Cultural Calendar 2023

Creative Tourist

We’re overwhelmed by the volume of thrilling cultural festivals, new openings, massive performances and special events still yet to come in 2023. To help you fill your calendars, we’ve asked our editors to select their highlights.

There should be something here for everybody, from family-friendly picks to literary highlights, world-class exhibitions, performances from internationally-acclaimed musicians, and cinematic treasures to delight the most discerning film buff.

Want more? You can keep up-to-the-minute with what’s happening across Manchester and the North with our specialist Cinema, Exhibitions, Theatre, Literature, Music, Family and Tours & Activities guides. You can also follow us on all the usual socials (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and subscribe to our mailing list to get this kind of thing in your inbox every Friday lunchtime.

Our top picks

Treehouse Manchester

Treehouse Manchester, Blackfriars Street, Manchester, M3 2EQ - Visit now

A Treehouse hotel is coming to Manchester in summer 2023, featuring a rooftop bar that offers stunning views of the city. The hotel will have 216 rooms and be located at the space previously occupied by the unmissed Renaissance Hotel down Deansgate. The goal is to make guests feel like they are in their own ‘secret forest’ and if our visit to Treehouse London is anything to go by, the people of Manchester are in safe hands.

Ian Jones

Erwin Wurm: Trap of the Truth at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Erwin Wurm: Trap of the Truth at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire, Until 28 April 2024, free entry - Visit now

The first major UK museum exhibition dedicated to the absurd and playful sculpture of Erwin Wurm.

© Studio Erwin Wurm, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Brief Encounter at the Royal Exchange Theatre

Brief Encounter at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 2 December 2023–13 January 2024, from £12.00 - Book now

The Royal Exchange Christmas production is always a theatrical highlight and this year is no different – Emma Rice’s smash-hit adaptation of Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter comes to town.

Brief Encounter at the Royal Exchange
Image courtesy of Felicity McCabe.
Spotlight on

Things to Do in Cumbria

Our guide to the best things to do in the Cumbria and the Lake District, including Penrith, Kendal, Carlisle, Keswick and Cockermouth.

Take me there

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Spotlighting global artists who all, in one way or another, break the mould, we preview the best gigs happening this side of Christmas and beyond.