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 28 June 2019, from £15

RNCM Symphony Orchestra at The Bridgewater Hall

This thrilling Bridgewater Hall concert features Rachmaninov’s epic Symphony No 2 and Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand.

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.

Activity 2–8 July 2019, from £5

Future Sessions: Atmospheric Memory at the Science and Industry Museum

Join FutureEverything as they explore the themes of Atmospheric Memory, a new work by internationally renowned artist, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Exhibitions 29 June–29 September 2019, FREE

Expect the Unexpected: A Chance Exhibition at the Lowry

A new exhibition at the Lowry is a reminder to re-connect with the beauty and joy chance poses. To celebrate the unexpected, as well as to expect it.

Much Ado About Nothing at Blackwell
Theatre 28 June 2019, from £8.00

Much Ado About Nothing at Blackwell

Three Inch Fools are back with their witty, musical take on a Shakespearean classic. Open-air theatre in the stunning Cumbrian countryside. Beautiful.

Festival of Research at the University of Salford
Festivals 17 June–12 July 2019, FREE

Festival Of Research at the University of Salford

A month-long programme of free events to showcase the wonderful and innovative research happening across the University of Salford.

Be Festival 2019
Festivals 2–6 July 2019,

BE FESTIVAL at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

A daring and innovative creative programme – blurring borders and exploding boundaries – BE Festival features a genre-bending feast of European theatre, live music, performance and visual arts.

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.

Music 5 July 2019, from £11.50

Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra: Mahler Symphony No. 8 at The Bridgewater Hall

Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra welcome friends from around the world to help them perform Mahler’s unsurpassable Symphony of a Thousand.

Auto - Destruct – a group exhibition at Cross Lane Projects in Cumbria
Exhibitions 29 June–31 August 2019, FREE

Auto – Destruct at Cross Lane Projects, Cumbria

Cross Lane Projects summer exhibition, Auto-Destruct, is inspired by the ideas of celebrated artist and activist Gustav Metzger.

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 5–21 July 2019, from £12

Buxton International Festival 2019

With a jam-packed programme of quality cultural events set in a stunning location, Buxton International Festival 2019 looks set to be the best yet.

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 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.

Precarious Carnaval at the Bridgewater Canal
Festivals 5–7 July 2019, FREE

Precarious Carnaval at the Bridgewater Canal, Salford

Celebrate the Bridgewater Canal and its communities with a wild weekend of walking, storytelling and performance. One canal. Three days. Five miles.

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.


Some of the world’s most exciting producers are heading to Manchester and the north in the coming months. Read about them here.

Theatre in Manchester


Packed with experimental festival performances, an award-winning musical, feisty standup comedy and much more…it’s our new theatre guide.


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.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

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