Festivals and Events

Abandon Normal Devices. Manchester's digital art festival launches.

Creative Tourist

Peripatetic digital art and film festival Abandon Normal Devices kicks off this weekend with a simultaneous launch at Cornerhouse and FACT. It’s around for one weekend only, but if you miss it, fear not: it’s off on tour around the North West but returns for a grand finale in Manchester in August. In the meantime, we asked festival producer Gaby Jenks to tell us all about a festival otherwise known as AND, and she talks here about strange commissions, breaking boundaries and, er, swans.

If you are in Manchester this weekend, check out the premiere of AL & AL’s Alan Turing-inspired film, The Creator, or Andrew Kotting’s two-men-in-a-pedalo documentary, Swandown. Friday also sees the launch of a exhibition by the LA-based artist Stanya Kahn. It’s Cool, I’m Good taps into the current trend for documentary fiction – her surreal and darkly comic videos often feature intimate portraits of the characters she creates, some of them clearly made-up (clue: they’re puppets), others unnervingly realistic. We’ll be reviewing Kahn’s exhibition on the site next week. It’s Cool, I’m Good, Cornerhouse, 23 June-16 September 2012, free.

Culture Guides

Cape Farewell presents: Cloud Crash


The very best exhibitions in Manchester and the North include a collaboration with a renowned dance company, the return of Manchester Science Festival (bigger and better than ever), a showcase of exquisite craft at the Old Granada Studios, and much more. All in all, it’s an exciting, boundary transcending time for art in the North.

Dr Dee’s Secret Curiosity Shop


Autumn, half term and Halloween adventures are here. Here are our top tips for outdoor and indoor hot tickets to book and do now.

Image of David Gaffney copyright Kezia Tan.


With Rising Stars and World Literature, nothing says October in the Rainy City like Manchester Literature Festival. As we enter the final furlongs, there are still tickets available for some events, from creative non-fiction to a canalside special commission. And once MLF is over, Manchester Science Festival will be chemically enhancing words with poems about the periodic table.

Field Music


As the days get shorter, Manchester’s music calendar gets busier – with the city’s music venues burst from the seams with live music for you to enjoy. So whether it’s an acclaimed classical ensemble in a world-renowned concert hall or that up-and-coming young artist in a packed, sweaty venue, we’ve got your gig-going plans covered – with occasional musical highlights from around the region thrown in for good measure…

Penny Arcade at Unity Theatre


You’ll be pleased to hear that this month’s theatre selections serve up a rich slice of everyone’s three favourite things: sex, swearing and scandal.

Victoria - Image courtesy of HOME


As always, October brings with it a surplus of scary films timed to coincide with Halloween.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

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Upswing : Bedtime Stories
Theatre 25 October 2016–26 October 2016, from £7.00

Upswing: Bedtime Stories

Theatre 5 October 2016–29 October 2016, from £9.50

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Image courtesy of HOME
Theatre 25 October 2016–29 October 2016, from £10.00

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

Dont Wake The Damp
Theatre 26 October 2016–29 October 2016, from £10.00

Dont Wake The Damp

Science Showdown
Families 24 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Science Showdown

Manchester Megapixel
Families 24 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Manchester Megapixel

Royal Society Science Exhibition
Exhibitions 24 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Royal Society Science Exhibition

Science Showdown
Families 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Manchester Science Festival free family events

HAND 01.1_1
Exhibitions 8 September 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

HAND CRAFT at Manchester Craft & Design Centre

The Chronarium.
Exhibitions 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

The Chronarium Sleep Lab at Manchester Arndale

Theatre 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, from £2.00

Women in Comedy Festival

Members of Public Service Broadcasting in space
Exhibitions 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Manchester Science Festival 2016

Image courtesy of Wild Rumpus
Families 22 October 2016–31 October 2016, from £16.00

The Enchantment of Chester Zoo