Spotlight on Manchester’s arts, music and culture scene
England’s Northern gateway is all about innovation and visitors staying in the city can experience first-hand how much the city reinvented its industrial past into a new trendy and thriving present. Manchester’s arts, music and culture scene is thriving. Earlier this year Manchester Museum reopened following a £15m million renovation, at the end of June Factory International, an ultra-flexible cultural space opens during the Manchester International Festival and in Spring 2024 the city welcomes the cutting edge music-first venue Co-op Live. Whether you’re a football fan, music enthusiast or contemporary art connoisseur – Manchester offers it all.
New culture venues opening in Manchester
Opening at the end of June, Factory International will be the new global destination for arts, music and culture in the city. From music and dance to exhibitions and performances the venue will offer something for everyone’s taste. World renowned artists work together with local up-and-coming talent creating art with a twist on the familiar. The building was designed with flexibility in mind to make sure the space can host any kind of gathering, from warehouse-scale events to intimate exhibitions. Factory International will host the biannual Manchester International Festival (MIF). The event presents brand new artistic work from creative minds from all over the world who blur artforms, push boundaries and address important topics of our time.
The UK's biggest indoor arena and only music-first venue ‘Co-op Live’ will open its doors in April 2024. Over 23,000 people will fit in the innovative space with cutting edge visual and acoustic technology. 32 bars and restaurants spread across the venue will make sure no one leaves hungry. The venue puts people and the planet first by doing more than any other venue in the world – from wheelchair accessibility on each floor to providing support for assistance dogs, locally sourced construction materials and solar panels to name a few.
Soak up culture at some of Manchester’s best museums
The museum reopened its doors in February 2023 with a modern extension and revamped galleries after a major redevelopment. The space showcases the best of their historic collections while addressing the urgencies of the present day and highlighting the complexities of our world. The new Exhibition Hall provides an arena for ambitious shows that explore our past, present and future and engage with global and local stories.
Housed in the oldest surviving passenger railway station, the Science and Industry Museum inspires visitors by showcasing innovative discoveries in science and technology. Explore the last 250 years of innovation and ideas which originated in Manchester and had an impact worldwide.
The National Football Museum’s mission is to share stories about football and to showcase world-class collections of football objects and archives. Four galleries and exciting seasonal exhibitions can be explored during a visit with something for everybody to enjoy. Visitors can test their football skills in the Play Gallery during six interactive games.
Learn about the people of Manchester’s past who were forced to live their lives in a world torn apart by conflict at the world’s leading museum of war. The purpose-built exhibition space takes visitors from the First World War to the present day. The highlight of the museum is the award-winning 360-degree cinematic Big Picture Shows which brings the stories to live.
Experience modern art in the city
The contemporary art gallery supports local talent and artist careers in the Greater Manchester City region, North West and beyond. The gallery’s public and participation programmes aim to provoke new ways of thinking, bringing artists, creatives, communities and audiences together to explore art and the issues of our time. They display a diverse range of exhibitions and offsite projects in the city throughout the year.
Another contemporary art gallery in the city is esea contemporary, which is located in an award-winning building in the trendy Northern Quarter. The non-profit art centre focuses on giving artists and art practices that identify with and are informed by East and Southeast Asian cultural backgrounds a platform to display their work. The gallery has established itself as a dynamic and engaging space for forward thinking art programmes and cross-cultural exchanges in the British art scene.
The New York style venue Generation Gallery presents original and limited-edition artwork of some of the most sought-after artist since its opening in 2004. Work from artists such as the international street artist Mr Brainwash or the neon artist Courty are on display and for sale. The team at the gallery supports emerging talent in getting their latest artwork on the market.
Dive into the diverse music scene
The live music venue Band On The Wall is a cornerstone of Manchester’s music scene. The venue is run by the registered charity Inner City Music Ltd which transformed the venue into a 21st-century centre for music in 2009. Celebrating music from all over the globe, the venue showcases some of the best international talent in-house and in other venues across the UK.
The Albert Hall is a purpose-built independent live music and events venue. It is housed in a stunningly restored Grade II grand and ornate chapel in the centre of Manchester creating a special atmosphere. The venue offers a full programme of live music and club events such as Bongo’s Bingo, the crazy immersive bingo party.
A must visit for music lovers is Piccadilly Records in the Northern Quarter. Known as one of the world’s best independent records shops visitors can find everything in-between vinyl and CD from a broad variety of music genres such as indie, disco and house to name a handful.
Embark on a city tour with a cultural twist
Mancunian born and bred tour guide, John Consterdine, takes visitors on a tour entirely dedicated to the wealth of culture Manchester has to offer and how it has changed over time. John shows visitors the city from a different angle on a tour in his electric cab. A tour for all music lovers, he offers a dedicated music experience exploring the city where some of the greatest bands of all time were born.
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