Keynote speakers, educational sessions, and panel sessions will all be held at the Manchester Conference Centre on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A block of rooms are secured at The Pendulum Hotel which connects to the conference centre, as well as The Holiday Inn just a short walk away. Both hotels provide buffet breakfast for anyone who purchases with our group rate.
Both hotels are in the heart of Manchester and only a short ride on public transit to Rainy City’s Thunderdome.
Our travel partner, HBC Event Services has worked with us to secure contracted, discounted hotel rates for this event. Please secure your room with special group rate by March 20.
How to Get to the Hotel (Pendulum and Holiday Inn)
- By Air – From the airport grab a train straight into Manchester Piccadilly.
- Rental Car Info – Cars can be rented from Manchester Airport.
- Train – From Manchester Piccadilly both Hotels are a small walk away from the station.
Uber is prevalent in Manchester. Legislation means we have to display our Uber cars as if they were taxis, so all vehicles that pull up will say Uber on the side. Tipping in cabs is not required. Public transport is great, with trams and buses helping you get around all around town. The city center is compact and quite walkable with ease, so getting around should be a pleasant experience.
When purchasing your ticket, you can also reserve a spot at the open scrimmage for summit attendee on Saturday 2:00pm – 5:00pm.
We only have 150 spots for skaters. The only way to secure your spot is to reserve early! Skaters of all levels are welcome. Skaters should bring numbered black and white jerseys and all required safety gear.
This year we will be at Rainy City Roller Derby’s home venue, The Thunderdome! The Thunderdome is located a 45 minute tram journey in a connected town called Oldham. Just hop on any tram to “Rochdale via Oldham” or “Shaw and Crompton.” We are located right outside the Oldham tram stop so once you get out you should see our big “Rainy City” sign on our venue on King Street.
Registration Information and Meeting Schedule
Registration will occur from 6 pm – 9 pm at the Meet and Greet event. Registration will resume at 8 am on Friday morning at the Manchester Conference Centre.
Thursday – 4/20
Welcome to Rainy City!
Location: Club Tropicana – 33 Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3WF
Friday – 4/21
Location: Manchester Conference Centre
Mix and Mingle
Location: Tribeca – 50 Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3WF
Saturday – 4/22
England Red vs White game
Location: The Thunderdome
Sunday – 4/23
Stick around after the Closing Ceremonies in the Pioneer Room, Cash Bar Available.
RDWS After Party!
Location: Twenty Twenty Two, 20 Dale Street Manchester M1 1
*Meet and Greet: Mix and mingle with summit attendees from all over the globe at our kickoff event! You can also get your nametag and register early.
**Merch Mixer: Attendees are encouraged to bring league merch and claim a round table to set up shop. WFTDA, Rainy City, and Team England merch will also be available for sale. Use this as a chance to raise a little money for your league, buy gifts for people at home, or just walk around and socialize with everyone as they sell their gear. Creative league merch items and fundraising is welcome! (Don’t forget to get change and/or bring your credit card swiper.) A cash bar will also be available at this event.
Shopping and Dining
Manchester Conference Centre
Come early to the Pioneer Room to purchase your coffee and tea and to mingle with other summit attendees! It will be available from 8:00 am – 8:45 am each day.
Additionally, each day for Lunch there will be sandwiches, coffee, tea, and snacks available for purchase in the Pioneer Room, with plenty of space to eat your lunch without having to leave the Conference Centre!
Convenience Stores/Gas Stations
There are a handful of convenience stores located within walking distance to the Manchester Conference Centre. The closest store is a SPAR which you can find by turning left out of MCC and heading down Charles Street, and then turning right onto Princess Street. The SPAR store is located on your left. The store stocks convenience food and drink, alcohol and cigarettes, and is open 24 hours.
The closest gas station is a Tesco Esso Express that is located on Upper Brook Street, which is 1.2 miles away from MCC. Again, head left out of MCC and turn down Charles Street, then turn left onto Upper Brook Street (A34) and you’ll find it on your left. It’s open from 6am until midnight every day, and there is also a cash machine outside.
The nearest grocery store is Sainsbury’s, which you can find on Oxford Road opposite Manchester Oxford Road train station and the Palace Theatre. Again, turn left out of MCC and head down Charles Street until you hit Oxford Road. Turn right at the junction (there’s another SPAR here) and head straight on until you see Sainsbury’s. There aren’t many large grocery stores located in the city centre, but this store stocks a wider range of fresh food and meals than a SPAR store. This store is open from 7am until midnight every day and there is a cash machine outside.
Restaurants and Bars
Manchester is a massive city that is packed full of unique and award-winning restaurants and bars. It would be difficult to fit everything into just one weekend, but we’ve pulled together a small selection of interesting places within close distance to the MCC away from the usual multi-national chains.
Head left out of MCC, down Charles Street and onto Oxford Road and you’ll find plenty of cafes, bars and coffee shops lining the street. Oxford Road is the main street that links the universities to the city centre, so you’ll find that these places tend to cater towards the student population with cheap lunch deals and even cheaper cocktails.
Kukoos offers a quick bite to eat and specialises in Indian, Moroccan, Lebanese street food, while Zouk, which is just around the corner on Chaucer Street, is a more formal restaurant offering Indian and Pakistani dishes owned by the same company.
Head further down Oxford Road but take a left before the railway bridge and you’ll find a small stretch of bars tucked away down this cool graffitied side street (New Wakefield Street). The Font bar is a usual student haunt as its extensive cocktail menu can suit a range of budgets, while Black Dog Ballroom comes complete with a pool room, roof terrace BBQ, and a basement bar and club. For a more traditional English pub, you might want to try The Thirsty Scholar, which is tucked underneath the railway arch, or head up the metal steps for tiki cocktails at the Zombie Shack.
If you head further down Oxford Road and take a left onto Whitworth Street, you’ll find bar and kitchen Gorilla that serves award winning royal breakfasts and Sunday roasts, chargrilled burgers and fancy sandwiches. It also boasts a gin parlour on the mezzanine level and a full list of cocktails, bottles and beers.
Canal Street and The Gay Village
A few minutes’ walk down Princess Street and you’ll come to the beginning of Manchester’s world famous Canal Street lined with numerous LGBTQ bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants. Head here late in the evening and you’ll understand why it’s named one of the busiest LGBTQ scenes in Europe.
For food and drink, Velvet offers classic British comfort food with a twist while The Molly House provides fresh and authentic Spanish and South American tapas dishes made to order.
If you fancy some English tea with a twist, visit Richmond Tea Rooms behind Canal Street for an Alice in Wonderland themed tea room. Beneath the extravagant decor you can enjoy cakes and cocktails until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 9:30pm on Sundays.
Later in the evening, fans of 90s pop should head to G-A-Y on the edge of Canal Street or Via for cheesy tunes until the early hours of the morning..
The Northern Quarter
A short walk from the MCC takes you to Manchester’s independent hipster area, which in recent years has gone from a handful of dive bars and gig venues to a large, bustling area filled with great independent shops, quirky bars and unique cafes.
For a great vegan diner that serves novelty burgers, cakes and a great cocktail list, head to V-Rev (Edge Street) and then jump across the road to Common for a wonderful collection of craft beer and great music.
Trof (Thomas Street) has become a Manchester favourite, built over three floors in a gorgeous old industrial red brick, it serves great drinks, a bustling and friendly atmosphere, live music at the weekend and great for an English fry up for breakfast.
Soup Kitchen (Stevenson Square) is another Manchester fave, serving great soup, some hearty meals and a great collection of craft beer. Downstairs has live music and club nights in a typically dingy and dank Manchester basement. Stay on Stevenson Square to check out the amazing street art including a big David Bowie mural (perfect for some Instagram action) and sneak down Spear Street for a classic Manchester alley way filled with great street art and a lot of trash.
If you’re after a quick bite to eat while on the move, Go Falafel (Newton Street) is a great call. Grab yourself a cheap and quick falafel wrap and a salad on the side, shove it in your mouth and keep moving!
Things to Do
Staying in Manchester before or after the event, or have free time in the evenings:
Take a short walk down Charles Street onto Oxford Road and then left onto Whitworth Street and you’ll find Dog Bowl in place under one of the railway arches. Here you’ll find a modest bowling alley with 5 lanes and a casual diner serving burgers and sandwiches. During the weekend and evenings it will cost you £8 per person per game.
For extra crazy golf visit Junkyard Golf Club opposite Manchester Piccadilly Station in Piccadilly Place. Made from reclaimed junk such as ironing boards, coffee tables and car body parts, there are two courses for you to choose from. Cocktails and banging beats are par for the course. Play costs £7 per person, which includes club and ball hire.
“Home” (Tony Wilson Place) is an independent cinema, art gallery and theatre complex that has newly opened and offers fantastic entertainment, great food and drink and always has fantastic art on display.
A trip to Salford Quays at night is another great trip, with beautiful views, fantastic architecture, bars, food and theatres, and a walk around the huge and shiny headquarters of the BBC. Salford Quays is easy to get to on the tram from Manchester City Center, only a 20 minute journey.
Good to Know!
The legal drinking age in the UK is 18, but most bars, shops and clubs operate a ‘Challenge 21’ policy, which means that they will ask you for photographic ID if they think you look under 21. Please bring a form of photographic ID with you if you wish to buy alcohol, or enter a place that serves alcohol after 9pm.
You must also be 18 or over to buy cigarettes or tobacco in the UK, and you are not allowed to smoke in enclosed public spaces such as bars or restaurants. Most places will have an outdoor smoking area for you to use.
Manchester isn’t called the rainy city for nothing! It’s probably going to rain during your stay, even if the sun is shining, so please pack an umbrella.
In the UK vehicles drive on the left, so please look right first when you’re crossing the street, or better still, use a pedestrian crossing. But you can totally jay-walk if you want to, we really don’t mind!
If you need to withdraw cash from a cash machine, try to find one that won’t charge you for doing so. Some machines will try to charge you up to £2 for withdrawals, and these are mainly located in clubs or bars. Don’t get caught out – there are plenty of free to use cash machines dotted around the city centre.
About Rainy City Roller Derby
Rainy City Roller Derby are entering their 9th year as a league and have 3 competitive teams, the Bet Lynch Mob, Tender Hooligans and our Rainy City All Stars. Our Tender Hooligans are currently competing in British Champs Tier 2, and our All Stars are currently #21 in Europe. Our home venue is the Thunderdome in Oldham, which is a small town to the East of Manchester, and has been our home over the past 5 years. We use this venue to continually promote and celebrate roller derby to the North of England, with social events, training sessions and games as well as bootcamps and fundraising events. Our All Stars are currently deep in training for Anarchy in the UK, Finvitational tournament in Helsinki and hopefully building up for our second ever Playoff appearance this Autumn.
ABOUT HBC EVENT SERVICES:
The WFTDA is proud to partner with HBC Event Services, a travel/booking agency with a nationwide reputation for excellence in managing travel for sports events. HBC Event Services provides an easy way for you to book your hotel rooms with our partnered hotels at the best rates. These rates are lower than the hotel’s best available rate and they include breakfast for our group.
Issues or special requests – Please book through the hotel reservation link and contact our partner, HBC Event Services, if you have any issues at +1.505.346.0522 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions and/or have any special hotel requests.