Unlock Manchester Visitor Guide

Manchester What's On, Entertainment, Tickets and Eating Out Guide

Friday 17 Sep 2021

[@]Manchester's Festivals

Never underestimate a city that has produced the likes of The Smiths and Oasis. In fact, expect that city to be leading the way when it comes to live music. And where is the best place to throw yourself into the thick of it? Only at one of Manchester’s very own music festivals.

Visit the MIF websiteThe Manchester International Festival is one of the world's most influential music gatherings; often hosting major stars such as Kraftwerk or Bjork. This biannual event sees the city turned into a huge stage with perfomances including theatre, dance and music.

Held during the month of July, it attracts visitors and locals into the city and there will be something for you to enjoy and engage with.

For many years the one event that was lacking from the Mancunian calendar was an outside music festival to rival the likes of Glastonbury and V Festival. But that all changed in 2010 when Parklife touched down at Platt Fields Park in Fallowfield for a weekend of banging beats and dirty dancing.

Since then the festival has grown in numerous ways, with its popularity now at an all-time high. Originally designed for students and locals, more and more people are now travelling to the city to get a taste of the two-day event held annually in June.

Which is just one of the reasons why the festival has now moved to Heaton Park - so it can accommodate the tens of thousands who want to be part of the action. Each year the line-up manages to bring in a list of acclaimed artists, with past bills including Dizzee Racal and Disclosure. The 2014 event was headlined by American rap megastar Snoop Dogg.

Beware though, if you’re lucky enough to nab yourself a ticket then you’ll need a pair of wellies at the get-go. They’re by far the smartest choice of footwear if the weather turns.

The other emerging festival, Summer in the City, takes place a the Castlefield Bowl. Despite only being in its early days the event has managed to bring in a number of esteemed bands, such as The Pixies and Manchester’s very own James.

Read about Manchester's Classical Music SceneManchester has a long established link with classical music and it's very own Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) is a world class education centre.

The Bridgewater Hall and Manchester Cathedral are very popular performance venues both within easy reach of the city centre.

  • Blackthorn Festival

    Blackthorn Music Festival

    Blackthorn Music Festival with headliner bands and up and coming artists. Secondary acoustic stage, weekend camping, food stall, Bar and soft drinks, entertainment such as bucking bronco and other rides.

  • Manchester Fringe Festival

    Manchester Fringe Festival

    The Fringe, that happens every July, was created to run concurrently with the biennial MIF and it presents a wide range of music, theatre and comedy across the city.

    Information and Performances...
  • Manchester International Festival

    Manchester International Festival (MIF)

    MIF is is truely an international festival, it features music, dance and art from across the world as well as home grown talent

    Information and Performances...
  • Manchester Jazz Festival

    Manchester Jazz Festival

    20 years of the MJF at venues across the city with a main hub in the Festival Pavilion site in Albert Square.

    Information and Performances...
  • Manchester Pride

    Manchester Pride

    While focusing on the LGBT community, Manchester Pride is fun event for everyone and often features major headline acts.

  • Parklife

    Parklife at Heaton Park

    Parklife is now an established part of Manchester's thriving festival scene and it's well worth a look.

  • Summer in the City

    Summer in the City

    Held right in the centre of Manchester's historic Castlefield Summer in the City has grown to be a major event.

  • RNCM

    Royal Northern College of Music

    The RNCM music programmes are much more that a short festival, its productions and performances run thorugh out the year.

    Information and Performances...

Manchester a City of ‘Quarters’

Bury - Part of Historic Manchester

Bury Town

Only 30 minutes by Tram from the City Centre, Bury and its attractions make a good day trip



Nestled between the Irwell and Medloack rivers Castlefield is where the Romans established 'Mamucium'. Experience the old and modern and explore its attractions

China Town - City Centre

China Town

China Town, a stone's throw from Piccadilly Gardens, offers restaurants, specialist supermarkets and entertainment all in one space



Connecting most parts of the city, this mile-long road is worth a stroll along and offers some great shops and places to eat

Read About All Manchester‘s Quarters