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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 3 September 2020 7:30 pm,

Creep Show at YES

A collaborative project between John Grant and Wrangler, Creep Show blend experimental pop, surreal funk and dark analogue electro.

DigiFest / Manchester Histories Festival 2020
Activity 4–5 September 2020, FREE

DigiFest / Manchester Histories Festival 2020 – Online

Manchester Histories launches DigiFest – an online version of this year’s festival, which marks the 50th anniversary of a landmark act that recognised and granted rights to people with disabilities.

Cinema 4–12 September 2020, from £50.88

Picnic Cinema/ Withnail & I at Sleddale Hall

Picnic Cinema is back this September with a series of screenings of Withnail & I at Sleddale Hall aka Crow Crag — the cottage from the cult classic film.

Vintage by the Sea
Families 5–6 September 2020, FREE

Vintage by the Sea in Morecambe CANCELLED

Celebrate the brilliance of 20th century design, fashion, vehicles and entertainment at this award-winning festival set around Morecambe’s famous art deco Midland Hotel.

The Good Life Experience
Families 10–13 September 2020, from £119

The Good Life Experience 2020 at Hawarden Estate CANCELLED

Set in the shadows of two castles on the Hawarden Estate in Flintshire, The Good Life Experience returns for its seventh outing in 2020.

Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt
Comedy 23 September 2020 7:30 pm, from £25.00

Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt at The Palace Theatre

In a painfully funny evening of music and stand-up, award-winning comedian Adam Kay shares entries from his diaries as a junior doctor.

Aerial Festival
Festivals 24–27 September 2020, from £12

Aerial Festival CANCELLED

This event has been postponed due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19

Locked Down. Locked In. But Living
Dance 28 September–18 October 2020, from £12.00

Locked down. Locked in. But living. with the Lawrence Batley Theatre

Northern Ballet, Studio Wayne McGregor and the Gary Clarke Company present a thrilling evening of world-class original contemporary dance to enjoy at home.

Still showing this month

Visual Arts Until 30 September 2020, FREE

Manchester Art Gallery Highlights Tour

Take a tour around select artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. Lead by different guides every day, each tour is personal to their taste. Tours start at 2 pm from Thursday to Sunday.

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.

Activity Until 19 December 2020, from £55

Local Leeds Food Tour

Fresh local produce is always on the menu of the Local Leeds food tour. Visit six pubs and restaurants serving up some of Yorkshire’s finest cuisine.

Leeds Street Food Tour
Activity Until 19 December 2020, from £55

Leeds Street Food Tour

Eat your way through some of the best street food Leeds has to offer, with insights into the people and stories behind each bite. Try something new with the Leeds Street Food tour.

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 October 2020, 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.

Activity Until 2 September 2020, FREE

Whitworth Art Gallery Daily Tour

Take a closer look at some of the Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection while gaining a better understanding of the context in which the pieces were created. The free tours run daily from 2 pm.

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.

Activity Until 1 December 2020, from £75

Liverpool Beatles Walk and Ticket to Ride Tour

Immerse yourself in the world of John, Paul, George and Ringo as you walk in their footsteps through The Beatles’ home city in this six-hour extravaganza of a walking tour.

Two hour Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club
Activity Until 1 December 2020, from £20

Two hour Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club

This Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club is the perfect way to learn more about The Beatles while discovering the city of Liverpool.

New Digital Experiences at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 23 December 2020, FREE

New Digital Experiences at People’s History Museum

Can cutting-edge tech bring us closer to the events of the past? People’s History Museum unveils a series of new digital artworks and experiences.

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2020, from £8.00

POSTPONED -The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat at Z-arts

In this immersive exhibition, children can let their imaginations go wild as they take centre stage alongside some of their favourite characters from beloved children’s author, Judith Kerr.

Amazon with HOME
Music Until 31 December 2020,

Amazon with HOME

Created by composer Alex Ho and theatre-maker Elayce Ismail, this stunning fusion of music, text and visuals sees a trip to the Amazon take an unexpected turn.

Cinema Until 31 March 2021, from £9.99

Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Streaming on Mubi

Brittany, France 1770. Portrait painter Marianne (Merlant) is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Haenel), a reluctant bride to be who has just left the convent.

Turkey Sausage Roll with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

Turkey Sausage Roll with HOME

Presented by Homemakers and the RADA Festival, Turkey Sausage Roll takes you on a journey into one young woman’s restless mind.

Animation Slam with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

Animation Slam with HOME

Pairing some of the sharpest minds on the UK spoken word scene with hand-drawn animations by theatre-maker and video designer Edalia Day, be sure to catch this animated slam.

Wait I’m From Wuhan with HOME
Activity Until 31 December 2020,

Wait I’m From Wuhan with HOME

Follow Jasmine’s story, as she struggles to decide whether or not to search for her birth family in Wuhan, told via a series of Instagram and blog posts.

How To Win with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

How To Win with HOME

Take part in this new episodic online game created by multi-award-winning interactive theatre-makers Hidden Track, in collaboration with you, the player.

ACTUALQUEST with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

ACTUALQUEST with HOME

The Homemakers series of virtual theatre continues with this interactive, fantasy musical set in and around your own home.

Joana Vasconcelos exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021, FREE

Joana Vasconcelos at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the monumental work of celebrated Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos.

Carcanet exhibition: Carcanet poets Michael Schmidt and Michael Symmons Roberts.
Literature Until 13 September 2020, FREE

Carcanet Exhibition at The John Rylands Library – postponed until libraries reopen

Marking 50 years of poetry publishing house Carcanet, and 45 years in Manchester, this exhibition opens up the archive and shares some unique, previously unseen material.

Dogs Don't Wear Pants at HOME Manchester.
Cinema Until 20 March 2021, from £9.99

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants – Streaming on Curzon Home Cinema

Heart surgeon Juha has lived life at an unengaged distance since his wife’s passing. And although it is often debilitating, his grief also throws up some rather surprising sexual urges.

System Crasher at HOME, Manchester - director Nora Fingscheidt's distinctive depiction of dysfunction in an under-resourced care system.
Cinema Until 2 April 2021, from £9.99

System Crasher – Streaming on Curzon Home Cinema

Controversial from the moment it premiered in Competition at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, documentarian Nora Fingscheidt’s fiction feature debut portrays the life of a chaotic and troubled young girl.

Be Inspired with Manchester Art Gallery is a collection of activities gathered by their team to help inspire your creativity at home.
Until 6 September 2020, FREE

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.

Anthony Burgess on Tape
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2020, FREE

Anthony Burgess on Tape

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.

Posters from the civil rights era – an online exhibition
Exhibitions Until 30 June 2021, FREE

Posters from the Irish civil rights era – Online with the Working Class Movement Library

Working Class Movement Library presents an online exhibition of powerful posters made by young activists fighting for civil rights in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

BAM Online – with Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2020, FREE

BAM Online – with Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre

BAM Online brings you closer to many of the most loved works within Bury Art Museum’s collection whilst its doors are closed.

Stay At Home Activities - Online with National Football Museum
Families Until 7 September 2020, FREE

Stay At Home Activities – Online with National Football Museum

Stay at home and join National Football Museum online for a packed programme of activities for families this Easter.

The Living Planet – Online at FACT, Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 31 March 2021, FREE

The Living Planet – Online at FACT, Liverpool

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.

Strip! How Football Got Shirty
Exhibitions Until 25 December 2020, FREE

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

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.

online events I am falling in love with you and its making me do stupid things
Festivals Until 31 December 2020,

Homemakers

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

Homelands part of homemakers
Activity Until 31 December 2020,

Homelands

Very different from what we’re seeing elsewhere during the lockdown, Homelands is for anyone who needs a creative outlet and a sense of connection during this time.

I'm falling in love with you and it's making me do stupid things - Bryony Kimmings
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

I am falling in love with you and it’s making me do stupid things

Follow Bryony Kimmings on a long, lonely night after she finds the email address of a potential lover and through the following day’s onslaught of Covid anxiety.

ABC (Anything But Covid) with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

ABC (Anything But Covid) with HOME

Tune in to this new short film, by Ugly Bucket, which examines the lengths we’ll go to oblige the pressures of staying productive in lockdown.

Threat to Breath with HOME
Music Until 31 December 2020,

Threat to Breath with HOME

A brand new commission for Homemakers, Threat to Breath is a sound piece to listen to at home, on your own or with others.

Love Letters to a Liveable Future with HOME
Activity Until 31 December 2020,

Love Letters to a Liveable Future with HOME

Part of Homemakers, this ongoing project offers the space to imagine how we would like our world to change once we emerge from lockdown.

Exhibitions Until 1 May 2021, FREE

The Gardener Digs in Another Time – Online at the Whitworth

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.

Homemakers: Tell Me
Theatre Until 31 December 2020, FREE

Homemakers: Tell Me with HOME

How well do you know your friends? Homemakers presents Tell Me, a game for two or more people which you can play at home. Intrigued? Read on…

Until 30 September 2020, FREE

Stay Well – Wellbeing Audio Session with Manchester Art Gallery

To help you stay well and maintain good mental health Manchester Art Gallery is offering a weekly mindfulness session.

Homemakers: Siege – Part 1 with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020, FREE

Homemakers: Siege – Part 1 with HOME

Presented in two parts, Siege is a nitty-gritty, punch-packed series of online discussions between disabled women performance makers.

Lost Online with HOME, Z-Arts and STUN
Families Until 31 December 2020, FREE

Lost Online with HOME, Z-Arts and STUN

One for our next generation of digital natives: an exciting new dance commission inspired by the dance challenges on TikTok and Instagram.

Homemakers: Week Nine with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020, FREE

Homemakers: Week Nine with HOME

Find a quiet room, grab your headphones and get some welcomed lockdown escapism with this specially commissioned cinematic soundtrack.

A Series of Metaphors About A Plague with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020, FREE

A Series of Metaphors About A Plague with HOME

Since the beginnings of European theatre and politics, people have used plague as a metaphor for thinking about what society and art could be. In this playful piece Javaad Alipoor and Natalie Diddams present their response to this idea.

Sheffield Doc/Fest
Cinema Until 30 November 2020, FREE

Sheffield Doc/Fest

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.

People's History Museum's Radicals Quiz
Families Until 30 September 2020, FREE

People’s History Museum’s Radicals Quiz

Find out which radical you are, and some of the ideas they fought for, in this fun and interactive quiz from the People’s History Museum.

Virtual Factory Your Progress Will Be Saved Manchester International Festival Pre-Factory Event
Activity Until 31 October 2020, FREE

Virtual Factory: Your Progress Will Be Saved

Your Progress Will Be Saved is a Pre-Factory Event from Manchester International Festival which finds avatar artist and curator LaTurbo Avedon working in Fortnite.

Poet and performer Dommy B (Dominic Berry)
Literature Until 2 September 2020, FREE

Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge

Manchester Libraries invites younger readers to a feast of Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge daily activity stretching over nine weeks – from Draw Alongs with Nick Sharratt, poetry with Dommy B and sessions with a host of storytellers, to supercool crafts with Archives+ and Manchester artists.

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.

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum
Exhibitions Until 10 January 2021, from £5

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum (temporarily closed)

Use Hearing Protection tells the story of Factory Records’ formative years from 1978-1982, when the label made waves with its innovative work in music, technology and design.

Families Until 8 September 2020, FREE

Muso Baby Virtual!

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

And Say the Animal Responded? at FACT, Liverpool
Exhibitions 12 August–13 December 2020, FREE

And Say the Animal Responded? at FACT, Liverpool

And Say the Animal Responded? at FACT provides a fascinating window into the lives of the other animals that form part of Earth’s total population.