Online things to do in Manchester and the North – Online events

Issy Patience

Following a year of cancellations and postponements, live events appear to be very nearly back on the table – happy news indeed for culture-lovers in Manchester.

To tide us over until that sweet, sweet day, arts and cultural organisations in Manchester continue to adapt their programmes for online audiences, offering a glittering array of events that play to the innovations of digital streaming.

Spanning all of our sections, the guide below features our top picks of online events and activities taking place this March. From future-leaning theatre to creative arts workshops, livestreamed gigs to family fun, there is something for everyone. For film fans, we also recommend new releases that you can stream on the small screen, including 2021’s online edition of Manchester Film Festival.

We’re updating this guide monthly, so check back in April and there’ll be a whole new raft of online things to do in Manchester and the north. In the meantime, here are March’s offerings.

Here are our picks

  • 1. The Hallé Winter Season 2020/21

    Courtesy of Joel Chester Fildes

    The Hallé Winter Season 2020/21 at The Bridgewater Hall, City Centre, Until 29 April 2021 - Book now

    Filmed in high quality at The Bridgewater Hall and Hallé St Peter’s, the Hallé presents a series of unique concerts that you can enjoy at home.

  • 2. Don’t Touch My Hair with HOME

    Don’t Touch My Hair
    Image courtesy of HOME Manchester.

    Don’t Touch My Hair at HOME Manchester, Manchester, Until 1 August 2021 - Book now

    The latest theatre commission to be announced for the Homemakers series, Don’t Touch my Hair is a meeting place for fearless social activism and unapologetic hip hop.

  • 3. Liverpool Biennial 2021 – The Stomach and the Port

    Liverpool Biennial 2021 – The Stomach and the Port
    Ebony G. Patterson, ...a pale horse weeps in silence...for those who bear/bare witness, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

    Liverpool Biennial 2021, Until 6 June 2021, free entry - Visit now

    The 11th edition of the UK’s oldest and largest festival of contemporary visual art is about to open, with work by over 50 artists.

  • 4. PUSH Festival 2021 at HOME

    PUSH Festival - HOME
    Image courtesy of HOME Manchester.

    Push Festival 2020 at HOME Manchester, Manchester, Until 31 December 2021 - Book now

    Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.

  • 5. Sound Stage

    Sound Stage
    Image courtesy of Naked Productions.

    Sound Stage, online, Until 1 October 2021, TBC - Book now

    An exciting, new audio-digital venture, Sound Stage has been designed by theatre-makers and leading technologists, to give audiences a unique online theatre experience.

  • 6. John Moores Painting Prize 2020 – Online and at Walker Art Gallery

    John Moores Painting Prize 2020 – Online and at Walker Art Gallery
    Katheryn Maple The Common

    John Moores Painting Prize 2020 at Walker Art Gallery, City Centre and online, Until 27 June 2021, free entry - Visit now

    Take an online tour of the John Moores Painting Prize 2020, featuring the best in contemporary British painting today.

  • 7. The Earth Asleep at HOME, Manchester

    The Earth Asleep at HOME, Manchester
    HOME

    The Earth Asleep at HOME Manchester, Manchester, Until 11 September 2021 - Book now

    The Earth Asleep, a new film and original live score from creative duo Clara Casian and Robin Richards, premieres this spring at HOME.

  • 8. Ad Minoliti at BALTIC in Gateshead

    Ad Minoliti at BALTIC in Gateshead
    Ad Minoliti, Abstraccion geometrico- galactica, 2019, unique eco-solvent inkjet print on canvas. Photo: Aurélien Mole/ Courtesy the artist and Crèvecoeur, Paris

    Ad Minoliti at Baltic, Newcastle, Until 13 March 2022, free entry - Visit now

    Ad Minoliti’s immersive exhibition draws upon queer and feminist theory to offer new understandings of the world around us.

  • 9. Doodle Den: Playful Protests Online

    doodle den at people's history museum, young girl using thick marker pen to drawer on a glass panel

    Doodle Den: Playful Protests at People's History Museum at People’s History Museum in Manchester, City Centre and online, Until 31 December 2021, free entry

    The whole family can use the People’s History Museum’s online resources to creatively explore important topics including climate change, LGBT+ Pride and migrant rights.

  • 10. NQ Jazz Live

    NQ Jazz Live at The Stoller Hall, Manchester and online, 7 June–4 October 2021 - Book now

    A massive programme of live jazz music, spanning venues across Manchester, has been announced as part of a collaborative series by NQ Jazz, The Stoller Hall and The Yard.

  • 11. Life Drawing Manchester Online Classes

    Life drawing Manchester

    Life Drawing Manchester, online, Until 25 April 2021, from £6 - Book now

    Before the pandemic, the popular Northern Quarter community Life Drawing Manchester met weekly at Bee Studio, where they’d socialise, draw and enjoy a few glasses of wine. Since migrating to Zoom, the community has grown exponentially, opening up its classes to models and artists from all over the world.

  • 12. Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon – Online

    Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon – Online
    Hardeep Sahota, Bhangra Lexicon, 2021. Hardeep Sahota, Bhangra – Jhummar. Photo © Tim Smith

    Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon, online, Until 1 April 2022, free entry - Visit now

    Bhangra is an energetic form of dance and music originated in the Panjab by farming communities during the spring harvest festival of Vaisakhi. Bhangra Lexicon is the world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements found within this beautiful artform, carefully compiled by World Bhangra Day founder, Hardeep Sahota.

  • 13. Queer Contact 2021: Russell T Davies in conversation with Nathaniel Hall

    Queer Contact 2021: Russell T Davies in conversation with Nathaniel Hall

    Queer Contact 2021: Russell T Davies in conversation with Nathaniel Hall, online, 30 April 2021, from £5.00 - Book now

    In this first event for Queer Contact 2021, screenwriting legend Russell T Davies will join award-winning theatre-maker Nathaniel Hall to discuss depictions of HIV and AIDS on stage and screen. The evening will also include the premiere of a collection of short films, created by Dibby Theatre, about living with HIV today.ha

  • 14. Everything that rises must dance with HOME

    Everything That Rises Must Dance with HOME
    Image courtesy of HOME.

    All That Rises Must Dance at HOME Manchester, Manchester, Until 31 July 2021 - Book now

    Join a virtual gathering of women for an online dance project celebrating female movement through the ages. Produced by Complicité for Homemakers, Everything that rises must dance sets expressive physical action to an evolving soundscape, and explores how we can move together in our own space.

  • 15. Sound Stage

    Sound Stage
    Image courtesy of Naked Productions.

    Sound Stage, online, Until 1 October 2021, TBC - Book now

    We’re all missing theatre – the live performance, the pre-show excitement, post-show Q&As and interval drinks with friends. Designed by theatre-makers and leading technologists, Sound Stage is an innovative new initiative that recreates the theatre experience for an online audience.

  • 16. Alliance Française de Manchester

    Alliance Française de Manchester, 125 Portland St,, Manchester, M1 4QD - Visit now

    Le français, c’est chic! The Alliance Française de Manchester has a large range of online & onsite French courses starting 14 September.

  • 17. What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library

    What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library
    Anangu artists with the Uluru Statement from the Heart. From left: Christine Brumby, Charmaine Kulitja, Rene Kulitja, Happy Reid. Photography by Clive Scollaly.

    What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library, online, Until 27 July 2021, free entry - Visit now

    The Portico Library marks 250 years since British explorer James Cook first landed on the shores of what we now call Australia with an online exhibition that explores the history of violence and resistance that followed.

  • 18. The Gardener Digs in Another Time – Online at the Whitworth

    Oberon, 1969-1976, Peter Blake. Copyright © Peter Blake & The Whitworth, The University of Manchester

    The Gardener Digs in Another Time – Online, online, Until 1 May 2021, free entry - Visit now

    The Whitworth in Manchester invites you to step into the garden as subject with an online version of its 2016 exhibition, The Gardener Digs in Another Time.

  • 19. Homemakers

    online events I am falling in love with you and its making me do stupid things
    Bryony Kimmings in I am falling in love with you and its making me do stupid things

    Homemakers, online, Until 31 July 2021 - Book now

    HOME have invited theatre and live art makers to create new works at home, for an audience who are also at home.

  • 20. Cinema in Manchester and the North

    Cinemas are closed right now. We’ll be back front and centre when they reopen but in the meantime, here are top picks of things to stream to the small screen.

  • 21. Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank

    Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank
    Jody Hartley

    Science Learning at Home, online, Until 31 December 2021, free entry - Visit now

    Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank is a perfect way to keep children (and their adults) busy while learning from home.

  • 22.

    Hosted by Quarantine, a Manchester-based award-winning theatre and performance company, No Such Thing – The Distance Edition is an online version of their monthly get-together.

  • 23. Manchester Museum

    Manchester Museum Tours at Manchester Museum

    Manchester Museum, The University Of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9PL - Visit now

    Manchester Museum has uploaded their digital content onto a new mobile site so that you can explore their collection from your home.  Head t0 their new site for entertainment and education until they reopen.

  • 24. Contact Theatre

    exterior of Contact Theatre building

    Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6JA - Visit now

    Contact is offering some inspiration over on their website. For the next seven weeks, seven freelance artists will each suggest seven creative ideas to help you Take Notice – a different idea every day.

  • 25. City of Literature: Manchester

    Manchester Central Library
    Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net). [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    Manchester’s libraries are not open, but you can discover all the free digital resources available from them here. There’s also plenty of ideas on their social media channels.