Dot to Dot 2016, preview: A joined-up festival

Chris Ogden
Diet Cig

Now in its eleventh year, Dot to Dot festival continues to go from strength to strength.

You can’t fault May’s generosity: two Bank Holiday weekends, two cracking festivals. Following on from Salford’s Sounds from the Other City on May Day, Dot to Dot Festival is an indoor music festival in its eleventh year that takes its line-up on tour to play at various sites across three cities: Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham. This year’s Manchester incarnation will take place on Friday 27th May.

Dot to Dot’s main draw is up and coming indie bands that you may not have heard before

2015 saw the all-evening festival shift from its old Oxford Road locale to take over Northern Quarter venues like Night and Day and the much-missed Roadhouse. This year, with the atmospheric Manchester Cathedral announced as an additional venue, the venues involved are promising to be as striking as ever.

Dot to Dot’s main draw is up and coming indie bands that you may not have heard before – 2015 saw Spanish garage girls Hinds charm the Methodist Central Buildings before the band blew up last summer – and while this year’s line-up is still in its nascent stages, the headliners already look pretty tasty, with London’s own Mystery Jets and Aussie rockers The Temper Trap leading up newer acts like Rat Boy and New York pop-punk duo Diet Cig. Tickets are reasonably priced at £25 but early birds are available for a stonkingly good value £11, so act fast!

Culture Guides

Food and Drink

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


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.

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.