Manchester’s most characterful, independent district is a jumbled network of streets to one side of Piccadilly Gardens – once home to busy textiles warehouses and even the occasional umbrella factory. Now, the red brick buildings with their New York-style fire escapes are regularly used in film sets, and the streets are bursting with independent cafés, shops, bars, and cultural hotspots.
The Northern Quarter has become a destination in its own right, with the laid-back, bohemian vibe during the day transforming at night into teeming pavements of people in search of good food, craft beer, pop-up events and live music.
When walking around, keep your eyes peeled for public art, including the sculptures of birds high on a wall on John Street (reflecting the area’s reputation in Victorian times as a ‘pets paradise’), the illuminated, 12 metre-tall Big Boys Toy on the top of the NCP car park, and the artistic graffiti on the outhouse in the middle of Stevenson Square.
A whip-smart lyricist and box-defying musician, Marika Hackman is hitting full stride. Don’t miss her playing Band on the Wall this September.
Expect big things and colourful shapes at ZIG ZAG, a new exhibition by Atelier Bebop at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter.
CFCCA presents an exhibition of installations, paintings, sculpture and film from He Xiangyu’s Lemon Project, which includes the premiere of new film Sylvain.
404: Resistance in the Digital Age is a new installation by RAGE Collective at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art that explores changes in modes of civic resitance over the last 30 years.
Matt and Phreds, Manchester’s favourite Jazz establishment, opens its stage to all every Monday with jams lead by familiar names from a cross section of jazz traditions.
With international artists as well as those making waves in the UK, NQ Jazz at the Whiskey Jar brings virtuosic musicianship and big names to the cosy whiskey jar basement.
Contemporary jazz from some of the most exciting up and coming ensembles in the north.
Join visual artist Ula Fung and Floating Art for a crash course in the delicate art of Japanese fan painting.
Join the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art for their monthly guided tour where you’ll have chance to see new exhibitions, and occasionally hear from the artists themselves.