New year's day fireworks 2019

Happy New Year! What NQ is looking forward to in 2019

  • Various carnivals and festivals due to take place in Manchester this year
  • Many sports events featuring national teams and teams from our city
  • What's happening in the news besides Brexit

Yesterday we gave you a look back over 2018 with our quiz of the year. Today we will look forward to what will come up in 2019. Take note, it might come up in next year’s quiz!

As we’re still looking back over our shoulders, processing the 365 days past, we might as well take a look at some of the anniversaries coming up this year.

Firstly, on a somewhat sombre note, in just 5 days it will have been exactly a decade since the last Woolworths store closed its doors in the UK. Some of you may be a little too young to remember too much about Woolworths, but if you saw most of the 90s, you will remember the store for one thing – its excellent selection of pick and mix sweets. Of course, nowadays there are myriad stores dedicated to just that with options for anyone of any allergy or disposition, so it should not be missed too much, but you can probably place someone’s birth date within 5 years if their eyes light up at the mention of the doomed store.

Woolworths storefront
Woolworths closed its doors permanently ten years ago. Credit: David Lally

At the end of January it will have marked a half century since the final performance of the Beatles on a rooftop in London. If you have any links to news outlets in Liverpool, expect to hear nothing else before February.

In February it will mark 200 years since the discovery of the South Shetland Islands, the first contact with a landmass part of the continent of Antarctica and importantly for Manchester in August it will be the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre.

There will be plenty of events, installations and tributes to the event that shaped our city’s political identity, most if not all of which we will be covering on Northern Quota as and when they happen.

Looking to the future, we have a lot coming up that we do not need fortune tellers to predict. Let’s get the elephant out of the room – Britain will/might/may leave the European Union on the 29th of March, subject to conditions of a withdrawal agreement and whether the deadline is extended should there be the need for further negotiation. Of course, there is still the chance that Britain could change her mind, it was recently decided legally that she can do so, but the political leader to make that decision could face an end to their career, and would any of them risk that?

Britain will leave the EU on March 29th… or will it? Credit: Banksy

With all the political turmoil around the issue, there could be a chance for us to head to the polls, whether in a 2nd referendum or a general election, who knows? There are the usual local elections, with all of Manchester up for grabs. If, in the unlikely event, we stay in the EU, there will also be European parliamentary elections, which would be interesting seeing as UKIP currently hold the most seats, but their support has crumbled away recently. However, should Britain remain in the EU, there might well be enough angry disillusioned voters that hand the almost abandoned party back some power.

All the usual holidays will occur throughout the year of course, but here’s a quick reminder of their dates for the ones that move or you may not remember (I won’t waste your time by telling you when Christmas is).

Burns Night is on the 25th of January, the celebration for the Scottish bard. St David’s day, patron saint of Wales, is on March 1st and just over two weeks later on the 17th it is of course St Patrick’s day. British summertime begins (clocks go forward) on March 31st and ends on October 27th. Good Friday is April 19th, making Easter Sunday the 21st. St George’s day is the 23rd. The May bank holidays are the 6th and 27th and the August bank holiday is the 26th. Finally St Andrew’s day (Scotland) is November 30th.


The odd numbered years can feel somewhat empty for sport in the absence of the men’s football world cup as it receives an obscene amount of media coverage, but there is plenty going on despite this.

Firstly the women’s football world cup takes place in France this year. England and Scotland have qualified and will play each other in the same group as well as Argentina and Japan.

Women's World Cup final
USA celebrate socring in the final of the last women’s world cup four years ago. Credit: Nicki Dugan Pogue

There are the Nations League finals for the men as well, which England qualified for and also the second half of the season for club competitions. Man City and Liverpool are locked into a battle for the Premier League and both Manchester teams have qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions League. I reviewed the Greater Manchester teams seasons a couple of days ago so won’t bore you beyond that.

Outside of the world of football there are international tournaments in other sports too.

The ODI cricket world cup will take place in England and Wales this year with some matches taking places at the Old Trafford cricket ground, which is the second biggest cricket ground in the country after Lord’s. This world cup has been a little controversial due to shortening the amount of teams taking part. Ireland, who gained full test status last year, did not qualify, making this the first time a full member has not qualified for a world cup. England, of course, qualified as hosts.

The rugby world cup will take place in Japan this Autumn, and with Ireland and England in great form currently, we could have a winner from the British Isles. The six nations, which starts next month, will be a good bell-weather to see who might triumph later on. Ireland and Scotland have been drawn together alongside the hosts, Russia and Samoa. England, in a tough group, will face France, Argentina, USA and Tonga. Wales will face Australia, Georgia, Fiji and Uruguay.

Rugby World Cup
New Zealand All Blacks performing their famous Hakka dance in a match at the previous world cup. Credit: Alasdair Massie

Finally, the 2019 World Athletics championships will take place this Autumn in Doha, Qatar. Ahead of the controversial 2022 football world cup, it will be interesting to see how the city and venue treats the athletes there.


As with most years, there will be an unwatchably large amount of media released for our pleasure. Plenty of sequels are coming out and while there is not much currently in the way of original content being advertised, it will hopefully come upon our radar as the year progresses. Glass comes out very shortly, the anticipated sequel to M Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable and comeback film Split. The second and final installment of smash-hit horror It comes out this year as well as Star Wars episode nine. Whether that’s the final one, I could not say.

Game of Thrones season 8
Sean Bean as Ned Stark in Game of Thrones season one. The final season comes out this April. Credit: BagoGames

Academy award winning writer-director Jordan Peele is back with a new film Us this year. Get Out was one of the surprise hits of 2017, so there is great anticipation for that. The final season of Game of Thrones will air from April and from a two-year break, Stranger Things season three will be on Netflix at some point after this summer. Rick and Morty might make a return in 2019 according to writer Dan Harmon, despite Adult Swim having yet to renew it and Peaky Blinders will have its fifth season this year as well.

Every band and music act under the sun is coming to Manchester this year, including Muse, Courteeners, Busted, Cher, Chvrches, Deaf Havana, Dido, Janelle Monae, KT Tunstall, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Manic Street Preachers, Marillion, Metallica, Noel Gallagher, Olly Murs, Professor Green, Razorlight, Steel Panther, Tokio Hotel, Hans Zimmer and of course the Spice Girls. There will be multiple gigs in many of Manchester’s smaller venues as well as discussed yesterday featuring exciting up-and-coming or more niche acts.

Events and festivals

There is plenty happening culturally in Manchester, as it does every year.

There are some film festivals; PUSH starts later this month at HOME, there’s the Manchester International Film Festival and Grimmfest in October.

The Manchester International Festival, which takes place in July, has an extraordinarily diverse collection of events and exhibitions. 

There are the usual festivals; Parklife in Heaton Park, the Caribbean Carnival in Alexandra Park and Manchester Pride which happens across the city but mainly in the Gay Village and the parade across the city centre.

There is also a small festival, Not A Cult Festival, which does not happen in Manchester, but is run, owned and organised by Mancunian musicians, including myself, and is due to take place between the 5th-7th of July in Worcestershire. I’m not going to plug it, but the roster of under-the-radar Manchester bands that are playing are worth keeping an eye on as they will play multiple gigs well worth seeing in our city across the year.

There is plenty to happen that I have failed to mention, but time is short and you would surely like to tuck into your new year’s roast, or nurse your new year’s hangover!

Not A Cult Festival 2019​​
Not A Cult is run by Manchester musicians