Thom Yorke at Victoria Warehouse Cultural Calender
Thom Yorke plays two nights at Manchester's Victoria Warehouse - photo by Alex Lake / TWOSHORTDAYS.COM

Cultural Calendar 2021

Creative Tourist

The Cultural Calendar returns for 2021, our editors’ annual list of some of the best-looking arts and cultural events in Manchester and the North in 2021. It’s only the beginning of a new year – 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, 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 2021.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Grayson’s Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

    Grayson's Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

    Grayson's Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Chinatown, Until 31 October 2021, free entry - Visit now

    In Grayson’s own words, this will be an exhibition ‘about the joy and solace of making art’ and ‘a still moment to reflect on a situation that has affected everyone on the planet.’ What better a return to gallery-going in Manchester?

  • 2. Contact Theatre

    exterior of Contact Theatre building

    Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6JA - Visit now

    Contact has always been the place for emerging theatre, dance, spoken word, hip hop and digital performance mash-ups, and we’re looking forward to experiencing all of this in the new building.

  • 3. NQ Jazz Live

    NQ Jazz Live at The Stoller Hall, Manchester and online, Until 4 October 2021 - Book now

    A massive programme of live jazz music, spanning venues across Manchester, has been announced for 2021. Running for five months, the programme will feature dozens of COVID-safe events, concerts and masterclasses by established and emerging artists, from Soweto Kinch in January to Norma Winstone in May.