Music in Manchester and the North

Johnny James, Managing Editor

Summer’s looking sweet. You’ve got your big holiday sorted, long weekenders planned, and of course you’ve booked a festival or two. You have booked a festival or two… right? Just to be sure, check out our guide to the best festival line-ups in the North, from all-nighters to family-friendly fun via considered, thought-provoking weekends.

And while you’re here, take a look at our our fresh gig picks — from chaotic hardcore (Amyl and The Sniffers) to dancefloor-leaning post punk (Parquet Courts) to the best flora-themed hypno-folk-metal collaboration you’ll have heard in recent months (Richard Dawson and Circle).

There’s plenty more to dig into below, too, including Maya Youssef, Pet Shop Boys, Manchester Guitar Festival, Adam Green, The SmileBillie EilishAnika and BADBADNOTGOOD.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Summer Festivals

    From all-nighters to family-friendly fun via considered, thought provoking weekends, we select out top picks from the many, many festivals taking place in the North this summer.

  • 2. Amyl and The Sniffers at Albert Hall

    Jamie Wdziekonski

    Amyl and The Sniffers at Albert Hall, City Centre, 31 May 2022, from £13.00 - Book now

    Punk animals Amyl and The Sniffers have risen up from the sticky carpets of Melbourne’s underground music scene to storm the world stage. Fiery, spontaneous and crammed with colossal riffs, their latest album Comfort To Me is made for the stage — and Albert Hall’s is as good as any you’ll find in Manchester.

  • 3. Parquet Courts at Albert Hall

    Pooneh Ghana

    Parquet Courts at Albert Hall, City Centre, 12 June 2022, from £19.00 - Book now

    Starting life as a genetic mutation of late 70’s post-punk, Parquet Courts’ new currency is groove-heavy psychedelia – the kind you might file somewhere in between Talking Heads and Primal Scream. A creative handbrake turn that we’re here for.

  • 4. Richard Dawson & Circle at Gorilla

    Antti Uusimäki

    Richard Dawson & Circle at Gorilla, Manchester, 8 July 2022, from £21.00 - Book now

    Geordie troubadour Richard Dawson performs with Finnish Heavy Metal band Circle in support of their collaborative album — the greatest flora-themed hypno-folk-metal record you’ll have heard in recent months.

  • 5. Manchester Psych Fest 2022

    Manchester Psych Fest

    Manchester Psych Fest at The Ritz, Manchester, 3 September 2022, from £45 - Book now

    Manchester Psych Fest, the UK’s leading psychedelic music and arts festival, returns this September, and with the second wave of artists now announced, the 9th edition of Psych Fest is set to be the best yet as it takes over Manchester for one day only.

  • 6. Pet Shop Boys at Manchester Arena

    Pet Shop Boys

    Pet Shop Boys at Manchester Arena, Manchester, 20 May 2022, from £81.99 - Book now

    The ever-iconic electro-pop duo Pet Shop Boys are heading to Manchester’s AO Arena this May as part of their first ever greatest hits tour.

  • 7. Manchester Guitar Festival at The Stoller Hall

    Manchester Guitar Festival at The Stoller Hall, Manchester, 20–22 May 2022, from £0.00 - Book now

    From classical and jazz, acoustic, electric and flamenco, the three-day Manchester Guitar Festival will feature some of the finest guitar music talent from around the world, including Sean Shibe, Daniel Martinez and Craig Ogden, alongside many rising stars.

  • 8. Adam Green at The Deaf Institute

    Adam Green at The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 29 May 2022, from £15.75 - Book now

    Cult songwriter, filmmaker, artist and poet Adam Green is bringing his whimsical antifolk to The Deaf Institute this May.

  • 9. The Smile at Albert Hall

    The Smile at Albert Hall, City Centre, 2 June 2022, from £49.50 - Book now

    The Smile – Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood plus Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner – are making their Manchester debut in June.

  • 10. Billie Eilish at Manchester Arena

    Billie Eilish
    Kelia Anne MacCluskey

    Billie Eilish at Manchester Arena, Manchester, 7–8 June 2022, from £47.80 - Book now

    Seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish is heading to Manchester Arena with Happier Than Ever, The World Tour.

  • 11. Maya Youssef with Levare String Quartet at RNCM

    Maya Youssef.

    Maya Youssef with Levare String Quartet at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, 11 June 2022, from £18.00 - Book now

    Maya Youssef, the ‘queen of qanun’, brings her latest album Finding Home to life on the RNCM stage with the Levare String Quartet.

  • 12. RNCM Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition at RNCM

    The RNCM Session Orchestra.

    RNCM Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, 18 June 2022, from £15.00 - Book now

    Discover the next generation of artists emerging from the RNCM’s Popular Music department as they perform their original music accompanied by the RNCM Session Orchestra.

  • 13. Bluedot 2022 at Jodrell Bank

    Bluedot Festival 2022 at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield, 22–24 July 2022, from £59.75 - Book now

    After two years without Bluedot, we’re super excited for its return in 2022, and the just-announced line-up is well worth the wait.

  • 14. BADBADNOTGOOD at Albert Hall

    Jamal Burger

    BADBADNOTGOOD at Albert Hall at Albert Hall, City Centre, 10 December 2022, from £17.50 - Book now

    In support of their expansive 2021 album Talk Memory, BADBADNOTGOOD play their biggest show in Manchester to date, at Albert Hall.

  • 15. Manchester Folk Festival 2022

    The Drystones

    Manchester Folk Festival at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 13–15 October 2022, from £13.20 - Book now

    Manchester Folk Festival is back with a huge line-up and a new venue on the books. We take a look at the artists playing at this year’s city-wide festival, from Grace Petrie to Lady Maisery.

  • 16. Sounds of Nature at The Stoller Hall

    Image courtesy of The Stoller Hall

    Sounds of Nature at The Stoller Hall, Manchester, Until 5 October 2022, from £5.50 - Book now

    This year, The Stoller Hall aims to connect audiences with nature through music, getting us thinking about everything from climate change to our relationship with the animal kingdom. Take a look at our highlights from their Sounds of Nature programme.

  • 17. New Century

    New Century, Mayes Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 4ES - Visit now

    From Jimi Hendrix to Pink Floyd, Manchester’s iconic New Century Hall once played host to some of the most influential artists on the planet. Following a £10m transformation, the ’60s dance-hall is returning this summer. Take a look at what’s in store.

More in Music

Interruptions: Sounds – Online with Holden Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 5 August 2022, FREE

Interruptions: Sounds – Online with The Holden Gallery, Manchester

‘Interruptions: Sounds’ is an online collection of new audio works by seven artists, spanning spoken word, ambient sound and musical tracks.

Music Until 8 July 2022, from £0.00

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It’s not just Symphony Orchestras or big name artists that perform as the RNCM, their lunchtime and spotlight concerts showcase the best student performers in more intimate settings.

Music Until 5 July 2022, from £12

RNCM Summer Season 2022

Read our picks for the exciting months ahead at the RNCM.

Music 17 May 2022 7:30 pm, from £11.00

A Day Will Come at Theatre Royal Wakefield

Theatre Royal Wakefield will hosts a musical project that showcases the diversity of folk music from each of the 27 EU countries.

Music 18 May 2022 7:30 pm, from £12.50

Newen Afrobeat at The Crescent

A 13-piece orchestra from Chile, Newen Afrobeat will perform a show comprising music, dance, and social awareness at The Crescent.

Music 19 May 2022 7:30 pm, from £20.00

Daniel Rossen at Left Bank Leeds

Best known as a guitarist from Grizzly Bear, Daniel Rossen has given in to his individual creative flow. He will present his solo work at Left Bank Leeds.

Manchester Jazz Festival
Music 20–29 May 2022, from £5.00

Manchester Jazz Festival 2022

Manchester Jazz Festival returns with 10 days of the best northern, national and international contemporary jazz this May.

Festivals 20 May 2022 12:00 pm, from £5.50

Sean Shibe at The Stoller Hall

Kicking off Manchester Guitar Festival 2022 in style, Sean Shibe will be performing a typically eclectic programme at The Stoller Hall.

Music 20 May 2022 7:00 pm, from £6.00

Collars a The York Vaults

One sings, the other plays the guitar and drums at the same time. Collars will play their signature feel-good indie with hints of punk undertones. 

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Poet Malika Booker.

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