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.

We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England to create our new Destination Guides. #HereForCulture

CYC: Everything All of the Time at Contact
Theatre Until 17 May 2022,

Contact Reopening Season

Following the extensive transformation of their iconic Oxford Road venue, Contact has announced a vibrant and progressive reopening programme. Read our preview of the upcoming season.

European Poetry Festival European Camarade
Literature 1 October 2021 7:00 pm, FREE

European Poetry Festival European Camarade at International Anthony Burgess Foundation

The unique annual European Camarade is back, bringing together some of the finest modern poets of the thriving Manchester scene with writers from across Europe to create brand-new work especially for the night.

Sarah Schofield
Literature 13 October 2021 7:00 pm, from £5

Lucie McKnight Hardy, Vanessa Onwuemezi and Sarah Schofield at Blackwell’s

Join Lucie McKnight Hardy, Vanessa Onwuemezi and Sarah Schofield at Blackwell’s on University Green as they each launch new short story collections with a touch of the uncanny.

Northern Lights Writers' Conference 2021
Literature Until 30 September 2021, from £7.50

Northern Lights Writers’ Conference 2021 at Waterside and online

Northern Lights Writers’ Conference is perfect for picking up tips and useful contacts in the publishing world – and you can choose to attend the eighth NLWC virtually or in real life, at CIT’s Waterside base.

Cassils: Human Measure at HOME
Exhibitions 2 October–12 December 2021, FREE

Cassils: Human Measure at HOME

Curated by Bren O’Callaghan, renowned transgender visual artist Cassils brings their first UK solo exhibition and contemporary dance piece to HOME.

The Edge Reopening Season
Comedy Until 18 December 2021, from £6

The Edge Reopening Season

Live theatre returns to The Edge this September and the opening season promises to be one to remember when its doors open for the first time in 18 months, and to a completely refurbished building.

Exhibitions 8–10 October 2021, FREE

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2021 at Victoria Baths in Manchester

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair is back, showcasing over 150 designer-makers in its new home – Manchester’s iconic Victoria Baths.

Irrfan Khan - The Warrior - Not Just Bollywood
Cinema Until 13 October 2021, from £7.50

Not Just Bollywood at HOME

Now entering its fifth year, HOME’s Not Just Bollywood returns with a celebration of the late Irrfan Khan and a particular focus on Bengali film.

PUSH Festival - HOME
Festivals Until 31 December 2021,

PUSH Festival 2021 at HOME

Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.

Dracula: The Untold Story at Leeds Playhouse
Theatre Until 9 October 2021, from £14.00

Dracula: The Untold Story at Leeds Playhouse

Using their cinematic storytelling techniques and cutting-edge technology, imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse deliver a gothic horror for our time, politically loaded and relevant.

Peaceophobia at Q-Park First Street Car Park
Theatre 29 September–2 October 2021, from £5

Peaceophobia at Q-Park First Street Car Park

Part car rally and part theatre show aiming to challenge the political, social and cultural narratives associated with young Muslim men.

Love N Stuff at Oldham Coliseum
Theatre Until 2 October 2021, from £7

Love N Stuff at Oldham Coliseum

The team at Oldham Coliseum head back into the rehearsal room for the first time since the pandemic. Written by Tanika Gupta, this is a heartwarming laugh-out-loud funny show about love and marriage.

Toria Garbutt
Literature 2 October 2021 6:00 pm, from £14

Trouble At’ Mill: Queen’s Mill Word Fest in Castleford

Trouble At’ Mill: Queen’s Mill Word Fest is a new literary festival taking place in Castleford, on the banks of the River Aire, featuring performers Toria Garbutt and Matt Abbott.

The Edge Reopening Season
Comedy 30 September–2 October 2021, from £12.00

That Sketch Show at The Edge

A topical, musical sketch show that takes a vigorous, irreverant swipe at some of the latest news headlines.

Double-Ender at various venues
Theatre Until 14 October 2021, from £5.00

Double-Ender at various venues

In two fast-paced laugh-out-loud monologues, writer-performers Joshua Val Martin and Jez Dolan share candid stories of Queer people in a rapidly changing city.

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Black History Month, spooky screenings and the return of film festivals all feature in this month’s cinema guide.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Exhibitions

Rewilding, the importance of play, and subverting the male gaze – this month’s exhibition highlights propel us into the gallery-going season.

What the Ladybird Heard at The Lowry

Families

As we welcome in the autumn season and live entertainment returns to Manchester, there are so many activities to do with kids of all ages. Here’s our round-up of some of the best family activities and fun days out taking place in the coming weeks.

Northern Lights Writers' Conference 2021

Literature

Events for readers meet events for writers, with plenty of book launches, open mics, literature festivals, writing conferences and poetry showcases to pop into your diary for the remainder of September pushing into October, both online and in person.

Baxter Dury

Music

We’re now well into gig season and it’s proving to be a special one, with artists and audiences giving it their all. From atmospheric electronica to taut post-punk, there’s a whole lot to dig into in our new music guide.

Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre: Season of Dance

Theatre

Dark comedies, dance world premieres and celebratory reopening seasons feature in this month’s eclectic pick of live theatre happening across the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

A guide to Food and Drink in Manchester and the North, including plenty of new bars and restaurants and exciting new menus from old favourites.

Tours and Activities

Summer is here and we’re so excited to be out in the world touring, making, playing and doing all the things Manchester and the North has to offer.

Welcome Back Manchester. It's Time To Restart.