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
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.
A Retro Silent Disco Chrismas Special takes over Manchester Central Library this festive season.
Duckwrth is an American rapper and songwriter from Los Angeles. Don’t miss this rare Manchester visit on 3 Dec 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.
Indie/Post-Punkers The Rills play The Deaf Institute this December, armed with biting, streamlined tracks from debut EP, Do It Differently.
Choirs from around Manchester featuring medical and nursing staff sing in this Carol Concert to raise money for CLIC Sargent Young Lives vs Cancer.
One of the most distinctive artists of his generation, Stephen Hough lines up alongside students for this performance.
Electronica, techno producer and artist Max Cooper returns to Manchester with a brand-new immersive concept.
Todmorden’s indie quartet, Working Men’s Club, plays The Academy this weekend in support of their latest album, Fear Fear.
Rimzee depicts a life of luxury through creative wordplay, highlighting the struggles he has faced in life through vivid storytelling and carefully structured lyrics.
This Christmas, the RNCM are hosting opera’s biggest party, Die Fledermaus, and you’re all invited.
West Lothian indie heroes The Snuts come to Gorilla in support of their latest album, Burn The Empire.
Joy Orbsison brings his powerful nightclub constructions to the intimate surrounds of The Pink Roomat YES.
Math rockers Delta Sleep play Manchester’s Gorilla this December with support from guests The Physics House Band.
Start your festivities with these most beloved carols as the Hallé Carol Concert comes to The Bridgewater Hall.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without settling down at The BridgewaterHall with the Hallé and Raymond Brigg’s classic animated film, The Snowman.
The Muppet Christmas Carol is live in concert this winter at The Bridgewater Hall, featuring its musical score performed live alongside the film.
A special Christmas show with Jane Weaver, live at YES The Pink Room on 23rd December 2022
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.
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.
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.
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.
Covid Song Cycle Watch Party is a poetic musical celebration of process, connection, growth and creativity following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bag of Bones is a bewitching new project for Manchester Collective from award-winning vocalist, violinist, songwriter and composer Alice Zawadzki.
Jockstrap push the boundaries until the boundaries, barriers and boxes no longer exist- just pure unadulterated sensual pop!
New York-based rock band We Are Scientists play hook-filled indie pop with an angular post-punk edge. Catch them at Gorilla.
Sir Mark Elder conducts Grammy-winning classical violinist Augustin Hadelich in an evening featuring Brahms’ Violin Concerto
The Royal Northern College presents the Manchester premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, as part of the College’s 50th Anniversary celebration.
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.
After a sell out success earlier this year, Manchester Punk Festival returns in Easter 2023 to venues across Oxford Road.
Royal Northern College of Music present Made in Manchester, a three day festival celebrating music inspired by the city.
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.
Royal Northern College of Music celebrates its 50th birthday and half a century of forging incredible careers across the music industry.
Join RNCM vocal students and he Orchestra of Opera North for a fantastic evening of opera’s greatest hits.