Containing 2 bank holidays, sunny weather, great exhibitions and live shows accompanied by some great food- this May could be a month packed with unforgettable experiences. Here are some of the best things to do in May in Manchester and the North.
Taking place at The Sheffield University Students’ Union, Get Together is an exciting and positive new festival that celebrates the best in music, food and drink over the course of the first May bank holiday in 2021.
This event has been postponed and will now take place from 11 – 15 May 2022. The line-up is subject to change and we will bring you up-to-date information as soon as we have it.
In summer 2021, to mark The Hepworth Wakefield’s 10th anniversary, the gallery will organise the largest exhibition of Barbara Hepworth’s work since the artist’s death in 1975.
The exhibition will present an in-depth view of the Wakefield-born artist’s life, interests, work and legacy. It will display some of Hepworth’s most celebrated sculptures including the modern abstract carving that launched her career in the 1920s and 1930s, her iconic strung sculptures of the 1940s and 1950s, and large-scale bronze and carved sculptures from later in her career.
Key loans from national public collections will be shown alongside works from private collections that have not been on public display since the 1970s, and rarely seen drawings, paintings and fabric designs. It will reveal how Hepworth’s wide sphere of interests comprising music, dance, science, space exploration, politics and religion, as well as events in her personal life, influenced her work.
Contemporary artists Tacita Dean and Veronica Ryan have been commissioned to create new works which will be presented within the exhibition. Each artist will explore themes and ideas that interested Hepworth and that continue to resonate with their own work. Art works by Bridget Riley from the 1960s will also be presented in dialogue with Hepworth’s work from the same period.
To coincide with the exhibition, The Hepworth Wakefield’s curator Eleanor Clayton is writing a major new book on the artist, published by Thames & Hudson. There will also be a one-hour documentary about Hepworth’s life and career on Sky Arts in spring 2021.
This exhibition is kindly supported by Henry Moore Foundation, The Porthmeor Fund, and The Hepworth Wakefield 10 Circle.
Joining Psappha, world-class accordionist Miloš Milivojević guides us through a variety of music written for this unexpectedly versatile instrument.
Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.
Take your pick from The Little Library’s carefully curated collection of classics and new releases, adding a recently read book of your own as a replacement.
Working Class Movement Library presents an online exhibition of powerful posters made by young activists fighting for civil rights in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
The Portico Library marks 250 years since British explorer James Cook first landed on the shores of what we now call Australia with an online exhibition that explores the history of violence and resistance that followed.
NOW EXTENDED: HOME have invited theatre and live art makers to create new works at home, for an audience who are also at home.
the Whitworth in Manchester invites you to step into the garden as subject with an online version of its 2016 exhibition, The Gardener Digs in Another Time.
Produced by Complicité for Homemakers: Join a virtual gathering of women for an online dance project celebrating female movement throughout history.
Politically charged with a hip-hop soundtrack, there is no doubt that this filmed performance is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2020.
Manchester Art Gallery reopens with a thought-provoking new exhibition that delves into the history of the public institution and its role within the city.
Tate Liverpool presents a major retrospective of work by Don McCullin, widely considered to be one of the greatest photojournalists of our time.
Psappha’s 2020–21 season explores the sharpest and smartest sounds in contemporary classical music, presented in concert and streamed online for free.
Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North takes a close look at the moral dilemmas surrounding overseas aid.
Commissioned in the mid-1980s, The Sheffield Project focused a lens on a unique chapter in the city’s history, when it embarked on a journey of radical change.
Cornwall has seldom seemed eerier than in Make-Up, the vivid first feature from director Claire Oakley.
Fun & Games at The Portico Library explores the evolution and traditions of games and play throughout the ages up to today.
#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum explores the wider impact of media coverage and changing immigration controls.
International portrait artist Aliza Nisenbaum will present a new painting at Tate Liverpool this winter, depicting members of the city’s key workers.
OUTPUT in Liverpool launches a new programme of mail-based exhibitions, sending original artwork directly to your home.
Enjoy a journey through time on Discover Buxton Tour’s unique vintage tram.
These colourful character guides offer unique and entertaining insights into the history of some of Buxton’s most iconic buildings.
Have your history delivered by expert guides whose passion for the heritage of Buxton spills into the unexpected.
Join local historian Brian Shepherd for a walk around the town and learn what Buxton may have looked like during Britain’s Roman occupation.
Discover Buxton’s audio tours of The Peak cover the area around Buxton and are designed to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle.
The world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements found within Bhangra, compiled by World Bhangra Day founder, Hardeep Sahota.
NQ Jazz have teamed up with The Stoller Hall and The Yard to bring us dozens of COVID-safe jazz events featuring established and emerging artists.
Barbican’s major exhibition, AI: More than Human, comes to Liverpool, offering a tantlising look into the future.
Hallé Artist in Residence, Henning Kraggerud curates a concert featuring the UK premiere of his adaptation of Grieg’s Third Violin Sonata.
A stunning online exhibition that brings together award-winning photographic images from the world of science, climate and art.
The Hallé performs a varied programme of Grazyna Bacewicz, Aaron Copland and Dmitri Shostakovich under the baton of new Assistant Conductor, Delyana Lazarova.
Presented by the BBC’s Petroc Trelawny and conducted by Stephen Bell, the Hallé celebrates classical music on the silver screen.
Sir Mark Elder conducts a staged performance of Stravinsky’s 1918 masterpiece The Soldier’s Tale, directed by Olivier Award winner Annabel Arden.
The 11th edition of the UK’s oldest and largest festival of contemporary visual art is about to open, with work by over 50 artists.
Tony Phillips’ 12 Decades continues a survey of modern history that has occupied him over the last 40 years. The series will go on show at Bluecoat in 2021.
The Hallé is joined by Boris Giltburg for Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, before the world premiere of Huw Watkins’ Second Symphony.
Argentinian artist Ad Minoliti’s immersive exhibition draws upon queer and feminist theory to offer new understandings of the world around us.
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and award-winning garden is a must-see, with the famous book sale scheduled (assuming Lockdown is lifted at the end of March) as follows: 11 April, 9 May, 13 June, 11 July, 8 August, 12 September, 10 October, 14 November and 12 December 2021, 11am-4pm.