Things to do this May

Lots to do around Oxford Road this May, with new works from acclaimed theatremakers, jazz and celebrations of Manchester’s musical heritage, new and old.

Leading the way for the next generation of music creators, the Royal Northern College of Music hosts Made in Manchester, three days of jam-packed Mancunian music celebrations and installations, including brand-new works from staff and students inspired by the city.

A ‘concept album on stage’ STARS is the new play from internationally acclaimed theatremaker and Alfred Fagon award-winner Mojisola Adebayo. Told through one woman and a live DJ, with projected animation and captions, STARS promises to be an unmissable, magical musical experience at Contact.

Multi-award-winning Ad Infinitum brings another must-see performance to HOME. If You Fall is a moving, humorous and sensitive story based on real-life personal testimonies. Filled with acapella singing and physical theatre, this intergenerational cast explores older people’s care in all its complexities.

Manchester Jazz Festival begins with a spectacular free opening weekend at First Street. There will be three event stages celebrating home-grown talent with bands from, or with a strong connection to, the North.

After sixty years, funk, soul, and jazz legend Roy Ayers is packing away the vibraphone and calling time on an incredible career; you’ve one last chance to see him in Manchester at The Ritz this month. There are some great gigs at Yes this month, including Cloud Nothings, who mark ten years of their seminal album, Attack on Memory; Surprise Chef brings us their cinematic instrumental jazz-funk and we’re looking forward to performances from Golden Dregs and Girls of the Internet. Again, it’s another busy month for gigs, so check out our full live music listings.

Top things to do this month

More things to do

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 Golden Mummies of Egypt
The Manchester Museum | 18 February 2023 – 14 April 2024

Golden Mummies of Egypt is Manchester Museum’s re-opening exhibition. This one-of-a-kind cultural experience opens in February 2023.

heritage A Tale of Manchester Life – Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House | 2 April 2023

A new exhibition exploring how Elizabeth Gaskell presented Manchester and its people through her novels and short stories, and the impact she had through her writing.

exhibition Traces of Displacement
The Whitworth | 7 April 2023 – 7 January 2024

Traces of Displacement uses the Whitworth’s collection to address one of the major humanitarian concerns – forced displacement.

See what’s on

Food and drink

North Taproom Circle Square
North Taproom

North Taproom serves up everything from small-batch craft ale to high-end cocktails alongside a well-designed menu of Asian street food.

A plate of breakfast food at federal cafe circle square
Federal at Circle Square

Federal at Circle Square sees one of Manchester’s favourite cafes going from strength with their new branch.

Loaf Oxford St

Head to Loaf on Oxford Street for exceptional sweet treats from a retro-modern bakery adorned in tonal pinks.

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.

Society Manchester

Society Manchester is a glorious indoor and outdoor space in the very heart of the city, with several street food vendors to choose from and a range of high-quality drinks.

Get the latest news from Oxford Road in your inbox