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.

Radiohead
Music Until 27 August 2020, FREE

At Home With Radiohead

Radiohead are helping fans get through the lockdown with a series of largely unseen concert films, uploaded to YouTube every Thursday.

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.

Families Until 1 August 2020, FREE

My First Protest Song with People’s History Museum

Rejoice! You can now join the People’s History Museum online as they stream this regular favourite from their events programme.

Cinema Until 31 August 2020, from £4.99

Stop Making Sense – Streaming on BFI Player

Jonathan Demme x Talking Heads. Find out why Stop Making Sense is widely regarded as the greatest concert film ever made.

Music Until 19 July 2020, from £12

Buxton International Festival 2020 CANCELLED

One of the UK’s leading arts events, Buxton International Festival is a glorious summertime celebration of opera, music and books.

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 (temporarily closed)

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.

Lovell telescope in cloudy sky
Music 23–26 July 2020, from £59.75

Bluedot 2020 at Jodrell Bank CANCELLED

Entering its fifth year in 2020, Bluedot is a festival of discovery located in the shadow of the world-renowned Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank.

Families 21–23 August 2020, from £20

Just So Festival 2020 CANCELLED

The best family festival in the UK returns for its 11th outing. Pillow fights, paddle-boarding, woodland opera, and the best new outdoor arts for families.

Culture Guides

Cinema Online

From our picks of the latest streaming titles, to drive-ins and live digital film events from your favourite venues, we round up the best in lockdown cinema.

Family of Lord Alf Morris, image courtesy of Manchester Histories

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 Online

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 Sasha Dugdale. Photo by Zima Zima

Literature

From book launches to readings and open mics to creative writing workshops, Live Literature Land has taken to online activities and events like the proverbial duck to water.

Plastica Galactica: Get Involved

Theatre

We can’t wait to be back in the stalls again…until then our theatre guide brings online theatre festival fun, a live drive-in musical and interactive performances 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

Lockdown is in full effect but that doesn’t mean we can’t support our favourite bars, restaurants, brewers and food suppliers. Here’s our guide to the best takeaway and delivery Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

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

More online inspiration in this month’s tours and activities guide with French lessons, Life drawing and virtual Tours.