Hey! Manchester secret tours at Chetham’s: Manchester After Hours unplugged

Polly Checkland Harding

See Chetham’s Library like never before – with live, unplugged musical interludes along the way. Book your tickets for Hey! Manchester’s secret tours.

“The artists have been chosen with quality in mind – they’re some of my favourite folk acts from around the city,” Chris Horkan of Hey! Manchester tells us. He’s referring to the four different acoustic acts that will make up two specially-programmed tours of Chetham’s Library, exclusively for Manchester After Hours 2015. On Thursday, 14 May, these four acts will play completely unplugged sets in some of the hidden spaces of this, the oldest public library in the country – they’ll even be taking over The Waterhouse, which has never before been opened to the public. So, who did Horkan end up choosing?

Book your tickets for Hey! Manchester’s secret tours at Chetham’s Library

First up, Riognach Connolly and Ellis Davies of the riotous Honeyfeet. Their songs are about eating people and dancing on the grave of your dead husband – and if you’ve never seen them live before, you’re in for a treat. They’ve stormed the stage at the First Chop Brewing Arm a number of times, with Connolly losing her engagement ring (and finding it again) in the proceedings. Next up is Josephine, an artist who played a central part in Everything Everything’s Chaos to Order residency at Central Library last year, and who will be performing in the library’s Courtyard Space. ‘Far from being just another soul singer, Josephine Oniyama is more Morrissey in Manchester than Dusty in Memphis,’ according to the Guardian.

Performing in the dusky surrounds of the library’s Reading Room, meanwhile, will be wife and husband psych-folk duo Bird to Beast. Horkan remembers that Sam Hird of the band went to Chetham’s when he was younger – this wonder-filled pair share a similar connection to the place to Nancy Elizabeth, a superb folk singer now on her third album and who will be playing in the library’s Baronial Hall; Elizabeth played at Hey! Manchester’s only other gig at Chetham’s, Magic Arm’s album launch in 2013. That’s your lot, folks – to book a place on one of the two tours (5.30pm and 8pm, free) follow the booking link below. Be quick about it… we think these tickets will disappear in a blink.

THIS EVENT HAS NOW SOLD OUT. You can add your name to the waitlist here. Keep an eye on Creative Tourist for more ticket releases – follow us on Twitter and Facebook and sign up to our Newsletter to be first to hear more…

Culture Guides


October sees the launch of Manchester’s newest cinema, some first class new releases and plenty of Halloween fun.

Peer to Peer at Open Eye Gallery & St. George's Hall, Liverpool


Sci-fi, football, China and Venice collide in our latest pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Autumn at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens -with plenty of family things to do.


Check out our latest top picks of family things to do and enjoy some quality time together this autumn.

Author Jenn Ashworth, photo by Chris Thomond.


Autumn enjoys its usual bumper crop of book-related festivals – and as Manchester and Rochdale wind down, Chester Literature Festival is back for a 30th year to help get you through November.


Looking ahead to Manchester’s Autumn gig calendar, our new music guide ranges from contemporary singer-songwriters to pioneers of electronica.

Theatre in Manchester


You’ll find an eclectic fusion of dance, contemporary performance and top-notch new writing in our theatre guide this month.

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

Find alternative nights out, decadent afternoons and fun new ways to explore the city in this month’s guide of things to do in Manchester.