Things to do in September

Creative Tourist

Summer is threatening to grab its hat and head south for the winter, but while the weather might be cooling down, arts and culture is just warming up. Here are our longlist of things to do in September in Manchester and the North.

If you’re looking further ahead, read our guides to music, cinema, visual art, literature and family events as well as our pick of the best places to eat and drink.

The September Longlist

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Music 4–5 September 2021, from £19.50

Manchester Psych Fest 2021

Manchester Psych Fest, an all-day celebration of psychedelic music and art, returns in September 2021, following the postponement of 2020’s event.

Still showing this month

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.

Literature Until 5 February 2025, FREE

The Little Library in Spinningfields

Take your pick from The Little Library’s carefully curated collection of classics and new releases, adding a recently read book of your own as a replacement.

Hamilton - Streaming on Disney Plus
Theatre Until 15 October 2021, from £5.99

Hamilton – Streaming on Disney Plus

Politically charged with a hip-hop soundtrack, there is no doubt that this filmed performance is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2020.

What is Manchester Art Gallery?
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2023, FREE

What is Manchester Art Gallery? at Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery reopens with a thought-provoking new exhibition that delves into the history of the public institution and its role within the city.

Cinema Until 30 September 2021, FREE

Make Up – Streaming on BBC iPlayer

Cornwall has seldom seemed eerier than in Make-Up, the vivid first feature from director Claire Oakley.

#WELCOME? at the People's History Museum
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2021, FREE

#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum

#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum explores the wider impact of media coverage and changing immigration controls.

Discover Buxton Tram Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £80

Discover Buxton Tram Tours

Enjoy a journey through time on Discover Buxton Tour’s unique vintage tram.

Discover Buxton Character Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Character Tours

These colourful character guides offer unique and entertaining insights into the history of some of Buxton’s most iconic buildings.

Discover Buxton Walking Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Walking Tours

Have your history delivered by expert guides whose passion for the heritage of Buxton spills into the unexpected.

Discover Buxton Roman Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Roman Tours

Join local historian Brian Shepherd for a walk around the town and learn what Buxton may have looked like during Britain’s Roman occupation.

Discover Buxton Audio Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Audio Tours

Discover Buxton’s audio tours of The Peak cover the area around Buxton and are designed to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle.

Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon – Online
Dance Until 1 April 2022, FREE

Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon – Online

The world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements found within Bhangra, compiled by World Bhangra Day founder, Hardeep Sahota.

Ad Minoliti at BALTIC in Gateshead
Exhibitions 1 April 2021–13 March 2022, FREE

Ad Minoliti at BALTIC in Gateshead

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

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature 11 April–12 December 2021, FREE

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and award-winning garden is a must-see, with the famous book sale scheduled (assuming Lockdown is lifted at the end of March) as follows: 11 April, 9 May, 13 June, 11 July, 8 August, 12 September, 10 October, 14 November and 12 December 2021, 11am-4pm.

Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life
Exhibitions 21 May–31 October 2021,

Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life at The Hepworth Wakefield

In summer 2021, to mark The Hepworth Wakefield’s 10th anniversary, the gallery will organise the largest exhibition of Barbara Hepworth’s work since the artist’s death in 1975.

The exhibition will present an in-depth view of the Wakefield-born artist’s life, interests, work and legacy. It will display some of Hepworth’s most celebrated sculptures including the modern abstract carving that launched her career in the 1920s and 1930s, her iconic strung sculptures of the 1940s and 1950s, and large-scale bronze and carved sculptures from later in her career.

Key loans from national public collections will be shown alongside works from private collections that have not been on public display since the 1970s, and rarely seen drawings, paintings and fabric designs. It will reveal how Hepworth’s wide sphere of interests comprising music, dance, science, space exploration, politics and religion, as well as events in her personal life, influenced her work.

Contemporary artists Tacita Dean and Veronica Ryan have been commissioned to create new works which will be presented within the exhibition. Each artist will explore themes and ideas that interested Hepworth and that continue to resonate with their own work. Art works by Bridget Riley from the 1960s will also be presented in dialogue with Hepworth’s work from the same period.

To coincide with the exhibition, The Hepworth Wakefield’s curator Eleanor Clayton is writing a major new book on the artist, published by Thames & Hudson. There will also be a one-hour documentary about Hepworth’s life and career on Sky Arts in spring 2021.

This exhibition is kindly supported by Henry Moore Foundation, The Porthmeor Fund, and The Hepworth Wakefield 10 Circle.