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.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis.

Psappha
Classical Music Until 27 May 2021, FREE

Psappha 2020/21 Concert Season

Psappha’s 2020–21 season explores the sharpest and smartest sounds in contemporary classical music, presented in concert and streamed online for free.

Northern Ballet: Leeds Playhouse Season
Dance 21–24 October 2020, from £14.00

Northern Ballet: Leeds Playhouse Season

Featuring classic works, celebratory ballets and contemporary pieces, Northern Ballet return for their first post-lockdown live performances.

White Psyche at the Whitworth in Manchester
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2021, FREE

White Psyche at the Whitworth in Manchester

White Psyche at the Whitworth examines the aesthetics of white supremacy through the story of Cupid and Psyche – a classical tale of love and good looks.

Black Gold Arts Festival 2020
Dance 23–25 October 2020, from £5.00

Black Gold Arts Festival 2020 with Contact

This October Contact presents an all-digital version of the Black Gold Arts Festival featuring workshops, discussions, talks and performances.

A trader and a customer enjoy a lauch at The Good Market at Sadler's Yard
Activity Until 18 December 2020, FREE

A Good Market at Sadlers Yard

A Good Market at Sadlers Yard features seasonal food, sustainable products, free workshops, engaging talks, live music and great local beers.

soundwalk
Activity Until 20 December 2020, FREE

A Meeting Place | 会议地点 : A soundwalk in Chinatown

Explore the history of Manchester’s Chinese community with a soundwalk from CFCCA’s current resident artist, Hayley Suviste.

Festivals Until 31 October 2020,

Black History Month Film Programme at HOME

HOME’s Black History Month film programme foregrounds the contribution of Black practitioners to film history with blockbusters, rare classics and brand new cinema.

Exhibitions Until 29 November 2020, FREE

The Sun at the Science and Industry Museum

This blockbuster exhibition was due to close at the end of March, but has been extended until 29 November as part of the Science and Industry Museum’s reopening programme.

Images of protest: Black Lives Matter at People's History Museum
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2020, FREE

Images of protest: Black Lives Matter at People’s History Museum

People’s History Museum presents a powerful selection of images documenting one of the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests that took place in central Manchester during May 2020.

Don’t Go Back To Sleep: The Lockdown Album at HOME
Theatre 21–24 October 2020,

Don’t Go Back To Sleep: The Lockdown Album at HOME

Performed live by RashDash theatre company, this musical performance offers a lively reflection on the pandemic and our lived experiences of the last six months.

Cinema Until 23 October 2020, from £5.50

Monsoon at HOME

Henry Golding is mightily impressive in Monsoon, the new film from Lilting director Hong Khaou.

Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021, FREE

Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds

Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body continues the Henry Moore Institute’s programme of exhibitions dedicated to contemporary sculptors yet to receive full exposure in the UK.

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North
Exhibitions Until 31 May 2021, FREE

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North takes a close look at the moral dilemmas surrounding overseas aid.

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 29 November 2020, FREE

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds

Combining demon lures and invented artefacts, ancient mythology and family lore, The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds is the latest new work by upcoming artist Emii Alrai.

Music 4–5 September 2021, from £19.50

Manchester Psych Fest 2021

Manchester Psych Fest, an all-day celebration of psychedelic music and art, returns in September 2021, following the postponement of 2020’s event.

Culture Guides

Sculpt with Jim Parkyn

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Both in-person and online, there are film festivals galore in this month’s Cinema Guide.

Miss Mona Said Black Lives Matter, Amber Akaunu

Exhibitions

Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Makefest At Home

Families

Need some inspiration for online activities and creative family fun? Look no further than our top picks online for families across Manchester and the North.

Author Lucie McKnight Hardy

Literature

Festival fever takes hold of Live Literature Land as it does every October, just this year it’s in the ether. Grab a glass and settle down in the Zoom room for some online readings.

Music

Discover the best upcoming music events taking place on a stage or a screen near you.

Theatre in Manchester. Image courtesy of RashDash.

Theatre

Whether you’re looking to get wrapped up and catch an outdoor show or stay home and watch some digital performance – our guide to theatre in Manchester has got you covered.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Higher Ground

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

For the October guide, we’ve found the very best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North to explore, despite the introduction of the 10 pm curfew.

Isolation Broadcast

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Sound walks, singing and very literal horror are among the offerings in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.