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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Following on from 2018’s massively acclaimed ‘Dirty Computer’, American singer, songwriter and producer Janelle Monáe will open MIF19 at Castlefield Bowl.
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.
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.
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.
Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra welcome friends from around the world to help them perform Mahler’s unsurpassable Symphony of a Thousand.
Don’t miss Shakespeare’s most outrageous romantic comedy Twelfth Night when it comes to Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this summer.
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.
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’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’s epic film series Leviathan comes to Bluecoat this summer as part of a season examining society and migration.
This Peterloo-inspired event brings together a diverse selection of Manchester-based artists to collaborate on original protest music.
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.
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.
With a mixture of Renaissance masters and modern maestros, The Sixteen bring you a spread of sacred choral music spanning seven centuries.
A family-friendly odyssey on the uniqueness of human experience by Belgium theatre royalty Studio ORKA
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.
Ivo van Hove brings Ayn Rand’s uncompromising novel to the stage in this UK premiere of his most controversial work to date.
High art and pop culture collide in this explosive new dance work headed up by acclaimed American choreographer Trajal Harrell.
Philip Glass and Phelim McDermo explore life, loss and the question: Where does true inspiration come from?
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.
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.
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.
Forever sidestepping uniformity, Supersonic is an internationally-renowned experimental music and arts festival held in the holy land for heavy music: Birmingham.
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.
Little and large beasts alike should make tracks for this wild celebration for Manchester International Festival’s final weekend.
Featuring Jlin, Holly Herndon and Aïsha Devi, Queens of the Electronic Underground boasts one of the most forward-thinking line-ups of MIF 2019.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sí Manchester’s daily tour is a brilliant way to get an overview of the city with tours running in both English and Spanish.
Free Manchester Tours offer a friendly introduction to the city. Setting off every day at 11am without fail.
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.
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.
With a continuing drive towards bold global programming, HOME Manchester welcomes friends, old and new, for an exhilarating new season.
Explore the Museum’s fascinating collection in more than just English with one of their general tours running in Spanish, Italian or Mandarin.
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.
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.
This year-long celebration of outstanding pianists marks Chetham’s School of Music’s golden jubilee year.
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.
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.
Expect big things and colourful shapes at ZIG ZAG, a new exhibition by Atelier Bebop at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter.
Following on from her enchanting installation ‘The Bell Tree’, Serena Korda launches a second sound work, ‘Under the Rose’ at Liverpool’s Speke Hall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Now in a major new revival, The Hired Man – with a superb score, foot-tapping rhythms and a soaring chorus – plays at Oldham Coliseum.
As part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, The Tetley is hosting works by artists Holly Hendry and Taus Makhacheva.
This summer 2019, The Hepworth Wakefield will present its most ambitious exhibition to date as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International (YSI).