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We invented the weekend!

Updated Wednesday, 24th August 2022

We've created a collection of free resources to inspire you to continue developing your interest and knowledge across the range of topics featured at the festival of free time. Dip in, explore and make your weekends count!

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A free festival celebrating the invention of the weekend

Up until the 19th century, everyone in the UK worked a six day week. Then in 1843, in Greater Manchester, workers’ rights activists launched a campaign to finish early on Saturdays. They won, and in doing so, invented the weekend – a gift to workers the world over!

We’re marking this enormous achievement with a new and imaginative free festival from Salford. The festival of free time MediaCity and Salford Quays, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, 2022. One massive, colourful, exciting weekend of music, theatre, sport, workshops, dancing, laughs, and more to celebrate the joy of free time. 

                            Image showing activities typically done in free time, outdoors, football, cycling, running, skateboarding etc

Try something new

From water sports on the canal, community feasts and dance performances, to getting your hands dirty with planting workshops and finding gems at vintage markets, festival-goers will meet new people, try new things and make memories together.

This learning hub helps you explore some of the topics, ideas and themes presented at the festival, including food, sport, music, culture, work and travel. All courses are free and selected from nearly 1,000 free courses available to you on OpenLearn.

Festival partners

The festival is a partnership with the BBC, The Lowry, the University of Salford, the Royal Horticultural Society, Eat Well MCR, Unity Radio, Science and Industry Museum, The Open University Business School, HOST, Salford Community Leisure, Salford CVS, Sounds from the Other City and hundreds of community organisations from all regions of the city. HemmingwayDesign is the event delivery partner for the festival.


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