Music in Manchester and the North

Chris Horkan, Music Editor

Why not try some new music in 2017? Whether it’s a residency in a former mill, an original take on a film soundtrack, award-winning classical music in a brand new concert hall or the cream of Manchester’s current music scene coming together for an action-packed all-dayer, our top picks for the weeks and months ahead have it covered. We’ve even thrown in the odd summer festival to help fill up your musical calendar…

Here are our picks

  • 1. The Red Brick Sessions: Ravel, Adès, Strauss & Rebel at Peel Hall

    Image courtesy of BBC Philharmonic

    The Red Brick Sessions: Ravel, Adès, Strauss & Rebel at Peel Hall, Manchester, 27 April 2017, free entry - Find Out More

    The BBC Philharmonic’s innovative Red Brick Sessions series ends its run with French Baroque the subject of this session. Couperin, Adès, Richard Strauss and Ravel make up the bulk of the programme.

  • 2. Sounds From The Other City 2017 in Salford

    A billboard and people sitting on the pavement
    Sounds From the Other City 2015. Photo: Mike Hughes.

    Sounds From the Other City 2017 at Islington Mill, Chapel Street, 30 April–1 May 2017, from £23 adv. - Book now

    One of the surefire highlights of the Manchester music calendar returns on this bank holiday Sunday – welcoming up-and-coming artists to churches, mills, warehouses and more along Salford’s Chapel Street. The diverse line-up this year features the likes of Horsebeach, Flamingods, DUDS, The Lovely Eggs, Amber Arcades and Laura Cannell.

  • 3. The Human League at Liverpool Sound City 2017

    Image courtesy of Liverpool Sound City

    The Human League at Liverpool Sound City 2017 at Liverpool Waters, 25 May 2017, from £45.00 - Book now

    Sheffield’s legendary synthpop group The Human League celebrate their 40th year by headlining the opening night of Liverpool Sound City 2017 – which is itself marking its 10th outing. With seminal electronic band Art of Noise and former Factory Records group A Certain Ratio joining them, Clarence Dock hosts this extra special opening show.

  • 4. Seu Jorge presents The Life Aquatic at Albert Hall

    Seu Jorge presents The Life Aquatic at Albert Hall, City Centre, 25 May 2017, from £32.50 - Book now

    Brazilian musician Seu Jorge marks the passing of David Bowie with this fitting tribute. The show will restage some of the most memorable scenes from Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, with Jorge performing acoustic versions of Bowie hits in his native Portuguese.

  • 5. bluedot 2017 at Jodrell Bank

    Lovell telescope in cloudy sky

    bluedot festival 2017 at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, 7–9 July 2017, from £129.00 - Book now

    Bluedot Festival returns to Cheshire’s Jodrell Bank in July 2017. With Alt-J, Orbital and Pixies announced as headliners, joined on the bill by Soulwax, Warpaint, Ezra Furman and Factory Floor, expect this year’s festival to be an extremely hot ticket.

  • 6. Brian Wilson presents Pet Sounds at 50 Summers of Love

    Image courtesy of 50 Summers of Love

    Brian Wilson presents Pet Sounds at 50 Summers of Love at Exhibition Centre Liverpool, Waterfront, 28 July 2017, from £55.00 - Book now

    To mark 50 years since the Summer of Love, Liverpool welcomes the producer of one of the period’s most influential albums, Pet Sounds. Brian Wilson performs the psychedelic pop masterpiece, as well as rare cuts and other Beach Boys hits, for one of the very last times.

  • 7. Cloudspotting Festival 2017 at Gisburn Forest

    Image courtesy of Cloudspotting

    Cloudspotting Festival at Gisburn Forest, 28–31 July 2017, from £30.00 - Book now

    Now in its seventh year, Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival is a long summer weekend retreat for a few hundred people, organised by a bunch of friends and festival enthusiasts. This year’s event features headliners Moulettes, Baloji and Jesca Hoop, as well as a host of family theatre, interactive art, music workshops and plenty more besides.

  • 8. Manchester Folk Festival 2017 at HOME

    The Young ‘Uns, courtesy of Manchester Folk Festival

    Manchester Folk Festival 2017 at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 19–21 October 2017, from £16.00 - Book now

    Debuting this October, Manchester Folk Festival will highlight the best of English folk and acoustic roots music – with the initial artists involved including the likes of The Young ‘Uns, Tom Robinson, False Lights and Afro Celt Sound System. With 10 more concerts to be announced, watch this space

Culture Guides

Food and Drink

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


This month, we round up some of the disreputable treasures and genuinely ambitious pieces of film art that are screening around Manchester and the North.


The newly announced Manchester After Hours programme gets the top spot in our Exhibitions guide this month, hotly followed by another major arts announcement.


Theatrical adventures reflecting on our world, sleep walks, a ridiculous art race through the forest, and our brand new guide to this year’s Just So Festival.

Hot Shorts at David Gaffney book launch.


Spring is well and truly in the air, and there are plenty of prose and poetry events blossoming this month across the North West, and the chance for budding writers to scribe some site-specific stories.


All the buzz right now is about Manchester International Festival, which has its strongest theatre and dance programme to date.

Destination Guides