Sin Wai Kin, A Dream of Wholeness in Parts (still) 2021 © the artist. Courtesy the artist, Chi - Wen Gallery, Taipei and Soft Opening, London. Produced by Chi - Wen Productions, Taipei. Supported by Hayward Gallery Touring for British Art Show 9.

Cultural Calendar 2022

Creative Tourist

We’re already halfway through the year, but there’s still an overwhelming number of huge festivals, brand new openings, massive gigs and special events to come. Here to help you plan, our Cultural Calendar is our editors’ handpicked selection of the most unmissable arts and cultural events happening in Manchester and the North throughout 2022.

This list is intended to be inclusive. From family picks to literary highlights via acclaimed international musicians and outstanding exhibitions, there’s something for everyone.

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.

Here’s to unforgettable cultural adventures in 2022.

Here are our picks

  • 1. British Art Show 9

    HOME

    British Art Show 9 at HOME Manchester, Manchester, Until 4 September 2022 - Book now

    Organised every five years, The British Art Show comes to Manchester, surveying the most exciting contemporary artists working in the UK right now.

  • 2. Shakespeare North Playhouse Opening Season

    Shakespeare North Playhouse Opening Season
    Image courtesy of Not Too Tame/ Northern Stage.

    Shakespeare North Opening Season at Shakespeare North Playhouse, St. Helens, Until 7 January 2023 - Book now

    Check out the spectacular opening season over at Shakespeare North Playhouse, a beacon of inspiration for audiences, communities, artists and theatre-makers.

  • 3. Sheila Hicks: Off Grid at The Hepworth Wakefield

    Installation of Sheila Hicks: Off Grid at The Hepworth Wakefield, 2022. Art works L-R: Peace Barrier, 2018; Ripe Rip, 2019; Nowhere To Go, 2022. Photo: Tom Bird / Courtesy: The Hepworth Wakefield
    Installation of Sheila Hicks: Off Grid at The Hepworth Wakefield, 2022. Art works L-R: Peace Barrier, 2018; Ripe Rip, 2019; Nowhere To Go, 2022. Photo: Tom Bird / Courtesy: The Hepworth Wakefield

    Sheila Hicks: Off Grid at The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, Until 25 September 2022 - Book now

    The Hepworth Wakefield presents the work of Sheila Hicks, one of the world’s foremost artists working with textiles, fibre, colour and form.

  • 4. The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics at Walker Art Gallery

    The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics
    Queen Elizabeth I by Unknown English artist, circa 1588 (c) National Portrait Gallery, London

    The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics at Walker Art Gallery, City Centre, Until 29 August 2022, from £6.00 - Book now

    Discover the Tudors at Walker Art Gallery, with a major exhibition of portraits presenting some of history’s most famous faces.

  • 5. Just So Festival 2022

    Just So Festival, Rode Hall Cheshire
    Photograph by TenEight

    Just So Festival at Rode Hall, 19–21 August 2022, from £20 - Book now

    Just So Festival, arguably the best family festival in the UK, is back this August with a spell-binding wonderland of world-class literature, arts, theatre, dance, music, comedy and creative pursuits.

  • 6. Festa Italiana at Cathedral Gardens

    Festa Italiana
    Festa Italia

    Festa Italiana, 26–28 August 2022, free entry - Find Out More

    The North’s biggest and best Italian-themed festival is back, hosted by Manchester’s favourite bambinos, Salvis.

  • 7. Geronimo Festival at Arley Hall

    Geronimo Festival 2022
    Adrian Myers

    Geronimo Festival at Arley Hall and Gardens, Cheshire, 27–29 August 2022, from £20.00 - Book now

    Geronimo Festival at Arley Hall is back. Taking place between 27-29 August, the festival described as ‘Glastonbury for Kids’ promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with an incredible array of fun and interactive family activities and events, food stalls, music, and camping.

  • 8. Jadé Fadojutimi at The Hepworth Wakefield

    Jadé Fadojutimi at The Hepworth Wakefield
    Jadé Fadojutimi, Ob-sess(h)-ion, 2020. 180 x 170 cm, oil and oil stick on canvas. Image courtesy the artist and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London © Jadé  Fadojutimi, 2020. Photo: Mark Blower

    Jadé Fadojutimi at The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, 16 September 2022–19 March 2023, from £10 - Book now

    This autumn, The Hepworth Wakefield will be giving audiences the chance to experience the wonderfully colourful world of painter Jade Fadojutimi’s art with a solo exhibition from the London-based artist.

  • 9. Treehouse Manchester

    Ian Jones

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

    A 216-room Treehouse hotel is coming to Manchester, featuring a rooftop bar and ‘secret forest’ vibes, in addition to stunning views of the city.

  • 10. Mrs Doubtfire at Manchester Opera House

    Courtesy of ATG Tickets

    Mrs Doubtfire at Manchester Opera House, City Centre, 2 September–1 October 2022, from £13.00 - Book now

    One for all the family: Mrs Doubtfire, a touching musical comedy about family, love and friendship, is coming to Manchester Opera House, straight from Broadway.

  • 11. Food Sorcery Manchester

    Food Sorcery Manchester
    Food Sorcery

    Food Sorcery Manchester, Deansgate Square, Manchester, M15 4UA - Visit now

    East Didsbury-based cooking school Food Sorcery is set to open a new venue in the city centre this spring, with classes covering a vast range of cuisines and taught by some of the most charming and knowledgable educators this side of Dead Poets Society.

  • 12. We Invented The Weekend

    Image courtesy of Salford City Council.

    We Invented The Weekend at MediaCity and Salford Quays, Manchester, 10–11 September 2022, free entry - Find Out More

    Expect everything from community feasts, vintage markets, water sports, live music and performance, right across MediaCity and Salford Quays this September. A new free festival for everyone.

  • 13. Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2022

    MFDF 2022
    Ian Jones

    Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2022, 16–27 September 2022 - Book now

    2022 should see a full return of the much-loved Manchester Food and Drink Festival, whose Cathedral Gardens hub hosts a plethora of events which showcase Manchester’s diverse, resilient and brilliant hospitality industry.

  • 14. Mayfield Park

    Mayfield Partnership

    Mayfield Park, Mayfield Park, Manchester, M1 2PY - Visit now

    A new 6.5 acre development designed to bring nature closer to the city, Mayfield Park is set to launch in Winter 2022.

  • 15. Manchester Literature Festival 2022

    Poet Zaffar Kunial.
    Poet Zaffar Kunial

    Manchester Literature Festival at Manchester Central Library, Manchester, 7–23 October 2022, from £5 - Book now

    Save the date! Manchester Literature Festival takes place 7 to 23 October 2022, showcasing a range of poetry, prose and more from both household names and up-and-coming talent.

  • 16. Grimmfest at Odeon Great Northern

    Harbinger – Image Courtesy of Grimmfest

    Grimmfest at Odeon Great Northern, City Centre and online, 6–9 October 2022, from £110 - Book now

    Grimmfest, Manchester’s annual festival of horror, cult and fantastic film returns with pre-Halloween spookiness and the early line-up looks frighteningly good.

  • 17. Turner Prize 2022 at Tate Liverpool

    Still from a film by artist Sin Wai Kin, A Dream of Wholeness in Parts (still) 2021 © the artist. Courtesy the artist, Chi - Wen Gallery, Taipei and Soft Opening, London. Produced by Chi - Wen Productions, Taipei. Supported by Hayward Gallery Touring for British Art Show 9
    Sin Wai Kin, A Dream of Wholeness in Parts (still) 2021 © the artist. Courtesy the artist, Chi - Wen Gallery, Taipei and Soft Opening, London. Produced by Chi - Wen Productions, Taipei. Supported by Hayward Gallery Touring for British Art Show 9

    Turner Prize 2022 at Tate Liverpool, Waterfront, 20 October 2022–19 March 2023, free entry - Find Out More

    This year, Tate Liverpool will host one of the most significant events in contemporary art in the UK, with an exhibition of work by the four nominated artists: Heather Phillipson, Ingrid Pollard, Veronica Ryan and Sin Wai Kin.

  • 18. Pavement at O2 Apollo

    Image by Tarina Westlund.

    Pavement at O2 Apollo, Manchester, 20 October 2022, from £47.30 - Book now

    This year marks three decades since Pavement released their debut album, Slanted and Enchanted, an oh-so-casually genius record which saw them become one of the leadings lights of the ’90s American underground. Who’d have thought, when they disbanded at the end of the century, that in 2022 they’d be playing those same songs to more people than ever before.

  • 19. Let The Right One In at the Royal Exchange

    Let The Right One In at the Royal Exchange
    Image courtesy of the Royal Exchange Theatre.

    Let The Right One In at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre, 22 October–19 November 2022, from £10.00 - Book now

    A deeply moving piece of theatre, as enchanting as it is brutal, Let The Right One In tells a chilling and beautiful coming-of-age vampire love story.

  • 20. Kendrick Lamar at AO Arena

    Renell Medrano

    Kendrick Lamar at Manchester Arena, Manchester, 16 November 2022, from £64.50 - Book now

    Following a brilliant fifth album and a masterful headline performance at Glastonbury, Kendrick Lamar is victory lapping the world, calling in at Manchester’s AO Arena on 16 November.

  • 21. Lightopia at Heaton Park

    Lightopia at Heaton Park
    Image courtesy of Heaton Park.

    Lightopia at Heaton Park, Manchester, 24 November 2022–2 January 2023, from £13.00 - Book now

    Lightopia, the award-winning light festival, will be lighting up Heaton Park, Manchester this winter in a fusion of beautiful, light art installations, music, and human interaction to warm up the entire family even on the coldest winter nights!

  • 22. Forward Prizes at Contact and online

    Helen Mort. Photo by Jonathan Pow
    Helen Mort. Photo by Jonathan Pow.

    Forward Prizes at Contact Theatre, Manchester, 28 November 2022, from £15.00 - Book now

    It’s the 30th anniversary of the Forward Prizes for Poetry, the most influential awards for new poetry in the UK and Ireland, honouring fresh voices alongside internationally established names – and this year the glittering awards ceremony will take place right here in Manchester, on 28 November.

Things to do right now

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The Gruffalo at The lowry
Families Until 21 August 2022, from £10.00

The Gruffalo at The Lowry

The Jungle Book at Williamson Park
Families Until 28 August 2022, from £15.00

The Jungle Book at Williamson Park

Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North
Childrens Until 29 August 2022, from £28.00

Stig of the Dump at Grosvenor Open Air Theatre

Activity Until 30 August 2022, Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members) £1.50 for trail

The Lost Words at Quarry Bank

Festivals Until 31 August 2022, from £9.95

Flying Fighters of Taiwan at HOME

Great Northern Sandpit
Families Until 31 August 2022, FREE

The Great Northern Sandpit

Activity Until 31 August 2022, from £40

Northern Quarter Taster Walk with Manchester Food Walks

Activity Until 31 August 2022, from £0.00

Tours in Chester