Things to do in July 2016: Liverpool Biennial, Graphene & Ryan Gander

Polly Checkland Harding

The Creative Tourist Cultural Calendar. This month: Liverpool Biennial returns, a Graphene exhibition and a Night at the Museum.

Liverpool Biennial. The UK’s Biennial of Contemporary Art returns for the ninth time and, as ever, will exhibit and commission work by top national and international artists. Various venues, Liverpool, until Oct

Manchester Jazz Festival. Manchester’s longest-running music festival celebrates its 21st birthday, delivering ten days of music in iconic venues across the city. Various venues, Manchester, Until Jul 31

Wonder Materials – Graphene and beyond. MSI is holding the UK’s first exhibition about graphene. First isolated in Manchester in 2004, for which the two physicists concerned won the Nobel prize, graphene is the world’s first ever two-dimensional material at just one atom thick. Fusing art with science, this brand new, object rich exhibition shines a spotlight on the past, present and future of this remarkable material. Museum of Science and Industry, until June 2017

The Encounter. In this acclaimed solo performance, Simon McBurney traces National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre’s time lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil in 1969 using binaural technology (3D audio) in this Complicite production.  HOME, Manchester, 13-16 July

Picnic Cinema. Outdoor cinema just doesn’t get any better than this: open air films in some spectacular settings. Various venues, Cumbria

Night in the Museum. This major new Hayward Touring exhibition from the Arts Council Collection has been selected by leading British artist, Ryan Gander. Using the Collection’s holdings of figurative sculpture as a starting point, Gander has forged unlikely correspondences and unions between hitherto unrelated works. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 16 July – 16 Oct

The Hobbit. Follow Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and friends to the far ends of middle Earth. Or, in reality, you’ll be recreating this journey through the woods and pathways of Lancaster’s Williamson park. The Dukes, Lancaster, 5 July – 13 Aug

Culture Guides


Northern flicks, sci-fi masterpieces and some brand new film festivals feature in this month’s cinema preview.


Spring weather might be dragging its feet a little, but the world of exhibitions isn’t slowing down with new shows popping up everywhere to greet the new season.


With two weeks off school and the sun finally rearing it’s head, April is the month to have fun with family and friends and make some amazing memories in readiness for summer term!

Jen Calleja


Books are most definitely back, with a whole host of live events by writers local as well as international, from pop-up performances to regular reading series, plus some hybrid festival specials and online launches allowing access wherever you happen to be.


From Father John Misty to The Flaming Lips, The Waeve to Big Thief, here are the gigs on our radar for early spring.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


You’ll find everything from work-in-progress scratch nights to multi-award winning musicals in this month’s theatre guide.

Classical Music

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

Food and Drink

Get ready for spring and summer with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

From indie markets to bit-sized meditation, spoon carving workshops to gallery tours, here are the headlines in the world of tours and activities.