Didsbury Games Festival 2019

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About the Didsbury Games Festival

We had the Games Festival in 2019 - and it was a great success! Thanks to all the stewards and to everyone who came along to play and have fun. If you're looking for some more gaming, check out these local groups!

Boardgames are great! The hours-long grumpy games of Monopoly on a wet afternoon are a thing of the past. Modern games are engaging, varied, family-friendly and... FUN!

We want everyone to enjoy boardgames - or at least have a chance to try them out! The Didsbury Games Festival is an informal day of playing some new boardgames, meeting people who play games, and having fun. It's family-friendly during the day, with a bar and more grown-up games during the evening.

  • A free library of games to check out and play. Odd ones, firm favourites, old and new. See what's available. Take the opportunity to play a game you've always fancied, or play one of our recommendations.

  • Tables with family-friendly games and Games Festival stewards to take you through the rules and teach you to play with an introductory game. Learn to play games your kids or family or you will love, then check out the game and play some more!

  • Role-playing sessions run by Games Festival stewards for total beginners. Fancied role-playing but never got your Ork on? Try one out!

It all takes place at St Catherine's Community Centre, School Lane, Didsbury, M20 6HS.

Doors open at 12.00pm on Saturday 19 October, 2019, and we are all out at 11pm.

There is limited parking at the venue: Metrolink tram to Didsbury Village, or number 42 or 142 bus to Didsbury is your best bet. Ten minutes walk to Burnage or East Didsbury mainline train.

What's On

Games! Board games. Lots of them.

Throughout the day we'll always have games you can check out and play and tables for you and your friends (old or new) to play a game.

We will also have some family events during the day, and after teatime the bar opens for beer and game-playing in the evening.


Enjoy throughout the day.

Big Games!

Enjoy park-size games of Jenga, Ludo and Chess for the kids.

Gaming Tables

We have the whole building, so there are tables laid out for you to play games - bring your friends, pop out to Didsbury for coffee or food, relax and play!

Free Game Library

Check out a game, classics old and new, and have a go: Scythe, Anachrony, Risk, and (yes) Monopoly! Just don't lose the pieces, please... Check out the games we have to play.

PitchCar Leaderboard

Try and top the PitchCar leaderboard by completing the racing track with the fewest flicks of your car.

Design a Game

Join one of our volunteers with a table full of games stuff and try to invent something. Awesome for kids' imaginations.

Games Awards

Vote for your Best Game Ever and the Best Game you've played or discovered today!

Pitch Your Game Idea

Want some game invention advice? A sounding board for your ideas? Pitch it to us and our chums for feedback, winner gets featured on our website after the event!

Monopoly: Why It Is Awesome, And Why You Are Playing It Wrong

Al loves Monopoly and will convince you that it is awesome and that IF YOU PLAY ACCORDING TO THE RULES then it is super-fun!


Doors open to the public, come and collect your badges and check out what's there!

1.00pm - 4.00pm ROLEPLAYING FOR KIDS

Join a party of young adventurers trying to win the treasure and defeat the Big Bad! Roll a simplified character and play a fast-moving and straightforward roleplaying game with one of our experienced gamesmasters.


The bar opens and you're welcome to grab a table, check out a game, or join one of our Off The Shelf groups! Playing to 11pm. Children are welcome to stay around, if their grown-ups are there, but there is no expectation of family-friendliness (so long as everything is in line with the Code of Conduct, of course, which applies at all times.)

11.00pm GO HOME

Festival ends. Thanks for coming!


Tickets are for all day, and we have adult tickets (£5) and child tickets for under-16s (£3). Children under 5 are free (but it's a boardgame festival - we'd love them to come, but it's not a soft play!). You get free entrance and exit all day, the boardgame library is free, but you have to buy your own beer in the evening, smile.

Tickets from Eventbrite now!

We have zero chance of making any actual profit from the day, but just for clarity: any profits from the day will be donated 100% to YoungMinds, a mental health charity for young people (and we'll make a donation for each attendee in any case.)

Contact us

Either contact Al on 07983 244 131 or info@shelf3.com.

Or Meet the Team!

Or looking for gaming groups in South Manchester, but missed the Festival?

Five Rules for Fun

We're going to have a great day, and we hope you can get on board with these principles that we think will help.

1 No Lekking

You're better than the other players - or maybe just luckier? Great! Now take on the responsibility of beating them kindly, courteously and straight-forwardly. Offer to end the game if you are clearly the victor, even! Sure, you want to preen, but you'll feel even better being a good sport. Trust us.

2 No King Making

You know what we mean. Some games are so designed that the third-placed player can determine who wins - or more often if the game is ever going to end! We're not going to come round and check the politics of your board, but if you find yourself in this situation - maybe just let it play out and the best player win this one, rather than frustrating things because you can.

3 No Rule Lawyers

You've won games by knowing the rules better than the other guy and arguing the toss every opportunity, right? Don't do it.

4 No Abuse

Be kind. Be courteous. Be friendly. Be understanding. Be tolerant. Don't be rude.

5 No Video Games

We love video games! Just not today.

Code of Conduct

We are here to have fun and play games. Not necessarily win them, either.

Be kind and positive, especially to people new to board games and people who aren't very good because they are young. If you want to have a no-holds-barred rules-lawyering to-the-death game, go see Al who will be happy to play you. Otherwise, choose your audience and enjoy playing.

No racism, sexism, homophobia. No racial epithets. No "jokes" or "irony" about racism, sexism, LGBT people, and so on. You know the drill. If you don't comply we will expel you immediately.

If you have any problems with anyone at all please let an organiser know right away.

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