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.

Music 6 March 2021 8:00 pm, from £10

Black Country, New Road Livestream

Black Country, New Road have just dropped an incredible debut album, which they’re performing live to an online audience on 6th March.

Poet Caleb Femi.
Literature 8–15 April 2021, from £6

Caleb Femi online at Manchester Literature Festival

Described as a rising star on the British poetry scene, Caleb Femi reads from his brand-new commission for Manchester Literature Festival and chats about his work with Bristol-based writer and performer Vanessa Kisuule.

Poet Roger Robinson.
Literature 25 March–1 April 2021, from £6

Roger Robinson and Malika Booker online at Manchester Literature Festival

TS Eliot Prize-winner Roger Robinson performs poems from his brand-new Manchester Literature Festival commission around Black Lives Matter and chats to Malika Booker.

John Moores Painting Prize 2020 – Online and at Walker Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 27 June 2021, FREE

John Moores Painting Prize 2020 – Online and at Walker Art Gallery

The prestigious John Moores Painting Prize moves online for the first time, featuring the best in contemporary British painting.

Queer Contact 2021
Festivals 29 April–1 May 2021,

Queer Contact Festival 2021

Bringing an online celebration of art and creativity in the LGBTQ+ community, we’re thrilled that Queer Contact Festival will return for 2021.

PUSH Festival - HOME
Festivals 5 March–31 December 2021,

PUSH Festival 2021 at HOME

Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.

Sarah Hall. Photo by Richard Thwaites.
Literature 12–21 March 2021, FREE

Lancaster Litfest

Litfest 2021 will look a little different, heading online 12 to 21 March, but rest assured the 42nd festival will feature the usual packed programme of writers, artists and speakers, new initiatives and content specially commissioned, and plenty of opportunities for audiences to get involved through competitions, book clubs and writing workshops.

Sound Stage
Theatre 26 March–1 October 2021, TBC

Sound Stage

An exciting, new audio-digital venture, Sound Stage has been designed by theatre-makers and leading technologists, to give audiences a unique online theatre experience.

Queer Contact 2021: Russell T Davies in conversation with Nathaniel Hall
Theatre 30 April 2021 7:30 pm, from £5.00

Queer Contact 2021: Russell T Davies in conversation with Nathaniel Hall

In this first event for Queer Contact 2021, screenwriting legend Russell T Davies will join award-winning theatre-maker Nathaniel Hall to discuss depictions of HIV and AIDS on stage and screen.

Literature 11 March 2021 6:00 pm, from £2

Sefton Borough of Culture evening with Kei Miller

In 2021, Sefton Borough of Culture invites you to spend an evening in with some great literature in a new series of online events, continuing with poet Kei Miller on 11 March.

Literature Until 18 March 2021, from £2

Carcanet New Poetries VIII online launches

Carcanet’s New Poetries VIII anthology showcases the work of some of the most exciting new poets writing in English. Five launch events, with readings and discussion, will run each Thursday evening between 18 February and 18 March.

Hidden Winter
Families Until 31 August 2021, FREE

Hidden Winter

Round the family up and head outside for this wonderful story walk adventure from Stand and Be Counted Theatre. Perfect for livening up a lockdown walk.

Learning to Swim on an Ironing Board with Contact
Theatre 12 March 2021 7:00 pm, from £2.00

Learning to Swim on an Ironing Board with Contact

Performed via a live stream, this humorous and hopeful show offers an entertaining and revealing account of life with a chronic illness.

Trailblazer: A Toast to International Women’s Day
Food and Drink 8 March 2021 7:00 pm, from £58

Trailblazer: A Toast to International Women’s Day

Salut, the independent wine specialists in Manchester are putting on a special celebration of women in wine event for International Women’s Day.

Mr Stink at Walkden Gardens
Families 13 June 2021 1:30 pm, from £11

Mr Stink

Spend an afternoon in Sale’s ‘secret’ Walkden Gardens with your little ones and enjoy Heartbreak Productions adaptation of the heart-warming storybook Mr Stink.

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Online film festivals, brand new streaming film and a Titanic watch-a-long feature in our latest cinema guide.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North


From the most prestigious painting prize in the UK to a cinematic experience with an original live score, check out this month’s picks.

Family Things to do in Manchester


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.

Sarah Hall. Photo by Richard Thwaites.


Online open mics and full-on festivals, virtual book launches and digital reading series… there’s no getting bored when you log on to Live Literature Land this March.



Livestreamed gigs continue to help us connect with our favourite artists and venues, while supporting the industry around them.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Our guide to theatre in Manchester and the North features stand-out online performance and all the best streamed theatre events to enjoy at home.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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


Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

For the December guide, we’re looking at the best delivery options in Manchester, whether it’s for alcohol or food.

The Picture of Dorian Gray - online

Online events

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

Thompson Park in Burnley

Things to do in Blackburn and Burnley

A jam-packed guide of the best sights, spots and locally sourced goods on offer in the surrounding areas of Blackburn and Burnley.