Live Music

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

music Mood Swings: Fat Dog + Car Boot Sale + Lei Hope
YES | 27 January 2023

Descend the basement steps of YES to catch three bands you’ll be hearing much more of in 2023, presented by Now Wave.

music RNCM Brass Band Festival
Royal Northern College of Music | 27 – 29 January 2023

RNCM Brass Band Festival makes a welcome return featuring eight of the UK’s leading brass bands and top soloists, young and old.

music Lynks
YES | 28 January 2023

Described as a “merchant of pure gay chaos”, Lynks brings their electro pop party to YES as part of Now Waves ones to see in 2023

cinema Covid Song Cycle Watch Party
Contact | 28 January 2023

Covid Song Cycle Watch Party is a poetic musical celebration of process, connection, growth and creativity following the Covid-19 pandemic.

music Temples
YES | 2 February 2023

The bands eagerly awaited return has Temples perform live at YES Pink Room as part of independent venue week!

music RNCM Day of Percussion
Royal Northern College of Music | 5 February 2023

RNCM Day of Percussion returns for its 30th year with a day packed with exciting and informative sessions from internationally recognised performers and practitioners.

music DYLAN
O2 Ritz Manchester | 7 February 2023

One of 2022’s most in-demand rising talents, singer-songwriter DYLAN’s ascent continues with an army of supporters and media tastemakers.

music Lil Mariko
YES | 7 February 2023

Combining elements of hyper-pop and metal, Lil Mariko brings her unique Soundscapes to YES this February.

music Manchester Collective: Bag of Bones
Royal Northern College of Music | 10 February 2023

Bag of Bones is a bewitching new project for Manchester Collective from award-winning vocalist, violinist, songwriter and composer Alice Zawadzki.

music The Hallé – A Night at the Opera
The Bridgewater Hall | 12 February 2023

An evening of glorious, soaring melodies as The Hallé offer up a treasure trove of operatic gems.

music Weyes Blood
O2 Ritz Manchester | 13 February 2023

In support of her critically acclaimed album ‘And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow’, Weyes Blood performs at The Ritz.

music Jockstrap
Gorilla | 17 February 2023

Jockstrap push the boundaries until the boundaries, barriers and boxes no longer exist- just pure unadulterated sensual pop!

music We Are Scientists
Gorilla | 19 February 2023

New York-based rock band We Are Scientists play hook-filled indie pop with an angular post-punk edge. Catch them at Gorilla.

music Luke Haines & Peter Buck
Gorilla | 20 February 2023

One of the sharpest and most prolific British songwriters of his generation, Luke Haines, has partnered with R.E.M guitarist Peter Buck.

music Luuk van Dijk
Joshua Brooks | 24 February 2023

Amsterdam-based Luuk van Dijk brings his energy to the Joshua Brook’s basement in support of latest release, First Contact.

music The Covasettes
Gorilla | 25 February 2023

Following a triumphant set at Neighbourhood Festival, Manchester’s The Covasettes have announced their biggest headline show to date.

music Elias String Quartet: Brahms, Respighi & Mendelssohn
Royal Northern College of Music | 27 February 2023

RNCM welcomes The Elias String Quartet, one of the most intense and vibrant quartets of their generation.

music The Hallé – Brahms’ Violin Concerto
The Bridgewater Hall | 1 – 5 March 2023

Sir Mark Elder conducts Grammy-winning classical violinist Augustin Hadelich in an evening featuring Brahms’ Violin Concerto

music The Hallé – Brahms’s Violin Concerto
The Bridgewater Hall | 1 – 5 March 2023

Grammy Award winner, Augustin Hadelich joins The Hallé at The Bridgewater Hall for an evening featuring Brahms’s Violin Concerto.

music An Evening With She Drew The Gun
The Deaf Institute | 3 March 2023

Join She Drew The Gun at Deaf Institute’s new ground-floor venue, The Lodge, for a very intimate and unique evening of music and poetry.

music Stephen Hough (piano)
Royal Northern College of Music | 3 March 2023

One of the most distinctive artists of his generation, Stephen Hough lines up alongside students for this performance.

music M60
Gorilla | 4 March 2023

M60 return home to Manchester for their biggest headline show to date at Gorilla this March.

music Ghost Woman
YES | 6 March 2023

After playing last year’s Manchester Psych Fest, Ghost Woman return to the city, bringing their jangly, laid-back hooks to YES.

music The Backseat Lovers
o2 Ritz Manchester | 8 March 2023

The Backseat Lovers are back, captivating listeners with their deeply personal lyrics and tight-knit live performances.

music Cian Ducrot
o2 Ritz Manchester | 10 March 2023

British producer and songwriter Irish singer-songwriter and producer Cian Ducrot stops by The Ritz this March.

music Leonard Bernstein’s Mass
The Bridgewater Hall | 12 March 2023

The Royal Northern College presents the Manchester premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, as part of the College’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

music Vök
The Deaf Institute | 13 March 2023

Icelandic electronic dream-pop trio Vök are coming to The Deaf Insitute in support of their recently released self-titled album…Vök!

music Tubular Bells Live in Concert – The 50th Anniversary Experience
Palace Theatre | 14 March 2023

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Tubular Bells, the iconic masterpiece will be performed live with a full band at Palace Theatre, conducted and arranged by Oldfield’s long term collaborator Robin Smith.

music Biig Piig
Gorilla | 20 March 2023

Biig Piig brings her instantly-identifiable, bilingual voice and global mix of influences to the stage at Gorilla this March.

music July Jones
The Deaf Institute | 23 March 2023

Catch Gen-Z icon July Jones in Manchester when they bring their razor-sharp electropop hooks to The Lodge at Deaf Institute.

music Hannah Laing
Joshua Brooks | 24 March 2023

Dundee’s Queen of house, Hannah Laing, returns to Joshua Brooks as part of her North Headline Tour.

music RNCM Opera: Mansfield Park
Royal Northern College of Music | 26 March – 1 April 2023

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.

music Déjà Vega
Gorilla | 1 April 2023

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.

music Kranium
Gorilla | 2 April 2023

International superstar Kranium is one of Dancehall’s most valuable players with his timeless approach, electrifying stage presence, and infectious charisma.

music Black Honey
Gorilla | 4 April 2023

Brighton quartet Black Honey take a break from supporting Liam Gallagher, The Libertines and IDLES to headline their own tour.

music Manchester Punk Festival
Gorilla | 7 – 9 April 2023

After a sell out success earlier this year, Manchester Punk Festival returns in Easter 2023 to venues across Oxford Road.

music The Hallé – The Rite of Spring
The Bridgewater Hall | 20 April 2023

Christian Reif, the US-based German conductor, returns to the Hallé, conducting a programme which includes Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

music Heir
The Deaf Institute | 21 April 2023

Following their sold-out show at YES, Yorkshire pop band, Heir is back in Manchester this Spring armed with a new EP.

music Caitlin Rose
The Deaf Institute | 24 April 2023

Singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose visits The Deaf Insitute this April in support of her long-awaited record, CAZIMI which was released in November.

music Teleman
Gorilla | 29 April 2023

Teleman play Gorilla in April in support of Good Time / Hard Time, their most dancefloor-friendly record to date.

music Made in Manchester
Royal Northern College of Music | 3 – 5 May 2023

Royal Northern College of Music present Made in Manchester, a three day festival celebrating music inspired by the city. 

music Steve Mason
Gorilla | 3 May 2023

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.

music Golden Dregs
YES | 10 May 2023

The Golden Dregs spin subtly interweaving narratives about survival, loss and the limitations of community in the face of gentrification.

music Louis Cole
Gorilla | 17 May 2023

Los Angeles based singer songwriter, Grammy awarded producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Louis Cole stops by Manchester’s Gorilla

music The Wedding Present
O2 Ritz Manchester | 20 May 2023

The Wedding Present celebrate the album 24 Songs tour, a collection of singles released by the band every month in 2022.

music RNCM 50th Birthday Celebration
Royal Northern College of Music | 22 June 2023

Royal Northern College of Music celebrates its 50th birthday and half a century of forging incredible careers across the music industry.

music Opera Gala with Opera North
Royal Northern College of Music | 28 June 2023

Join RNCM vocal students and he Orchestra of Opera North for a fantastic evening of opera’s greatest hits.

music Manchester Psych Fest 2023
Circle Square | 2 September 2023

Manchester Psych Fest is an all-day celebration of psychedelic music and art, returning to the Oxford Road Corridor in September.

See what’s on