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 Manchester Collective: Places We Know with Pekka Kuusisto (violin)
Royal Northern College of Music | 2 December 2022

Once or twice in a generation, music fans embrace an artist who totally redefines what is possible in their field. Pekka Kuusisto is one of these artists.

music All I Want For Christmas is… Retro Silent Disco
Manchester Central Library | 2 December 2022

A Retro Silent Disco Chrismas Special takes over Manchester Central Library this festive season.

music Duckwrth
Gorilla | 3 December 2022

Duckwrth is an American rapper and songwriter from Los Angeles. Don’t miss this rare Manchester visit on 3 Dec 2022.

music Idle Hours
YES | 3 December 2022

Call it indie-rock, call it post-punk; it’s guitar music. Idle Hours bring social observation and fuzzy guitars to YES this December.

music The Rills
The Deaf Institute | 3 December 2022

Indie/Post-Punkers The Rills play The Deaf Institute this December, armed with biting, streamlined tracks from debut EP, Do It Differently.

music Manchester & Districts Hospital’s Choir Christmas Carol Concert
The Bridgewater Hall | 5 December 2022

Choirs from around Manchester featuring medical and nursing staff sing in this Carol Concert to raise money for CLIC Sargent Young Lives vs Cancer.

music Stephen Hough with RNCM Songsters: Love and Loss
Royal Northern College of Music | 6 December 2022

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

music Max Cooper
Gorilla | 9 December 2022

Electronica, techno producer and artist Max Cooper returns to Manchester with a brand-new immersive concept.

music Working Men’s Club
Manchester Academy | 9 December 2022

Todmorden’s indie quartet, Working Men’s Club, plays The Academy this weekend in support of their latest album, Fear Fear.

music Rimzee
The Deaf Institute | 9 December 2022

Rimzee depicts a life of luxury through creative wordplay, highlighting the struggles he has faced in life through vivid storytelling and carefully structured lyrics.

music RNCM Opera: Die Fledermaus
Royal Northern College of Music | 10 – 17 December 2022

This Christmas, the RNCM are hosting opera’s biggest party, Die Fledermaus, and you’re all invited.

music The Snuts
Gorilla | 10 December 2022

West Lothian indie heroes The Snuts come to Gorilla in support of their latest album, Burn The Empire.

music Joy Orbison
YES | 10 December 2022

Joy Orbsison brings his powerful nightclub constructions to the intimate surrounds of The Pink Roomat YES.

music Delta Sleep
Gorilla | 17 December 2022

Math rockers Delta Sleep play Manchester’s Gorilla this December with support from guests The Physics House Band.

music Hallé Carol Concert
The Bridgewater Hall | 18 – 17 December 2022

Start your festivities with these most beloved carols as the Hallé Carol Concert comes to The Bridgewater Hall.

music Hallé – The Snowman
The Bridgewater Hall | 21 – 23 December 2022

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without settling down at The BridgewaterHall with the Hallé and Raymond Brigg’s classic animated film, The Snowman. 

music The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Bridgewater Hall | 21 December 2022

The Muppet Christmas Carol is live in concert this winter at The Bridgewater Hall, featuring its musical score performed live alongside the film.

music Jane Weaver
YES | 23 December 2022

A special Christmas show with Jane Weaver, live at YES The Pink Room on 23rd December 2022

music EMF
Gorilla | 13 January 2023

1990s British dance-rock quintet EMF recently made a return with their new record Go Go Sapiens marking a fresh new era for the band.

music Big Joanie
The Deaf Institute | 17 January 2023

Big Joanie are a Black feminist punk band whose punk rock ethos have made them one of the most talked about bands on the UK live scene.

music The Hallé – Game On!
The Bridgewater Hall | 21 January 2023

Join the Hallé first, as they explore the extraordinary world of video games and the exciting music which has become synonymous with this globe-conquering genre.

music The Subways
Gorilla | 26 January 2023

The Subways remain one of the most exciting live bands on the current touring circuit, thrilling crowds with their explosive rock sound and wild stage performances.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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