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
Public Image Ltd. (PiL) return to Manchester with their eleventh studio album and first album in 8 years, End of World.
Following a triumphant sets at Neighbourhood Festival and Gorilla, Manchester’s The Covasettes have announced their biggest headline show to date.
Puma Blue’s music is noted for a blend of intimate fragility, sensual grooves and haunting, nocturnal ambience.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs are touring their fourth studio album, Land of Sleeper, stopping by The Ritz this September.
Coach Party is an indie rock band from the Isle of Wight, acclaimed for their infectious melodies and refreshing sound.
Join Bez In conversation as he talks about his extraordinary life and career, the story of a bad lad who has turned his life good.
Hello Oriental celebrates 50 years of Hip Hop by bringing Hip Hop Karaoke to Manchester.
Known for their catchy melodies, energetic performances, and witty lyrics, The Hoosiers play Gorilla this autumn.
Gang of Four, one of the most radically important, and influential rock groups of the last 40 years, play Manchester this October.
The Easy Rollers are a roaring seven-piece jazz outfit — ready to transport you back to the golden age of jazz.
In her 50-plus years in music, Judy Collins has always exhibited impeccable taste in songcraft, catch her in concert at RNCM.
Scottish Ensemble Present Jasdeep Singh Degun, bringing together traditions of Indian and Western Classical music at RNCM.
Richard Goode is one of today’s most revered recitalists. Taking listeners on a musical odyssey, he joins us for an evening of solo piano.
A new production of New Dawn Fades: A Play About Joy Division and Manchester returns to RNCM.
Westerman, the west London singer-songwriter, loved by Perfume Genius, heads to Canvas following last year’s show at Yes.
The Brand New Orchestra lights up the stage in an evening of new orchestral works from RNCM students and a performance of Cassandra’s Round.
Alabama 3, the legendary acid house country band from Brixton, are back with their fourteenth studio album, Cold War Classics Vol.2.
Join RNCM for a screening of the 1929 terrifying tale, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, with Live Accompaniment.
Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band stop by RNCM this October to perform the album ‘Hello Starling’ and more.
RNCM Session Orchestra return for an electrifying night of music, don’t miss out on this unrivalled evening in Manchester.
Hotly tipped Scottish indie rock group Wrest are coming to Manchester’s Deaf Insitute for a headline date.
Young Fathers defy genre boundaries with their eclectic mix of hip-hop, pop, and soul, known for their socially charged lyrics.
RNCM Symphony Orchestra presents John Adams’ Harmonielehre, a 40-minute suite in three movements inspired by philosophy and dreams.
Personal Trainer is Willem Smit’s rock collective. Live, they have an ever-shifting line-up with members from bands like Pip Blom.
Bleach Lab are always striving to break new ground and be constantly on the move sonically. See them at Canvas this October.
Terje Isungset returns to the UK with his exquisite new quartet featuring voice, ice harp, ice horn, iceophone, ice percussion and ice bass.
A founding member of Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore discusses his journey to becoming one of the most influential musicians of his generation.
This Is The Kit tour in support of their richly illuminating album Off Off On, a record overflowing with ideas, energy and power.
Transcending conventional boundaries, RNCM ArkEnsemble steps into the limelight for another riveting performance.
Short on time? RNCM have created a perfectly curated bite-sized performance to satisfy your symphonic taste buds and still get you home in time for dinner
Step into a wintry tale of magic and mystique as we bring Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden to life for the very first time at the RNCM.
RNCM welcomes Manchester Camerata to perform alongside students as Junior Fellow in Conducting Agata Zając takes the helm one final time.
Join Home Free for an evening of Nashville-dipped pop hits, country and western standards, incredible harmony, and quick-witted humour.
Manchester Collective present The Unfurrowed Field at RNCM. A joyful fusion of jazz and Scottish folk music.
In this audio-visual live concert, musicians and composers turn to the painter’s immense canvases for inspiration, reimagining them through sound and light.
Celebrating his nearly four-decade hip-hop career, legendary rapper Rakim formed the blueprint for the future of hip-hop.