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 throughout the North.

We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England to create our new Destination Guides. #HereForCulture

Jock McFadyen at the Lowry
Activity Until 27 February 2022,

Jock McFadyen Goes to the Lowry

Scottish artist, Jock McFadyen, displays key work from throughout his life at The Lowry Galleries, home to one of his artistic influences, LS Lowry.

Baxter Dury
Music 4 November 2021 7:00 pm, from £20.40

Baxter Dury at The Ritz

Musical raconteur Baxter Dury brings his unique, character driven songs to Manchester in November, supported by Audiobooks.

Festivals 29–31 October 2021, from £11

Fat Out Fest 2021

This October welcomes the live return of Fat Out Fest, bringing all the noise, queer energy and mayhem to Salford over Halloween weekend.

Black Gold Arts Festival 2021
Dance Until 29 October 2021, from £5.00

Black Gold Arts Festival 2021 with Contact

An outstanding festival line-up of Black-led art, performance and film which includes a live premiere of mandla rae’s as british as a watermelon.

CYC: Everything All of the Time at Contact
Theatre Until 17 May 2022,

Contact Reopening Season

Following the extensive transformation of their iconic Oxford Road venue, Contact has announced a vibrant and progressive reopening programme. Read our preview of the upcoming season.

Cassils: Human Measure at HOME
Exhibitions Until 12 December 2021, FREE

Cassils: Human Measure at HOME

Curated by Bren O’Callaghan, renowned transgender visual artist Cassils brings their first UK solo exhibition and contemporary dance piece to HOME.

Childrens Until 31 October 2021, from £4

The Pumpkin Patch at Tatton Park

This October Half Term head to the Pumpkin Patch at Tatton Park Farm, where you can pick a perfect pumpkin, meet your favourite farmyard friends and head to the Medieval Old Hall for The Lost Crystal quest through Tatton’s medieval grounds.

Synagogue Nights at Manchester Jewish Museum
Music Until 2 December 2021, from £6.00

Synagogue Nights at Manchester Jewish Museum

An intimate series of evening events taking place in the atmospheric and beautiful surroundings of Manchester Jewish Museum. Step out and experience something new.

Toria Garbutt
Literature Until 17 February 2022, from £10

Spoken Word at the Mansion House

The Reader’s Spoken Word evenings at the Mansion House in south Liverpool’s Calderstones Park are back inside, with a packed line-up running into the New Year.

Brandon Taylor
Literature 1–14 November 2021, from £7.50

Novel Voices: Caleb Azumah Nelson and Brandon Taylor at MLF Digital

Host Ellah P Wakatama chats to novelists Caleb Azumah Nelson and Brandon Taylor about their debuts in this special edition of Novel Voices for the digital leg of this year’s Manchester Literature Festival.

Writer Lara Williams.
Literature 15 November 2021 6:30 pm, from £3.00

Test Signal showcase at Blackwell’s Manchester

This event showcases Test Signal, described as “a ground-breaking anthology of the best contemporary northern writing from Dead Ink and Bloomsbury, showcasing the wealth of literary talent in the North of England”.

The Cat and the Canary at Manchester Opera House
Theatre Until 30 October 2021, from £13.00

The Cat and the Canary at Manchester Opera House

Set in a creaking mansion, this creepy whodunnit makes its way into Manchester just in time for Halloween.

Ergon: The Wicked Problem
Theatre 3–6 November 2021, from £5.00

Ergon: The Wicked Problem at Contact

For this immersive and urgent performance, audience members will take the part of the jury on the first-ever trial to decide the fate of an individual who has broken a climate law.

light up lancaster
Exhibitions 5–6 November 2021, FREE

Light Up Lancaster

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.

Cinema 28–31 October 2021, from £7.50

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 in Manchester and the North

Black History Month, spooky screenings and the return of film festivals all feature in this month’s cinema guide.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North


Fear not as we head into the darkness of winter; a brand-new arrival to Manchester’s festival scene is filling the city with light.

Halloween Ghost Train


From science-filled fun to spooky halloween adventures, we round-up the best family events taking place in Manchester and the North in the next few weeks.

Brandon Taylor


Events for readers meet events for writers, with plenty of book launches, open mics, literature festivals, writing conferences and poetry showcases to pop into your diary for the rest of October and onwards into November, both online and in person.

Baxter Dury


We’re now well into gig season and it’s proving to be a special one, with artists and audiences giving it their all. From atmospheric electronica to taut post-punk, there’s a whole lot to dig into in our new music guide.

Theatre in Manchester


Black History Month, contemporary theatre commissions and captivating dance shows feature in this month’s eclectic theatre guide.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Edinburgh Castle

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

A guide to Food and Drink in Manchester and the North, including plenty of new bars and restaurants and exciting new menus from old favourites.

Tours and Activities

Resist the urge to hibernate this autumn; our latest selection of tours and activities will have you out and about, making the most of what’s on offer in Manchester and the North.

Welcome Back Manchester. It's Time To Restart.