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Music and Entertainment in Manchester

Your guide to Manchester / Music and Entertainment in Manchester

Music and Entertainment in Manchester


Manchester is the sixth-largest city in the United Kingdom and full of vibrant activities. Even though the city is known for its rich industrial heritage, it also has a variety of cultural events to enjoy. Whether you're interested in attending an impressive music event or educational cultural festival, you're sure to have a wonderful time in Manchester when you check out some of these top events around the city.

For easy reference: Video transcript
For easy reference: Video transcript
For easy reference: Video transcript
For easy reference: Video transcript

Music Events

A variety of musical artists have emerged from the Manchester music scene, which makes this city an amazing place to enjoy old favorites and up-and-coming bands. No matter what type of music you like listening to, you're sure to find it when you head to one of these top things to do in Manchester.

Manchester Folk Festival

Whitworth Street West 

If you love folk music, you won't want to miss your opportunity to attend the Manchester Folk Festival. This vibrant festival is held over five days in October and celebrates the uniqueness of English folk and acoustic music. The festival brings some of the biggest names in folk to the city. Along with live performances from a number of artists, you'll also be able to take part in traditional singarounds and workshops. All the action takes place at several venues that are all a few minutes' walk from each other in the heart of Manchester.


Saint Mary's Park, Prestwich 

If you're looking for free things to do in Manchester, consider spending a day at Festwich. Festwich brings some of the best sounds of rock and indie music to Manchester at an even better price. That's because this popular tribute festival offers free tickets — all you have to pay is the booking fee. The festival hosts over 40 outstanding tribute bands on two stages for two days in July. You'll also be able to enjoy food and beer stalls and funfair attractions when you attend.

Neighbourhood Festival

Manchester City Center 

Some of the best music venues in Manchester come together to host Neighbourhood Festival for one day in October. During the event, over 100 artists and bands from all over the world will perform at 15 music venues in Manchester city center. Most venues are within walking distance of each other, so it will be easy to catch some of your favorite bands all in one day. A few of the top venues where you'll be able to watch the performances include Albert Hall, Gorilla, Night People, O2 Ritz and The Refuge.

Sports Events

Manchester is a city that loves its sports. Not only is it home to two world-famous football teams, but it's also where you can find several other well-known sports teams. When you're looking to cheer the home team to victory in Manchester, you'll have a great time checking out these top sporting events.

Manchester United F.C.

Old Trafford 

Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club that competes in the Premier League. The club was originally founded in 1878 as the Newton Heath LYR Football Club. It then changed its name to Manchester United in 1902. The team plays its home games at Old Trafford, which is the largest club football stadium in the United Kingdom. Nicknamed "The Red Devils," the club has won more trophies than any other English football club. If you're interested in seeing a Manchester United match, the season runs from August to May.

Manchester City F.C.

Etihad Stadium 

Manchester City Football Club is the other professional football club based in the city. Manchester City also plays in the Premier League, which is the top flight of English football. The club was first founded in 1880 as St. Mark's (West Gorton). It then became Manchester City in 1894. You can see Manchester City play a match and experience a unique match day experience at the Etihad Stadium. If you won't be in Manchester during the regular season, you can still sign up for a stadium tour to get an unforgettable behind-the-scenes look at the stadium.

Manchester Giants

George H. Carnall Centre 

Football isn't the only exciting sport you can enjoy in Manchester. The Manchester Giants are the British professional basketball team based in the city. The Giants were founded in 2011, and one year later the team was admitted into the top-tier British Basketball League. While the team originally played home games at the Wright Robinson College arena, the 900-seat capacity arena wasn't large enough to hold the crowds that wanted to see the team play. Today, you can check out all the action at the new George H. Carnall Centre, which has a seating capacity for over 2,000 people.

Manchester Storm

Planet Ice Altrincham 

The Manchester Storm is another thrilling sports team you can watch in the city. This British professional ice hockey team was originally founded in 1995 and reformed in 2015. They play in the Elite Ice Hockey League. To see some of the action for yourself, you can watch a Storm home game at Planet Ice Altrincham.

Food and Drink Events

If you love food, Manchester is the city for you. The city celebrates a variety of culinary tastes throughout the year with numerous events and festivals. Whether you're looking for something sweet or something savory, you're sure to find it at these Manchester food and drink events.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival

Cathedral Gardens 

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival is one of the biggest culinary events in the city and one of the best things to do in Manchester. The festival started as a way to show the rest of the country that there's more to Manchester's culinary scene than meat and pudding. Today, the event spans 12 days from the end of September to the beginning of October. While events like chef-inspired tastings, live music and more will be offered at venues across the city, the main festival hub will be at the Cathedral Gardens.

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival

Manchester Central Convention Complex 

The Manchester Beer and Cider Festival brings some of the best beers, ciders and perries to the heart of the city. The festival occurs over three days in January. In previous years, the festival included 15 makers from five different counties, three perries and 28 ciders. To make it easier to enjoy the variety of beers and ciders at the event, you can purchase or hire a glass while you're there. The event also offers gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and nonalcoholic beers and apple juice, so everyone will be able to find something they like.

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival

Ramsbottom Market Place 

If you're searching for one of the best things to do in Manchester with kids, make plans to head to the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival. This incredibly popular chocolate festival runs over two days in April and features artisan chocolatiers, a children's craft area, street entertainment, craft and local food stalls and more. You'll also be able to find an incredible variety of chocolate products, including chocolate cookies, chocolate wine, chocolate bath products, hot chocolate, chocolate fudge, chocolate puddings and chocolate scones.

Cultural Events

In addition to food, sports and music, Manchester also has a thriving cultural scene. You can get a taste of this when you check out a few of the fun cultural events in Manchester.

Manchester Irish Festival

Manchester City Center 

The Manchester Irish Festival is one of the largest in Europe outside of Ireland. The event occurs every year from March 1-17 and includes events focused on Irish culture, heritage, music, literature, theater, comedy and sport at different venues around the city. One of the most popular events of the festival is the St. Patrick's Parade. The parade starts at the Irish World Heritage Centre and finishes at Albert Square.

Festa Italiana

Cathedral Gardens 

Another popular cultural festival in Manchester is the Festa Italiana. This week-long celebration of all things Italian takes place in July. During the event, Manchester's Italian community transforms Cathedral Gardens into "Little Italy." You'll be able to savor delicious Italian cuisine, sip refreshing Italian drinks, enjoy live music and learn more about the Italian culture. The event even has a children's food festival so young kids can get involved as well.

King Street Festival

King Street

The King Street Festival lets you celebrate everything that makes Manchester great. The event is held for two days in June and celebrates Manchester's residents and the history of the city. When you attend the festival, you'll be able to enjoy outdoor dining, lawn games, live music, pop-up gin bars, the cocktail trail and The Manchester Flower Show. You'll also have an opportunity to check out some of the best names in shopping, food and drink in the city as you stroll along this iconic and historic shopping street.

Manchester is a fascinating city that's always ready to celebrate art, music, food and culture. Whether you're interested in action-packed sporting events or mouthwatering food and drink festivals, you know you'll be able to find everything you love when you check out these things to do in Manchester.