Festival of Libraries

Manchester City of Literature presents the inaugural Festival of Libraries. With 80 free events across five days 9-13th June, there’s a mix of in-person/online and indoor/outdoor activity in every borough of Greater Manchester…

Including right here on the Oxford Road Corridor.

Artists, writers and performers taking part in the Festival of Libraries include Guy Garvey, Michael Rosen, Gary Younge, Shirley May, Mike Garry, Stuart Maconie, Andrew McMillan, Rosie Garland, James Holt, Anjum Malik, Hafsah Aneela Bashir and Stephen Holland, UK Comics Laureate. With more than 50 artists and creatives involved in the festival, there’s lots to see.

The festival, which is supported by project grants from Arts Council England, features a vibrant programme that highlights the world-class Manchester libraries full offer, across wellbeing, culture and creativity, digital and information, and, of course, reading.

The Festival of Libraries programme takes place in internationally renowned institutions from Manchester’s rich tapestry of heritage libraries, including Central Library, with its impressive status as the busiest public library in the country, in addition to Chetham’s, The Portico, and the John Rylands Research Institute and Library. Also featured will be Greater Manchester’s equally important and vital local libraries that deliver much-needed support and services to their communities.

There are 133 libraries in Manchester, and every resident lives within 1.5 miles of a library so why not check out something new.

What’s On

The Festival of Libraries takes place across Greater Manchester, but here’s a taste of what you can do here on Oxford Road Corridor.

Artist Residency: Anna Polonyi
Manchester Central Library | Until 13 June 2021

Anna Polonyi has been partnered with Central Library and is planning to write a new short story during her residency.

Literature on Oxford Road Corridor

The area is steeped in literary and political history, immortalised in prose, poem and song: from Fredrich Engels’ sombre description of working-class life, John Cooper Clarke’s ‘Queen of the Ritz’ in Salome Maloney and Morrissey’s peak through the roof of the Holy Name Church in Vicar in a Tutu.

More cultural attractions

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More to do on Oxford Road Corridor

Food & Drink

There’s always plenty of good places to eat and drink on Oxford Road Corridor, many places will allow walk-ins, but again, check before making a special visit.

An image of bikes locked up outside the venue Gorilla

Since opening in 2012, Gorilla has proved itself as Manchester’s definitive mid-sized modern gig venue and one of the city’s best bar and kitchens.

A dish from WOOD Manchester
WOOD Manchester

WOOD Manchester offers one of the city’s best fine dining experiences, from the locally-loved winner of 2015 MasterChef winner Simon Wood.

The Refuge

The Refuge, at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, is a luxurious, modern restaurant, housed in a magnificent, Alfred Waterhouse designed, Victorian brick and terracotta building offers 10,000 sq ft of drinking and dining for everyone and anyone with the instruction “Come As You Are”.

photo of roof terrace at big hands
Big Hands

Big Hands at the South end of Oxford Road may be small, but it comes with added rock n’ roll swagger, a great atmosphere and a lovely roof garden.

Photo of an Indian dish from zouk tea bar and grill
Zouk Tea Bar and Grill

Zouk Tea Bar and Grill is a modern, exciting restaurant, serving up some of the very best Indian-Pakistani cuisine in Manchester.

Cocktails at Bunny Jackson's
Bunny Jackson’s Juke Joint

Bunny Jackson’s is a late-night music venue, dive bar and American diner on First Street. Expect cocktails, cold beer and chicken wings.

internal shot of the brightly coloured decor at indian tiffin room on first street
Indian Tiffin Room

Charming and homely, the Indian Tiffin Room brings this classic Indian dish to First Street.

The Briton’s Protection

An iconic pub with an impressive whiskey list running into the hundreds. A welcoming atmosphere and a sprawling beer garden.

The bar area of The Font in Manchester one of the bars and pubs on oxford road
The Font

The Font Manchester is a cracking bar found just off Oxford Road on New Wakefield St where it’s been for over 20 years.

Green Spaces

If you still feel more comfortable in open spaces, there’s plenty of green spots to enjoy on the Corridor.

People enjoying the sun in All Saints Park Manchester Oxford Road Corridor
All Saints Park

All Saints Park is a beautiful green space in the heart of the Oxford Road Corridor. Perfect for a quick moment of calm on a busy day.

A squirrel eating a nut in Whitworth Park on Oxford Road in Manchester
Whitworth Park

This 18-acre park opposite the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust is an eye-catching green space and home to the Whitworth Art Gallery.

A person with headphones on enjoying the sun in Bruswick Park
Brunswick Park

Enjoy views of some of the best architecture in Manchester in this green space which was opened in 2018 by The University of Manchester.