The Den will welcome back Ruth Perkins from Science Made Simple, to host a day of pop-up science busking and interactive experiments for both kids and parents to get involved with. Expect plenty of whiz pop bangs from 12:30pm, free entry.
From mid afternoon, The Public Bar will come erupt with DJ sets from Refuge friends & heroes including Jez Kerr & Martin Moscrop, from one of the bands that helped put Manchester on the musical map – ‘A Certain Ratio’. They will appear alongside one of the city’s legendary record producers/DJ/musicians and an iconic name in acid house, Graham Massey (808 State), and one of Manchester’s fastest musical talents and the host of her own NTS radio show, Kat Brownsugar – plus more to be announced.
Early May Weekend – The Electrik Weekender ‘All Under One Roof’ & Pikes Takeover – Saturday 3rd May – Monday 5th May
The famous Electric weekender parties mark the start of May Bank Holiday at The Refuge, presenting ‘All Under One Roof’ featuring friends & family of The Electric Chair on Saturday, and the return of Pikes Ibiza takeover on the Sunday, bringing Balearic beats to Manchester. The Refuge weekenders are the epitome of all-day and all-night long gatherings that are not to be missed.
On Friday 3rd May, The Public Bar will see Tim Lawton officially open the Bank Holiday festivities, from 5pm-8pm, followed by Joey T playing on the decks from 8pm-1am.
Saturday 4th May will see the grand summer re-opening of The Refuge Courtyard, with a spectacular Friends of Electrik line-up, providing the ultimate sets for a memorable outdoor party, starting from 12pm with The Unabombers, Kelvin Andrews, Darren Greene, Balearic Mike, SNO, and Alex Zalewska.
In the Public Bar, Huw ‘Moggsy’ Morgan & James Holroyd will play back-to-back before unleashing spiritual jazz, soundtrack scores, reggae, rare groove & Balearic bliss from 2pm. Reeshy & Julie Wills will then follow, dishing out the disco, boogie & fave classics for an evening of dancing from 8pm.
Head into The Basement for a lights-low underground party until the early hours of the morning with Supernature Disco and Chris Massey, providing guaranteed dance floor filling sounds of house, disco & much more…kicking off at 10pm with free entrance.
Concluding the May Bank Holiday weekend, for the third year running, will be the iconic collaboration between Pikes Ibiza and The Refuge, seeing Ibizan culture brought to Manchester as Pikes host a memorable Sunday.
Bringing sounds of the white isle to Manchester, the Pikes takeover has become an integral part of The Refuge’s Bank Holiday programme, providing the perfect soundtrack and Ibizan vibes to bring the weekend to a monumental close.
An epic line-up of DJs have been carefully selected for the Sunday across The Courtyard, The Public Bar and The Basement – including A Balearic Brunch with The Brothers Grim & Friends, Nancy Noise, Leo Mas, DJ Pippi, Mark Rae, Ruf Dug, Annabelle Fraser and many more who have a long and rich history with the island.
Closing off the festivities in the basement will be two of the finest musical collectives – Aficionado and Down To The Sea & Back will go head to head for six hours of hedonistic Balearic tracks.
The Pikes takeover will also honour Tony Pikes, founder of the Pikes Hotel and Ibiza icon who sadly passed away in February 2019. Luke Cowdrey, DJs-turned-restaurateur at The Refuge said: “Tony Pike will be missed, our Pikes Weekenders at The Refuge and visits to Pikes Ibiza will now hold even more of a special place in our hearts. Although he is no longer here in person, his spirit will remain.”
Late May Weekend – We Are Friends Electrik – Saturday 24th May– Monday 26th. May
The late May weekend at The Refuge will be hosted by ‘We Are Friends Electrik’, offering a series of bespoke events perfect for friends and families.
Local DJs will take over the space playing the ultimate soundtrack to kick-start this Bank Holiday weekend.
This year, The Refuge is proud to announce an exclusive partnership with The Whitworth Art Gallery; as they collaborate to host a family focused exhibition in The Den and Courtyard, on Saturday 25th, from 12pm-5pm.
The Public Bar will welcome founder and author of the global record shop guides ‘The Secret List’, Sanjiv Ahluwalia to provide musical selections from 2pm, whilst Eastern Bloc manager and all-star Refuge resident Jim Bane takes control from 8pm.
Bank Holiday Weekends at The Refuge will celebrate all things cultural including food, music and wellness. Make sure you do not miss out on this spectacular programme of events – some key events are ticketed so booking in advance is advised to avoid disappointment. For more information, please visit: www.refugemcr.co.uk