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

Ben Williams, Managing Editor

Online events from cultural organisations from Manchester and across the North are becoming more frequent as we all adjust to life in lockdown. It isn’t easy to drop everything you are doing or planning in the physical world and suddenly come up with a strategy to compete with the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and those 12-year olds who’ve been raking in sweet, sweet YouTube revenue since as far back as they can remember.

The response from the cultural sector has been fantastic so far and we are delighted to see so many of our partners thinking creatively to deliver what they do best in a new way. Depending on the size of the organisation the response varies, in some cases it feels lovingly homemade and with others as polished as you’d expect from their gargantuan budgets. For some, online delivery is just impossible and we have a guide to supporting those organisations in other ways.

Here at Creative Tourist, we have been severely impacted by you-know-what with core members of staff furloughed and our superb team of freelance editors currently without work. Unfortunately for us, until events start happening again in the physical world, our clients cannot commit to promoting their programme. I only mention this as our editors are really the people that make Creative Tourist what it is and we would never ask anyone to write for us for free – so you may have noticed our content has become a little less compelling without them! We are, however, committed to helping our audience discover culture online and shining a spotlight where we can on the best things happening online from the organisations we treasure.

So, for as long as this thing continues, we’ll share with you our top picks of what’s happening virtually. The best online events from organisations in Manchester and the North.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Makefest At Home

    Makefest At Home

    Makefest At Home, online, 25–29 May 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Makefest At Home challenges the inventors of the future to gather household items to top up their toolboxes in preparation for a week of making.

  • 2. The Encounter

    The Encounter - Complicite
    Image courtesy of HOME Manchester.

    The Encounter at HOME Manchester, Manchester and online, Until 25 May 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Although we can’t wait to be sat back in the audience at HOME, we’re thrilled that we get another chance to experience this powerful binaural experience online. Don’t forget your headphones.

  • 3. Bill Brandt / Henry Moore – Online at The Hepworth Wakefield

    Bill Brandt / Henry Moore at The Hepworth Wakefield
    Bill Brandt, Nude, East Sussex Coast. Gelatin silver print, 1960. Bill Brandt Archive, London, © Bill Brandt / Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

    Bill Brandt / Henry Moore, online, Until 31 August 2020 - Book now

    The Hepworth Wakefield is currently closed due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus, however, its major exhibition bringing together over 200 works by Bill Brandt and Henry Moore can still be enjoyed online!

  • 4. Grimmfest TV

    Grimmfest TV

    Grimmfest TV, online, Until 31 August 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Grimmfest TV is a new online channel from the people behind Grimmfest, Manchester’s horror and fantasy film festival. Each week at least two new films will be added to the channel, and all films will remain available to view for free, until lockdown is over.

  • 5. 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 December 2020 - Book now

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

  • 6. Psappha – Lockdown Series Premieres

    Chris Payne

    Psappha - Lockdown Series of YouTube Premieres, online, 25 May 2020, free entry - Find Out More

    Contemporary classical ensemble Psappha continue their series of YouTube Premieres with John Adams’ seminal Shaker Loops.

  • 7. Wake Up Together and Where Love is Illegal – VR Version, Online at Open Eye Gallery

    Ren Hang: Wake Up Together at Open Eye Gallery
    Untitled, Ren Hang, 2016. Stieglitz19

    Wake Up Together, online, Until 31 August 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Travel back in time and explore a VR-edition of Open Eye Gallery’s hugely popular 2018-19 exhibition, ‘Wake Up Together’, featuring work by Ren Hang and Robin Hammond; two artists who both champion the rights of every person to love who they want and respectfully live as they wish.

  • 8. Cinema Online

    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.

  • 9. Be Inspired with Manchester Art Gallery

    Be Inspired with Manchester Art Gallery is a collection of activities gathered by their team to help inspire your creativity at home.

    Be Inspired - Online, online, Until 6 September 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Be Inspired with Manchester Art Gallery is a collection of activities gathered by their team to help inspire your creativity at home.

  • 10. Love Letters Straight From Your Heart with Contact

    Love Letters Straight From Your Heart with Contact
    Jonathan Bewley

    Love Letters Straight From Your Heart, online, 27 May 2020, free entry - Find Out More

    Presented by Fuel, Love Letters Straight From Your Heart is a new digital version of Uninvited Guests’ 2007 “audience-written” smash-hit. The show is ‘visiting’ 15 venues across the UK and arrives at Contact this month. Tickets have already sold out, but a waiting list is available.

  • 11. Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank

    Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank
    Jody Hartley

    Science Learning at Home, online, Until 30 June 2020, 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.

  • 12. Express Yourself: 10-week Challenge

    Express Yourself 10-week Challenge

    Express Yourself: the 10-week challenge, online, Until 6 July 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Express Yourself 10-week Challenge celebrates the spirit of Manchester libraries through a series of weekly online creative challenges.

  • 13. Strip! How Football Got Shirty – Online Exhibition from the National Football Museum

    Strip! How Football Got Shirty
    National Football Museum - The Germany shirt even England fans admire

    STRIP! Football Exhibition Goes Online, online, Until 25 December 2020, free entry - Visit now

    The National Football Museum presents a major online exhibition of football shirts. Enjoy in-depth analysis, opinion, and discussion by the exhibition curators and shirt industry insiders into what makes certain shirts so special.

  • 14. No Such Thing – The Distance Edition

    Kate Daley

    No Such Thing – the distance edition, online, Until 17 June 2020, free entry - Visit now

    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.

  • 15. Art Bites Online

    Art Bites Online

    Art Bites Online, online, Until 17 June 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Art Bites Online is a new, virtual edition of Manchester Art Gallery’s popular lunchtime discussion session. Join in online from home.

  • 16. Old Bank Online

    Old Bank Online, online, Until 31 May 2020, free entry - Visit now

    The latest things to do from The Old Bank Residency as their twelve-month occupation of a disused bank by creatives moves online to help inspire us all. New things to do added each week.

  • 17. Online with Company Chameleon – The Wonder of Dance

    Amaranthine by Company Chameleon, Manchester. A series of FREE pop up dance events.
    Amaranthine by Company Chameleon

    Online with Company Chameleon , online, Until 31 May 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Company Chameleon announce a programme of online events running throughout April and May. The Wonder of Dance, from their home to ours.

  • 18. Syd Shelton: Rock Against Racism – Online at Gallery Oldham

    Syd Shelton: Rock Against Racism at Gallery Oldham
    Specials Fans. Potternewton Park, Leeds, 1981. Courtesy of the artist and Autograph, London

    Rock Against Racism, online, Until 30 May 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Syd Shelton: Rock Against Racism had only been open for days at Gallery Oldham before the venue closed due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus. Thanks to the hard work of the team at Gallery Oldham and the collaboration of Syd Shelton, the exhibition can now be enjoyed online.

  • 19. Manchester Camerata – Mini Music Makers

    Mini Music Makers
    Manchester Camerata

    Manchester Camerata - Mini Music Makers, online, Until 28 May 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Mini Music Makers is a new series of online videos from Manchester Camerata designed for kids aged 5-7, but can be enjoyed by all the family, and include fun games, music-making, craft and singalongs.

  • 20. Anthony Burgess on Tape

    Anthony Burgess on Tape
    © 2020 International Anthony Burgess Foundation

    Anthony Burgess on Tape, online, Until 31 December 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Anthony Burgess on Tape is an online exhibition from the International Anthony Burgess Foundation comprising of 1,094 cassettes and 87 reel-to-reel tapes from one of Manchester’s greatest and most prolific writers.

  • 21. HOME Online Talent Development Surgeries

    HOME

    Online Talent Development Surgeries, online, Until 31 July 2020, free entry - Visit now

    HOME are also still there for Talent Development Surgeries, now online of course, you can book in for a 30min Zoom chat with one of their team.

  • 22. Little Reads Online from Manchester Literature Festival

    Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

    Little Reads from Manchester Literature Festival, online, Until 27 May 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Manchester Literature Festival is bringing the Little Reads storytime to Facebook every Wednesday morning. A perfect way to help children aged 2-6 develop their language skills from home.

  • 23. Adventures in History – Online with Imperial War Museum

    Copyright IWM

    Imperial War Museum: Adventures in History, online, Until 24 June 2020, free entry - Visit now

    A brand-new digital programme from the Imperial War Museum that brings history into the homes of families across the world.

  • 24. 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.

  • 25. Manchester Histories Festival 2020

    Manchester Histories Festival 2018

    Manchester Histories Festival 2020 at Manchester Central Library, Manchester, 4–7 September 2020, free entry - Find Out More

    Until Manchester Histories Festival returns in the autumn, you can read the Peterloo Anthology, which showcases the talent of young people involved in the Radical Read project. They have also made two short videos highlighting the Peterloo 2019 programme and From the Crowd.

  • 26. Muso Baby Virtual with Manchester Museum

    Muso Baby Virtual
    Rachel Swanick

    Muso Baby Virtual!, online, Until 26 May 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Join Manchester Museum online for emotional support and suggestions for family well-being activities followed by music and songs. Perfect for ages 0-5.

  • 27. Contact Theatre

    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.

  • 28. Storybarn Live!

    Storybarn Live!, online, Until 29 May 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Join The Storybarn online for classic stories, family favourites and nursery rhymes through storytelling and sing-a-longs.

  • 29. 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.

  • 30. Bluedot 2020 at Jodrell Bank

    Lovell telescope in cloudy sky

    Bluedot Festival 2020 at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, 23–26 July 2020, from £59.75 - Book now

    With Bluedot officially postponed until next year (with headliners intact) they have been working on trying to bring the festival experience to your living room. Over the coming weeks, they’ll have a series of takeovers from some of their best-loved artists.

  • 31. 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.

  • 32. The Lowry

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

    The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford, 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.

  • 33. 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.

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