Springing into March

We’ve survived the new year resolutions and struggled through the shortest month (which given the lack of daylight and inevitable wet and cold weather can feel like the longest). Now we’ve arrived in March, the official start of spring, and it feels like time to start looking ahead. It’s a month rich with notable days and this year there’s plenty to get us ringing dates on the calendar.

There’s plenty to look forward to; whether you’re itching to get back out in the great outdoors or content to find your entertainment closer to home. We’ve taken a look at the month ahead and pulled out some high points that’ll be going on the Merrick calendar.

There’s no better place to begin a look ahead than with the start of spring itself, March 20.

March offers some welcome green shoots


The spring equinox marks the time when the sun sits directly over the equator as it journeys north. It may not be time to strip off and head to the beach just yet. However, it’s a symbolic day in the calendar for farmers, gardeners, outdoor adventurers and those who just welcome waving goodbye to winter. With its return we can look forward to the clocks change and longer days welcomed in on the 26th.

Sport and movies

The sporting highlight of the month, for petrolheads at least, is the new season of Formula 1. It’s grid ‘lights out’ in Bahrain over the weekend of March 3-5.  From there it moves on to Saudi Arabia a fortnight later and ends the month down under in Melbourne. It’s a jet setting life.

Also promising heap loads of glamour at a distance will be the Oscars. The 95th Academy Awards are live in the early hours of March 13. Contenders hoping to take home a coveted golden statue include Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin) and Cate Blanchett (Tár). Organisers will be hoping for a night without a repeat of last year’s furore caused by Will Smith’s slap.

The musical Hamilton is no stranger to awards, sweeping the boards as it has throughout theatreland. And March, the 13th to be precise, marks the day when tickets go on sale for its much-anticipated Manchester opening. Demand for the 15-week run at the Palace Theatre from November is expected to be huge – so get bookmarking now!

Hamilton: Sure to be one of THE events of Manchester’s 2023


The start of the month holds another date that will appeal to lovers of the written word. World Book DayMarch 2 – was first celebrated more than 25 years ago and has grown to become an essential calendar fixture for schools, communities and avid readers. It provides a fantastic opportunity to focus on reading for pleasure, supporting a child’s habit of reading – and dressing up as Alice in Wonderland or Harry Potter.

Marching and music

A few days later, March 8, it’s International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In the North West, there will be a Walk for Women event – actually on Saturday 4th – starting at Manchester Cathedral. Those joining in are invited to take along fun and noisy instruments to bang and clang.

And, of course, we couldn’t look at March’s notable days without highlighting Mother’s Day, this year on the 19th.

On the same weekend, Friday 17th, Comic Relief returns for 2023. There’s a new Red Nose, exclusively designed by Sir Jony Ive, which starts as a tiny, flat crescent and springs into a honeycomb-paper sphere. As ever, the celebs will be out to raise some smiles – and money – to help people through tough times.

Ready for another Red Nose Day?


Finally, modern music fans are set for a treat when the Radio 6 Music Festival takes over various Manchester venues from the 23rd to 26th.

The event returns to the scene of its first 2014 festival with live shows, debuts, unique collaborations and surprise guests. In celebration of the festival a special BBC Sounds playlist has been compiled of legendary Manchester Indie acts to get you in the mood – expect The Smiths, Stone Roses, Oasis et al.

What we wrote about 2022’s International Women’s Day