Music in Manchester and the North

Johnny James, Music Editor

Physical gigs are sadly on hold due to you-know-what. For artists and audiences alike, accepting this as the new normal is tough, but there are still ways of both parties connecting – albeit virtually. In this guide, we’ll be pointing you towards the best livestreamed concerts, broadcasts, activities and exhibitions on offer during the lockdown.

We also thought we’d give you a taste of what we’re listening to at the moment. In the Spotify playlist below, we’ll be adding tunes relating to features in this guide, new releases and miscellaneous gems.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis. This means that, although venues remain shut and campaigns cancelled, our writers can be reengaged to help arts organisations and artists across the North of England share their online content with our culture-hungry readers.

Here are our picks

More in Music

Amazon with HOME
Music Until 31 December 2020,

Amazon with HOME

Created by composer Alex Ho and theatre-maker Elayce Ismail, this stunning fusion of music, text and visuals sees a trip to the Amazon take an unexpected turn.

Threat to Breath with HOME
Music Until 31 December 2020,

Threat to Breath with HOME

A brand new commission for Homemakers, Threat to Breath is a sound piece to listen to at home, on your own or with others.

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum
Exhibitions Until 10 January 2021, from £5

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum – Postponed

Use Hearing Protection tells the story of Factory Records’ formative years from 1978-1982, when the label made waves with its innovative work in music, technology and design.

you out tonight? at Open Eye Gallery
Exhibitions Until 23 October 2020, FREE

you out tonight? at Open Eye Gallery

Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool presents you out tonight? – a public outdoor exhibition in the gallery’s atrium space, accessible all day every day.

Music Until 3 October 2020, FREE

Aerial presents: Hayden Thorpe (online)

Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe has been commissioned by Aerial Festival to create a collection of new songs inspired by the South Lakes.

Literature Until 3 October 2020, FREE

Aerial presents: Caught by the River (online)

Join Stuart Maconie, Helen Mort, Jack Cooper, and Roy Wilkinson for a unique collission of sounds and words.

Literature Until 3 October 2020, FREE

Aerial presents: 10 Years of Corbel Stone Press (online)

Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton celebrate 10 years of their work at Corbel Stone Press – one of the foremost small presses in the UK dedicated to landscape and the natural world.

Journeys Festival International 2020 – Online
Exhibitions Until 18 October 2020, FREE

Journeys Festival International 2020 – Online

This year’s Journeys Festival International takes place online, exploring the experiences of refugees from around the world through art, comedy, film, music, food, sci-fi adventure and politically charged conversation.

Journeys Live! – Part of Journeys Festival International 2020
Festivals 2 October 2020 7:00 pm, FREE

Journeys Live! – Part of Journeys Festival International 2020

enjoy an exciting line-up of musical acts featuring Maracuya and the Ghanain-Italian songstress Vivi who will be performing a range of conscious, cultural music.

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

We look at the socially distant screenings and digital releases you can enjoy as cinemas begin to reopen safely.

Images of protest: Black Lives Matter at People's History Museum

Exhibitions

Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Makefest At Home

Families

Need some inspiration for online activities and creative family fun? Look no further than our top picks online for families across Manchester and the North.

Poet Dean Atta. Photo by Hussina Raja.

Literature

Festival fever takes hold of Live Literature Land as it does every October, just this year it’s in the ether. Grab a glass and settle down in the Zoom room for some online readings.

Theatre in Manchester. Image courtesy of RashDash.

Theatre

We can’t wait to be back in the stalls again…until then our theatre guide brings the best of online theatre and interactive performance to enjoy at home.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester.

Higher Ground

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

For the August guide, we’ve dug out the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North to explore now that lockdown has thankfully eased.

Isolation Broadcast

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Socially distant walks and virtual tours are among the offerings in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.