Things to do this October

Oxford Road is feeling busier than it has done in the past few years and there are loads of things happening here this October to keep the crowds busy.

October gets off to a flyer with Neighbourhood Festival returning to Oxford Road music venues, bringing indie titans The Snuts, local heroes Everything Everything and alternative quartet Sundara Karma alongside a quality line-up of bands. Also on this first weekend is Emergency, Manchester’s twenty-second micro-marathon of the bizarre, the bold and the beautiful in the world of performance art.

Manchester Literature Festival takes place at venues across Oxford Road this month, celebrating imagination, ideas, stories, and voices from around the world. It is part of Manchester’s rich cultural tapestry we’re delighted to have a preview introduction from the festival’s organisors.

October is Black History Month and it remains as important as ever. This is reflected in the programming of spaces across Oxford Road, both celebrating the achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK and around the world, and ensuring Black history is represented and celebrated.

The blockbuster arrives at Palace Theatre this month as The Lion King begins a two-month run in Manchester. On a slightly smaller stage, we’re very excited to see Keisha Thompson team up with Contact Young Company to bring us Halo, a new show inspired by the Halo Code, a campaign fighting for the protection and celebration of Black hair and hairstyles, Halo explores young people’s experiences in schools and workplaces in regards to their hair.

There are new exhibitions at Castlefield Gallery and HOME as well as another superb month of gigs including Sampa The Great, Manchester Folk Festival, GZA, Gilla Band and many many more.

There’s so much to do this October around Oxford Road, here are just a few of the best bits…

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People laughing on University Green one of the many parks and green spaces on Oxford Road
Green Spaces

Oxford Road Corridor has a number of historic parks and contemporary green spaces to enjoy.

Food and Drink on Oxford Road

The food and drink in Manchester is some of the best in the UK with many of the finest offerings found here on the Oxford Road Corridor.

More things to do in October

exhibition At Home with the Pankhurst Family
The Pankhurst Centre | 29 August 2021 – 31 August 2025

The transformation of the Pankhurst Centre exhibition space is incredible thanks to its new permanent exhibition, At Home with the Pankhurst Family.

exhibition Open House
The Whitworth | 26 November 2021 – 10 December 2022

Wallpapers began arriving at the Whitworth in 1967, this exhibition delves into the galley’s collection of around 10,000 examples.

exhibition Exchanges
The Whitworth | 19 February 2022 – 10 February 2023

Exchanges sets art and artist together, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in opposition – always with insight and intention.

families Fairy Tales
Z-arts | 5 April 2022 – 26 February 2023

Fairy Tales is Z-arts latest exhibition, an interactive world of play and storytelling for children up to 8-years old and their grown-ups.

exhibition The World Reimagined
HOME | 12 August – 31 October 2022

The World Reimagined sees trails of large globe sculptures in cities across the UK. In Manhcester you can find one at HOME.

exhibition The MA Show
Manchester School of Art | 10 September – 7 October 2022

The MA Show celebrates the work of Manchester School of Art’s postgraduate students.

exhibition Matthew Bamber and Ivy Kalungi
Castlefield Gallery | 25 September – 16 October 2022

Artists Matthew Bamber and Ivy Kalungi explore how images, objects and bodies hold memories of personal and social histories.

theatre Kin
HOME | 27 September – 1 October 2022

Prepare to be moved to the core by Gecko’s hypnotising beauty, compelling global soundtrack, and unbarred emotion. Look inwards and ask ‘Who am I, and where do I belong?’

festival Indy Man Beer Con 2022
Victoria Baths | 29 September – 2 October 2022

Independent Manchester Beer Convention, aka Indy Man Beer Con, is a world-class showcase for the best breweries from the UK and beyond.

exhibition Venessa Scott
HOME | 1 October – 20 November 2022

Venessa Scott presents a new exhibition exploring impact and legacy through a collection of paintings and colour moments inspired by nature.

theatre Emergency 22
Contact | 1 October 2022

Word of Warning and Contact present Emergency ’22, a day out for the curious. The annual platform for Live Art and contemporary performance

music Neighbourhood Festival
Gorilla, YES, The Ritz | 1 October 2022

One of Manchester’s favourite multi-venue festivals is back! Neighbourhood Festival will be taking over Manchester city centre this October.

theatre English National Ballet: Swan Lake
Palace Theatre | 5 – 8 October 2022

The world’s most famous ballet returns to cast its spell in English National Ballet’s stunning production.

dance Outbox: Groove
Contact | 5 October 2022

Be immersed in lights, lasers and video, and era-defining and defying original beats. Prepare to leave it all on the dance floor… get ready to GROOVE.

theatre Roma Havers: LOB
Contact | 5 – 8 October 2022

LOB is a tennis, poetry bonanza about moving through sporting spaces as a queer body, written and performed by Roma Havers.

music Pilkington Lecture: Gus Casely-Hayford OBE
The Whitworth | 6 October 2022

Friends of the Whitworth invite Gus Casely-Hayford, OBE, director of the new V&A East, cultural historian and tv presenter to present the Pilkington Lecture.

literature Manchester Literature Festival
Various Venues | 6 – 23 October 2022

Manchester Literature Festival is a celebration of imagination, ideas, stories, and voices from around the world.

literature A. M. Homes in Conversation
Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama | 8 October 2022

A.M. Homes joins Manchester Literature Festival to discuss her new novel ‘The Unfolding’ about how that night led us to where we are now.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

music The Lemonheads
O2 Ritz Manchester | 8 October 2022

Celebrating 30 years of their fifth studio album It’s a Shame About Ray, American rockers The Lemonheads will be play the album in full in Manchester.

literature An Evening with Kamila Shamsie
Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama | 8 October 2022

BBC Presenter Razia Iqbal hosts an evening with prize-winning writer Kamila Shamsie.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

music Black Angel 25
Contact | 8 October 2022

Late night late 90s pioneering club night Black Angel returns to Contact to celebrate their 25th birthday.

literature Jan Carson & Louise Kennedy
Manchester Central Library | 9 October 2022

Manchester Literature Festival is joined by two award-winning stars of Irish writing, Jan Carson & Louise Kennedy.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

literature Kit de Waal
Manchester Central Library | 9 October 2022

Kit de Waal discusses ‘Without Warning and Only Sometimes’ a memoir of a childhood of opposites and extremes.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

music SOAK
Yes | 9 October 2022

Northern Irish singer-songwriter SOAK comes to Manchester, performing at YES in support of their latest album If I Never Know You Like This Again.

comedy Dave Gorman: Powerpoint to the People
Palace Theatre | 9 October 2022

Dave Gorman, the man behind hit show Modern Life Is Goodish as well as Are You Dave Gorman? and Googlewhack Adventure, is back on the road with a brand new live show.

literature Paterson Joseph in Conversation
Manchester Central Library | 9 October 2022

In his captivating debut novel, ‘The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho’, actor Paterson Joseph tells a story hidden for 300 years.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

exhibition With My Ear to the Wall
Contact Theatre | 9 October 2022

With My Ear to the Wall is a tactile audio installation of tumblers, placed to the wall. Inciting empathy, curiosity and a sense of closeness, With My Ear to the Wall is an opportunity to eavesdrop on the tender insights of the lives of strangers. Created with local people.

literature Damon Galgut in conversation
Manchester Central Library | 10 October 2022

Winner of the 2021 Booker Prize, Damon Galgut discusses his masterpiece ‘The Promise’, a gripping, beautifully written family saga.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

theatre Beautiful
Palace Theatre | 11 – 15 October 2022

Long before she was Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, she was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent.

literature Inua Ellams & Yomi Sode
Contact | 11 October 2022

Two electrifying performers, Inua Ellams and Yomi Sode return to MLF to share work from their acclaimed poetry collections.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

literature Monica Ali
Manchester Central Library | 11 October 2022

The bestselling and much-loved author of ‘Brick Lane’, Monica Ali visits MLF to celebrate her brilliant new novel ‘Love Marriage’, her first book in a decade.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

literature 2022 Anthony Burgess Lecture: Robert Crawford
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 12 October 2022

For the 2022 Anthony Burgess Lecture, and in the centenary year of TS Eliot’s poem ‘The Waste Land’, we are delighted to welcome the acclaimed poet and critic Robert Crawford to deliver a specially commissioned talk on TS Eliot and literary biography. TS Eliot was a formative influence on Anthony Burgess, who returned to Eliot’s […]

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

literature An Evening with Ian Rankin
Royal Northern College of Music | 12 October 2022

Jackie Kay hosts and evening with Scottish crime writer with Ian Rankin at Royal Northern College of Music.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

music Sampa the Great
Gorilla | 12 October 2022

Coming to Gorilla, Sampa the Great is a poet and singer-songwriter expressing herself through music, poetry and visual art.

music Sinead O’Brien
The Deaf Institute | 12 October 2022

Having garnered international critical acclaim for debut album Time Bend and Break The Bower, Sinead O’Brien’s latest show at Deaf Institute is one you won’t want to miss.

exhibition Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair Manchester
Victoria Baths | 13 – 16 October 2022

Victoria Baths welcome back the excellent Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair Manchester, a must-attend event for craft lovers.

literature Nihal Arthanayake: Let’s Talk
Manchester Central Library | 13 October 2022

Award-winning BBC broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake brings a defibrillator to our ailing ability to connect through conversation.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

music Manchester Folk Festival 2022: The Jackie Oates Trio
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 13 October 2022

Jackie Oates brings elements of the English folk tradition to new people and places; in turn bringing a much-needed calm and joy to those who hear it.

music Manchester Folk Festival 2022: Douglas Dare
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 13 October 2022

Douglas Dare’s music speaks of his own experiences of universal themes like love, loss, and childhood.

music Dinosaur Jr
o2 Ritz Manchester | 14 October 2022

Alt-rock pioneers, Dinosaur Jr. return to UK shores to tour their fifth album, 2020’s Sweep It Into Space.

music Manchester Folk Festival 2022: Lucy Farrell
International Anthony Burgess Foundation (IABF) | 14 October 2022

Expect odd, unconventional melodies, poetic, sophisticated song-writing and the bewitching clarity from Kent-born, Canada-based Lucy Farrell.

music Manchester Folk Festival 2022: Stolen From God
HOME | 14 October 2022

A narrated song cycle by Reg Meuross, unfolding the history of England’s involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

music Manchester Folk Festival 2022: Fiona Bevan
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 14 October 2022

Fiona Bevan is a singer and a hit songwriter. She had a number 1 album with Kylie Minogue and has worked with Lewis Capaldi, Matthew E. White and many more.

music Manchester Folk Festival 2022: Touchstone
HOME | 15 October 2022

A unique new collaboration of English and Kashmiri folk music, Touchstone brings together four of the very finest UK based musicians in a special project of musical sharing and friendship.

literature David Olusoga in Conversation
Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama | 15 October 2022

A special in conversation with David Olusoga, the British historian, broadcaster, presenter and author of ‘Black and British: A Forgotten History’.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

music Manchester Folk Festival 2022: Pedler // Russell
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 15 October 2022

An original collaboration sees BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Greg Russell and historian and musician Danny Pedler take a unique approach to presenting the social landscape.

music Manchester Folk Festival 2022: Group Listening
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 15 October 2022

The pair are constantly seeking to subvert the minimalism of their sonic palette, creating a subtle but constant tension that every now and then catalyses’ the music to somewhere unexpected.

literature Juan Pablo Villalobos & Paulo Scott
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 16 October 2022

The history of walls – as a way to keep people in or out – is also the history of people managing to get around, over and under them.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

comedy Adam Kay – This is Going to Hurt… More
Palace Theatre | 16 October 2022

Award-winning writer and comedian Adam Kay’s debut book, This is Going to Hurt, is a literary sensation now brought to the stage.

families Glowing Writing Workshop
Contact | 17 – 18 October 2022

Candid, ferocious, funny and loud, Glowing is a show that debunks the myths that pregnant women are having the time of their lives.

music GZA – 25th Anniversary of Liquid Swords
Manchester Academy | 17 October 2022

Wu-Tang Clan MC and hip hop legend, GZA, heads to Manchester Academy to honour the 25th anniversary of his seminal album, Liquid Swords.

literature Nick Hornby: Dickens & Prince
Manchester Central Library | 17 October 2022

With wit, curiosity and deep admiration Nick Hornby traces the extraordinary lives of two artists who have shaped and inspired him.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

literature Roger Robinson & Johny Pitts – Home Is Not A Place
Manchester Poetry Library | 17 October 2022

Award-winning poet Roger Robinson and acclaimed photographer Johny Pitts rented a red Mini Cooper and went in search of Black Britain.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

literature Jon McGregor
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 18 October 2022

Jon McGregor is the author of two short story collections and five novels and he stops by The Anthony Burgess Foundation.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

theatre Amy Vreeke: Glowing
Contact | 18 October 2022

Candid, ferocious, funny and loud, Glowing debunks the myths that pregnant women are having the time of their lives and new mothers spend their days softly singing nursery rhymes to sleeping babies.

literature Rob Delaney: A Heart That Works
Royal Northern College of Music | 19 October 2022

Manchester Literature Festival is delighted to present a special in conversation with Rob Delaney.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

music Gilla Band
Canvas | 20 October 2022

Irish post-punk and noise rock band Gilla Band play brand new venue Canvas in October in support of their new record, Most Normal.

theatre Blak Whyte Gray
HOME | 20 – 22 October 2022

Fuelled by an emotional energy, this triple bill pairs the concentrated physicality of select hip-hop dance styles with the rhythmical groove of music and moves evoking Africa.

exhibition Althea McNish: Colour is Mine
The Whitworth | 21 October 2022 – 23 April 2023

The Whitworth presents the first major retrospective of Althea McNish, one of the UK’s most influential and innovative textile designers and the first designer of Caribbean descent to achieve international recognition.

music The Hallé – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
The Bridgewater Hall | 22 October 2022

Relive the magic of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on the big screen accompanied by a magnificent, live performance from the Hallé.

literature George Saunders in Conversation
Manchester Central Library | 23 October 2022

Join George Saunders in Conversation at Central Library as part of this year’s Manchester Literature Festival.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

literature Edward Enninful & Bernardine Evaristo in Conversation
Royal Northern College of Music | 23 October 2022

Edward Enninful in conversation with fellow game-changer Bernardine Evaristo about his life, work, experiences in the world of fashion and commitment to inclusion and representation.

Part of Manchester Literature Festival

theatre Contact Young Company: Halo
Contact | 24 – 26 October 2022

Contact’s new Artistic Director Keisha Thompson teams up with Contact Young Company to direct their Autumn show!

music Westerman
YES | 25 October 2022

Westerman, the west London singer-songwriter, loved by Perfume Genius, heads to YES in support of debut album Your Hero Is Not Dead.

theatre Disney’s The Lion King
Palace Theatre | 27 October – 24 December 2022

Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi-award-winning musical is a unique theatrical experience you can experience at Manchester’s Palace Theatre.

music The Hallé – Verdi’s Requiem
The Bridgewater Hall | 27 October 2022

Sir Mark has assembled a stellar line up of soloists familiar to Hallé audiences, to perform Verdi’s Requiem.

exhibition Brigitte Jurack: Fieldnotes
HOME | 28 October 2022 – 29 January 2023

Artist and climate activist Brigitte Jurack’s largest solo show to date, bringing together works produced in the UK, Spain and India.

exhibition Nina Chua and Daniel Silver
Castlefield Gallery | 30 October 2022 – 29 January 2023

A lively and exuberant exhibition of the work of Nina Chua and Daniel Silver, part of Castlefield Gallery’s ongoing series of two person shows.

See what’s on
View of Circle Square from the pavilion at Symphony Park
Circle Square

Circle Square is an exciting multi-million pound, mixed-use neighbourhood, created on the site of the former BBC building on Oxford Road.

Back of Engels statue at First Street Manchester
First Street

First Street is a vibrant neighbourhood between Oxford Road and Deansgate, it is home to a number of businesses and is a popular spot for food, drink and culture.


Hatch is Manchester’s pop-up retail, food and drink destination on Oxford Road with something for just about everyone. It is a place to shop, eat and drink, 7 days a week at over 30 independent traders.

Where to stay

The lobby of Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in Manchester's Oxford Road Corridor
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel

Kimpton Clocktower Hotel offers an unforgettable stay on Oxford Road Corridor in one of Manchester’s most iconic buildings.

Midland Hotel Lobby Manchester Oxford Road Corridr
The Midland Hotel

The Midland Hotel is one of the most famous places to stay in Manchester, and one of Oxford Road Corridor’s most lavishly decorated hotels.

Image of the chandelier at Holiday Inn Express Oxford Road
Holiday Inn Express

The Holiday Inn Express on Oxford Road is a centrally located hotel that offers visitors great value for money.