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 30 January 2020 7:30 pm, from £11

Jacques Greene at YES

Aptly named Dawn Chorus, Jacques Greene’s latest album signifies a new chapter in the French-Canadian producer’s musical journey. Be a part of it at YES.

The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel at HOME
Theatre 4–8 February 2020, from £5.00

The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel at HOME

Described as ‘immensely charming’ by The Stage, this hilarious homage to the masters of slapstick and silent comedy comes to HOME Manchester.

Classical Music 1 February 2020 7:30 pm, from £12.50

BBC Philharmonic: Szymanowski/Myaskovsky at The Bridgewater Hall

Joined by celebrated violinist Liza Ferschtman, the BBC Philharmonic presents two Eastern European masterpieces and an epic symphony by Myaskovsky.

Night of the Living Dead at Leeds Playhouse
Theatre Until 15 February 2020, from £14.00

Night of the Living Dead – Remix at Leeds Playhouse

imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse bring a unique shot-for-shot stage recreation of George A. Romero’s classic 1968 zombie movie.

House of Suarez - Vogue Ball 2020
Dance 29 February 2020 7:00 pm, from £15.00

House of Suarez + Contact: Vogue Ball 2020 at Manchester Academy

Daring, fabulous and with a nautical twist for 2020, House of Suarez are back to host the ultimate battle for dance supremacy.

2020 Banner Display at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021, FREE

2020 Banner Display at People’s History Museum

Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.

Ho Tzu Nyen: The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia Volume 10: N for Nameless at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art – exhibition
Exhibitions Until 12 April 2020, FREE

Ho Tzu Nyen: The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia Volume 10: N for Nameless at CFCCA

CFCCA presents Singapore artist Ho Tzu Nyen’s alternative ‘A to Z’ account of Southeast Asia, focusing on the region’s neglected histories.

Activity Until 15 February 2020, FREE

People’s History Museum 10th Birthday

People’s History Museum – Manchester’s national museum of democracy – celebrates its 10th birthday with a special weekend of events.

Cinema 7 February 2020 7:30 pm, from £14

Video Jam Presents ‘Spaces-in-between’ at Royal Northern College of Music

Movies meet music as Video Jam presents an evening of five commissioned short films by international artists, each scored by a different UK composer.

Utopias exhibition at the Whitworth
Exhibitions 31 January–31 October 2020, FREE

Utopias at the Whitworth

How have visions of utopia and the visual culture that helped form it impacted upon the Brexit debate? A new exhibition at the Whitworth explores.

Music 4 February 2020 7:30 pm, from £15

Anna Meredith at Gorilla

Straddling a multitude of genres, from techno to contemporary classical, Anna Meredith’s new album Fibs is a sheer delight. Her gig at Gorilla will be, too.

Yelena Popova: The Scholar Stones Project exhibition at The Holden Gallery
Exhibitions 7 February–27 March 2020, FREE

Yelena Popova: The Scholar Stones Project at The Holden Gallery

After growing up in the closed city of Ozyorsk – the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme – Yelena Popova’s work reflects a fascination with nuclear history.

Poet Jane Yeh. Photo by Andy Forest.
Literature 3 February 2020 6:30 pm, FREE

PN Review 250th issue launch at Christie’s Bistro

The Carcanet 50th birthday celebrations continue, with a very special launch party for the spring issue and 250th edition of the poetry publishing house’s literary journal, PN Review.

Painting of a miner in the Digging Deep exhibition
Exhibitions Until 1 March 2020, FREE

Digging Deep at The National Coal Mining Museum

In their first ever exhibition looking at the role of immigrants in the coal industry, Digging Deep explores black miners’ stories.

Music 30–31 January 2020, FREE

Co-lab Theory at Gorilla

Featuring eight emerging artists from Manchester and the north, Reform Radio presents the culmination of their latest artist-led project, Co-lab Theory.

Culture Guides


Valentine’s events, horror marathons and the best new releases.

Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here at Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth


Power and conflict, rock and reggae, and rebellious acts by the over 60s all feature in this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition


Check out our top picks for Families this month. Whether it’s art, music, theatre, science, crafts or insects (!) you’re after, we’ve got you covered…

Poet Jane Yeh. Photo by Andy Forest.


Our shiny new diaries are filling up fast as details of prize-giving galas, poetry and prose launches, and some old favourites announce dates and details.


Eyeing up Manchester’s gig calendar, we’re spoilt for choice this New Year! Read our top picks for the coming months.

Theatre in Manchester


Turn On Fest at Hope Mill Theatre and PUSH Festival at HOME are amongst our top picks of theatre in Manchester and the North this January.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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


Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Looking to eat some of the North’s finest food in January 2020? Kick the decade off with our guide to all things to eat and drink in Manchester and beyond.

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Tours and Activities

Start the decade with a new experience and take inspiration from our January Tours and Activities guide.