Things to do this September

Loads of things to do this September around Oxford Road as students return along with thrilling theatre, new exhibitions and gigs, gigs and more gigs.

September is an exciting time to be in Manchester as more than 80,000 students arrive and Oxford Road springs to life. Along with an influx of new minds, the cultural scene ramps up as we head into the autumn.

Contact and RNCM celebrate their 50th anniversary this year and both have lots to see in their jubilee seasons. Manchester Collective join RNCM as one of their new Artists-in-Residence. From side-by-side initiatives and fantastic performances, they’ll work closely with our students, giving them unprecedented insight into one of the UK’s most innovative chamber orchestras. This September, see WEATHER, a new Manchester Collective performance co-commissioned with the Southbank Centre. Another must-see show at RNCM this month is New Dawn Fades, the story of four ordinary lads who, inspired by the punk revolution of 1970s Manchester, came together to form one of the most influential bands of all time, Joy Division.

Ahead of a new show inspired by the Halo Code; a campaign fighting for the protection and celebration of Black hair and hairstyles, Contact celebrates World Afro Day on the 15th of September. Also this month they host highly-anticipated shows by Sophie Hagan, Not Your Circus Dog collective and Spoken Movement.

HOME’s new season kicks off with 12 Last Songs, a 12-hour live exhibition of people in an epic performance that casts the steady rhythms of life on a carnival scale. We’re also excited about Kin, Gecko’s hypnotising dance piece compelled by a global soundtrack.

Finally, there are loads of gigs happening across Oxford Road this September, we’ve picked out a few below, but do seek out the full listings, it’s another massive autumn for seeing live music in Manchester.

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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 September

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 Global Arts Manchester
The Whitworth | 7 July – 30 September 2022

An exhibition featuring the work of 8 women artists who have been collaborating for the last 4 years through Global Arts Manchester.

exhibition Together As One: A Celebration of Manchester’s LGBTQIA+ Community
The Refuge | 28 July – 30 September 2022

British Culture Archive Presents: Together As One – A Celebration of Manchester’s LGBTQ+ Community at The Refuge at The Kimpton Clocktower.

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.

music Parcels
o2 Ritz Manchester | 27 September 2022

Berlin-based, Australian disco-pop quintet Parcels head to Manchester with brand new music from their second album, Day/Night.

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?’

literature Kehinde Andrews in conversation
Blackwell’s Bookshop | 28 September 2022

Kehinde Andrews will be talking about how genocide, slavery and colonialism are the key foundation stones upon which the West was built.

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.

literature Thea Lenarduzzi in conversation with Kaye Mitchell
Blackwell’s Bookshop | 29 September 2022

Join Thea Lenarduzzi in conversation with the Centre for New Writing’s Kaye Mitchell at Blackwell’s this September.

theatre Spoken Movement: Family Honour
Contact | 29 September 2022

A brilliantly unique meeting of hip hop and theatre, Spoken Movement’s Family Honour asks how far one would go to uphold family expectations.

dance Not Your Circus Dog: Not F**kin Sorry
Contact | 29 September 2022

Join the Not Your Circus Dog collective in an evening of shameless sexy punk crip cabaret.

music New Dawn Fades: A Play about Joy Division & Manchester
Royal Northern College of Music | 29 – 30 September 2022

A new production of New Dawn Fades: A Play About Joy Division and Manchester celebrates its 10th anniversary at RNCM.

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.