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 the North.

Our top picks
Music 16–20 October 2019, from £6.00

Manchester Folk Festival 2019

Home to the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Manchester Folk Festival is back with another joyous celebration of the best in English folk.

Peer to Peer at Open Eye Gallery & St. George's Hall, Liverpool
Exhibitions 17 October–22 December 2019, FREE

Peer to Peer at Open Eye Gallery & St. George’s Hall, Liverpool

Featuring 14 artists deemed on the verge of major international recognition, Peer to Peer at Open Eye provides a snapshot of the state of art in the UK and China today.

Music 15 October 2019, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm, from £5

Manchester Collective ‘Sirocco’ at RNCM

Back by popular demand, Manchester Collective’s Sirocco celebrates the warmth and diversity of folk traditions from across the globe.

Music 17 October 2019, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm, from £14

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Blackmail’ with live score at RNCM

The RNCM’s latest celluloid adventure: Alfred Hitchcock’s innovative Blackmail will be screened alongside a live improvised organ score.

Author Hanna Jameson.
Festivals 14–21 October 2019, from £3.00

Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival

Not just literature – and ideas! – the seventh festival has on offer drama, comedy, poetry, spoken word, visual arts plus children’s and young people’s shows and events to get you reading and thinking.

English National Ballet: Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella at the Palace Theatre
Dance 17–19 October 2019, from £13.00

English National Ballet: Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella at the Palace Theatre

As part of their 70th Anniversary Season, the English National Ballet bring the classic fairy tale to Manchester.

Venice, Paradise of Cities at Cooper Gallery, Barnsley
Exhibitions 14 September–30 November 2019, FREE

Venice, Paradise of Cities at Cooper Gallery, Barnsley

Weren’t able to make it over to Venice this summer? Us neither. But don’t worry, the floating city is much closer than you think.

Black Men Walking at Oldham Coliseum
Theatre 24–26 October 2019, from £12.00

Black Men Walking at Oldham Coliseum

On a second UK tour following its huge sell-out success last year – don’t miss out on this celebrated performance inspired by a Black men’s walking group based in Sheffield.

Hedda Tesman at The Lowry.
Theatre 4–19 October 2019, from £24.50

Hedda Tesman at The Lowry

If you’re looking for gripping drama, stunning design and fierce family politics, then you’re going to love this brand-new production by The Lowry and Headlong.

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 at Leeds Art Gallery
Exhibitions 14 September–17 November 2019, FREE

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 at Leeds Art Gallery

An exciting indicator for what’s around the corner in terms of British contemporary art, the 70th anniversary edition of New Contemporaries is a must see.

Exhibitions 1–2 November 2019, FREE

Light Up Lancaster 2019

Festival of light and art Light Up Lancaster returns to the city with installations, projections, performance and fireworks illuminating the city’s historic buildings, charming streets and hidden squares.

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Music 15–24 November 2019, tickets from £12

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2019

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival is 10 days of groundbreaking contemporary music. With performances, talks and workshops from an international community of creative thinkers.

SICK! Festival SICK FESTIVAL 2019 MANCHESTER SICKFEST SICKFESTIVAL
Theatre 18 September–15 October 2019,

SICK! Festival

Challenging, entertaining and always trying to change the world for the better, SICK! Festival makes just the kind of art we like.

Music 23 November 2019, 10:00 am–11:00 pm, from £8.50

Delia Derbyshire Day: An Electric Storm at Spirit Studios

Featuring commissioned works by innovative new artists, Electric Storm 50 celebrates the life and work of pioneering electronic composer, Delia Derbyshire.

Cinema 29 October–3 November 2019, from £9.00

FilmFear at HOME

FilmFear is back as HOME team up with Film4 for another season of new and classic scary movies, premieres and director Q&As.

Culture Guides

Cinema

October sees the launch of Manchester’s newest cinema, some first class new releases and plenty of Halloween fun.

Peer to Peer at Open Eye Gallery & St. George's Hall, Liverpool

Exhibitions

Sci-fi, football, China and Venice collide in our latest pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Autumn at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens -with plenty of family things to do.

Families

Avoid the post summer holiday blues with our latest top picks of family things to do. Enjoy some quality family time together this autumn.

Author Jenn Ashworth, photo by Chris Thomond.

Literature

October brings its usual bumper crop of book-related festivals, from Burnley to Manchester to Rochdale to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, featuring Comics Laureate Hannah Berry.

Music

Looking ahead to Manchester’s Autumn gig calendar, our new music guide ranges from contemporary singer-songwriters to pioneers of electronica.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

You’ll find an eclectic fusion of dance, contemporary performance and top-notch new writing in our theatre guide this month.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Discover the best food and drink that the North has to offer in our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and beyond.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Find alternative nights out, decadent afternoons and fun new ways to explore the city in this month’s guide of things to do in Manchester.

Things to do right now

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Things to do in the Lakes this Summer
Exhibitions 15 February–15 October 2019, FREE

Things to do in the Lakes this Summer

And Breathe... at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 16 March 2018–15 October 2019, FREE

And Breathe… at Manchester Art Gallery

SICK! Festival SICK FESTIVAL 2019 MANCHESTER SICKFEST SICKFESTIVAL
Theatre 18 September–15 October 2019,

SICK! Festival

Graphic Encounters at Shudehill Metrolink Station
Visual Arts 10 September–15 October 2019, FREE

Graphic Encounters at Manchester Metrolink Stations

Activity 11–16 October 2019, FREE

Cine-club: A Voix Haute

Jazz at the Deli llama
Music 16 May–17 October 2019, FREE

Jazz at the Deli llama

Exhibitions 26 September–19 October 2019, FREE

Reckoning with Refugeedom at PS Mirabel

Beryl at Bolton Library Theatre
Theatre 19 September–19 October 2019, from £14.00

Beryl at Bolton Library Theatre

The Last King of Scotland at Sheffield Crucible
Theatre 27 September–19 October 2019, from £15.00

The Last King of Scotland at Sheffield Crucible

RSC: The Taming of the Shrew at The Lowry
Theatre 10 September–19 October 2019,

Manchester’s season of Shakespeare

Hedda Tesman at The Lowry.
Theatre 4–19 October 2019, from £24.50

Hedda Tesman at The Lowry