Street Culture Takeover

Photo of a group of skateboarders practising on a roof

18 Nov 2023

Aviva Studios, Water Street, Manchester, M3 4JQ


FREE, no ticket required
Free to attend. No booking required.

Accessibility features available for this event: Wheelchair Access

We’re bringing the spirit of the streets inside with a day packed with the best of Manchester’s street culture

The Welcome is all about celebrating the talent that makes up Manchester. So we’re inviting the city’s hottest street artists and collectives into Aviva Studios to make it their own.

Street culture runs through Manchester’s veins. Take a walk through the city and you’ll see its influence everywhere – whether it’s scrawled on the walls or blazoned across what we wear and how we wear it, and how we get around.

We’re giving street culture free reign – taking over Aviva Studios from the Social to Riverside Square and the Warehouse. It’s a true Manchester affair celebrating the different cultures that make up this great city.

Want to express yourself? Learn new skills with a series of free workshops – from hip hop dance to screenprinting and skating.

Finish off with our huge celebration in the Warehouse. Our Street Culture Shut Down Party brings together a dream drum and bass line-up with live BMX and skate demo performances. Make sure you snap up a ticket to guarantee your spot.

Image credit: Ste Wing


When? 10am– 5pm

Where? Outside the truck lift (our Front of House team can help you find it!)

What? Some of Manchester's best street artists will be painting live on a blank canvas. Come down and see these masters at work.

A graduate in Illustration and Graphic Design, HYRO has been spraying paint on walls for the last 20 years. Hip Hop has played a significant role in the art he produces – especially for his pigeons with attitude. 

Kids are welcome to come and take part from 1-2pm in a guided session but must be over six years old and with a parent or adult.

When? 10am– 5pm

Where? The Social

What? Bring your own used t-shirts and we'll print one of four designs for you in this live screen printing activation. Learn all about screen printing and upcycle an old t-shirt at the same time. The session is led by Anchor End, a Manchester-based traditional silk screen printing studio. They've specialised in top quality, highly detailed screen printing for over ten years. Serving the fashion, music and retail industry has led them to be one of the market's leading print shops, focusing on quality over quantity. They bring this experience and knowledge to a live printing experience using their portable screen printing studio. Having worked with clients such as Frank Ocean, Adidas, Gymshark, Manchester United, and many others they've been recognised as the UK's best Live printing specialists.

When? 10am– 5pm

Where? Riverside Doors

What? The Manchester Hip Hop Archive bring their specially curated exhibtion of history that has shaped street culture here in Manchester.

When? 1.30pm

Where? The Social

What? Manchester-based photographers Jake Millers, Alina Akbar and Ben Draguisky all have a unique eye for capturing Manchester life, people and architecture. See their work displayed at Aviva Studios and find out more about their work with a panel talk with host CourtWrites. The talk gives an insight into their journey as self-taught creatives carving a name for themselves in the industry.


When? Sessions run every hour from 10am to 4pm

Where? City Square

What? Manchester’s community-led skatepark Projekts MCR takes over City Square with free, kids skateboarding session. Book onto a session here.

When? 12 – 3pm; get down at 1pm to make sure you don't miss a special performance.

Where? The Undercroft

What? A high-energy exhibition moment by diverse skate group MCR Jam Skate. Drop by the Undercroft and watch these local legends show off their skills. Got your own roller skates? Bring them along and join in – everyone is welcome!

When? 3x sessions throughout the day from 12 – 5pm with their flagship performance at 12pm

Where? The Hall Foyer

What? Students from hip hop dance studio 0161 Studios will be performing a live session in the Social before you get a chance to join in. Sign up for lessons during the day via dance teachers who'll be around the venue to give you a taster session.

When? 10am – 5pm

Where? City Square

What? The street basketball community comes together for an exciting 2 vs 2 open tournament. Ex-professional players will be on hand to check your technique as well as Team GB 35+ player Stefan Gill and Special Guest. Sign up between 10am and 12 noon – winner stays on. How far will you get?

Catch a breather and join us on court with host FARO and star Stefan Gill for our panal talk at 11.30am.

Community brand Local Space will be around with limited edition merch on the day.


When? 10am – 3.30pm

Where? The Social

What? Enjoy the sounds of the streets inside with the city’s finest DJs on rotation in the Social – featuring DJ Flowers, DJ ROSH and DJ Lee-Lee.

When? 3–5pm

Where? The Social

What? Studio 88 curate a rap cypher takeover in the Social featuring grassroots artists and rappers from across Greater Manchester – sponsored by streetwear brand Mnt Cndition.

When? 5–6.45pm

Where? The Social

What? Since their last shutdown show, Y2 MGT will be taking the roof off the building with their amazing talent alongside special guests.

Whether it’s the first ever British basketball player in the NBA, being home to amazing BMX and skateboarding scenes, fantastic hip hop events or the incredible graffiti murals throughout the city – street culture thrives in Manchester. We want to give it a platform in The Welcome to celebrate this.

Ushiku Crisafulli, Factory Assembly member


The Welcome is a series of events celebrating the opening of Aviva Studios, curated by the Factory Assembly. Representing a cross-section of the people of Greater Manchester, we’re calling the shots with a programme that brings together the best in circus, street culture, music, food, art and more.

Street Culture Takeover is curated by Manchester street culture pioneer Ste Wing.

Access information

Our full address is Aviva Studios, Water Street, Manchester M3 4JQ and the what3words is

We're a new purpose-built cultural space in the heart of Manchester. The approach to Aviva Studios is flat, with smooth concrete flooring.

The entrance to our building is through double glass doors. There are automatic doors at both entrances and these are also staffed when the building is open to the public.

Once inside, there is step-free access to all areas of the venue. Lifts to the Warehouse are located through the glass doors beside the city entrance. Lift and escalator access to the Hall is located next to the river entrance, just beyond the brick arches.

You will first arrive into the Social, a large public space where there are a range of seats (including those with arms), a bar and toilets (including accessible toilets and a Changing Places facility).

The bars in the Social and Hall Foyer have lowered accessible service points, and induction loops for hearing-aid users.

There are accessible toilets on all public levels of our building.

Accessible toilets are located inside the main toilets space in the brick arches of the Social.

Here you’ll find a mixture of accessible cubicles with left- or right-hand transfer, as well as ambulant accessible cubicles with grab rails. This is also where you can find our Changing Places facility. The toilets in the brick arches of the Social are gender neutral, so you can use facilities in any of the three arches.

There are additional accessible toilets in located in both Hall Foyers, at stalls and circle level.

You do not need a key to use the accessible toilets at Aviva Studios.

Assistance dogs are welcome at Aviva Studios, and we can provide mats and water bowls on request, just ask a host when you arrive. We can also take care of your assistance dog if you are attending a ticketed event and do not want to take your dog into the performance space. If you’re bringing an assistance dog to this event and would like us to make arrangements to care for them, you’re welcome to let us know by contacting or calling our access phone number: 0161 817 4531 (phone lines are open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)

You will be able to explore this event at your own pace, and take breaks when you need to.

Travel information

Aviva Studios can be approached along Water Street (coming from Quay Street) or along Liverpool Road (coming from Deansgate or Castlefield).

Our closest stations are:

Salford Central station: 0.4 miles

Deansgate station and Deansgate-Castlefield tram: 0.6 miles

St Peter’s Square tram: 0.6 miles

Manchester Victoria station is approximately one mile from Aviva Studios

Manchester Piccadilly station is approximately 1.3 miles from Aviva Studios

Click on the links above to find detailed access information for each station.

Free bus services stop at all city-centre stations, and near to Aviva Studios along Deansgate, Bridge St and Quay St. Buses on these free routes are wheelchair accessible. For full details of the free bus routes, please visit the TfGM website.

There is a car park approximately 0.6 miles from Aviva Studios at Water Street Car Park, New Elm Rd, Manchester, M3 4JH.

There is also a NCP car park (Manchester Spinningfields) approximately 0.5 miles away from Aviva Studios at Spinningfields, New Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3BE. It has 35 accessible bays.

There are a small number of Blue Badge spaces along Water St and Quay St. Otherwise head towards Liverpool Road, Great John St and Lower Byrom St – close to our neighbours, the Science and Industry Museum where there are a small number of additional Blue Badge spaces.

For a list of other parking bays available in the area, visit Manchester City Council website.

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