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
Manchester Folk Festival
Music 16–20 October 2019, from £6.00

Manchester Folk Festival 2019

Indulge in a long weekend packed with amazing gigs in great venues. Get involved in singing, songwriting and craft workshops. Grab your friends and dance a ceilidh. This festival is a chance to discover new bands, create something you’re proud of, relax with friends and make new connections.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool
Exhibitions 15 March–26 August 2019, from £2

Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery

Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool prepares to present its blockbuster exhibition of 2019, dedicated to the life and work of the Glaswegian artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh – father of the UK’s part in the international Art Nouveau movement.

Cinema 22 March–9 April 2019, from £5.00

¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival at HOME: Film Programme

HOME’s annual celebration of the best in new Spanish and Latin American filmmaking returns with an exciting line-up of UK premieres, one off events and filmmaker Q&As.

Mark Morris Dance Group: Pepperland at The Lowry
Dance 29–30 March 2019, from £15.00

Mark Morris Dance Group: Pepperland at The Lowry

Featuring some of their biggest hits all played live, this is a joyful celebration of The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’.

Music 28 March 2019, from £6.50

Psappha: Starry Night at St Michael’s

Featuring emerging composers as well as internationally renowned ones, Psappha’s ‘Starry Night’ will be a wonderful concert of contemporary classical music.

Music 26 March 2019, from £13.08

Olivia Chaney at The Stoller Hall

Following the release of her massively acclaimed album ‘Shelter’, Olivia Chaney brings her captivating live show to Manchester’s Stoller Hall.

The Funeral Director at HOME
Theatre 27–30 March 2019, from £5.00

The Funeral Director at HOME

Intersecting religion, sexuality and gender – winner of the 2018 Papatango New Writing Prize, The Funeral Director comes to HOME’s stage this March.

Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett at FACT, Liverpool
Exhibitions 29 March–16 June 2019, FREE

Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett at FACT

A duo-exhibition of work by the eminent American filmmaker Ericka Beckman and rising London-based video artist Marianna Simnett marks a strong start to FACT’s year-long season focusing on identity, representation and gender.

Maz Hedgehog
Literature 27 March 2019, FREE

Bad Language with Maz Hedgehog at Gullivers

Maz Hedgehog’s debut collection of original poems, Vivat Regina, is out with Superbia Books this month and she’ll be headlining Bad Language – expect magical beasts and beings with a black queer perspective and viewpoints within British cultural identity.

UnDoing at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester – Creative Tourist
Exhibitions 22 March–26 May 2019, FREE

UnDoing at Castlefield Gallery

UnDoing at Castlefield Gallery explores our often conflicted relationship between past and present in architecture.

Ruskin, Turner and The Storm Cloud at Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Cumbria
Exhibitions 12 July–5 October 2019, FREE

Ruskin, Turner and The Storm Cloud at Abbot Hall Art Gallery

This summer, Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Cumbria marks the 200-year-anniversary of the great Victorian art critic and watercolourist, John Ruskin’s birth, with an exhibition dedicated to the turbulent skies above.

Music 31 March–6 April 2019, from £21

The Pilgrim’s Progress by Ralph Vaughan Williams at RNCM

Inspired by John Bunyan’s novel, Ralph Vaughan William’s opera ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ will be one of the highlights of RNCM’s Spring Season.

Untitled (panel work) detail - courtesy Joe Moran. The Lowry
Dance 23 March–14 April 2019, FREE

EDIT.04 Live Creations: Joe Moran / Dance Art Foundation at The Lowry

For EDIT.04, British-Irish choreographer Joe Moran prepares to transform The Lowry’s gallery space into a ‘live exhibition’ combining performance, film and spray paint drawing.

MIF19 David Lynch at HOME Manchester International Festival
Festivals 4–21 July 2019, from £12.00

MIF19 – Manchester International Festival

The complete Manchester International Festival 2019 line-up is now out, and it’s fair to say that we’re more than a little excited by the calibre of this year’s programme.

Music 7 April 2019, from £30.60

James Blake at Victoria Warehouse

Following his acclaimed new album ‘Assume Form’, James Blake’s gig at Victoria Warehouse will be one of the most exciting of the spring season.

Culture Guides

Cinema

MIF make a big announcement, we look over ¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival’s line-up and highlight some peculiar Mother’s Day counter-programming.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the north

Exhibitions

Highlights from Manchester International Festival’s stellar 2019 visual arts programme top this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Stella at Waterside

Families

Design the playground of your dreams, witness giant outdoor spectaculars and meet Stella a Star Engineer.

Writer Jenn Ashworth. Photo by Martin Figura

Literature

There’s a definite spring in the old live literature step as our diaries fill up for the coming months with plenty of prose and poetry, creative nonfiction and memoir. Outlook good…

Music

From legends of the electronic underground to rising voices in jazz, this month’s music guide is a real melting pot.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Manchester’s Yang Sing and Northern wrestling all feature in our eclectic 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

Challenge yourself to take on Manchester’s immersive games in this month guide, alongside some historical tours and one-off experiences.