What’s On: Things to do in Manchester this summer

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Featured image: Big Telly

Whether you’re a local or student staying in the city over the summer break, this summer promises to be an eventful one! Manchester is already buzzing with a whole host of events, from immersive art exhibitions, to music festivals, to literary talks, to performances!

Here at aAh! we’ve hand picked the best arts and culture events – including a load of free ones – to ensure that this summer is both lively and wholesome.


Brass Art: rock, quiver and bend
01/06/24 – 01/09/24 @ HOME 

An exhibition of new work by Brass Art, (Chara Lewis, Kristin Mojsiewicz and Anneke Pettican), bringing together immersive video, sculpture and lens-based media.

Business Start Up Boot Camp 
07/06/24 – 08/06/24 @ Manchester Met

Start your own business venture, social enterprise or freelance journey with support from external facilitators, resources, mentoring and advice. This will cover the initial building blocks of setting up a successful business and will provide support, advice, resources, guidance and mentoring to help you create a commercially viable venture. Organised by Manchester Met Rise.

The Sally Sessions
08/06/24 @ The Salutation Pub

A new radio broadcast series is launching at The Salutation Pub this summer in collaboration with radio platform, Slack City MCR. The new show offers a platform for student musicians, poets, and artists to broadcast their work. Their next event is this September – stay tuned!

Threads of Evolution
05/06/24 – 15/06/24 @ K-House

A duo exhibition that intertwines the artistic practices of Oriana Loucaidou and Joseph Taylor. This exhibition invites viewers to explore the rich narrative woven through tradition, feminism, and modernity, highlighting the interplay between embroidery and sculpture.

Parklife Festival
08/06/24 – 09/06/24 @ Heaton Park

When Parklife throws a party, the city stops. Packed with pop, grime, and good times, this might be the only time techno and DNB fans can dance in the same field. This year’s highlights
include Doja Cat, Kaytranada and Sugababes.

Deptford Northern Soul Club
08/06/24 @ YES

If you’re just not into Parklife, you’re not alone. The DNSC team return to YES for their monthly takeover. Expect stompers, floaters, and floor-shakers.

12/06/24 @ Contact Theatre

An exclusive pre-premier screening of Yupumá, a film set in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest by Verónica Castro with the collaboration of Kawá Huni Kuin, a tribesman from the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.

Writer’s Workshop – Community Space
13/06/24 @ Partisan Collective, Islington Mill

A fortnightly workshop for all budding writers to come together and carve out some dedicated time for writing projects. Writers from all fields and levels of experience are welcome, and each session will include a range of activities to learn new skills, help each other and most importantly, get some writing done!

Mohand and Peter
13/06/24 – 14/06/24 @ HOME

PSYCHEdelight Theatre Company’s Mohand & Peter is a devised show addressing the trauma of long term exile and celebrating friendships across cultures.

Blackout the Jargon
14/06/24 @ The Portico Library

A session of blackout poetry, where participants can find meaning in a scientific text by creating a work of art.

The Importance of Being Earnest
14/06/24 – 20/07/24 @ Royal Exchange Theatre

This timeless tale of identity, opulence and sharp-tongued wit follows the lives of the rich and ridiculous, all looking for something to do, someone to love and somewhere to belong.

Manchester School of Art Degree Show 2024
15/06/24 – 22/06/24 @ Manchester Met

The Degree show celebrates the achievements of this year’s final-year students with a showcase of work from across Art, Design, Fashion, Digital Arts, Performance and Architecture.

Political Reading Group
16/06/24 @ Partisan Collective, Islington Mill

A group which meets every two weeks to discuss set readings from a wide range of thinkers, with a focus on progressive politics. Offers a relaxed, welcoming space for open and respectful discussion, open to all ages and experience levels.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
17/06/24 @ The Lowry

Authentic voices and lived experiences. A realist story of heroes and villains and community casualties and victims – a creative response to raising awareness of CCE and CSE.

The Taming Of The “Shrew”
19/06/24 – 30/06/24 @ Hope Mill Theatre

Unseemly Women return in 2024 with their 6th annual Shakespeare, with an all female and non-binary cast. Step into a world of burlesque, clowns and cabaret; exploring one of Shakespeare’s most talked-about comedies. 

Horizons: Hanimale
21/06/24 @ HOME 

Hanimale offers a compelling and thought-provoking portrayal of the (Protagonist/s) refugee experience, urging the audience to reflect on the imposition of power on humans in seemingly humane situations.  

Summer Solstice – Outdoor Garage Festival
22/06/24 @ Progress Centre, Manchester

If you are a die-hard garage fan, then this is the event for you! Take in the food stalls, massive line-up and rave anthems at this one-day only open-air event.

Outbreak Festival
28/06/24 – 30/06/24 @ B.E.C Arena

Hardcore punk fans rejoice, Outbreak Fest returns this June for three days of heavy metal. As Europe’s biggest indoor metal festival, expect face-melting live acts and some seriously sweaty mosh-pits. Headliners include Action Bronson, Basement and American Football.


Big Telly – Bunker Talk #136
02/07/24 @ Salutation Pub

Curated by the Performance Research Group at Manchester School of Art, Bunker Talks invite artists and researchers to talk about who they are and what they do. Big Telly brings world class theatre to small communities in Northern Ireland, and brings their voices to the world stage. A conduit between rural communities and urban platforms, providing a space for exchange, brokering wider conversations about the local, the global and our place in society. 

03/07/24 @ Contact Theatre

Presented by Girl Gang. A brand new multi disciplinary feminist evening of creative works in progress. Scratch some creative itches with us as an audience member, collaborator or commentator. Expect unfinished, unready and exciting work from artists of all flavours and varieties.

Sounds Of The City
04/07/24 – 13/07/24 @ Castlefield Bowl

This year’s Sounds Of The City festival kicks off with The National, and six huge acts have been announced so far. Headline shows include Haçienda Classical, Tom Grennan, and Jungle.

Weird as Folk: Tall Tales from the North West
04/07/24 – 02/11/24 @ The Portico Library

Wander through the mysteries of The Portico’s Folklore collection, and reimagine what folklore means to you. 

Bad Moult 
04/07/24 – 06/07/24 @ HOME

A darkly comic monologue that brings us into the troubled mind of Roach, a man in crisis who, driven mad by the pressures of modern society, has resorted to living out his days in a commercial waste wheelie bin.

Janelle Monáe
02/07/24 – 04/07/24 @ Aviva Studios

Catch Janelle Monáe’s three-night residency at Aviva Studios this summer! Be prepared for an exciting fusion of funk, soul, hip hop and new-wave from Monáe’s plethora of musical accolades, all on your doorstep in central Manchester!

Manchester Craft Beer Festival
05/08/24 – 06/08/24 @ Depot Mayfield

Time for a drink? Take in the craft beer festival at Depot Mayfield this July. There’s something for everyone, from live music to delicious food, there’s something for everyone.

Just Do The Thing
06/07/24 @ Partisan Collective, Islington Mill

Just Do the Thing are a social group set up for and by trans women and transfeminine people to get together and share information, skills and help support each other.

Market and Open Studios Day
06/07/24 @ Partisan Collective, Islington Mill

An open studios day, with market stalls, food, drinks, crafts, arts, and more! The event is free to attend.

Manchester Writers at The Portico Library
10/07/24 @ The Portico Library

A summer’s evening celebrating the best of Manchester writing. Award-winning writers Abi Hynes, Adam Farrar, David Hartley, Isabelle Kenyon, Jo Howard, Reshma Ruia, Sarah Schofield, Steve Smythe, Tania Hershman and Zena Barrie will be reading from their latest works. 

Earth Beats & Climate Cabaret
07/07/24 @ Partisan Collective, Islington Mill

A fundraiser for Look What We’ve Done, a devised piece of theatre exploring the question “who is to blame for the climate crisis?” Expect an entrancing collage of drag and dance performance alongside a journey of funk, soul, reggaeton, garage, disco and house.

Stardew Valley, Festival of the Seasons
14/07/24 @ Stoller Hall

For a wholesome afternoon out, let the London Metropolitan Orchestra remind you of the simple things in life. In an intimate concert, the most loved songs from the Stardew Valley soundtrack will be performed live. A reminder to slow down this summer. 

Brave Space 
18/07/24 – 20/07/24

Inspired by the idea of creating community in divisive times. Starting as a puddle of fabric on the floor, it grows to encompass a world of wondrous circus. Intimate and low tech, the audience is invited to sit nose-to-nose with an all-female cast to build the world we want to live in, even for only a few shared moments.

Redstone Press x Club Partisan
19/07/24 @ Partisan Collective, Islington Mill

An international link-up and massive debut under the Salford sky. The independent Redstone Press of Scotland brings with them Brooklyn/San Juan producer and label-mate, Tano. Also inviting local favourite and close friend Abena, plus Linnkü and Mz Prince in Partisan’s corner.

Al Harah UK Theatre Talk: A Voice for Theatre and Culture in Palestine
21/07/24 @ HOME

HOME is delighted to be welcoming Marina Barham from Al-Harah Theatre as part of their Al-Harah Theatre UK Tour: A Voice for Theatre and Culture in Palestine.

Folk Life Drawing
24/07/24 @ The Portico Library

Immersive Folk Life Drawing Workshop, inspired by the exhibition Weird As Folk. Curated by HappeningInMCR, featuring artist Lucy Wright’s wearable folk art. All levels of experience welcome.


Teletech Festival
03/08/24 – 05/08/24 @ BEC Warehouse

Embrace the rave with a weekend of hard and fast dance music, techno beats and acid artists.

Writer’s Workshop – Community Space
08/08/24 @ Partisan Collective, Islington Mill

A fortnightly workshop for all budding writers to come together and carve out some dedicated time for writing projects. Writers from all fields and levels of experience are welcome, and each session will include a range of activities to learn new skills, help each other and most importantly, get some writing done!

Manchester Pride Festival
23/08/24 – 26/08/24

The annual ‘Party as Protest’ returns for another long weekend of culture, expression, and connection. A packed four days of parades, parties, and celebration is promised. If you haven’t experienced pride in the city yet, don’t walk; run.

Creamfields Festival
22/08/24 – 25/08/24 @ Daresbury, Warrington

A festival for the ravers, Creamfields takes place in August with a whole host of hardcore acts and bassy sets. With names such as Calvin Harris, Camelphat and Fatboy Slim headlining this year, you won’t want to miss it.

Live From Wythenshawe Park Presents: Blossoms / Shed Seven / Inhaler / The Ks
25/08/24 @ Wythenshawe Park

For their biggest headline show to date, local legends Blossoms take over Wythenshawe Park. Bringing back the Spike Island vibes, the stacked lineup promises to be an unforgettable show.

Manchester Psych Fest
31/08/24 @ Albert Hall / Projekts Skatepark / The Union / Canvas / Gorilla / YES / The Deaf Institute

This multi-venue festival celebrates all things trippy. For lovers of psychedelic music and visuals, this is the perfect end-of-summer trip (pun intended). 

Disco Neurotico 
31/08/24 @ The Lowry

With a focus on inclusivity, individuality, and sensory-friendly experiences, Disco Neurotico aims to redefine nightlife for the neurodivergent community and those looking for a safer, less frenetic clubbing experience.

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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