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
Zamrock legends WITCH play a special performance at YES this August alongside a screening of the film We Intend To Cause Havoc and a Q&A with the film’s Director.
Covet is a band characterized by complex song structures and guitarist Yvette Young’s unique finger-tapping style. See them in action at Deaf Institute this August.
Come As You Are is The Refuge’s annual August Bank Holiday weekend feast of love, music and food.
The Most Depressing Pride of Your Life presents Tears for Queers, an emotional and uplifting power ballad and love song disco at YES.
Ichiko Aoba is a Japanese folk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for her acoustic sound and songwriting inspired by her dreams.
Seattle’s blue-eyed soul birds The Dip are coming to Oxford Road’s Deaf Institute at the end of August.
Manchester Psych Fest is an all-day celebration of psychedelic music and art, returning to the Oxford Road Corridor in September.
Quirky art pop outfit Superorganism are bringing their kaleidoscopic riot of sound and visuals to Gorilla this September.
Katy J Pearson heads to Gorilla, performing live on 22 September in support of her new album, “Sound Of The Morning”.
Berlin-based, Australian disco-pop quintet Parcels head to Manchester with brand new music from their second album, Day/Night.
A new production of New Dawn Fades: A Play About Joy Division and Manchester celebrates its 10th anniversary at RNCM.
Black Angel: NewVision is an exhibition that looks at the present and towards the future representation of LBT Black and Asian women.
One of Manchester’s favourite multi-venue festivals is back! Neighbourhood Festival will be taking over Manchester city centre this October.
Late night late 90s pioneering club night Black Angel returns to Contact to celebrate their 25th birthday.
Northern Irish singer-songwriter SOAK comes to Manchester, performing at YES in support of their latest album If I Never Know You Like This Again.
Coming to Gorilla, Sampa the Great is a poet and singer-songwriter expressing herself through music, poetry and visual art.
Alt-rock pioneers, Dinosaur Jr. return to UK shores to tour their fifth album, 2020’s Sweep It Into Space.
A narrated song cycle by Reg Meuross, unfolding the history of England’s involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
A unique new collaboration of English and Kashmiri folk music, Touchstone brings together four of the very finest UK based musicians in a special project of musical sharing and friendship.
Wu-Tang Clan MC and hip hop legend, GZA, heads to Manchester Academy to honour the 25th anniversary of his seminal album, Liquid Swords.
Relive the magic of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on the big screen accompanied by a magnificent, live performance from the Hallé.
Sir Mark has assembled a stellar line up of soloists familiar to Hallé audiences, to perform Verdi’s Requiem.
Holmès – Andromède, Symphonic Poem Mozart – Flute Concerto No.1 Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade Conductor Kerem Hasan Featuring: Amy Yule, flute The young British conductor, Kerem Hasan, appearing with the Hallé for the first time, has established his credentials in opera (Welsh National Opera and Glyndebourne) and as Chief Conductor of the Tiroler Symphonieorchester-Innsbruck. Making her […]
South London singer-songwriter Poppy Ajudha brings her unique jazzy vocal tone and melodies to YES this April.
Julia Jacklin returns to Manchester to promote her new album Pre Pleasure, the follow-up to 2019’s instant-classic Crushing.
The Charlatans frontman and all around local hero Tim Burgess plays Gorilla in support of latest release I Love The New Sky.
Touchy + Anthology is a double bill of Live Music, Hip Hop, film, and poetry, from Liverpool’s finest 20 Stories High.
One of the biggest breakthrough acts of 2021 were Isle of Wight dup Wet Leg, catch them at Gorilla this month.
Sleigh bells, snowflakes and the Northern Lights alongside The Nutcracker and Vivaldi’s dramatic Winter from The Four Seasons
An exhilarating gig theatre adventure inspired by the daytime raves of 1990s British Asian culture.
Young German, Clemens Schuldt makes his Bridgewater Hall debut alongside Mariam Batsashvili in an evening of Death and Transfiguration.
Alt-pop artist Phoebe Green makes a stop at YES on her first headline tour.
Duckwrth is an American rapper and songwriter from Los Angeles. Don’t miss this rare Manchester visit on 3 Dec 2022.