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 Surprise Chef
YES | 29 May 2023

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.

music Pride Classical
The Bridgewater Hall | 2 June 2023

The soundtrack to 50 years of love, hope and celebration, Pride Classical fuses anthemic melodies with irresistible rhythms,

music Flowdan
Joshua Brooks | 2 June 2023

A huge name within the Grime scene, Flowdan is coming to Manchester. Catch a British urban music legend live at Joshua Brooks this summer.

music audiobooks
YES | 3 June 2023

Expect heavy dub-driven monsters and irresistible synth-pop bangers when audiobooks play Yes this June.

music Jen Cloher
The Deaf Institute | 7 June 2023

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.

music Screaming Females
YES | 17 June 2023

Catch Screaming Females at YES this June, one of the most dynamic and devastating touring bands going today.

music Manchester Sacred Harp June Concert
The Whitworth | 18 June 2023

Join Manchester Sacred Harp for an afternoon of uplifting social singing. Their door is open – sit and sing if you want to join in – or pop in to listen.

music Friends of the Whitworth June Sunday Concert
The Whitworth | 18 June 2023

Students from the Royal Northern College of Music perform in the South Gallery, overlooking Whitworth Park.

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 Manchester Classical
The Bridgewater Hall | 24 – 25 June 2023

Manchester Classical sees the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Manchester Collective and a host of stellar artists come together.

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

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

exhibition Sonics, stories and scenes of the Diaspora
The Manchester Museum | 1 July 2023

SEEN Magazine and Manchester Museum shine a spotlight on the sounds of the South Asian diaspora for Manchester International Festival.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

music Sonic Geography
The Bridgewater Hall | 7 July 2023

Lose yourself in the world premiere of Sonic Geography by John Luther Adams, played by pianist Ralph Van Raat.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

music Belle and Sebastian
Manchester Academy | 21 July 2023

Belle and Sebastian play Manchester Academy in support of their tenth album, A Bit of Previous, released in 2022.

music Manchester Sacred Harp July Concert
The Whitworth | 23 July 2023

Join Manchester Sacred Harp for an afternoon of uplifting social singing. Their door is open – sit and sing if you want to join in – or pop in to listen.

music Manchester Sacred Harp August Concert
The Whitworth | 6 August 2023

Join Manchester Sacred Harp for an afternoon of uplifting social singing. Their door is open – sit and sing if you want to join in – or pop in to listen.

music Manchester Psych Fest 2023
Various Venues | 2 September 2023

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

music Wilco
The Bridgewater Hall | 5 September 2023

American alt-country icons Wilco return to the UK in the autumn, for a series of headline shows and festival performances.

music Dexys
The Bridgewater Hall | 8 September 2023

Dexys present The Feminine Divine live! Followed by a selection of Dexys classics at The Bridgewater Hall this September.

music Graham Nash
The Bridgewater Hall | 12 September 2023

Legendary artist Graham Nash, as a founding member of both the Hollies and Crosby, Stills and Nash visits Manchester.

music PiL
O2 Ritz Manchester | 22 September 2023

Public Image Ltd. (PiL) return to Manchester with their eleventh studio album and first album in 8 years, End of World.

music The Covasettes
Manchester Academy | 23 September 2023

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

music Puma Blue
Canvas | 26 September 2023

Puma Blue’s music is noted for a blend of intimate fragility, sensual grooves and haunting, nocturnal ambience.

music Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
O2 Ritz Manchester | 30 September 2023

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs are touring their fourth studio album, Land of Sleeper, stopping by The Ritz this September.

music Gang of Four
O2 Ritz Manchester | 4 October 2023

Gang of Four, one of the most radically important, and influential rock groups of the last 40 years, play Manchester this October.

music Westerman
Canvas | 18 October 2023

Westerman, the west London singer-songwriter, loved by Perfume Genius, heads to Canvas following last year’s show at Yes.

music Bleach Lab
Canvas | 18 October 2023

Bleach Lab are always striving to break new ground and be constantly on the move sonically. See them at Canvas this October.

music Alabama 3
O2 Ritz Manchester | 25 October 2023

Alabama 3, the legendary acid house country band from Brixton, are back with their fourteenth studio album, Cold War Classics Vol.2.

music Wrest
The Deaf Institute | 28 October 2023

Hotly tipped Scottish indie rock group Wrest are coming to Manchester’s Deaf Insitute for a headline date.

music Personal Trainer
The Deaf Institute | 4 November 2023

Personal Trainer is Willem Smit’s rock collective. Live, they have an ever-shifting line-up with members from bands like Pip Blom.

music This Is The Kit
Manchester Academy | 24 November 2023

This Is The Kit tour in support of their richly illuminating album Off Off On, a record overflowing with ideas, energy and power.

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.

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