Music in Manchester and the North

Johnny James, Music Editor

Looking ahead to Manchester’s Autumn gig calendar, there’s so much to look forward to. Top of our list is the black-humoured bard of Newcastle, Richard Dawson. He’s playing at RNCM in support of his incredible (trust us) forthcoming album, 2020, which documents a country in disarray.

Julia Jacklin is also high on our list. The Sydney singer-songwriter is aligning herself with Angel Olson and Sharon Van Etten at the vanguard of a new wave of Australian confessional songwriting, and will play at Gorilla in support of her superb album Crushing.

Vanguards of their own genre (and it really is their own), Portico Quartet will incorporate jazz, electronica, minimalism, dub and more at Gorilla, where they’ll perform music from their highly acclaimed summer album Memory Streams.

From vanguards to pioneers, ex-Kraftwerk percussionist Wolfgang Flür was part of a group that established electronica worldwide. At YES this November, he’ll present a unique audio and visual experience, pairing solo material with older treasures.

With plenty more to look forward to, check out our full music guide below to discover what else in store for Manchester this Autumn.

Here are our picks

More in Music

Music 30 January–31 December 2019, from £19.62

Striking Gold Piano Series at The Stoller Hall

This year-long celebration of outstanding pianists marks Chetham’s School of Music’s golden jubilee year.

Classical Music 19 September 2019–30 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 21 September 2019–13 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.

Music 15 October–12 December 2019, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

From concerts to film screenings to operas, we select our top 5 highlights from the RNCM Autumn Season, whose thematic focus is Migration.

Music 21 October 2019, 6:30 pm–10:00 pm, from £27.50

Lamb at Manchester Academy 2

Veteran trip-hoppers Lamb are bringing their wonderful new album, The Secret of Letting Go, to Manchester Academy 2 this October.

Music 23 October 2019, 6:00 pm–10:00 pm, from £19.25

Freddie Gibbs at Manchester Academy

One of the most compelling rappers of our time, Freddie Gibbs is soon performing in Manchester. Armed with new Madlib-produced record Bandana, expect fire.

Music 24 October 2019, 6:30 pm–9:00 pm, from £5.50

BBC Philharmonic: Mumford/Mendelssohn/Mahler at The Bridgewater Hall

From Jeffrey Mumford’s poeticism to Gustav Mahler’s majesty, we’re looking forward to a wonderfully varied concert from the BBC Philharmonic at The Bridgewater Hall.

Music 27 October 2019, 7:00 pm–11:00 pm, from £25

The Detroit Cobras at Gorilla

Blurring the lines between rock and roll, R&B and soul music, The Detroit Cobras are bringing their glorious hedonism to Manchester this October.

Music 29 October–1 November 2019, FREE

New Music Manchester at RNCM

New Music Manchester is a four-day festival comprising performances and talks from a plethora of the cities’ artists, ensembles and orchestras.

Culture Guides


October sees the launch of Manchester’s newest cinema, some first class new releases and plenty of Halloween fun.

Peer to Peer at Open Eye Gallery & St. George's Hall, Liverpool


Sci-fi, football, China and Venice collide in our latest pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Autumn at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens -with plenty of family things to do.


Check out our latest top picks of family things to do and enjoy some quality time together this autumn.

Author Jenn Ashworth, photo by Chris Thomond.


Autumn enjoys its usual bumper crop of book-related festivals – and as Manchester and Rochdale wind down, Chester Literature Festival is back for a 30th year to help get you through November.

Theatre in Manchester


You’ll find an eclectic fusion of dance, contemporary performance and top-notch new writing in our theatre guide this month.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Discover the best food and drink that the North has to offer in our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and beyond.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Find alternative nights out, decadent afternoons and fun new ways to explore the city in this month’s guide of things to do in Manchester.

Things to do right now

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Classical Music 19 September 2019–30 May 2020,

The Hallé 2019-20 Season

Music 30 January–31 December 2019, from £19.62

Striking Gold Piano Series at The Stoller Hall

Music 15 October–12 December 2019, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

People sliding down the slopes at Chill Factore on an inflatable ring
Families 19 October–3 November 2019, from £7.00

Half Term at Chill Factore