The Cultural Calendar returns for 2020, our editors’ annual list of some of the best-looking arts and cultural events in Manchester and the North in 2020. It’s only the beginning of a new year – a new decade in fact – and there will be plenty more added to this list as they’re announced. This list is intended to be inclusive with something for everyone; from family picks to literary highlights via acclaimed international musicians, a musical take on a Hollywood classic (that we’re actually genuinely excited about!) to outstanding exhibitions and festivals.
This is what we have penciled in our diaries so far, come back to the Cultural Calendar for updates throughout the year. You can keep up-to-date with what’s happening across Manchester and the North with our specialist Cinema, Exhibitions, Theatre, Literature, Music and Family guides. Want more? Follow us on all the usual socials and subscribe to our mailing list to get this kind of thing every Friday lunchtime.
Have fantastic cultural adventures in 2020.
Here are our picks
This special event with one of literature’s most enchanting storytellers and one of Latin America’s greatest authors marks the beginning of the 2020 programme of the 15th annual Manchester Literature Festival (this year, the full festival runs 2-18 October), and is hosted by author Jeanette Winterson and presented in association with the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing.
We love the People’s History Museum – Manchester’s national museum of democracy – and they’re celebrating their 10th birthday with a special weekend of events this February.
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.
Derek Jarman: PROTEST! is a major retrospective of one of the most influential figures in 20th century British culture including many works which have never been seen in public before.
You get a second chance to catch this phenomenal show. Powerful, fast-paced and heart-breaking, we’re thrilled to hear that West Side Story will return to the Royal Exchange in spring 2020.
Manchester’s TV festival is dedicated to producing an inclusive, communal TV experience where fans and industry can come together to celebrate the past, present and future of television.
The BBC Philharmonic presents a concert dedicated to the natural world, featuring wonderful works by Sibelius, Debussy and Respighi, and a new commission by Tom Coult.
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.
The Edinburgh Castle Pub, Henry St &, Blossom St,, Manchester, M4 5AW - Visit now
All set to be the go-to pub in Ancoats – an area that badly needs a classic old-style tavern. The Edinburgh Castle pub has been one of Ancoats most notable public houses, dating back to 1811 – this reopening has been a long time coming.
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House has to be on the must-see list of every discerning literary tourist exploring the UNESCO City of Literature. And Mrs Gaskell would be proud – a regular book-buying opportunity literally on her doorstep. Peruse the secondhand tomes then perambulate around the rather pleasant RHS award-winning gardens and soak up the atmosphere of the North & South author’s Plymouth Grove villa. Check out the Ruskin exhibition too – on until July 2020. Taking place monthly, the next book sale is 12 January, then 9 February, and so on.