Music in Manchester and the North

Johnny James, Music Editor

Eyeing up Manchester’s gig calendar, we’re spoilt for choice this New Year! Below, read our top picks for the coming months.

We kick off with Whyte Horses, a local psych pop band on the cusp of an exciting new chapter. Keeping it local, we also write about Stay Fresh Fest, an all dayer showcasing a raft of new and emerging talent from the North West.

Speaking of up and comers, The Murder Capital are the most thrilling band breaking out of Ireland’s burgeoning post punk scene. Sleater Kinney, meanwhile, have firmly established themselves as a mighty force in punk rock. Both have exciting Manchester gigs looming.

Like a mirage on the horizon, we also have the tantalising summer months in our sights. Make sure to read about Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s brilliant new album, ANIMA, and his two supporting gigs at Victoria Warehouse this June.

With plenty more to sink your teeth into below, we present to you the best musical happenings in Manchester and the north this New Year.

Here are our picks

More in Music

Classical Music Until 30 May 2020,

The Hallé 2019-20 Season

From a brilliant range of symphonies, concertos, vocal works, operas and more, we select our five top picks from the Hallé’s 2019-20 season.

BBC Philharmonic 2019 2020 season bridgewater hall manchester
Classical Music Until 13 June 2020,

BBC Philharmonic 2019/20 Concert Season

An outstanding orchestra live in a world-class concert hall – read about the BBC Philharmonic’s 2019-20 season at The Bridgewater Hall.

Northern Chamber Orchestra
Music Until 15 May 2020,

Northern Chamber Orchestra 2019/20 Season

Northern Chamber Orchestra’s 2019/20 Season features the likes of violinists Chloe Hanslip and Anthony Marwood; pianist Martin James Bartlett; percussionist Colin Currie; and their President, cellist, Raphael Wallfisch.

Rock and Goal
Activity Until 1 June 2020, from £4.5

Rock and Goal Tour

Join Joe Feeley a Mancunian through and through, who guides you into Manchester’s two pillars of cultural excellence with his Rock and Goal tour.

Classical Music 25 January–9 May 2020, from £3

The Stoller Hall Spring Season

Spanning a plethora of genres, from classical to folk to Americana, The Stoller Hall’s Spring season is an eclectic delight. Read about it here.

Music 28 January 2020 7:30 pm,

WIRE at Band on the Wall

For many, WIRE are the definitive post-punk band. On the cusp of releasing new album Mind Hive, now is as good a time as ever to catch them live.

Music 30–31 January 2020, FREE

Co-lab Theory at Gorilla

Featuring eight emerging artists from Manchester and the north, Reform Radio presents the culmination of their latest artist-led project, Co-lab Theory.

Classical Music 1 February 2020 7:30 pm, from £12.50

BBC Philharmonic: Szymanowski/Myaskovsky at The Bridgewater Hall

Joined by celebrated violinist Liza Ferschtman, the BBC Philharmonic presents two Eastern European masterpieces and an epic symphony by Myaskovsky.

Music 4 February 2020 8:30 pm, from £16.50

Slum Village x Abstract Orchestra at Band on the Wall

Teaming up with allstar hip hop big band Abstract Orchestra, Slum Village’s show at Band on the Wall promises to be a special one.

Culture Guides


Valentine’s events, horror marathons and the best new releases.

Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here at Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth


Power and conflict, rock and reggae, and rebellious acts by the over 60s all feature in this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Man holding a giant snow ball above his head in Snow Play


No better way to ward of January blues than by treating the family to a special day out. Check out our top picks for this month…

Poet Jane Yeh. Photo by Andy Forest.


Our shiny new diaries are filling up fast as details of prize-giving galas, poetry and prose launches, and some old favourites announce dates and details.

Theatre in Manchester


Turn On Fest at Hope Mill Theatre and PUSH Festival at HOME are amongst our top picks of theatre in Manchester and the North this January.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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


Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Looking to eat some of the North’s finest food in January 2020? Kick the decade off with our guide to all things to eat and drink in Manchester and beyond.

your own tshirt

Tours and Activities

Start the decade with a new experience and take inspiration from our January Tours and Activities guide.