New massive outdoor summer venue is being built in Manchester

A huge new temporary outdoor venue including theatre, food, drink, shows, music, cabaret, and comedy will be launched by HOME next month.

Manchester’s new summer destination will be built on a space three times the size of Albert Square.

The new venue, named Homeground, will be located on an development site on First Street, just next to HOME and will feature a 400-seat socially distanced theatre space: a specially designed and purpose built, Covid-safe outdoor theatre.

At the heart will be two musical productions of classics: Filter Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a brand-new version of Alice in Wonderland.

The new venue, which opens on Friday, 28 May, will also host work by partners including Frog & Bucket, Contact and Trans Creative, as well as music, cabaret, and comedy.

The project will create 450 new employment opportunities for freelance artists and creative practitioners, supporting the freelance economy which has been so badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanks to support from partners, tickets for the two HOME productions will be just £10 for adults and £5 for children. HOME will also be offering free performances for school groups.

Dave Moutrey, HOME’s director and CEO, said: “As we start to emerge from the strangest year many of us have ever experienced, arts and culture play a vital role in the recovery of the country.

“We all want to bring a sense of hope and joy back to our communities, and to provide more opportunities for an artistic freelance sector decimated by the pandemic.

“And we want accessibility for all to be at the heart of this project, which is why there is a low-cost or free programme, as well as free performances for schools.

“People in our city, especially young people, have been deprived of live theatre for the past year – we want this to be a celebration of Manchester’s creativity and resilience.

“I’m delighted to announce Homeground, which will be a safe and enjoyable space for the people of Manchester to have fun, reconnect and celebrate the city’s artistic talent in all its forms.”

Alongside the main performance programme, there will be a free stage in the food and drink terrace. The Manchester Stage will have a different curator from the city every week, including Manchester Folk Festival, Contact, and DJ slots curated by DJ Paulette.

There will also be food and drink from stallholders including Black Market Espresso, Brazilico pizza, Wolf to the Door cocktails and Tibetan Kitchen.

The site has been designed by Cordelia Ashwell, of Decordia Events.