SATURDAY 15 & SUNDAY 16 JUNE 2024! • SATURDAY 15 & SUNDAY 16 JUNE 2024! • 
SATURDAY 15 & SUNDAY 16 JUNE 2024! • SATURDAY 15 & SUNDAY 16 JUNE 2024! • 

About the festival

About We Invented The Weekend

The weekend was invented in Greater Manchester in 1843 when Salford Lyceum Director and workers’ rights activist Robert Lowes (also Sir Ian McKellen’s Great Grandfather) campaigned to win workers the right to leisure time on Saturday afternoons. In this triumph, Greater Manchester gave an enormous gift to the world and We Invented the Weekend honours this, in true style, in Salford, celebrating leisure time, free time, quality time and me-time.

What is it

A two-day FREE festival which throws open MediaCity and Salford Quays’ spaces and places, to celebrate the joy of free time, taking in sports, music, comedy, theatre, dance, workshops, talks, food, charity, wellness, crafts and more.

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

Find out more
Get Involved

Who’s involved

Organisations large and small from across the region and beyond have come together to deliver the We Invented the Weekend festival which is testament to an idea and concept that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds and is right for the times. We Invented the Weekend is a true partnership project with generous contributions from a number of key partners including Auto Trader, The Lowry, BBC, University of Salford, Bupa Foundation, Royal Horticultural Society, Factory International,  Manchester United Youth Foundation, Sounds From the Other City, as well as many other arts and community organisations across the city.


The festival is funded by Salford City Council, MediaCity (a Peel Group and Landsec partnership), Arts Council England and GMCA Culture Fund. It is governed and supported by Salford’s Culture & Place Partnership, a cross-city collective delivering Salford’s strategy for culture, creativity.

The event delivery partners are HemingwayDesign who hold an impressive track record of large-scale public engagement events across the country, and Quays Culture who have significant experience in delivering large and innovative outdoor art exhibitions in Salford Quays.

With large parts of the programme co-created with Salford’s and Greater Manchester’s communities, alongside content delivered by its internationally renowned culture producers, this is a festival by the people, for the people, celebrating the region’s rich diversity and making sure to acknowledge the millions of people across the UK who work on Saturdays and Sundays too.

We Invented the Weekend’s Festival Director is Kate Doyle, and the Festival Board includes Wayne Hemingway MBE who is Creative Director, Salford’s City Mayor, Paul Dennett, Julia Fawcett OBE, Chief Executive of The Lowry, Gwen Oakden, Development Director at The Lowry, Heidi Dawson, Head of BBC Salford & Controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, Tommy Nagra, Director of Content, BBC Children in Need, Victoria Braddock, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester, Rebecca Swarray, GMCA Culture Team and Josie Cahill, Head of BBC Partnerships and Engagement.


Thanks to the support of our public funders and partners we are able to deliver a free and accessible event to the people of Salford and Greater Manchester. 

Our partners play an integral role in our festival. Bespoke and impactful, our partnerships are proven to deliver significant return on investment. 

If you are interested in getting involved in our festival in 2026, please contact

Title Partner

  • Auto Trader


  • MediaCity (Peel L&P and Landsec Partnership), 
  • Salford City Council, 
  • Arts Council England, 
  • GMCA


  • The Lowry, 
  • BBC, 
  • University of Salford, 
  • Bupa, 
  • Hemingway Design, 
  • Quays Culture


  • TfGM

Festival Friends

  • Holiday Inn, 
  • The Alchemist