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. Sheffield DocFest 2022

    Sheffield Doc/Fest, 23–28 June 2022 - Book now

    Sheffield DocFest returns with a mammoth programme that stretches to all corners of the documentary world, with plenty of online screenings to dig into.

  • 2. Manchester Science Festival 2022

    Silhouette of people standing in front of an exhibit at Manchester Science Festival 2018
    © Manchester Science Festival

    Manchester Science Festival at Science and Industry Museum, Castlefield, 21–28 October 2022 - Find Out More

    Always a highlight of our cultural calendar, we’re delighted that Manchester Science Festival is going ahead this February. Tune in online to hear from scientists and experts at the forefront of the fight against climate change, ask your most pressing questions to those campaigning for a better world and discover practical ways you can make a difference.

  • 3. 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.

  • 4. Sheffield DocFest 2022

    Sheffield Doc/Fest, 23–28 June 2022 - Book now

    Having taken place in Sheffield annually in June, this year Sheffield Doc/Fest extends its activities throughout the rest of the year – both in Sheffield and virtually.

  • 5. 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.

  • 6.

    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.

  • 7. 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.

  • 8. 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.

  • 9. 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.

  • 10. Bluedot 2022 at Jodrell Bank

    Bluedot Festival 2022 at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield, 22–24 July 2022, 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.

  • 11. 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.

  • 12. 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.

  • 13. 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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