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 Nature on Film
Royal Northern College of Music | 21 February 2024

Enjoy live screenings of early cinema’s most enduring nature films as RNCM students compose and perform brand-new works to accompany them.

music Freddy Gillmore
Royal Northern College of Music | 22 February 2024

Freddy Gilmore performs a stripped arrangement of his live set from his headline shows at venues like Deaf Institute.

music Alison Goldfrapp
Manchester Academy | 23 February 2024

The magnetic Alison Goldfrapp stops by Manchester Academy in support of debut solo album The Love Invention.

music Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
o2 Ritz Manchester | 23 February 2024

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets fly in from Perth to bring a night of explosive psychedelic rock to The Ritz.

music L’Rain
Yes | 23 February 2024

Experimental ambient psych-pop from Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and curator, Taja Cheek.

music The Pretenders
The Bridgewater Hall | 26 February 2024

The Bridgewater Hall welcomes British-American rock band, the Pretenders, in support of their new album, Relentless.

music BBC Philharmonic – Sound and Fury
The Bridgewater Hall | 26 February 2024

Katherine Balch’s whisper concerto was written especially for cellist Zlatomir Fung who joins the BBC Philharmonic for this UK premiere.

music Lime Garden
Yes | 27 February 2024

You’ve heard them on 6 Music, now catch Lime Garden live at Yes ahead of the release their long-awaited debut album.

music George Riley
Yes | 28 February 2024

A frantic night in the Yes Basement as George Riley brings us a freewheeling mish-mash of R&B, pop, jazz and 2-step.

music Roman Lytwyniw
Royal Northern College of Music | 28 February 2024

For their International Artist Diploma Recital, RNCM welcomes artists on the cusp of international careers. This year it’s Roman Lytwyniw.

music mustbejohn
Yes | 1 March 2024

An intersection of rap and house, mustbejohn has a nostalgic feel and a growing reputation as a cult trailblazer.

music RNCM Symphony Orchestra
Royal Northern College of Music | 1 March 2024

An exhilarating journey awaits this Spring as the RNCM Symphony Orchestra returns to the stage.

music Wenhan Jiang
Royal Northern College of Music | 4 March 2024

For their International Artist Diploma Recital, RNCM welcomes Wenhan Jiang, an artist on the cusp of an international career.

music Ferio Saxophone Quartet
Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama | 7 March 2024

One of Europe’s leading saxophone quartets, the  Ferio Saxophone Quartet perform a free lunchtime concert at The Martin Harris Centre.

literature Welcome to the club with DJ Paulette
The Whitworth | 7 March 2024

An evening with DJ Paulette in conversation with Afrodeutsche celebrating Welcome to the Club: The Life and Lessons of a Black Woman DJ.

music RNCM Chopin Prize
Royal Northern College of Music | 7 March 2024

The RNCM Chopin Prize sees finalists from the School of Keyboard Studies showcase their skills in honour of the virtuoso pianist and composer.

music RNCM Gospel Choir
Royal Northern College of Music | 8 March 2024

Experience the soul-stirring sounds of Gospel. RNCM Gospel Choir return to the stage this spring for their very first solo show.

music Empower
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 9 March 2024

Empower is a Celebration of Women in Music and the Arts for International Women’s Day featuring short musical performances and panel discussion.

music Manchester Collective: The Unfurrowed Field
Royal Northern College of Music | 9 March 2024

Manchester Collective present The Unfurrowed Field at RNCM. A joyful fusion of jazz and Scottish folk music.

music Say She She
o2 Ritz Manchester | 10 March 2024

Say She She, the soulful female-led trio, stand rock solid on their disco-delic duty, touring in support of 2023’s excellent album, Silver.

music Hannah Jadagu
Yes | 12 March 2024

The multitalented Hannah Jadagu brings hazy soulful alt-indie pop to YES in support of 2023 debut album, Aperture.

music WCLC with Beatrice Nicholas
Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama | 14 March 2024

Concert pianist Beatrice Nicholas talks and performs works by three Chicago Renaissance composers: Florence Price; Margaret Bonds and Betty Jackson King.

music Marika Hackman
Gorilla | 14 March 2024

Enigmatic singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Marika Hackman, visits Gorilla in support of latest album, Big Sigh.

music Folly Group
Yes | 14 March 2024

Thrilling London-based band Folly Group come to Manchester. Fans include IDLES, Cillian Murphy and Lauren Lavern. See what it’s about at Yes.

music RNCM Chamber Orchestra with Henning Kraggerud
Royal Northern College of Music | 15 March 2024

RNCM International Chair in Violin Henning Kraggerud joins the Chamber Orchestra to propel audiences into an exciting concert hall experience.

music The Pharcyde & Lords of the Underground
O2 Ritz Manchester | 17 March 2024

The Pharcyde are back on the road with their influential witty lyricism and jazz-style production. Catch them at The Ritz.

music Mutual Benefit
Yes | 18 March 2024

Mutual Benefit blends folk, psychedelic pop, and experimental recording techniques into fragile, hopeful songs.

music The Hallé – Sibelius’s Symphony No.1
The Bridgewater Hall | 20 March 2024

Kristiina Poska, a distinctive interpreter of Sibelius, begins her second visit to the Hallé with Britten’s atmospheric Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes

music Tapir!
Yes | 20 March 2024

Following of their debut album, South-London-based 6-piece Tapir! are on tour and bring enchanting alt-indie folk to YES this March.

music FaceSoul
Yes | 21 March 2024

FaceSoul, a London-based Somali artist born in East Africa, brings meditative modern R&B and Neo soul to YES.

music Meet Mary In The Junkyard
Yes | 22 March 2024

New experimental indie trio Meet Mary In The Junkyard make their Manchester debut in the YES basement this month.

music Metalheadz with Goldie
Joshua Brooks | 22 March 2024

Metalheadz marks three monumental decades of innovation and influence with an anniversary celebration at Joshua Brooks

music BBC Philharmonic – Rise and Shine
The Bridgewater Hall | 23 March 2024

Leslie Suganandarajah conducts an evening of Mozart, Bruch and Strauss with guest violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing.

music Manchester Punk Festival
Various Venues | 29 – 31 March 2024

After a sell-out success in recent years, the ever-growing Manchester Punk Festival returns in Easter to venues across Oxford Road.

music 1-800 GIRLS
Yes | 29 March 2024

Jake Stewart has successfully located the pleasure centres of UK ravers via the diverse output of his 1-800 GIRLS artist project.

music TAK Ensemble / Distractfold
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 29 March 2024

Join IABF for Tak ensemble’s Manchester debut with one of our most-admired ensembles in the world, Distractfold.

music Sophie Faith
Yes | 5 April 2024

Sophie Faith channes her most sincere emotions into every note, sharing the most challenging times through the music she creates.

music The Hallé – Adès conducts Tippett
The Bridgewater Hall | 6 April 2024

Thomas Adès starts the second concert of his residency by reviving Barbirolli’s rarely-performed suite of Purcell’s music taken mainly from his stage works.

music Seb Lowe
o2 Ritz Manchester | 12 April 2024

Seb Lowe has a clever knack for combining perfect indie-pop with razor-sharp sights on the state of the world.

music Palehound
Yes | 14 April 2024

Fronted by Ellen Kempner, Palehound bring endlessly catchy grunge-folk with 90’s influenced indie-rock sounds to YES this April.

music Omni
The Deaf Institute | 17 April 2024

Omni bring us sharp, driving songs that land immediately, sporting chopping riffs, staccato beats, and wiry melodies.

music The Buttshakers
Retro Bar | 17 April 2024

A good night guaranteed as The Buttshakers bring warm soul and a handful of rhythm and blues to Retro Bar this April.

music WCLC: Songs of Sustainability
Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama | 18 April 2024

A concert concerned with the environment and sustainability, born from a collaboration between poet John McAuliffe and composer Richard Whalley.

music Lynks
Manchester Academy | 19 April 2024

A pop-star fed through a Nutribullet. A human bag of speed. The fourth horseman of the queer apocalypse. Lynks is here.

music Maya de Vitry
Retro Bar | 23 April 2024

Maya de Vitry’s dynamic and vibrant voice seems to rise out of some necessity of bringing songs to life, embracing sincerity and playfulness.

music The Hallé – Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto
The Bridgewater Hall | 24 April 2024

Music Director of the Ulster Orchestra and of Opéra National de Lyon, Daniele Rustioni returns to the Hallé.

music BBC Philharmonic – Nordic Noir
The Bridgewater Hall | 27 April 2024

John Storgårds conducts The BBC Philharmonic in an evening of Nordic Noir featuring Lotta Wennäkoski, Sibelius and Bruckner.

music The Hallé Presents: Nitin Sawhney in Concert
The Bridgewater Hall | 4 May 2024

A special evening lies ahead when the internationally renowned composer, musician and producer, Nitin Sawhney CBE, makes his Hallé debut.

music Camera Obscura
Manchester Academy | 6 May 2024

Scottish indie pop darlings Camera Obscura are out on tour for the first time in five years and new music is on its way.

music Gamelan Music from West Java
Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama | 10 May 2024

Experience the vibrant gamelan music from West Java, Indonesia in a concert that features a variety of classical and contemporary pieces.

music Manchester Collective: Rothko Chapel
The Bridgewater Hall | 10 May 2024

In this audio-visual live concert, musicians and composers turn to the painter’s immense canvases for inspiration, reimagining them through sound and light.

music Hurray for the Riff Raff
Deaf Institute | 11 May 2024

Hurray for the Riff Raff will bring folk rock story-telling and soulful vocals to Deaf Institute this May.

music Rakim
O2 Ritz Manchester | 15 May 2024

Celebrating his nearly four-decade hip-hop career, legendary rapper Rakim formed the blueprint for the future of hip-hop.

music Echobelly
Gorilla | 16 May 2024

Echobelly brings alternative rock vibes to Gorilla this May, promising a night of indie melodies and nostalgic 90s hits.

music The Wedding Present
Manchester Academy | 24 May 2024

The Wedding Present’s latest tour sees the band performing ‘Watusi’ in full – together with other classics from their extensive repertoire.

music Gary Numan
o2 Ritz Manchester | 24 May 2024

Electronic music pioneer Gary Numan celebrates the 45th anniversary of his 1979 albums Replicas and The Pleasure Principle.

music Arab Strap
Gorilla | 25 May 2024

Scottish indie rock band Arab Strap returns to Manchester in May in support of their brand new album.

music Chastity Belt
Deaf Institute | 12 June 2024

American Northwest indie band Chastity Belt come to Deaf this summer in support of new album, Live Laugh Love.

music Alvvays
o2 Ritz Manchester | 23 June 2024

Alvvays returns to Manchester this summer in celebration of their rapturously received 2022 album Blue Rev.

music Nils Frahm
The Bridgewater Hall | 10 July 2024

Berlin-based pianist, composer and producer Nils Frahm brings a sonic alchemy of ambient textures and atmospheric electronica to The Bridgewater Hall this summer.

music Thomas Dolby
o2 Ritz Manchester | 17 August 2024

GRAMMY Award-nominated Thomas Dolby’s impressive career has spanned over 35 years. Catch him at The Ritz this August.

music Manchester Psych Fest 2024
Various Venues | 31 August 2024

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

music WOMEX 
Manchester Central | 23 – 27 October 2024

International music convention WOMEX comes to Manchester this October, after the city won its bid to host on behalf of the UK and Ireland.

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