Halloween in the City 2023

19th Oct 2023

Manchester city centre
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 October


Monsters and ghouls are set to rise as the country’s biggest Halloween celebrations return to Manchester for an eighth instalment of Halloween in the City, featuring a monstrous line-up of free family-friendly festivities.

Now established as one of the biggest mass Halloween dress-up events in the UK, thousands of families are expected to head into the city wearing their spookiest costumes for the free, frighteningly-fun two-day event over the weekend of Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 October.

With celebrations set to begin at 10am on both days, don’t miss a mash up of monster activities across the city centre including a Monsters Rock! Music Festival, Walk the Plank’s legendary Monster Party Procession,  a CBeebies and CBBC festival chill-out zone, carnival rides and more – all organised by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, on behalf of city centre retailers, restaurants, and businesses.

The legendary MCR Monsters are also back for 2023 and will be landing in the city centre on Wednesday 25 October, during half term, ready for the weekend celebrations. The colourful invasion of giant inflatable monsters will be descending across city centre rooftops in greater numbers than ever before! And for those who dare to stay in the city as night falls, buildings across the city will be turning a ghoulish green, making Manchester a terrifyingly good place to be this Halloween.

Full Event Line-up:

Monsters Rock! Music Festival

Returning for its second year, monsters of all shapes and sizes are invited to rock out as the popular music festival takes over the city with spooky DJs, live performances, gruesome competitions, carnival rides and even monster portaloos on Saturday 28  & Sunday 29 October.

 Main Stage – Exchange Square

Saturday 28th October

  • 10am-12pm: DJs Fat Boy Slime and Grave Haslam
  • 12pm-2pm: Half Baked – Band
  • 2pm-4pm: Ellis Davies – Duo
  • 4pm-4.30pm: Dr Butler’s Hatstand Medicine Band
  • 4.30pm: Trick v Treat Scariest Team Winner Announcement
  • 4.40pm-6pm: Dr Butler’s Hatstand Medicine Band
  • 6pm-7pm: DJ Ghostman

 Sunday 29th October

  • 10am-12pm: DJs Fat Boy Slime and Grave Haslam
  • 12pm-2pm: The Thingumajigs Band
  • 2pm-4pm: Ellis Davies – Duo
  • 4pm-4.30pm: DJ Ghostman
  • 4.30pm: Trick v Treat Scariest Team Winner Announcement
  • 4.40pm-5pm: DJ Ghostman

Monster’s Rock! Party Procession

Don’t miss the crazy Monster’s Rock Party Procession courtesy of Walk the Plank, featuring giant puppet monsters inspired by the city’s giant inflatable monsters, giant skeletons, stilt walkers and a five-piece band.

Manchester Arndale & Market Street at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm on both days.

Team Trick V Team Treat Challenge

Each day from 10am – 4pm, families can head to New Cathedral Street near Zara to pick up a wristband, and join Team Trick or Team Treat to take part in ghoulish games across the city, including Monster Portaloos at New Cathedral Street, a Monster Rock Out stage at Manchester Arndale, a Skeleton Hoopla on St Ann’s Square and more, where they will be able to win points for their team throughout the weekend. The team with the most points will be announced as the winners from the Main Stage on Exchange Square at 4.30pm on both days. Those who come along in fancy dress will also be given the opportunity to win extra bonus points for their team, as well as monstrously fun, on-the-spot prizes.

Multiple locations, 10am – 4pm, on both days.

Carnival of Monsters

The city’s St Ann’s Square will be taken over by a family-friendly freakshow of roaming circus acts, sideshow stalls, hula hoop workshops, a hall of mirrors and a Halloween in the City market, where visitors can shop a variety of Halloween-themed products including crafts and sweet treats.

St Ann’s Square, 10am – 7pm on Saturday 28th October and 10am – 5pm on Sunday 29th October

CBeebies and CBBC Chill Out Zone

Get into the Halloween spirit with screenings from CBeebies and CBBC in a wonderful indoor woodland chill out zone featuring twinkling lights, comfy seating and family crafts. This free event is open to all ages and will feature episodes from family favourites such as Hey Duggee and Shaun the Sheep.

The Royal Exchange Manchester, 10am – 7pm on Saturday 28th October and 10am – 5pm on Sunday 29th October

Hell-ter Skelter

Take a spin on the devilish ride that lands you in a pit of smoke and flames (if you dare!). £1 per person per ride.

New Cathedral Street, 10am – 7pm on Saturday 28th October and 10am – 5pm on Sunday 29th October

MCR Monsters

Back by popular demand, the MCR Monsters will once again take to the city’s streets and rooftops with their biggest invasion to date! Monster-hunters will be able to spot all 16 of them at locations across the city centre and can share their pics tagging @halloweenmcr and #MCRMonsters. The monsters, created by artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, will be available to spot from Wednesday-25th – Tuesday 31 October at selected locations across the city*.

Locations: Manchester Arndale, Selfridges Exchange Square, Exchange Square, Corn Exchange, Harvey Nichols, New Cathedral Street, The Royal Exchange Manchester, National Trust – Castlefield Viaduct, AO Arena, New Century Hall at NOMA, New Vic, Kampus, The Church (Chorlton Street) and Mayfield.

 *BEWARE – three of the monsters in Exchange Square and New Cathedral Street will only be landing in the city for Halloween in the City on 28 & 29 October and some locations including Castlefield Viaduct, Corn Exchange and Mayfield Park are only accessible when open to the public. Check the website for timings.

Eyeball Hunt

Can you spot the hundred of eyeballs that have appeared on windows, railings, trees, lampposts and doorways across the city centre turning our hotels, shops, theatres, art galleries and city buildings into mini monsters? Keep an eye out for the specially created eyeball artwork by artist Filthy Luker and tag in @halloweenmcr #eyeballhuntmcr in your pictures in this citywide scavenger hunt across the whole of the city! Sponsored by Manchester Accommodation BID.

 Scare Skate at Skate Manchester

Strap on your boots and jump in the rink as Scare Skate returns to the city for another year of spooky ice-skating. To book, visit  https://skatemanchester.com.

Cathedral Gardens, 27th – 31st October, 11am – 9pm (last skate at 8pm).,

 For event updates follow @halloweenMCR.


 For more media information please contact Anoushka or Kat at ECHO on 07732 846650 or email anoushka@echo-pr.co.uk / kat@echo-pr.co.uk

Notes to Editors

Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District

BIDs are defined geographical areas where businesses work together and invest in agreed services, initiatives, and special events, and are financed by a levy made based on rateable value. They operate in most cities and towns across the UK.

Manchester BID, which is managed by The City Centre Management Company, CityCo, was successful in securing a third, five-year term, in December 2022 and began the new term on 1st April 2023.

In its new term, the BID brings together 600 businesses including retail, hospitality, and offices, spanning Deansgate, King Street, Cross Street, St Ann’s Square, Market Street, New Cathedral Street, Manchester Arndale, Spring Gardens, Fountain Street and more.

In recent years, the BID has played an instrumental role in the city’s recovery post-Covid and brings businesses together with key authorities including Manchester City Council, Marketing Manchester, Transport for Greater Manchester, and Greater Manchester Police.

Work is delivered around four themes: Attracting Visitors, Environment, Community, and ESG.

More information at manchesterbid.com