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

Johnny James, Managing Editor

As cultural sites reopen across Manchester and the north, we’re all eager to once again enjoy their live offerings. But the livestreaming boom triggered by the pandemic isn’t going anywhere; digital offshoots of cultural programmes can continue to bring pleasure to millions.

Northern cultural organisations thus continue to offer a glistening range of online events – or hybrid events – for us to experience in our homes. Spanning each of our sections, the guide below features our top picks of online events taking place this June and beyond. From livestreamed gigs to creative workshops, literature talks to family fun, there’s something here for everyone.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Queer Contact Festival 2023

    Queer Contact 2023
    Image courtesy of Ginny Lemon Sister Sister/ Contact.

    Queer Contact Festival 2023 at Contact Theatre, Manchester, 4–18 February 2023 - Book now

    Bringing an online celebration of art and creativity in the LGBTQ+ community, we’re thrilled that Queer Contact Festival will return for 2021.

  • 2. Liverpool Biennial 2023 – uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things

    Credit: Thom Isom

    Liverpool Biennial 2023, 10 June–17 September 2023, free entry - Find Out More

    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.

  • 3. PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

    PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
    Image courtesy of HOME Manchester.

    Push Festival 2023 at HOME Manchester, Manchester, Until 18 February 2023 - Book now

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

  • 4. International Mother Language Day 2023

    Anjum Malik. Photo by Randulph Redlin
    Poet Anjum Malik. Photo by Randulph Redlin.

    International Mother Language Day at Manchester Central Library, Manchester, 21 February–31 March 2023, free entry - Find Out More

    Manchester City of Literature marks this year’s International Mother Language Day with a series of workshops, discussions, performances and family-friendly events that you can access online from 16th to 28th February. Broadcasting from across Manchester – Britain’s city of languages, where half of all adults and 4 in 10 young people in the city are multilingual.

  • 5. 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.

  • 6. Jonathan Schofield Walking Tours

    The Zoom Tours Series
    Jonathan Schofield

    Jonathan Schofield Walking Tours, online, Until 31 July 2023, from £6 - Book now

    Jonathan Schofield embraces the new normal with The Zoom Tours Series, taking his knowledge of Manchester into the virtual world for you to enjoy from your living room.

  • 7. Cinema

    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.

  • 8.

    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.

  • 9. 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.

  • 10. 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.

  • 11. 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.

  • 12. Manchester Art Gallery

    Manchester Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Brooks
    Andrew Brooks

    Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 3JL - Visit now

    There’s a lot of Manchester Art Gallery’s collection online for you to explore, we’re particularly impressed with their audio guides site, which includes four guided mindfulness sessions.

  • 13. The Lowry

    The Lowry Theatre and Gallery in Salford Quays Manchester.
    Image courtesy of Visit Britain

    The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford, Greater Manchester, M50 3AZ - Visit now

    The Lowry is closed but is looking for new ways to inspire. Their blog offers some ideas of how to keep yourself busy during these unusual times.

  • 14. The Hepworth Wakefield

    The Hepworth Wakefield

    The Hepworth Wakefield, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, Yorkshire, WF1 5AW - Visit now

    The building is closed but The Hepworth Wakefield Garden will remain open for people to enjoy. The team will continue to provide inspiring creative content online and will be involving artists and our communities in their digital programming.

Things to do right now

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Activity 4 February 2023 2:00 pm, FREE

Sacred Harp Singing in Whitworth Gallery

Activity Until 8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-arts