The Irish Festival in Manchester: Celebration of Heritage and/or Rebranding the Image of the City?

M. Karaulova, O. Shackleton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Manchester Irish Festival has been a feature of the Manchester city events for over twenty years. Along with such local communities as the Gay Village and the China Town the Irish Festival has been a celebration of the city’s multicultural and open character. As a part of the fieldwork for a postgraduate course at the University of Manchester we ethnographically observed the Festival, including the St.Patrick’s Day Parade, and arranged several interviews. We came to see the festival as a more than a simple ‘ethnic festival’ but an event interlaced with creating and promoting multicultural, cosmopolitan and international Manchester. Our findings fall into three broad categories: (1) The ambiguity of the event of Manchester ‘St.Patrick’s Day Parade’ that takes place a week before the actual St.Patrick’s day and thus serves several purposes including carnival corporate identity of the ‘Irish Migrants’ living in Manchester, ‘Irish Heritage’, a city wide branding activity, and different perspectives on the Festival by migrants and ‘local’ Irish; (2) The Albert Square as the primary location for diversity celebration in Manchester; (3) ‘Irishness’ and ‘Irish Identity’: very clear labeling of some cultural signs and symbols as being ‘Irish’ help in identifying the Irish as ‘cultural Other’ in the city of Manchester, because of their ‘invisible migrant’ status.The wider implications for the city from theoretical standpoint of cosmopolitanism are also addressed in this paper, and how the movement and influx of new migrants and communities has been incorporated into the festival.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationhost publication
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2012
EventGSA Conference - MMU
Duration: 5 Jul 20127 Jul 2012


ConferenceGSA Conference


  • Irish Festival, St.Patrick's Day, Identity, Migration


Dive into the research topics of 'The Irish Festival in Manchester: Celebration of Heritage and/or Rebranding the Image of the City?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this