Manchester was absolutely buzzing ahead of New Order's Heaton Park gig

By Daisy Jackson & Amy Walker

It almost felt like the good old days in Manchester today, as thousands of people flooded into the city's pubs and bars.

New Order also played a huge show at Heaton Park on Friday night - their biggest hometown gig ever - and the city centre had been buzzing all afternoon.

Today's test match at Old Trafford getting called off has also added 26,000 cricket fans into the mix - but Old Trafford's loss was Manchester's pubs' gain.

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The improvised beer gardens all across the Northern Quarter had been packed all afternoon, with people enjoying beers in the sunshine.

Many then made their way across to Heaton Park to see New Order, Hot Chip and Working Men's Club perform to an estimated crowd of 35,000.

Pictures and videos showed hundreds queuing to get into Heaton Park from 6pm.

In one video, a huge line of people stretched all along Middleton Road.

The Bury trams from the city centre were full to capacity, with many people having to let the tram go and wait for another.

Despite the massive queues, people are still giddy with excitement (ABNM Photography)

One fan wrote on Twitter: "Out in Manchester pre new order gig and quite frankly its immense."

Another added: "Only one winner in this i suspect….the pubs of Manchester as thousands of people look for something else to do! Enjoy your afternoon chaps. I’m sure you will make the most of it!"

Speaking to the M.E.N, Paul Flanagan said it’s been 25 years since he last saw New Order and he “can not wait”.

Another fan said: "The last Time I saw New Order was in 1984 and I am very excited.

"I am a lifelong fan."

Another told us: "They are an iconic Manchester band. When you hear the words New Order - you instantly think of Manchester."

Following the show, fans flocked so social media to rave about the legendary gig.

One said: "It wasn't the cure of the last 18mths, but dancing in a field with 30,000 others was the life-affirming remedy. @neworder you were f******* wonderful. I love you. Thank you."

Another tweeted: "Brilliant @neworder concert tonight in Heaton Park. Here is the view to #Manchester"

A resident nearby said: "#LoveWillTearUsApart is blowing on the wind to my house from #HeatonPark as one of Manchester’s finest #NewOrder tear it up tonight!"

Greater Manchester Police along with partner agencies are preparing for around 80,000 festival goers to attend this year's Parklife festival at Heaton Park, also set to take place this weekend.

Superintendent Graeme Openshaw, from GMP’s Specialist Operations Branch, who will be overseeing policing at the festival, said: "We didn’t have Parklife last year due to Covid-19 restrictions and so we are expecting for there to be a lot of excitement among those attending following the long lockdown period.

"We are working closely with the organisers of Parklife, Manchester City Council and other partner agencies and our main aim of the weekend as always, is to keep the public safe.

"With Parklife and other events going on this weekend, there will be an increased amount of traffic and people travelling into Manchester with delays on the roads being inevitable in the coming days, so I'd like to remind people to be patient while travelling to and from the event.

"Public transport will also be very busy and we would ask people to follow the messages and advice from our colleagues at Transport for Greater Manchester, so you can plan your journey accordingly.

"I'd also like to remind those who are thinking about trying to bring drugs into the festival, that there is a dedicated operation in progress throughout the weekend which will include drugs dogs and specialist officers situated at the entrances, as well as a heightened police presence around the local community.

"Ultimately, we want everyone to enjoy the festival and have a great weekend.

"We are very experienced in dealing with high profile events like this and festival-goers can expect to see police officers on the ground in and around the event, so if anyone needs assistance please don’t hesitate to come and speak to us.

"In the event of an emergency always dial 999."

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