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 28 January 2017, from £13.50

Dark Hearts of Space at The Lowry

Take a great DJ set, add a splash of art and multiply that by a double dose of science and you get Dark Hearts of Space, a new audio visual show that unravels the mysteries of black holes

BBC Philharmonic: Lovers and Rogues
Music 21 January 2017, from £12.00

BBC Philharmonic: Lovers and Rogues

Gramophone wrote that when superb young Spanish pianist Javier Perianes plays Grieg’s ever-fresh Piano Concerto, as he does tonight, ‘you may well find yourself falling in love and in awe all over again’

After The Bees
Exhibitions 16 November 2016–01 July 2017 , FREE

After The Bees at Manchester Museum

This exhibition explores the haunting consequences of a world without bees through a series of photographs and artworks.

Castle Rock
Theatre 25 January 2017, FREE

Castle Rock at The Lowry

Castle Rock takes its cues from Stephen King’s film Stand By Me, totally deconstructing it to create a freaky and fragmentary work that mixes together music, movement and theatre.

Chinese New Year in Manchester 2017
Families 26–29 January 2017 , FREE

Chinese New Year Manchester 2017

Whether you’re being dazzled by the terracotta warriors, tantalised by the tasty cuisine or simply soaking up the atmosphere, this year promises to be Manchester’s biggest Chinese New Year celebration to date.

Le Gateau Chocolat: Black
Music 10–11 February 2017 , from £15.00

Le Gateau Chocolat: Black at Contact

Le Gateau Chocolat has an incredible voice, which can bend to the lowest bass and trill at the top of the treble. He is also more than a simply a singer: he’s an all round show-stopping performer.

Theatre 14–28 January 2017 , from £1.00

PUSH Festival 2017 at HOME

PUSH gives you a chance to revisit your favourite theatre moments from the previous year and catch up on a few you might have missed out on. Comedy, cabaret and a play with a man who was a rubber-faced revelation – what better way to start your theatre year.

The Dragon Parade, Chinatown Celebrations and Fireworks
Families 29 January 2017, FREE

The Dragon Parade, Chinatown Celebrations and Fireworks

Follow the dazzling 175-foot Dragon from Albert Square to Chinatown for music, acrobatics, dancing and a glittering firework finale

Big Saturday: Our Wonderful World
Families 21 January 2017, FREE

Big Saturday: Our Wonderful World at Manchester Museum

Start the new year with positive action at Manchester Museum celebrating the little and large things that make our world amazing.

Good Dog
Theatre 22–23 February 2017 , from £12.00

Good Dog at The Lowry

Unseen women, unwanted old men and unappreciated teenagers are all part of Good Dog’s scalpel-sharp story, written by celebrated actor and playwright Arinzé Kene.

Culture Guides

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - Image courtesy of FACT


This month, we round up some of the disreputable treasures and genuinely ambitious pieces of film art that are screening around Manchester and the North.

Points of View by Tony Cragg. Photo: Charles Duprat.


For our Exhibitions guide in January, we’ve sifted through our calendar of upcoming exhibitions and picked out the very best from 2017. Step right this way…

Just So Festival


Follow a 175-foot long dragon and book now for a Grimm’s fairy tale with a difference and the mighty Just So Festival.

Writer Adam O’Riordan. Photo by George Chevalier Lewis.


Start popping events for the new year in your shiny box fresh diary – there’s lots of live lit going on!

The Unthanks: How Wild The Wind Blows


Why not try some new music for the new year? How about a residency (or two) in a former mill, an original take on a film soundtrack, or the cream of Manchester’s current music scene coming together for an action-packed all-dayer?

Castle Rock


It’s a busy time for theatre followers, with two amazing festivals – Queer Contact and PUSH – as well as some exciting new stuff over at The Lowry.

Destination Guides

Discover the BBC Philharmonic’s

2016/17 concert season


Things to do right now

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