16 Great Things To Do In Manchester This November

From a new Northern Quarter festival to ice skating at London Road and the return of the Christmas Markets, there's plenty to keep you busy this month

Written by  Confidential Staff | Follow @ | Thursday, 27 October 2016 09:48

Below you'll find sixteen great things to do in Manchester this month; including gigs, markets, festivals and Doki Doki (that's Japanese for a racing heart apparently).

You can also find our monthly Top 10 gigs and concerts, theatre and comedy shows and art events and exhibitions here.


MANCHESTER SLEEPOUT | Manchester Cathedral | Friday 4 November

With the homelessness epidemic escalating - soon to be discussed by Greater Manchester Housing Action - walking past someone living on the streets is now an inevitable part of Manchester life; whether shopping, commuting or even enjoying a night out. But few of us know how it feels to be in their position, which is why the Booth Centre launched Sleepout; an annual initiative that sees participants forsake their comfy beds for sleeping bags and an outdoor sleepover at Manchester Cathedral. Can 2016 fundraising efforts beat last year’s astonishing £60K? 

Manchester Cathedral, Victoria Street, M3 1SX (7.30pm; register at boothcentre.org.uk)


OFF THE RECORD | Northern Quarter | Friday 4 November

We’re already spoiled for choice with music festivals - including Sophie later this month - but along comes another, and it promises to be off the record. Mysteriously, the sneaky curators won’t release the 30-strong line-up until 24 hours before the event but - since they include the likes of Phil Saxe, Tim Burgess and Guy Garvey - we’re predicting a good’un. The event also includes a music conference featuring over 50 panellists spanning Dave Haslam to Oasis photographer Brian Cannon. 

Various; tickets from £15 at http://www.otrmcr.co.uk/buy-tickets.

.OTR curator Tim Burgess


CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH ON | Albert Square | Friday 4 November

Albert Square’s annual switch on party from 7.30 pm on November 4 launches six weeks of citywide festive celebrations. The enduring Christmas markets across Manchester city centre will be joined by some fresh additions this year, including a Victorian Christmas Fayre at the Lowry Outlet and a brand new ice rink and traditional fun fair at Manchester Cathedral, which opens alongside the markets on November 10. Switch on stars for 2016 include Louisa Johnson, JP Cooper, M.O., Cold Feet's John Thomson and the cast of Billy Elliot

Albert Square, M2 4JW (7.30pm, early arrival advised; free).


CUP NORTH | Victoria Warehouse | 5-6 November

Cup North returns to warm our cockles this winter, filling Victoria Warehouse with caffeinated cheer and accompanying grub from Barnhouse Bistro, Honest Crust and Dim Sum Su. Tampar Tantrum will be back for more coffee confessions and a line-up of artisan baristas will be on hand to brew you a first-class beverage. There’ll even be a ‘cupping’ session (no not that kind...fortunately it’s another name for coffee tasting). 

Victoria Warehouse, Trafford Wharf Road, Stretford, M17 1AB (10am-6pm; tickets from £10 at cupnorth.co.uk).

Cup NorthCup North



There’s a brand new comedy night in town as Kosmonaut welcomes Gein’s Family Giftshop Bargain Basement into the, erm, basement. GFG’s ‘darkly-hued sketch shenanigans’ have even garnered praise from the national press; with a focus that’s less on props and more on wit. Gein’s family will be joined this time round by Will Duggan, Brennan Reece and Lolly Adefope - all regional award-winners - for an evening of punchy proportions. 

Kosmonaut, 10 Tariff Street, M1 2FF (8pm; free). 



As part of the UK-wide BFI Black Star, HOME is celebrating the best of black British breakthroughs - the films that pushed actors like Ashley Walters (Bullet Boy), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things) and Zawe Ashton (Dreams of a Life) into the spotlight - alongside a host of classics like Stormy Weather and Heat in the Night. Also for BFI this month, don't miss Norman Jay MBE, who will be celebrating the best of Black British cinema soundtracks at Gorilla - an event that's being celebrated in the NQ with a specially-commissioned Richard Roundtree/Shaft mural. 

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN (various times and prices; check the website).

Norman Jay MBENorman Jay MBE 


38 DEGREES LIVE | Friends’ Meeting House | Tuesday 8 November

National campaigning movement 38 Degrees (the angle at which snowflakes come together to form an avalanche) comes to Manchester this month, with a lively discussion on changing the status quo. ‘Big Idea’ panellists include Place of War’s Ruth Daniels, Manchester University’s Dr Julian Skyrme and financial editor Helen Nugent - hosted by acclaimed comedian Robin Clyfan. Expect a colourful version of Question Time, with a drink in The Albert Square Chop House afterwards - and no politicians in sight. 

Friends' Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, M2 5NS (7.30pm; free, registration required at eventbrite.co.uk).


MAKE:SHIFT | Museum of Science & Industry | 10-11 November  

Hear how a new generation of makers are revolutionising science, technology and engineering at Crafts Council’s conference: from smart wearables to robotic innovations. A packed two-day schedule will include panel discussions, interviews, keynote presentations, research workshops and a Maker Breakfast - rounded off with an evening drinks reception and Manchester Camarata’s rendition of Mr Babbage is Coming to Dinner! 

Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road, M3 4FP (doors open 11am; tickets from £75 at craftscouncil.org.uk). 

.Sliced Circuits (Hannah Perner-Wilson)


TRANSFIGURED NIGHT | Peel Hall | Thursday 10 November

Pshappa - North England’s only standalone, professional contemporary-classical music ensemble - celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, joining forces with the Hebrides ensemble for a powerful evening that contrasts Fennessy’s Panopticon world premiere with Schoenberg's timeless masterpiece Transfigured Night and Horne’s exuberant Farewell to Stromness. Maxwell Davies’ The Last Island, meanwhile, will be accompanied by a stunning new film depicting the Orcadian coast’s ever-changing light. Remarkably, the event is free of charge.  

Peel Hall, Salford University, M5 4WT (9.30 pm; free, registration required at psappha.com).


WINTER GATHERING | London Road | 11 November - 8 January 

Following a number of successful events at the recently liberated Grade II-listed London Road Fire Station, including last month’s hugely popular Made Here festival, building developer Allied London has teamed up with Manchester Ice Rink, London-based Elemental Events and festival-producers, The Halo Group, to launch The Winter Gathering opposite Piccadilly Station this Christmas. Taking over London Road’s courtyard everyday (except Monday) from 11 November, the event will see the Edwardian edifice transformed into a ‘magical winter market’ featuring an ice skating rink, bars, street food, stalls and art space.

London Road Fire Station, London Road, Piccadilly M1 2PF (daily; tickets up to £5 at elementalevents.com). 

London RoadLondon Road


DOKI DOKI | Sugden Sports Centre | Saturday 12 November

There’s more to Japanese culture than anime and cosplay, as the annual Doki Doki demonstrates. Split into strands including culture, language, games, fashion, performance and martial arts (along, of course, with anime film screenings and a cosplay after-party), learn everything from arranging your kimono to mastering the art of the samurai. Sustenance comes the form of sweet treats and sushi. 

Sugden Sports Centre, 114 Grosvenor Street, M1 7HL (9.30am-8pm; tickets from £10 at dokidokifestival.com). 


LOUDER THAN WORDS FESTIVAL | Principal Hotel (aka The Palace) | 11-13 November

We’ve got the music festivals and we’ve got the literature festivals - but what about a combination of the two? Louder than Words aims to bridge the gap with a genre-based literary weekend celebrating words - oral, written and published - associated with the music industry. Expect poets and performers, lyricists and journalists as the fourth edition brings a fresh score of insider stories, acoustic sets and writing workshops to the Palace Hotel. Full programme here

Principal/Palace Hotel, Oxford Street, M60 7HA (various times and prices).

.The Principal (formerly The Palace) will host the LTW Festival



Unsurprisingly, this enchanting event drew over 4400 attendees last year and this episode features the same intergenerational recipe of behind-the-scenes specials, ‘animated’ debates, live drawing classes and the ever-popular Skwigly quiz - not to mention superbly-crafted film screenings representing over 63 countries and Aardman’s 40th anniversary. The only problem? Too much choice. 

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN (various times; tickets from £30 at manchesteranimationfestival.co.uk).


RUN IN THE DARK | MediaCityUK | 16 November

As darkness descends, over 50 cities worldwide will pull on their running shoes and red flashing armbands; thousands ‘flowing through the streets like lava’ to fast-track a cure for paralysis. Both 10km and 15km options are available and those who are feeling a little rusty are welcome to walk. Starting off at the MediaCityUK piazza, the route traverses the atmospheric night-time Quays, with all proceeds go to the Mark Pollock Trust. 

MediaCity Piazza, M50 2EQ (8pm; registration from £22 at register.runinthedark.org). 

.Run in the Dark will set off from MediaCityUk


TRANSITION FESTIVAL | Bury | 18-19 November

Bury Light Night has ‘transitioned’ into two nights of immersive soundscapes and spectacular visuals. Highlights include Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir at the Castle Armoury, Ben Gate’s sound sculptures and Illuminos’ breathtaking dragon projection finale. Elsewhere find live music, storytelling, flash fiction, magic shows and workshops spanning origami to samba. Closer to Tameside? Mossley has launched its own light festival this month, also on the theme of transformation.

Various locations and times; free. 


CHORLTON BOOK FESTIVAL | Chorlton | 18-26 November

The Chorlton Book Festival returns for its twelfth year with a top-notch roster of authors including Costa Book Award winner Andrew Michael Hurley and best-selling crime and thriller writers Rachel Abbott and Paul Finch. From masks to magic and a murder in the library, there’s an element of mystery in this year’s programme - along with socials, slams and the popular Beech Inn Quiz. Book yourself in. 

Various locations and times; most events free.


For more things to do, check out our monthly Top 10 gigs and concerts, theatre and comedy shows and art exhibitions in our Arts & Entertainment section


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