Music in Manchester and the North

Johnny James, Music Editor

Lost in the middle distance between Christmas and spring, February, if we’re being honest, is a bit bleak, isn’t it? The weather’s grim, everyone’s skint and the festive bulge remains. BUT there is a saving grace amid these trying times: SO. MANY. GIGS.

Diligent as ever, we’ve scoured the gig listings for Manchester and the north, and have rounded up the cream of the crop.

New additions this month include garage rock stalwarts The Growlers, ambient electronica wizard Steve Hauschildt, and the indefatigable Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Also new is seminal producer DJ Shadow, and fast-rising singer-songwriter, Julia Bardo.

With plenty more to sink your teeth into below (The Murder Capital, Sleater Kinney, Aerial Festival, Eliza Carthy, The Grahams, Thom Yorke), we present to you the best gigs in Manchester and the north.

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 Until 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 Until 20 March 2020, from £5

RNCM Spring Season

The RNCM Spring Season is nearly here, and we can’t wait to tell you about it! Ranging from concerts to operas to short film showcases, read our top picks.

Music 21 February 2020 6:30 pm,

Cory Wong (Vulfpeck) at The Ritz

Funk guitarist Cory Wong returns to Manchester with a joyous new album and his signature blend of guitar wizardry, laugh-out-loud jokes and eccentric visuals.

Music 22 February 2020 11:00 pm, from £12

Awesome Tapes From Africa at Band on the Wall

If you’re a fan of world music, then Awesome Tapes From Africa’s show at Band on the Wall is an absolute must this February.

Bang on a Can All-Stars at RNCM
Music 25 February 2020 7:30 pm, from £18

Bang on a Can All-Stars at RNCM

Blurring the lines of classical, jazz, rock, world and experimental music, the Bang on a Can All-Stars present a wonderfully adventurous programme at RNCM.

Culture Guides


We advise booking early this month as cinemas fill up with brand new award winners and offbeat classics.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield


Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition


Check out our top picks for Families this month. Whether it’s art, music, theatre, science, crafts or insects (!) you’re after, we’ve got you covered…

Poet and performer Kate Tempest.


From Helen Fielding to Hilary Mantel, the literati hard-hitters are in town as Manchester Literature Festival and UNESCO City of Literature turn up the gas.

Theatre in Manchester


Stage adaptations of cult film classics, award-winning verbatim performance and charming slapstick. You’ll find all this and more in our guide to the best theatre in Manchester and the North.

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

It’s time to find the best restaurants for the weeks ahead. Here’s our guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Tours and Activities

Expect thrills, informative discussion, politically charged tours and wobbly towns in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.