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Travel advice as 200,000 gig-goers to Ed Sheeran, The Killers, Alicia Keys and Parklife to descend on Manchester this weekend

Travel advice as 200,000 gig-goers to Ed Sheeran, The Killers, Alicia Keys and Parklife to descend on Manchester this weekend

People are being advised to plan their journeys as thousands of music fans are set to flock to a number of big events across Greater Manchester this week.

Parklife will take place at Heaton Park over the weekend with headliners 50 Cent, Tyler, The Creator, Megan Thee Stallion and Lewis Capaldi all set to make appearances at the North’s biggest music festival.

Ed Sheeran will begin a four-night residency at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday (June 9), with the series of sold-out shows continuing until the end of the week. Stadium rock giants The Killers will also be in the city-region as they perform at Old Trafford Cricket Ground on Saturday, while Alicia Keys, who recently performed at The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Party at the Palace, will be headlining the AO Arena on Saturday night. That’s all after Billie Eilish headlines the arena tonight (June 7) and tomorrow.

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It’s estimated that, on Saturday alone, more than 200,000 gig goers will be in the city, with music fans being encouraged to plan ahead and use public transport where possible. We’ve rounded up the latest travel advice from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) below to ensure you have a great time and make use of the transport services on hand.

Ed Sheeran, Etihad Stadium (Thursday to Sunday)

Ed Sheeran performs on the main stage during BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend at the War Memorial Park in Coventry. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2022. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Ed Sheeran will play four nights at the Etihad stadium later this week

TfGM has advised people that Manchester city centre, Beswick, Clayton, Gorton, Openshaw and Ashton may all be impacted as a result of Ed Sheeran’s four gigs at the Etihad from Thursday-Sunday. Regent Road, Hyde Road, Ashton Old Road and Mancunian Way are expected to be busy in the hours before and after the concert.

Parking is available on site, but people are being advised to use public transport to and from the stadium. The 53, 188, 216, 217, 218, 231, 237 bus services all drop off outside the venue on either Alan Turing Way or Ashton New Road while the Etihad Campus Metrolink stop is directly nearby. Trams will be running to a 12-minute frequency. More details on road closures, set times, parking and support acts can be found here.

The Killers, Old Trafford Cricket Ground (Saturday)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) The Killers perform at Emirates Stadium on June 03, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for The Killers)
The Killers performing at Emirates Stadium in London on June 3, 2022

For The Killers gig on Saturday, which is scheduled to run from 4pm to 10.15pm, fans are advised to travel to the show via public transport as there is no car parking available at Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Stretford, Old Trafford, A56 Chester Road and Altrincham Metrolink Line are all set to be busier as a result of the concert.

TfGM has said that trams will be busiest from 4pm until 8pm and again at the end of the concert. Old Trafford tram stop is directly next to the venue, but gig-goers are being advised to also seek out stops within a short walking distance – such as Trafford Bar, Firswood or Wharfside. Fans can park for free at Parkway or Sale Water Park and use Park and Ride services to board the tram to Trafford Bar/Wharfside.

Fans can also park at Old Trafford Football ground, but parking is not free. The 255, 256, 263 and x50 bus services will also run within walking distance of Old Trafford.

Billie Eilish (Tuesday and Wednesday) and Alicia Keys (Saturday), AO Arena

Alicia Keys performs during the BBC Platinum Party at the Palace

Billie Eilish will perform at AO Arena ahead of the weekend, with two shows lined up for tonight and Wednesday (June 8). Alicia Keys will then headline the arena on Saturday evening. Fans attending these shows can get the Metrolink or train to Victoria station, which is located right next to the arena. Additionally, Piccadilly and Oxford Road stations are around a 15-20 minute walk away.

Those travelling further afield to the arena can drop their car at either Ladywell or Hollinwood and make use of the Metrolink’s Park and Ride services. The arena is also well-served by bus, with Shudehill bus station being a five-minute walk away. Manchester’s city centre free bus service also links Victoria station with other areas of the city centre, including Piccadilly station, but journeys may take longer than usual due to traffic.

Doors for Alicia Key’s Saturday show will open at 6pm with a curfew set for 11pm.

Parklife, Heaton Park (Saturday and Sunday)

Parklife will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday, with the Bury Metrolink line, Manchester city centre, Prestwich, M60 Junction 19 and and all roads surrounding Heaton Park expected to be busier than usual.

Doors open at 11am on Saturday, with the event ending at 11pm. On Sunday, doors will open at midday with the event again ending at 11pm. A number of road closures will be in place around the festival site impacting drivers and commercial bus services.

Festival-goers are advised to purchase the Parklife Express travel pass (£5 for one day/£10 for two days), which allows travel on the Metrolink or a shuttle bus service. Shuttle bus services will operate every ten minutes from Aytoun Street (M1 2DD) to the site from 9.30am on Saturday and 10.30am on Sunday.

On both days, the return bus service from Heaton Park to Manchester city centre starts at 6.30pm and will continue to operate until the venue is cleared. Drop off will be on Church Street.

Here’s everything you need to know about Parklife – including tickets, lineup, dates and more

Parklife is the North's biggest music festival
Parklife is the North’s biggest music festival

A six-minute tram service will operate from Victoria Station to Heaton Park until 8pm when the stop will be closed on both days. To return to the city centre after the festival, fans will need to use the nearby Bowker Vale stop. As expected, Metrolink services will therefore be busier than usual across the weekend. TfGM has suggested, if possible, passengers should consider travelling in the morning or whilst the event is taking place (between 4pm – 8pm) when services may be quieter.

Roads will also be busy from 10.30am to 4.30pm and after the end of the event from 10.30pm to 12.30am on both days. More details on how to get to Parklife can be found here.

A576 Middleton Road & M60 Junction 19, Blackley and A56 Bury New Road & A665 Bury Old Road, Prestwich are expected to be most affected by heavy congestion. A number of road closures, from 8pm to 1am on both days, will also be in place in the immediate vicinity of the festival site.

For the most up-to-date travel advice, please seek out information via TfGM ahead of your journey. You can also follow @OfficialTfGM and @MCRMetrolink.

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