July

Creative Tourist

With the big school holiday approaching, use the free time you now have to find interesting things to do in July in Manchester and the North. We have options of activities for both families and adults without kids.

Things to do in July

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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.

MIF19 David Lynch at HOME Manchester International Festival
Festivals 4–21 July 2019, from £12.00

MIF19 – Manchester International Festival

The complete Manchester International Festival 2019 line-up is now out, and it’s fair to say that we’re more than a little excited by the calibre of this year’s programme.

MIF19 Invisible Cities at Mayfield Manchester International Festival 2019
Dance 4–14 July 2019, from £10

MIF19: Invisible Cities at Mayfield

Offering an enchanting recipe of theatre, choreography, music, architectural design and project mapping, this groundbreaking performance will bring a fascinating series of imaginative and extraordinary cities to life.

Bells For Peace at Cathedral Gardens
4 July 2019, FREE

MIF19: Bells For Peace at Cathedral Gardens

The opening event of MIF19, Bells for Peace will see Yoko Ono invite the people of Manchester to gather together in Cathedral Gardens to send a message of peace to the world.

Janelle Monáe
Music 4 July 2019, from £10

MIF19: Janelle Monáe at Castlefield Bowl

Following on from 2018’s massively acclaimed ‘Dirty Computer’, American singer, songwriter and producer Janelle Monáe will open MIF19 at Castlefield Bowl.

MIF19 tania Bruguera School of Integration at Manchester Art Gallery Manchester International Festival
Exhibitions 5–20 July 2019, FREE

MIF19: Tania Bruguera: School of Integration at Manchester Art Gallery

As part of MIF 2019, acclaimed Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera will collaborate with local Manchester residents originally from other countries to challenge dominant societal expectations around cultural integration.

Ibrahim Mahama Photo © White Cube George Darrell. Courtesy of Manchester International Festival
Exhibitions 5–21 July 2019, FREE

MIF19: Ibrahim Mahama at the Whitworth

Considered one of the most ‘internationally visible’ artists working out of Africa today, for MIF 2019 Ibrahim Mahama presents an assemblage of lost objects that reflect upon the history of his home country’s long struggle for independence.

Families 5–7 July 2019, from £70

Timber Festival 2019

An extraordinary new festival where music, art, philosophy and sustainability weave together into an exhilarating weekend in the heart of the National Forest, one of Britain’s boldest environmental projects.

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.

Twelfth Night at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Theatre 5 July–24 August 2019, from £19.50

Twelfth Night at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Don’t miss Shakespeare’s most outrageous romantic comedy Twelfth Night when it comes to Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this summer.

MIF19 David Lynch at HOME Manchester International Festival
Cinema 6 July–29 September 2019, FREE

MIF19: David Lynch at HOME

Brace yourself for dark mysteries and wilder dreams as Manchester International Festival invite cult artist and filmmaker David Lynch to take over HOME for a season of cinema, art and music.

MIF19 Atmospheric Memory at Science and Industry Museum Manchester International Festival 2019
Exhibitions 6–21 July 2019, from £1

MIF19: Atmospheric Memory at Science and Industry Museum

Could the air that surrounds us be used to access the voices of the past? For MIF 2019, Mexican-Canadian electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer sets out to investigate a captivating theory posited by the great 19th century English polymath Charles Babbage.

Grace Ndiritu: The Ark: Centre For Interdisciplinary Experimentation at Bluecoat
Exhibitions 6 July–13 October 2019, FREE

Grace Ndiritu: The Ark: Centre For Interdisciplinary Experimentation at Bluecoat

Grace Ndiritu’s new exhibition at Bluecoat is based on research created before, during and after her ambitious research/live art project – The Ark: Centre For Interdisciplinary Experimentation – which took the form of an experimental scientific and spiritual community formed at Les Laboratories Aubervillers in Paris in 2017.

Shezad Dawood: Leviathan at Bluecoat
Exhibitions 6 July–13 October 2019, FREE

Shezad Dawood: Leviathan at Bluecoat

Shezad Dawood’s epic film series Leviathan comes to Bluecoat this summer as part of a season examining society and migration.

Music 6 July 2019, from £5

Protest Music at RNCM

This Peterloo-inspired event brings together a diverse selection of Manchester-based artists to collaborate on original protest music.

MIF19 The Anvil - ANU - Manchester International Festival
Theatre 7 July 2019, FREE

MIF19: The Anvil – ANU

In a fitting commemoration to the 200th anniversary of Peterloo, Europe’s most daring company, ANU will take to the Mancunian streets for a series of free performances.

MIF19 The Anvil - ANU - Manchester International Festival
Music 7 July 2019, from £10

MIF19: The Anvil at The Bridgewater Hall

MIF marks the 200th anniversary of Peterloo with a world premiere of a major new piece by composer Emily Howard and writer Michael Symmons Roberts.

Music 8 July 2019, from £18

Sixteen’s Choral Pilgrimage 2019 Voices of Angels at The Bridgewater Hall

With a mixture of Renaissance masters and modern maestros, The Sixteen bring you a spread of sacred choral music spanning seven centuries.

MIF19 Studio ORKA Tuesday Manchester International Festival 2019
Families 10–21 July 2019, FREE

MIF19: Tuesday at Saint Augustine’s Church

A family-friendly odyssey on the uniqueness of human experience by Belgium theatre royalty Studio ORKA

MIF19 The Nico Project at The Stoller Hall Manchester International Festival
10–21 July 2019, from £10

MIF19: The Nico Project at The Stoller Hall

Inspired by the 1968 album The Marble Index, Maxine Peake and Sarah Frankcom join forces to celebrate one of pop culture’s most enigmatic figures.

MIF19 The Fountainhead at The Lowry Manchester International Festival 2019
10–13 July 2019, from £10

MIF19: The Fountainhead at The Lowry

Ivo van Hove brings Ayn Rand’s uncompromising novel to the stage in this UK premiere of his most controversial work to date.

MIF19 Maggie the Cat at The Dancehouse Manchester International Festival
Theatre 11–14 July 2019, from £10

MIF19: Maggie the Cat at The Dancehouse

High art and pop culture collide in this explosive new dance work headed up by acclaimed American choreographer Trajal Harrell.

MIF19 Tao of Glass at The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester International Festival
11–20 July 2019, from £10

MIF19: Tao of Glass at The Royal Exchange Theatre

Philip Glass and Phelim McDermo explore life, loss and the question: Where does true inspiration come from?

Ruskin, Turner and The Storm Cloud at Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Cumbria
Exhibitions 12 July–5 October 2019, from £7

Ruskin, Turner and The Storm Cloud at Abbot Hall Art Gallery

This summer, Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Cumbria marks the 200-year-anniversary of the great Victorian art critic and watercolourist, John Ruskin’s birth, with an exhibition dedicated to the turbulent skies above.

Annie Pootoogook at Touchstones Rochdale, Liverpool Biennial Strategic Touring Programme 2019
Exhibitions 13 July–15 September 2019, FREE

Annie Pootoogook at Touchstones Rochdale

Presented as part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, this selection of drawings by Annie Pootoogook at Touchstones Rochdale challenges conventional expectations of Inuit art.

Music 17–19 July 2019, from £35

MIF19: DYSTOPIA987

Skepta invites you to enter another world in this series of intimate and immersive experiences. Held in a secret Manchester location, DYSTOPIA987 is a waking dream that presents Skepta’s singular vision of the future: deep, dark, radical and riveting.

Festivals 19–21 July 2019, from £40

Supersonic Festival

Forever sidestepping uniformity, Supersonic is an internationally-renowned experimental music and arts festival held in the holy land for heavy music: Birmingham.

Lovell telescope in cloudy sky
Music 19–21 July 2019, from £59.75

Bluedot 2019 at Jodrell Bank

Entering its fourth year in 2019, bluedot celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landings with a special weekend of music, science, arts, technology, culture, food and film beneath the iconic Lovell Telescope.

MIF19 Animals of Manchester at The Whitworth Manchester International Festival
Families 20–21 July 2019, FREE

MIF19: Animals of Manchester at The Whitworth

Little and large beasts alike should make tracks for this wild celebration for Manchester International Festival’s final weekend.

MIF19 Queens of the Electronic Underground at The Ritz Manchester International Festival
Music 20 July 2019, from £10

MIF19: Queens of the Electronic Underground at The Ritz

Featuring Jlin, Holly Herndon and Aïsha Devi, Queens of the Electronic Underground boasts one of the most forward-thinking line-ups of MIF 2019.

Festivals 25–28 July 2019, from £20.00

Kendal Calling Festival 2019

So good that 2019’s edition sold out before the line-up was announced, snap up your tickets for 2018 fast.

Still showing this month

And Breathe... at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 16 March 2018–15 October 2019, FREE

And Breathe… at Manchester Art Gallery

Exploring the relationship between art and mindfulness And Breathe… is an exhibition of artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection that explores the relationship between art, positive mental health and wellbeing.

Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 6 July 2018–10 November 2019, FREE

Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery

Showcasing furniture, fashion, lighting, ceramics, glass, metalwork and jewellery, Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery highlights the superb quality and creativity inherent in design from the region and features pieces from 1930 to the present day.

Activity 3 September 2018–2 September 2019, FREE

Whitworth Art Gallery Daily Tour

Take a closer look at some of the Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection while gaining a better understanding of the context in which the pieces were created. The free tours run daily from 2 pm.

Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall
Exhibitions 8 September 2018–28 July 2019, FREE

Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall

The Bell Tree by award winning contemporary artist Serena Korda responds to England’s alternative history of fairy-tale folklore, the ancient forest at Speke Hall and the legacy of hidden rebellion that surrounds the historic Tudor home.

Visual Arts 20 September 2018–19 September 2019, FREE

Manchester Art Gallery Highlights Tour

Take a tour around select artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. Lead by different guides every day, each tour is personal to their taste. Tours start at 2 pm from Thursday to Sunday.

Activity 22 September 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

Sí Manchester Daily Tour

Sí Manchester’s daily tour is a brilliant way to get an overview of the city with tours running in both English and Spanish.

Activity 20 October 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

Documentary Challenge at IWM North

Make and feature in your own mini-documentary at IWM North.

31 October 2018–31 October 2019, FREE

Daily Manchester Walking Tours

Free Manchester Tours offer a friendly introduction to the city. Setting off every day at 11am without fail.

Discover Manchester Daily Tour
Activity 6 December 2018–9 July 2019, from £10

Discover Manchester Daily Tour

The Essential Manchester Walk for locals and visitors alike. An entertaining and knowledgeable guide will show you around the city centre, giving you a taste of the history, architecture and culture and showing you the major sites, including Manchester Town Hall and the Royal Exchange.

Cinema 1 January–31 December 2019, from £5.50

Celebrating Women in Global Cinema at HOME

In 2019 HOME host a year-long programme of films and special events highlighting and celebrating women in film from across the world.

From specially curated retrospectives, seasons and special events, to takeovers of annual favourites, this branded series of screenings and events will explore and challenge the place and space of female filmmakers from a variety of cultural, social and political perspectives.

HOME
Festivals 1 January–31 December 2019,

HOME 2019 Season

With a continuing drive towards bold global programming, HOME Manchester welcomes friends, old and new, for an exhilarating new season.

Manchester Museum
Activity 10 January–1 July 2019, FREE

Multilingual Tours at Manchester Museum

Explore the Museum’s fascinating collection in more than just English with one of their general tours running in Spanish, Italian or Mandarin.

Theatre 17 January–18 July 2019, from £5

Royal Exchange Backstage Tour

Join one of the Royal Exchange’s passionate volunteers as they take you through the underbelly of this working theatre. Experience first hand the hard work and amount of people that go into putting on one of the theatre’s productions as well as seeing the props and costumes from some of your favourite shows.

Holly Hendry, Cenotaph, 2018. Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme 2019
Exhibitions 18 January 2019–3 May 2020, FREE

Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour

Whether Liverpool Biennial 2018 passed you by or you diligently ticked-off every last one of its multiple offerings (if so; bravo), the Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour seems unlikely to disappoint.

Music 30 January–31 December 2019, from £19.62

Striking Gold Piano Series at The Stoller Hall

This year-long celebration of outstanding pianists marks Chetham’s School of Music’s golden jubilee year.

Music 30 January–5 July 2019, from £3

The Stoller Hall Spring Season

It looks like 2019 is going to be a great year for The Stoller Hall, with some wonderful concerts coming up in its Spring Season.

A World Inside A Book courtesy Suzi Corker
Exhibitions 12 February–26 October 2019, from £6

A World Inside a Book: Gruffalo, Dragons and Other Creatures at Z-arts

The UK’s first immersive exhibition of the much-loved tales of Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. Expect enchanting forests, miniature towns and watery worlds.

Zig Zag Atelier Bebop at Common Bar, Manchester
Exhibitions 28 February–31 July 2019, FREE

Zig Zag Atelier Bebop at Common Bar

Expect big things and colourful shapes at ZIG ZAG, a new exhibition by Atelier Bebop at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter.

Serena Korda: Under the Rose at Speke Hall
Exhibitions 10 March–28 July 2019, FREE

Serena Korda: Under the Rose at Speke Hall

Following on from her enchanting installation ‘The Bell Tree’, Serena Korda launches a second sound work, ‘Under the Rose’ at Liverpool’s Speke Hall.

Capturing Chambré Hardman – Developing History at the Hardmans' House, Liverpool
Exhibitions 13 March–26 October 2019, FREE

Developing History at the Hardmans’ House

As one of Liverpool’s lesser known gems prepares to reopen its doors for 2019, we look forward to encountering a rare series of photographs only recently discovered by chance in the cluttered darkroom of the Hardmans’ former, perfectly-preserved home.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool
Exhibitions 15 March–26 August 2019, from £2

Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery

Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool present one of the blockbuster exhibitions of 2019, dedicated to the life and work of the Glaswegian artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh – father of the UK’s part in the international Art Nouveau movement.

The Reno at the Whitworth
Exhibitions 15 March 2019–1 March 2020, FREE

The Reno at the Whitworth

Award-winning playwright Linda Brogan and a group of local residents who used to attend the Reno nightclub in the 1970s and 80s prepare to occupy the Whitworth for one year. Located in Moss Side, the Reno was known as a space for young mixed-race Mancunians. This living exhibition will tell the story of the club through art and archive materials.

Exhibitions 16 March 2019–23 February 2020, FREE

A-Z of Salford’s Collections at Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Discover how Victorian gentlemen protected their moustaches from tea, which monarch’s pair of stockings reside in Salford, get up close to incredible art and more.

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest at People's History Museum
Exhibitions 23 March 2019–23 February 2020, FREE

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest at People’s History Museum

Marking the 200-year-anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, ‘Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest’ at People’s History Museum takes visitors on a journey through the past, present and future of protest in this country.

Exhibitions 23 March–1 September 2019, Lyme admission prices apply (free for National Trust members) £2.50 for trail

The Lost Words at Lyme

Robert McFarlane and Jackie Morris’ spell book is brought to life in a special new artist trail which brings to life the language of the natural world.

Activity 26 March–26 November 2019, from £17

Tours of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and The Pankhurst Centre

Visit the homes of two influential Mancunian women in one day. Volunteer led tours of Elizabeth Gaskell and Emmeline Pankhurst’s former homes are an ideal way to learn the stories of these two influential figures.

Activity 26 March–23 July 2019, from £9.50

Taste of The Monastery at Gorton Monastery

Discover this Victorian neo-Gothic gem just outside the city centre in Gorton. Taste the Monastery is a guided tour followed by lunch in the Victorian Pantry.

Kimsooja: To Breathe at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 30 March–29 September 2019, FREE

Kimsooja: To Breathe at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Following on from Chiharu Shiota’s monumental web installation, South Korean artist Kimsooja prepares to fill Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 18th century chapel with iridescent light. Prepare to step into a deeply meditative space, underpinned by eastern notions of the Void.

Activity 31 March–28 July 2019, from £3.50

Guided Tours at Ordsall Hall

With Medieval paintwork and a fascinating history, Ordsall Hall gives us a glimpse into how society has changed over the centuries. Explore Salford’s oldest building every Sunday from 2pm with a guided tour of the House and Gardens.

Activity 3 April–30 October 2019, from £6

Victoria Baths Guided Tour

Visit the stunning Victoria baths now that the building has reopened for Summer. Get to know the stories of bathers and activists whose continuing work could one day lead to the baths reopening as a working swimming pool.

Humber Street Gallery, Hull, 2019 spring programme
Exhibitions 6 April–7 July 2019, FREE

Spring 2019 at Humber Street Gallery

Featuring free haircuts, sculptures made out of edible matter, and a ‘Journey to the Centre of the Couch’, Humber Street Gallery’s spring 2019 programme has certainly piqued our interest.

Li Yuan Chia: His Late Photographs at Whitworth Art Gallery
Exhibitions 18 May–15 December 2019, FREE

Li Yuan Chia: Unique Photographs at the Whitworth

The Whitworth presents a quiet, yet arrestingly beautiful series of hand-coloured photographs taken by China’s first conceptual artist, Li Yuan Chia, nearing the end of his life.

Kapow! Original Comic Book Art from Dean Ormston & Fiona Stephenson
Exhibitions 18 May–28 August 2019, FREE

Kapow! Original Comic Book Art at Cooper Gallery Barnsley

Award-winning DC Comics artist Dean Ormston and internationally renowned pin-up artist Fiona Stephenson are curating this unique and colourful comic book art exhibition.

JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE COUCH (COUCHES & OTHER GOOD IDEAS) at Humber Street Gallery in Hull. Ella Dorton
Exhibitions 25 May–7 July 2019, FREE

Journey to the Centre of the Couch (Couches & Other Good Ideas) at Humber Street Gallery

Hull-based artist Ella Dorton will expand her fabric, collage-based, practice with her first major project Journey to the Centre of the Couch (Couches & Other Good Ideas) at Humber Street Gallery.

Music 13 June–6 July 2019, from £12

RNCM Summer Season 2019

Read our picks for the exciting months ahead at the RNCM.

Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions 14 June–10 November 2019, FREE

Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool presents a new commission by Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based artist Sol Calero, whose brightly coloured, large-scale immersive installations offer a sharply satirical critique of the surreal set of stereotypes and clichés attached to different cultures.

Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today at the Whitworth
Exhibitions 14 June–6 October 2019, FREE

Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today at the Whitworth

Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today at the Whitworth brings together the artworks and stories of artists Robina Akhter, Shabana Baig, Fatimah Fagihassan, Dr Aida Foroutan and Usarae Gul as they explore themes of identity, faith, cultures, otherness and belonging.

The Hired Man at Oldham Coliseum
Theatre 20 June–6 July 2019, from £17.00

The Hired Man at Oldham Coliseum

Now in a major new revival, The Hired Man – with a superb score, foot-tapping rhythms and a soaring chorus – plays at Oldham Coliseum.

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley, Liverpool Biennial 2019 touring programme
Exhibitions 22 June 2019–3 May 2020, FREE

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley

As part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, The Tetley is hosting works by artists Holly Hendry and Taus Makhacheva.

Yorkshire Sculpture International at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions 22 June–29 September 2019, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture International at The Hepworth Wakefield

This summer 2019, The Hepworth Wakefield will present its most ambitious exhibition to date as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International (YSI).

MIF19: Tree at Upper Campfield Market Hall
Music 29 June–10 July 2019, from £30

MIF19: Tree at Upper Campfield Market Hall

Created by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah, Tree will take its audience on a wondrous journey in search of the soul and spirit of present-day South Africa.