Manchester is undeniably one of the UK hotspots for live music. With many of its most iconic venues based on the Oxford Road Corridor, we can confidently claim that music is part of our DNA and that we are proud of the long-standing musical heritage that continues to inspire future generations and fuel the city’s night time economy.
Oxford Road Corridor’s love affair with live music dates back as far as 1858 when Sir Charles Hallé formed Manchester’s symphony orchestra at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. Fast forward to 1966 and the Free Trade Hall would become part of musical history again when Bob Dylan was famously heckled for going electric. Ten years later the Sex Pistols played the “gig that changed the world”. Punk was born with Joy Division, The Fall, Magazine and The Smiths, not far behind.
Famous venues like the Ritz and the Academy have hosted many legendary acts over the years, whilst smaller venues such as YES, The Deaf Institute, Big Hands and Gorilla ensure the city keeps its finger on the pulse with an unrivalled programme of contemporary bands and DJs. For the traditionalists, the RNCM is one of the leading conservatoires in the world and The Bridgewater Hall is home to three resident orchestras: the Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata.
Keep scrolling to find out more about best live music venues as well as upcoming gigs and concerts.
Upcoming Gigs & Concerts
Anna B Savage comes to YES this March in support of their second album in⎮Flux which is out now on City Slang.
RNCM Original Voices Festival celebrates new perspectives on music by reimagining how to perform and present works from the past.
Catch Gen-Z icon July Jones in Manchester when they bring their razor-sharp electropop hooks to The Lodge at Deaf Institute.
Dundee’s Queen of house, Hannah Laing, returns to Joshua Brooks as part of her North Headline Tour.
RNCM’s opera students take on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park with musical styles ranging from Philip Glass to Stephen Sondheim with hints of Benjamin Britten along the way.
Local band Déjà Vega return to the live stage with added walls of synths to their already pulsing, rhythmic bass and drums, overlayed with punchy guitars, and at times, hypnotic vocals.
International superstar Kranium is one of Dancehall’s most valuable players with his timeless approach, electrifying stage presence, and infectious charisma.
Brighton quartet Black Honey take a break from supporting Liam Gallagher, The Libertines and IDLES to headline their own tour.
West Yorkshire avant-pop heroes Orielles head to Canvas at Circle Square this April in support of their latest album, Tableau.
After a sell out success earlier this year, Manchester Punk Festival returns in Easter 2023 to venues across Oxford Road.
Young Marco is a crate digger, record collector and infamous party starter guaranteeing a good time at YES this April.
Enjoy the sublime vocals of Ríoghnach Connolly and Honeyfeet in Victoria Bath’s beautiful Grade II* listed setting.
A DJ since the 70’s, Paul Taylor is an international club legend with his RETRO HOUSE nights. Catch him with K-Klass at Joshua Brooks
Christian Reif, the US-based German conductor, returns to the Hallé, conducting a programme which includes Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
Following their sold-out show at YES, Yorkshire pop band, Heir is back in Manchester this Spring armed with a new EP.
Petite Noir is the architect of a musical and cultural movement drawing creative energy from punk aesthetics and today’s African diaspora.
English multi-instrumentalist/composer/singer/songwriter/producer Bill Ryder-Jones is live at YES this month.
Singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose visits The Deaf Insitute this April in support of her long-awaited record, CAZIMI which was released in November.
Corinna Niemeyer conducts Anna Lapwood in Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony over three nights at The Bridgewater Hall.
Peter Doherty embarks on his first solo acoustic tour in ten years, with a series of intimate ‘Songbook’ shows.
Lemar celebrates two decades of music and the 20th anniversary of ‘Dedicated’ with a special night at The Ritz.
Teleman play Gorilla in April in support of Good Time / Hard Time, their most dancefloor-friendly record to date.
Royal Northern College of Music present Made in Manchester, a three day festival celebrating music inspired by the city.
Scottish singer, songwriter, and producer Steve Mason rose to widespread critical acclaim in the late ’90s as a member of indie darlings the Beta Band.
GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Ingrid Andress is on tour in support of their sophomore album, Good Person.
The Golden Dregs spin subtly interweaving narratives about survival, loss and the limitations of community in the face of gentrification.
Jazz-soul legend, band leader and vibraphonist, Roy Ayers heads out for one last time on his ‘Farewell Tour’.
Kneecap have built up a notoriety for themselves which hasn’t been seen in Irish music, possibly ever.
Stonebwoy, is one of Ghana’s most beloved reggae/dancehall acts and he’s coming to Manchester for an unmissable performance.
Sun June brings the gentle sway of country-leaning pop seeped in melancholy to YES this May.
Los Angeles based singer songwriter, Grammy awarded producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Louis Cole stops by Manchester’s Gorilla
The Wedding Present celebrate the album 24 Songs tour, a collection of singles released by the band every month in 2022.
Alt pop artist Ellie Dixon is coming to Deaf Insitute this May. Expect funky bass lines, witty lyrics, earworm melodies.
Ohio indie rock outfit Cloud Nothings return to the UK to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their record ‘Attack on Memory’.
Legendary Radiohead drummer Philip Selway plays Gorilla in support of new album, Stange Dance.
A.A. Williams creates dark and deeply atmospheric songs with a richly textured voice, matched by her impressive instrumental abilities.
Deaf Insitute are delighted to have the 10-legged groove machine Thumpasaurus struttin on up to their stage this May.
Known for eclectic disco-inspired house music both behind the decks and in the studio, catch Girls of the Internet live at The Pink Room.
Surprise Chef’s distinct sound pulls from 70s film scores, the funkier side of jazz, and the samples that form the foundation of hip-hop.
A huge name within the Grime scene, Flowdan is coming to Manchester. Catch a British urban music legend live at Joshua Brooks this summer.
Expect heavy dub-driven monsters and irresistible synth-pop bangers when audiobooks play Yes this June.
Jen Cloher’s taut, terse brand of rock is charged with the static tension that comes with being an eternal misfit. Admirers have naturally gravitated towards Cloher’s incisive, generous songwriting.
Celebrating his nearly four-decade hip-hop career, legendary rapper Rakim formed the blueprint for the future of hip-hop.
Catch Screaming Females at YES this June, one of the most dynamic and devastating touring bands going today.
Royal Northern College of Music celebrates its 50th birthday and half a century of forging incredible careers across the music industry.
Join RNCM vocal students and he Orchestra of Opera North for a fantastic evening of opera’s greatest hits.
SEEN Magazine and Manchester Museum shine a spotlight on the sounds of the South Asian diaspora for Manchester International Festival.
Lose yourself in the world premiere of Sonic Geography by John Luther Adams, played by pianist Ralph Van Raat.
Belle and Sebastian play Manchester Academy in support of their tenth album, A Bit of Previous, released in 2022.
Manchester Psych Fest is an all-day celebration of psychedelic music and art, returning to the Oxford Road Corridor in September.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs are touring their fourth studio album, Land of Sleeper, stopping by The Ritz this September.
Gang of Four, one of the most radically important, and influential rock groups of the last 40 years, play Manchester this October.
Hotly tipped Scottish indie rock group Wrest are coming to Manchester’s Deaf Insitute for a headline date.
Personal Trainer is Willem Smit’s rock collective. Live, they have an ever-shifting line-up with members from bands like Pip Blom.
This Is The Kit tour in support of their richly illuminating album Off Off On, a record overflowing with ideas, energy and power.