Here’s our highlights of where to be and what to see in Manchester this May.
Unmanned Nature at Whitworth Art Gallery
Saturday 14 February – Sunday 21 June
Cai Guo-Qiang is best known for his firework displays for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His new installation includes a 45 metre-long gunpowder drawing, the first artwork to be shown in the Whitworth’s new landscape gallery.
Merchants of Print at John Rylands Library
Thursday 29 January – Sunday 21 June
A celebration marking the legacy of Aldus Manutius – a pioneer of the pocket book and italic type. The John Rylands Library flagship spring exhibition reviews Aldus’ contribution to the printed world 500 years on and explore stories about the impact it made on local collectors.
Castlefield Food Festival
Friday 15 – Sunday 17 May
With over 10,000 visitors expected to attend, the Castlefield Food Festival will feature a world farmers’ market selling delicious cuisines from around the globe, inspiring demonstrations from skilled chefs at the demo kitchen, tasty street food stalls and a wide range of live music to keep the party going.
Grillstock Festival at Albert Square
Saturday 30 – Sunday 31 May
Europe’s largest BBQ and music festival returns to Albert Square this May for Manchester’s big weekend of meat, music and mayhem with Grandmaster Flash, The Heavy, Levi Roots and Cuban Bros.
Gabrielle at The Milton Club
Friday 15 May
Multi-platinum selling, BRIT Award winner Gabrielle will be performing an acoustic set live, in front of an intimate crowd at one of Manchester’s most exclusive venues. Resident DJ Justin Fry will warm up the crowd with motown and soulful RnB before the internationally acclaimed artist takes to the stage.
Django Django at Manchester Cathedral
Saturday 23 May
Scottish four-piece Django Django burst onto the scene in 2012 with their triumphant self-titled debut album. They will be performing tracks from the new album in the epic surroundings of Manchester’s medieval home of worship.
The Lost Carnival at Burrs Country Park
Friday 22 – Monday 25 May
The Lost Carnival is an immersive, spectacular experience that invites families to step into a world unlike any other. The content of the event will remain shrouded in mystery until the audience step inside the big top, but families can expect spellbinding theatre, circus, music and visual trickery.
Geronimo at Tatton Park
Saturday 23 – Monday 25 May
The largest children’s festival in the North West – with hundreds of activities for children aged from two to twelve and a host of popular characters. Get arty in the craft marquees, enjoy storytelling, live shows, sandpits, den building, inflatables, baby ballet, a petting zoo and much, much, more.
The Funfair at HOME
Thursday 14 May – Saturday 13 June
A world premiere of a new adaptation of a 20th century masterpiece Kasimir and Karoline, this dark, political and funny play sets two young lovers in the throes of a break up against the hypnotic whirl of a funfair.
Reginald D Hunter at The Lowry
Wednesday 6 May
Reginald D Hunter returns to the UK with a brand new tour following a hugely successful year filming and performing around the world. Originally from the Deep South of the USA, Reg is a hypnotic, smooth-talking comedian who hits your funny bone with tales of love, hate, death and all that is in between.
The City Games in Manchester
Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 May
A unique opportunity to see top athletes from across the globe compete in an urban environment. A crowd of more than 20,000 people is expected to gather track-side on Deansgate in the heart of the city and at the purpose built athletics arena in Albert Square.
The Morrisons Great Manchester Run
Sunday 10 May
Europe’s biggest 10K running event has seen more than a quarter of a million enthusiastic runners take to the streets of Manchester since it was established in 2003. Broadcast live on BBC, the Great Manchester Run takes over the city centre for a day of elite racing and charity fundraising.
Tours of the Month
Coronation Street The Tour
A unique opportunity to walk down the famous cobbles of the nation’s street, have your picture taken at the bar of the Rovers Return and take a tour behind the scenes of the former Manchester sets.
MCFC Stadium and Club Tour
Relive some of the greatest moments and discover what makes Manchester City the football club that it is today.
New Kid on the Block
A new restaurant & bar serving modern Chinese cuisine in beautiful and unique surroundings. Tattu will offer a completely holistic and personalised dining experience in a venue that evolves.
For more information about what’s on in Manchester go to www.visitmanchester.com