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.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis. This means that, although venues remain shut and campaigns cancelled, our writers can be reengaged to help arts organisations and artists across the North of England share their online content with our culture-hungry readers.

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. DaDaFest International 2020: Translations – online

    DaDaFest International 2020: Translations
    Alexandrina Hemlsey

    DaDaFest International 2020: Translations, online, Until 13 December 2020, free entry - Visit now

    With a vibrant showcase featuring 14 brand-new works by D/deaf and disabled artists, DaDaFest International 2020 goes online for its first-ever digital festival.

  • 2. Early Years Atelier with The Whitworth

    Early Years Atelier with The Whitworth
    Image courtesy of The Whitworth.

    Early years Atelier, online, Until 7 December 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Specially designed for the under 5s and their grown-ups, The Whitworth have taken their early years sessions online.

  • 3. Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home

    Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home
    Image courtesy of Hugo Glendinning.

    Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home, online, Until 31 December 2020 - Book now

    Forced Entertainment perform the complete works of Shakespeare on a tabletop using familiar household condiments and objects.

  • 4. Humbug with Waterside

    Humbug by Wrongsemble

    Humbug, online, 1–31 December 2020, from £10 - Book now

    Packed with interaction, fun and magic, Wrongsemble are inviting families to crack the conundrum and save Christmas. No pressure then…

  • 5. Ideas Worth Exploring – at home and online with People’s History Museum

    Ideas Worth Exploring with People's History Museum
    People's History Museum

    Ideas Worth Exploring - at home and online, online, Until 31 December 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Even though we’re in the midst of a second lockdown, there are still plenty of ideas worth exploring at home and online with the People’s History Museum.

  • 6. 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.

  • 7. User Not Found: A Video Podcast with HOME

    User Not Found: A Video Podcast with HOME
    HOME

    User Not Found: A Video Podcast, online, Until 10 March 2021 - Book now

    Exploring digital legacy and online identity, acclaimed theatre-makers Dante or Die are back with a video podcast version of their hugely successful show.

  • 8. Sheffield Doc/Fest

    Sheffield Doc/Fest

    Sheffield Doc/Fest, online, Until 30 November 2020, free entry - Visit 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.

  • 9. 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.

  • 10. 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.

  • 11. The Living Planet – Online at FACT, Liverpool

    The Living Planet – Online at FACT, Liverpool
    Video still from documentary film Une vie de Grand Rhinolophe (2014), directed by Tanguy Stoecklé

    The Living Planet – Online at FACT, Liverpool, online, Until 31 March 2021, free entry - Visit now

    FACT’s year-long programme, The Living Planet, seems even more timely than first imagined – and has been created for people to interact with and enjoy remotely for free online.

  • 12. 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.

  • 13. Cinema in Manchester and the North

    Sculpt with Jim Parkyn

    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.

  • 14. 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.

  • 15. 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.

  • 16. 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.

  • 17. 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.

  • 18. 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.

  • 19. Bluedot 2021 at Jodrell Bank

    Bluedot

    Bluedot Festival 2021 at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, 22–25 July 2021, 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.

  • 20. 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.

  • 21. 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.

  • 22. 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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Grayson's Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 18 April 2021, FREE

Grayson’s Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry presents a major exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery featuring work made by the nation during the initial weeks of lockdown.

Exhibitions Until 29 November 2020, FREE

The Sun at the Science and Industry Museum

This blockbuster exhibition was due to close at the end of March, but has been extended until 29 November as part of the Science and Industry Museum’s reopening programme.

Activity Until 30 April 2021, from £5

Online Meditation with the Manchester Buddhist Centre

As we learn to live with uncertainty now is a better time than ever to explore meditation, let the friendly community at Manchester Buddhist Centre help you on this journey.

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives – exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 14 December 2021, FREE

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives at Manchester Art Gallery

Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.

2020 Banner Display at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021, FREE

2020 Banner Display at People’s History Museum

Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.

Utopias exhibition at the Whitworth
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2021, FREE

Utopias at the Whitworth

How have visions of utopia and the visual culture that helped form it impacted upon the Brexit debate? A new exhibition at the Whitworth explores.

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 29 November 2020, FREE

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds

Combining demon lures and invented artefacts, ancient mythology and family lore, The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds is the latest new work by upcoming artist Emii Alrai.

I Don’t Love You Anymore, But I Don’t Love You Any Less with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

I Don’t Love You Anymore, But I Don’t Love You Any Less with HOME

A Young Identity and Homemakers commission, this is an audio poem exploring universal uncertainty at a time of great change.

Chasing On A Dream with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

Chasing On A Dream with HOME

Fusing music and spoken word, Young identity present this new work by Saf Elsenoss as part of Homemakers.

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Si Rawlinson. Photo credit: Ning Zhou

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