Anderson. Paak will be at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester this spring

Cultural Calendar 2019

Creative Tourist

Our editors’ annual list of some of the best-looking arts and cultural events in the Manchester and the North in 2019. This is what we have have penciled in our diaries so far, check back for updates throughout the year and keep up-to-date with what’s happening with our specialist Exhibitions, Theatre, Literature, Music and Family guides.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Swim For Restoration at Victoria Baths

    Victoria Baths

    Swim For Restoration at Victoria Baths at Victoria Baths, Manchester, 7–8 September 2019, from £15 - Book now

    Jump into the restoration of Victoria Baths literally as they open the pool for swimmers once again.

  • 2. Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019

    Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019

    Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 at The Hepworth Wakefield, 22 June–29 September 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Billed as the UK’s largest dedicated sculpture festival, the inaugural edition of Yorkshire Sculpture International seems rich in promise.

  • 3. Aphex Twin Curates at Mayfield Depot

    Mayfield Depot

    Aphex Twin Curates at Mayfield Depot, Manchester, 20 September 2019, from £40.15 - Book now

    Aphex Twin presents his first-ever curated show, which will see Nina Kravitz, Lee Gamble and Aleksi Perälä perform alongside the king of IDM himself.

  • 4. Keith Haring at Tate Liverpool

    Keith Haring, Untitled (1983), woodcut. Collection of the Keith Haring Foundation. Courtesy of Tate Liverpool

    Keith Haring at Tate Liverpool, Waterfront, 14 June–10 November 2019, from £12.5 - Book now

    Featuring more than 70 artworks, Tate Liverpool presents the first major UK exhibition of work by the legendary New York artist and activist Keith Haring.

  • 5. LOOK Photo Biennial — Chapter One: Transplant

    Yan Wang Preston

    LOOK Photo Biennial — Chapter One: Transplant at Victoria Gallery and Museum, 6 June–25 September 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Open Eye Gallery presents LOOK Photo Biennial 2019: a major programme of photography-based exhibitions taking place across Liverpool, the Wirral and Shanghai.

  • 6. GoGo Penguin: Koyaanisqatsi at RNCM

    Gogo Penguin

    GoGo Penguin: Koyaanisqatsi at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, 27 October 2019, from £19.50 - Book now

    GoGo Penguin present a live performance of their original score to Godfrey Reggio’s cult film Koyaanisqatsi, alongside a full screening at RNCM.

  • 7. Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour

    Holly Hendry, Cenotaph, 2018. Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme 2019

    , 18 January 2019–3 May 2020, free entry

    Whether Liverpool Biennial 2018 passed you by or you diligently ticked-off every last one of its multiple offerings (if so; bravo), the Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour seems unlikely to disappoint.

  • 8. Manchester Art Fair 2019 at Manchester Central

    Manchester Art Fair 2018
    The Manchester Art Fair

    Manchester Art Fair 2019 at Manchester Central Convention Centre, City Centre, 11–13 October 2019, from £5 - Book now

    One of the largest and most prestigious art fairs in the country, the Manchester Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary weekend is not to be missed.

  • 9. A World Inside a Book: Gruffalo, Dragons and Other Creatures at Z-arts

    A World Inside A Book courtesy Suzi Corker
    Ludovic Des Cogents

    A World Inside a Book: Gruffalo, Dragons and Other Creatures at Z-arts, Manchester, 12 February–26 October 2019, from £6 - Book now

    The UK’s first immersive exhibition of the much-loved tales of Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. Expect enchanting forests, miniature towns and watery worlds.

  • 10. Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery

    Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool
    Poster designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1896 @CSG CIC Glasgow Museums

    Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery, City Centre, 15 March–26 August 2019, from £2 - Book now

    Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool will span the lifetime of  Mackintosh (1868–1928) and his contemporaries, exploring the movement that became known as The Glasgow Style.

  • 11. Red Dust Road at HOME

    Red Dust Road at HOME
    Image courtesy of The Other Richard

    Red Dust Road at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 11–21 September 2019, from £10.00 - Book now

    Balancing warmth with a straight-talking honesty, Jackie Kay’s Red Dust Road receives its world premiere in a new stage adaptation by Tanika Gupta.

  • 12. Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2019

    Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2019
    Carl Sukonik

    Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2019, 26 September–7 October 2019, free entry - Find Out More

    For this year’s MFDF, in late September to early October, a whole host of events will be happening across the city, not just the hub – which has been relocated to Cathedral Gardens. From art galleries to rooftop bars to fine dining to foraging there’s something for everyone.

  • 13. Kimsooja: To Breathe at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    Kimsooja: To Breathe at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
    To Breathe: Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation with The Weaving Factory, 2004–2013, the artist’s voice performance sound, 5.1 channel, 9:14, loop. Photo Jaeho Chong.

    Kimsooja: To Breathe at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 30 March–29 September 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Kimsooja transforms Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s historic chapel with To Breathe, an enthralling installation using light and mirrors and the latest in a series of projects exploring meditative qualities of space.

  • 14. Li Yuan Chia: Unique Photographs at the Whitworth

    Li Yuan Chia: His Late Photographs at Whitworth Art Gallery
    Image: Li Yuan Chia, Untitled, c1993. Courtesy the estate of Li Yuan Chia.

    Li Yuan Chia: Unique Photographs at The Whitworth, Manchester, 18 May–15 December 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Li Yuan Chia’s art encompasses sculpture, painting and poetry but the focus of this exhibition is photography. A group of Li’s lyrical hand coloured photographs of himself, his sculpture and garden at Banks is shown alongside the artist’s own collection of film cameras as part of Li Yuan Chia: His Late Photographs at Whitworth Art Gallery.

  • 15. Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool

    Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool
    Sol Calero, Interiores 2017 Installation view, Dortmunder Kunstverein. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Simon Vogel

    Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool, Waterfront, 14 June–10 November 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Tate Liverpool presents a new commission by Berlin-based artist Sol Calero, whose work takes the form of brightly coloured, large-scale immersive installations. Her playful compositions transform the gallery into spaces of social interaction and exchange.

  • 16. Guy Garvey and Simon Armitage at RNCM

    Guy Garvey
    Singer-songwriter Guy Garvey.

    Guy Garvey and Simon Armitage In Conversation at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, 13 October 2019, from £18 - Book now

    Manchester Literature Festival is back for a 14th year, running 4-20 October, and including a music-themed thread. As part of this, the newly appointed Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks all things writing with Elbow frontman Guy Garvey – is writing poetry like writing songs, who influences them and how does artistic collaboration benefit their work?

  • 17. Manchester International Festival

    MIF19 David Lynch at HOME Manchester International Festival
    Photo: Josh Telles

    Manchester International Festival 2019 at Albert Square, City Centre, 1–18 July 2021, from £12.00 - Book now

    So far Manchester International Festival have announced that Yoko Ono, Idris Elba and Skepta are among the artists set to feature in the 2019 programme. We’ll let you know as and when more of the line-up is revealed.

  • 18. Jerry Springer – The Opera at Hope Mill Theatre

    Jerry Springer The Opera
    © Anthony Robling

    Jerry Springer - The Opera at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, 8–31 August 2019, from £20.00 - Book now

    Not for the faint-hearted or easily offended, expect chaos and debauchery to ensue in this smash-hit musical based on the infamous talk show. Coming to Hope Mill Theatre this August.

  • 19. Grimmfest at Odeon Great Northern

    Darling – Image courtesy of Grimmfest

    Grimmfest 2016 at Odeon Great Northern, City Centre, 3–6 October 2019, from £20.00 - Book now

    A longstanding fixture in Manchester’s cinema calendar, Grimmfest has made its name providing film fans with the latest and greatest in cult, horror and fantasy cinema. Check back for full programme details, but expect a line-up chock full of special guests and premieres.

  • 20. The Winter Droving in Penrith

    Winter Droving Penrith
    Eden Arts

    The Winter Droving at Penrith Old Fire Station, Cumbria, 26 October 2019, free entry - Find Out More

    An incredible wonderland of outdoor arts, masquerade and pint carrying competitions in Penrith.

  • 21. Out of Order at HOME

    Out of Order at HOME
    Image courtesy of Hugo Glendinning

    Out of Order at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 13–15 November 2019, from £10.00 - Book now

    Earlier this month Forced Entertainment announced that they would be taking their new work on a UK Tour later this year. Luckily for us, Out of Order stops off at HOME this autumn.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 18–21 August 2019, from £5.50

MIF19: Blue Velvet at HOME

Power UP Late at the Science and Industry Museum
Activity 24 July–21 August 2019, from £12.00

Power UP Late at the Science and Industry Museum

The Den at Stalybridge Civic Hall
Families 13–24 August 2019, All tickets are pay what you decide, available from Stalybridge Civic Hall.

The Den at Stalybridge Civic Hall

Henry V at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Theatre 26 July–25 August 2019, from £26.50

Henry V at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Music 20 May–26 August 2019, from £5

NQ Jazz at the Whiskey Jar

Cinema 20–27 August 2019, from £9

Transit at HOME