things to do in october
Everything that happened and would happen at Mayfield © Killa Schuetze

October

Creative Tourist

There’s plenty of things to do this October in Manchester and the North as the galleries and auditoriums step up and start knocking out some of the year’s best work.

We say goodbye to Liverpool Biennial 2018 this month, if you’ve still not been you’ll be after our weekend guide. But as we say goodbye to the Biennial, we say hello, hello to MIF’s Factory trailblazer, Everything that happened and would happen, a world premiere of Heiner Goebbels new large-scale work.

Autumn seasons continue at the ever impressive Contact, RNCM, The Stoller Hall, BBC Philharmonic,  and Everyman & Playhouse.

Else where there’s literature festivals in Manchester and Rochdale, Art Fairs, Craft Fairs and Folk Festivals.

Really, there’s just absolutely loads on this month and you owe it to yourself to get involved.

The October Longlist

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Alexis Teplin at Bluecoat
Exhibitions 1 October 2019–1 February 2020, FREE

Alexis Teplin at Bluecoat

This solo show of new work at Bluecoat marks artist Alexis Teplin’s largest major UK exhibition. Her work crosses between painting, performance and film, drawing parallels between the process of each art form.

Cinema 3–6 October 2019, from £20.00

Grimmfest at Odeon Great Northern

One of the top genre film festivals in the World, Manchester’s annual festival of horror, cult and fantastic film returns to Odeon, Great Northern this October.

British Textile Biennial 2019
Exhibitions 3 October–3 November 2019, FREE

British Textile Biennial 2019, across Pennine Lancashire

The inaugural edition of the British Textile Biennial opens this winter with a series of new art commissions, exhibitions and performances.

Trojan Horse at Leeds Playhouse
Theatre 3–5 October 2019, from £14

Trojan Horse at Leeds Playhouse

In this vital verbatim show, using real-life testimonies, LUNG examine the damage caused to Birmingham communities following the 2014 government inquiry.

Food and Drink 6 October 2019, from £139

Chocolate Craft for Vegans at The Vegetarian Society Cookery School

A new course from the Vegetarian Society Cookery School. Learn the essential skills for any chocolatier with Chocolate Craft for Vegans.

Music 6 October 2019, from £15

Bill Ryder-Jones ‘Yawny Yawn’ Piano Tour at Band on the Wall

Bill Ryder-Jones will reimagine 2018’s critically acclaimed Yawn, using just vocals and piano to open an even more intimate window onto his world. 

Exhibitions 10–13 October 2019, from £5.50

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2019 at Upper Campfield Market

For anyone with even a passing interest in the beauty of the handmade or artful design, the annual award-winning Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF) in Manchester is the place to head this October.

Aviva Investors Manchester Art Fair 2018
Exhibitions 11–13 October 2019, from £5

Manchester Art Fair 2019 at Manchester Central

Introducing: Manchester Art Fair 2018. The North’s largest art fair returns this October with its largest offering yet and under a proud new title.

Music 11 October 2019,

Joe Armon-Jones at Band on the Wall

Amongst Britain’s gleaming jazz scene, virtuoso keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones stands out as a remarkable talent. Catch him live at Band on the Wall this October and you won’t be disappointed!

Music 16–20 October 2019, from £6.00

Manchester Folk Festival 2019

Home to the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Manchester Folk Festival is back with another joyous celebration of the best in English folk.

Music 18 October 2019, from £16

The Breath at Gorilla

Singer Ríoghnach Connolly and guitarist Stuart McCallum are bringing their heavy-hearted folk project to Manchester’s Gorilla this October, and we can’t wait.

We Two Boys: Early Works by Alan Davie & David Hockney at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions 19 October 2019–19 January 2020, FREE

We Two Boys: Early Works by Alan Davie & David Hockney

‘We Two Boys: Early Works’ at The Hepworth Wakefield will bring together around 45 paintings and works on paper by Alan Davie and David Hockney, many of which have not been seen publicly for decades.

Christina Quarles at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions 19 October 2019–19 January 2020, FREE

Christina Quarles at The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield will present the first solo exhibition in a European museum by American artist Christina Quarles.

Sacred Harp Workshop
Activity 19 October 2019,

Manchester Folk Festival 2019: Sacred Harp Workshop

Experience the raw power of Sacred Harp singing in a workshop from Manchester Folk Festival. Everyone’s welcome from complete beginners to long standing enthusiasts.

Music 19 October 2019, from £17.60

Adam Green at Soup Kitchen

Artistic polymath Adam Green is bringing his latest whimsical album, Engine of Paradise, to Manchester’s Soup Kitchen this October. Here’s what you can expect.

Music 21 October 2019, 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, 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.

Winter Droving Penrith
Families 26 October 2019, FREE

The Winter Droving in Penrith

An incredible wonderland of outdoor arts, masquerade and pint carrying competitions in Penrith.

Music 27 October 2019, 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 27 October 2019, from £19.5

GoGo Penguin: Koyaanisqatsi at RNCM

GoGo Penguin present a live performance of their original score to Godfrey Reggio’s cult film Koyaanisqatsi, paired with a full screening at RNCM.

Still showing this month

And Breathe... at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 16 March 2018–15 October 2019, FREE

And Breathe… at Manchester Art Gallery

Exploring the relationship between art and mindfulness And Breathe… is an exhibition of artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection that explores the relationship between art, positive mental health and wellbeing.

Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 6 July 2018–10 November 2019, FREE

Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery

Showcasing furniture, fashion, lighting, ceramics, glass, metalwork and jewellery, Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery highlights the superb quality and creativity inherent in design from the region and features pieces from 1930 to the present day.

Activity 22 September 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

Sí Manchester Daily Tour

Sí Manchester’s daily tour is a brilliant way to get an overview of the city with tours running in both English and Spanish.

Activity 20 October 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

Documentary Challenge at IWM North

Make and feature in your own mini-documentary at IWM North.

31 October 2018–31 October 2019, FREE

Daily Manchester Walking Tours

Free Manchester Tours offer a friendly introduction to the city. Setting off every day at 11am without fail.

Cinema 1 January–31 December 2019, from £5.50

Celebrating Women in Global Cinema at HOME

In 2019 HOME host a year-long programme of films and special events highlighting and celebrating women in film from across the world.

From specially curated retrospectives, seasons and special events, to takeovers of annual favourites, this branded series of screenings and events will explore and challenge the place and space of female filmmakers from a variety of cultural, social and political perspectives.

HOME
Festivals 1 January–31 December 2019,

HOME 2019 Season

With a continuing drive towards bold global programming, HOME Manchester welcomes friends, old and new, for an exhilarating new season.

Holly Hendry, Cenotaph, 2018. Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme 2019
Exhibitions 18 January 2019–3 May 2020, FREE

Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour

Whether Liverpool Biennial 2018 passed you by or you diligently ticked-off every last one of its multiple offerings (if so; bravo), the Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour seems unlikely to disappoint.

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.

A World Inside A Book courtesy Suzi Corker
Exhibitions 12 February–26 October 2019, from £6

A World Inside a Book: Gruffalo, Dragons and Other Creatures at Z-arts

The UK’s first immersive exhibition of the much-loved tales of Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. Expect enchanting forests, miniature towns and watery worlds.

Things to do in the Lakes this Summer
Exhibitions 15 February–15 October 2019, FREE

Things to do in the Lakes this Summer

Not only one of Britain’s most picturesque national parks, the Lake District is also brimming with culture. Here’s what not miss this summer.

Families 3 March–2 November 2019, FREE

Dovetail, Biscuit, Splat at Nostell

From designing the highest quality furniture, to sourcing the latest fashions in wallpaper, textiles and fittings, Thomas Chippendale created a world of interiors for Nostell. Roll up your sleeves and discover the designer in you with creative family activities every school holiday

Capturing Chambré Hardman – Developing History at the Hardmans' House, Liverpool
Exhibitions 13 March–26 October 2019, FREE

Developing History at the Hardmans’ House

As one of Liverpool’s lesser known gems prepares to reopen its doors for 2019, we look forward to encountering a rare series of photographs only recently discovered by chance in the cluttered darkroom of the Hardmans’ former, perfectly-preserved home.

The Reno at the Whitworth
Exhibitions 15 March 2019–1 March 2020, FREE

The Reno at the Whitworth

Award-winning playwright Linda Brogan and a group of local residents who used to attend the Reno nightclub in the 1970s and 80s prepare to occupy the Whitworth for one year. Located in Moss Side, the Reno was known as a space for young mixed-race Mancunians. This living exhibition will tell the story of the club through art and archive materials.

Exhibitions 16 March 2019–23 February 2020, FREE

A-Z of Salford’s Collections at Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Discover how Victorian gentlemen protected their moustaches from tea, which monarch’s pair of stockings reside in Salford, get up close to incredible art and more.

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest at People's History Museum
Exhibitions 23 March 2019–23 February 2020, FREE

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest at People’s History Museum

Marking the 200-year-anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, ‘Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest’ at People’s History Museum takes visitors on a journey through the past, present and future of protest in this country.

Activity 26 March–26 November 2019, from £17

Tours of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and The Pankhurst Centre

Visit the homes of two influential Mancunian women in one day. Volunteer led tours of Elizabeth Gaskell and Emmeline Pankhurst’s former homes are an ideal way to learn the stories of these two influential figures.

Activity 3 April–30 October 2019, from £6

Victoria Baths Guided Tour

Visit the stunning Victoria baths now that the building has reopened for Summer. Get to know the stories of bathers and activists whose continuing work could one day lead to the baths reopening as a working swimming pool.

Families 7 April–24 December 2019, FREE

Explore & Draw stations at The Hepworth Wakefield

The Explore and Draw stations are open daily and are free to use.

Look out for Explore & Draw stations in The Hepworth Wakefield’s galleries. Borrow looking tools, handling objects and drawing materials to explore the galleries and create artworks.

The gallery have up to three stations in the galleries for you to use and explore. Each station links to their temporary exhibitions or collection displays and contains activities, objects and books related to the artworks. Enjoy drawing in the galleries, look in new ways at the artworks, feel objects and materials connected to exhibitions, or sit and read together.

Families 13 April 2019–25 January 2020, FREE

Family Fun at Pontefract Museum

Lively activity sessions that everyone can take part in.

Families 1 May 2019–5 February 2020, FREE

Castle Crafts at Pontefract Castle

Get creative together and explore and learn about the history of Pontefract Castle through play or crafts. A different activity each month.

Little Moreton Hall
Activity 3 May–3 November 2019, FREE

Summer 2019 at Little Moreton Hall

With its beautifully charming and quirky style, Little Moreton Hall offers an iconic Tudor manor house, moat, manicured knot garden and plenty of fun activities for everyone.

Cinema 6 May–3 December 2019, from £5

Now Showing Club at Old Bank Residency, Manchester

Now Showing Club is Manchester’s first dedicated documentary cinema and will be showcasing 50 films from Dogwoof’s back catalogue in 2019.

Activity 7 May–7 December 2019, FREE

National Football Museum Guided Tours

Discover ‘the beautiful game’ with a guided tour of the National Football museum. You’ll learn about the sports origins as well as getting up close to a collection filled with infamous cups, shirts and artefacts.

Jazz at the Deli llama
Music 16 May–17 October 2019, FREE

Jazz at the Deli llama

Every Thursday join some of Manchester’s freshest players, for Jazz at the Deli Llama, a cosy deli on a corner in Salford that comes alive with vibes.

Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North
Exhibitions 17 May 2019–26 January 2020, FREE

Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North

Curated with support from award-winning journalist Iona Craig, Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North offers a powerful look at one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Exhibitions 17 May 2019–15 May 2020, FREE

Poulsen Arc Dream Radio at Storyhouse in Chester

What does it mean to be transported into another person’s memories? Step into a new digital art commission at Storyhouse in Chester to find out.

Li Yuan Chia: His Late Photographs at Whitworth Art Gallery
Exhibitions 18 May–15 December 2019, FREE

Li Yuan Chia: Unique Photographs at the Whitworth

The Whitworth presents a quiet, yet arrestingly beautiful series of hand-coloured photographs taken by China’s first conceptual artist, Li Yuan Chia, nearing the end of his life.

Exhibitions 18 May 2019–12 January 2020, FREE

Pearl Alcock at the Whitworth

Part of the Windrush generation, artist Pearl Alcock’s series of ‘visions’ and ‘moods’ realised as drawings and paintings go on display at the Whitworth.

Music 18 May–1 October 2019, FREE

Free Jazz at Band on the Wall

Contemporary jazz from some of the most exciting up and coming ensembles in the north.

Exhibitions 22 May–3 November 2019, FREE

The Other Side of the Hall at Little Moreton Hall

It’s not just the Tudors who lived at Little Moreton. Find out more about the modern inhabitants, their work and what it was like to live here. This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue.

Families 22 May–3 November 2019, FREE

Get Your Body Tudor Ready at Little Moreton Hall

Throughout the year discover Tudor attitudes to health and food, with a different activity to try each month from making butter in a churn to creating a Tudor pinch pot to keep your remedies in. Explore the way in which the Tudors looked after their health and wellbeing, and get your body Tudor ready! This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue.

Music 22 May–8 October 2019, FREE

Fraternity Jazz Jam at the Thirsty Scholar

Join a host of regular Jazz players from the Manchester scene as they share their love of music with anyone willing to get involved.

Exhibitions 25 May–3 November 2019, FREE

Pears & Apples – The Botanical Illustrations of Elisabeth Dowle at Cannon Hall Museum Park & Gardens

Cannon Hall’s historic pear collection and a new exhibition of work by renowned botanical artist Elisabeth Dowle makes for a perfect – and prescient – pairing.

Exhibitions 6 June 2019–20 April 2020, FREE

Louise Giovanelli at Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery prepares to present a series of new paintings by artist Louise Giovanelli, alongside rarely-seen early Renaissance panel paintings.

Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions 14 June–10 November 2019, FREE

Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool presents a new commission by Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based artist Sol Calero, whose brightly coloured, large-scale immersive installations offer a sharply satirical critique of the surreal set of stereotypes and clichés attached to different cultures.

Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today at the Whitworth
Exhibitions 14 June–6 October 2019, FREE

Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today at the Whitworth

Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today at the Whitworth brings together the artworks and stories of artists Robina Akhter, Shabana Baig, Fatimah Fagihassan, Dr Aida Foroutan and Usarae Gul as they explore themes of identity, faith, cultures, otherness and belonging.

Exhibitions 14 June–10 November 2019, from £12.5

Keith Haring at Tate Liverpool

Featuring more than 70 artworks, Tate Liverpool presents the first major UK exhibition of work by the legendary New York artist and activist Keith Haring.

David Smith: Sculpture 1932–1965 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 21 June 2019–5 January 2020, FREE

David Smith: Sculpture 1932–1965 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents a major exhibition of work by the great American artist David Smith (1906–1965) – the first solo exhibition of Smith’s work in the UK since Tate Modern’s 2006 project and the largest ever outside the capital.

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley, Liverpool Biennial 2019 touring programme
Exhibitions 22 June 2019–3 May 2020, FREE

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley

As part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, The Tetley is hosting works by artists Holly Hendry and Taus Makhacheva.

Exhibitions 28 June–6 October 2019, FREE

Gathering – Susie MacMurray at Tatton Park

Gathering is a major new site-specific work by artist Susie MacMurray, about to open at Tatton Park.

Exhibitions 29 June–3 November 2019, normal admission charges apply

Gathering at Little Moreton Hall

Over a thousand used tennis balls become the subject of a short film and installation by international artist Hilary Jack in the Long Gallery at Little Moreton Hall.

Exhibitions 4 July–3 November 2019, FREE

Everything I Have Is Yours at Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Everything I Have Is Yours at Salford Museum and Art Gallery is a major new moving image and sound artwork exploring the first decade of the UK charts.

Grace Ndiritu: The Ark: Centre For Interdisciplinary Experimentation at Bluecoat
Exhibitions 6 July–13 October 2019, FREE

Grace Ndiritu: The Ark: Centre For Interdisciplinary Experimentation at Bluecoat

Grace Ndiritu’s new exhibition at Bluecoat is based on research created before, during and after her ambitious research/live art project – The Ark: Centre For Interdisciplinary Experimentation – which took the form of an experimental scientific and spiritual community formed at Les Laboratories Aubervillers in Paris in 2017.

Shezad Dawood: Leviathan at Bluecoat
Exhibitions 6 July–13 October 2019, FREE

Shezad Dawood: Leviathan at Bluecoat

Shezad Dawood’s epic film series Leviathan comes to Bluecoat this summer as part of a season examining society and migration.

Daily Tours: Nature, power, conservation & cotton at Quarry Bank
Families 10 July–30 October 2019, Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Daily Tours: Nature, power, conservation & cotton at Quarry Bank

With an impressive programme of daily tours all about nature, power, conservation and cotton – learn something new at Quarry Bank this summer.

Ruskin, Turner and The Storm Cloud at Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Cumbria
Exhibitions 12 July–5 October 2019, from £7

Ruskin, Turner and The Storm Cloud at Abbot Hall Art Gallery

This summer, Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Cumbria marks the 200-year-anniversary of the great Victorian art critic and watercolourist, John Ruskin’s birth, with an exhibition dedicated to the turbulent skies above.

Exhibitions 12 July–6 October 2019, FREE

REAL WORK at FACT, Liverpool

REAL WORK at FACT in Liverpool is a major exhibition about precarious and unrecognised forms of work from around the world.

Ruth Ewan & Oscar Murillo at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 12 July–3 November 2019, FREE

Ruth Ewan & Oscar Murillo at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A new exhibition by artists Ruth Ewan and Oscar Murillo (2019 Turner Prize nominee) at YSP invites audiences to step back into the world of learning and reflect upon the importance of creativity within education.

Exhibitions 20 July 2019–5 January 2020, from £6

The Sun at the Science and Industry Museum

Museum of Science and Industry’s blockbuster summer exhibition, The Sun, sets out to bring us as close to the star as many of us are likely to ever come.

Activity 22 July–6 October 2019, from £3.25

Guided Tour of Nether Alderley Mill

This summer, uncover Nether Alderley’s best kept secret. Hidden beneath the distinctive, long sloping roof of this medieval building is a fully restored working corn mill. Join a guided tour of Nether Alderley Mill to watch the mill come to life and see the heritage machinery in action. Watch as the waterwheels turn, powering the huge millstones that grind the flour. You can also discover more about the life of a miller, and learn how flour is made – uncovering the whole process from waterwheel to wholemeal. This year, for the first time since 1939, visitors can now also buy a bag of Nether Alderley Mill’s very own stoneground wholemeal flour produced right there in the mill by the heritage machinery.

Future Cities: Technolpolis & Everyday Life at CFCCA, Manchester
Exhibitions 2 August–19 October 2019, FREE

Future Cities: Technopolis & Everyday Life at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

How is the Digital Revolution affecting the future of our cities? A new season of exhibitions and events at CFCCA explores.

Jiu Society: Lost in Shenzhen at CFCCA, Manchester
Exhibitions 2 August–19 October 2019, FREE

Jiū Society: Lost in Shenzhen at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

Artist collective Jiū Society prepares to take over CFCCA’s Gallery 2 with their ambitious multi-media installation, Lost in Shenzhen.

Beryl at Bolton Library Theatre
Theatre 19 September–19 October 2019, from £14.00

Beryl at Bolton Library Theatre

The true story of one of the world’s greatest unsung sporting heroes will be brought to life in the intimate setting of Bolton’s Library Theatre.

Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2019
Festivals 26 September–7 October 2019, FREE

Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2019

The biggest food and drink festival in the North is back, and this time it’s a brand new location: the picturesque Cathedral Gardens.