Unmissable things to do in Manchester and the North

Discover acclaimed music and stand-out exhibitions, groundbreaking theatre, family, cinema and literary events in Manchester and throughout the North.

Yayoi Kusama, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner.
Festivals 29 June–16 July 2023, from £10.00

Manchester International Festival

Manchester is all set to become the world’s stage this summer, and the programme for MIF23 has got us more than a little excited.

Classical Music 29 June–9 July 2023, from £10

MIF23: Kagami by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum

As part of MIF23, watch a ground-breaking mixed reality concert created by legendary composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum.

Music 19–28 May 2023,

Manchester Jazz Festival 2023

Manchester Jazz Festival is back this May with 10 days of live music from some of the best northern, national and international musicians operating in the world of contemporary jazz.

Exhibitions Until 21 May 2023, FREE

Familiar Phantoms at The Whitworth

Head to The Whitworth for the premiere of a major new film by artists and long-time collaborators Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind.

Music 29 April 2023 7:30 pm, from £55.50

The Flaming Lips at The Apollo

The Flaming Lips perform their 2002 landmark album, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, in its entirety and for the very first time in England.

Mansfield Park at RNCM
Music 26 March 2023 3:00 pm, from £12.50

Mansfield Park at RNCM

Join the RNCM for the first operatic adaptation of one of Jane Austen’s novels in Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park.

Everyman & Playhouse Spring Summer Season
Theatre Until 22 July 2023,

Everyman & Playhouse Spring/ Summer Season

A busy and brilliant season – expect contemporary takes on the classics, world premiere adaptations of bestsellers and fantastical family shows. There’s plenty to enjoy in Liverpool’s theatres this spring.

Find Your Eyes
Exhibitions 12–16 July 2023, from £10.00

MIF23: Find Your Eyes at Manchester Academy

Fusing photography with choreography and theatre, don’t miss this live photography show, created by the award-winning British photographer Benji Reid. Happening as part of MIF23.

Activity 3–4 June 2023, FREE

We Invented The Weekend

Expect everything from disco boats to DJs, street sports, vintage markets, live music and performance, right across MediaCity and Salford Quays this summer. A free festival for everyone.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead at The Lowry
Theatre 25–29 April 2023, from £16.00

Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead at The Lowry

Any new show by Complicité is a pretty big deal so we’re thrilled that 2023 will see the company bring a new work to The Lowry’s stage.

Culture Guides


Northern flicks, sci-fi masterpieces and some brand new film festivals feature in this month’s cinema preview.


Spring weather might be dragging its feet a little, but the world of exhibitions isn’t slowing down with new shows popping up everywhere to greet the new season.

The Bull and the Moon at Instituto Cervantes


With spring’s indecisive weather in mind, we’ve pulled together a whole load of fun indoor and outdoor family events and activities taking place in Manchester and the North.

Poet Helen Mort.


Spring is making an entrance in live literature land with some extra special festival events, writing walks, online launches and in real life readings from local writers as well as international talent.


From Father John Misty to The Flaming Lips, The Waeve to Big Thief, here are the gigs on our radar for early spring.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


You’ll find everything from work-in-progress scratch nights to multi-award winning musicals in this month’s theatre guide.

Classical Music

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Get ready for spring and summer with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

From indie markets to bit-sized meditation, spoon carving workshops to gallery tours, here are the headlines in the world of tours and activities.

We round up our highlights from Manchester International Festival 2023