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
Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions 14 June–10 November 2019, FREE

Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool presents a new commission by Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based artist Sol Calero, whose brightly coloured, large-scale immersive installations offer a sharply satirical critique of the surreal set of stereotypes and clichés attached to different cultures.

horizons festival home manchester
Festivals 15–21 June 2019,

Horizons Festival 2019 at HOME

As part of Refugee Week and in partnership with Community Arts North West, HOME present Horizons Festival 2019, a week-long celebration of theatre, film, art, performance, workshops and debate.

Exhibitions 6 June–25 September 2019, FREE

LOOK Photo Biennial — Chapter One: Transplant

LOOK Photo Biennial 2019 – a major programme of photography-based exhibitions taking place across Liverpool, the Wirral and Shanghai – opens this June.

Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North
Exhibitions 17 May 2019–26 January 2020, FREE

Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North

Curated with support from award-winning journalist Iona Craig, Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North offers a powerful look at one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

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

MIF19 – Manchester International Festival

Manchester International Festival 2019 is nearly upon us  and it’s fair to say that we’re more than a little excited by the calibre of this year’s programme, which may indeed prove to be the festival’s strongest yet.

Music 1 July 2019, from £27.50

Gojira at O2 Apollo

French metal goliaths Gojira are bringing their insane live show to the O2 Apollo this July.

Jenny Steele: Why Be Exotic in Private? – exhibition at Rogue Artists' Studios
Exhibitions 9–29 June 2019, FREE

Jenny Steele: Why Be Exotic in Private? at Rogue Artists’ Studios

Resulting from her research into South Beach Miami’s 1930s Seaside Moderne architecture, Why Be Exotic In Private? at Rogue Artists’ Studios is a solo installation by artist Jenny Steele.

The Storytelling Bus at Square Chapel
Families 25 May–7 July 2019, from £5

The Storytelling Bus at Square Chapel

Hop on board The Storytelling Bus to experience historic Halifax like never before.

Exhibitions 7 June–18 August 2019,

Peterloo 2019

Manchester Histories prepares to launch a major programme of over 150 events to commemorate the 200-year anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. All of the essential Peterloo events in one place.

Music 2 July 2019, from £15

Mattiel at Gorilla

Delivering a raucous blend of retro rock and soul, Mattiel’s vision, voice and on-stage energy is a force to be reckoned with.

Music 25 September 2019,

Marika Hackman at Band on the Wall

A whip-smart lyricist and box-defying musician, Marika Hackman is hitting full stride. Don’t miss her playing Band on the Wall this September.

Music 27 June 2019, from £32.50

Mac Demarco at The Piece Hall

In support of his new album, Here Comes The Cowboy, rock and roll rapscallion Mac Demarco is playing at the beautiful Piece Hall in Halifax.

The Hired Man company at Oldham Coliseum
Theatre 20 June–6 July 2019, from £17.00

The Hired Man at Oldham Coliseum

Now in a major new revival, The Hired Man – with a superb score, foot-tapping rhythms and a soaring chorus – plays at Oldham Coliseum.

Survey at Bluecoat, Liverpool
Exhibitions 13 April–23 June 2019, FREE

Survey at Bluecoat, Liverpool

Survey at Bluecoat will offer a major study of new work by early career artists from across the UK. The exhibition is the largest review of contemporary art practice in Jerwood Visual Art’s 12 years of programming, spanning a breadth of disciplines including film, performance, and painting.

Cinema 6 May–3 December 2019, from £5

Now Showing Club at Old Bank Residency, Manchester

Now Showing Club is Manchester’s first dedicated documentary cinema and will be showcasing 50 films from Dogwoof’s back catalogue in 2019.

Culture Guides


Music and movies intersect in our latest guide to cinema in Manchester and the North.


Like the 58th Venice Biennale which opened earlier this May, our latest pick of exhibitions across the north also has a strong ecological bent.

Quays Culture Summer Festival


We can almost smell the summer and have sniffed out the best family things to do in Manchester and across the North.

Poet Rebecca Tamás at That's What She Said.


We’re in full festival swing with MIF’s first focus on live literature, and plenty of poetry and prose cropping up in the ‘burbs.


In this month’s music guide, we line up some seriously exciting gigs from across the genre spectrum.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Check out our updated theatre guide for intimate one-to-one performance, prosecco-popping open-air shows and a time-travelling new musical.


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.

The Junk Food Vegan

Tours and Activities

Try something different in May with our round up of the month’s alternative Tours and Activities in Manchester.