Prepare for a marvellous month in Manchester. Spring has officially sprung, the days are warming up, and Manchester’s parks are at their blooming best.

Spend your sunny May days in Manchester rocking out at a jazz festival, or stretch your legs in the Great Manchester Run.

And be sure to make the most of not one, but two Bank Holidays. You’re in for a magnificent May.

Manchester Jazz Festival

The 24th Manchester Jazz Festival returns to the city at a new city centre location covering St Ann’s Square and Exchange Street and venues including Night and Day, Royal Northern College of Music, St Ann’s Church and The Deaf Institute. Performers include pianists Tippett and Bourne, electronic soul quartet Noya Roya and vocalist Emilia Martensson plus lots of free stages, food stalls and festival bars to enjoy. 23th – 27th May.


Morrissey Festival

Pic Andrea Willoughby-Jones

Hundreds of fans from as far afield as LA, Sweden and Italy will be flocking to Manchester for a three-day Morrissey festival featuring a double-decker tour of the singer’s old haunts, Morrissey karaoke and a non-stop Smiths and Moz disco. To cap it all off, the Morrissey-mad devotees will meet in St John’s Gardens for a mass picnic and singalong on Sunday. All tickets for the main event on Saturday evening have sold out, but you can buy a ticket to the Friday night disco on the door, sign up to the bus tour, and come along to the Sunday picnic. 3rd – 5th May.


Kala Opening

Gary Usher’s latest restaurant has become the fastest funded restaurant project in the world. This 55-cover restaurant on King Street opens at the beginning of the month serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a separate menu of modern British bar snacks. From the team behind Sticky Walnut, Burnt Truffle and Hispi.


Japanese Whisky Masterclass & Tasting Experience

Specialising in a world-class range of Japanese spirits, sake and cocktails, there is no better setting to discover a 17-year old vintage and more recent blends along with cocktail pairings than Peter Street Kitchen’s Rikyū Bar. Throughout the masterclass, guests will enjoy a selection of contemporary Japanese canapés while learning from talented mixologists. Saturday 18th May – World Whisky Day. Tickets are £50 per person.


Góbéfest the Transylvania Festival

Góbéfest, the UK’s only Transylvanian festival of arts and culture, returns to Albert Square. Last year saw 10,000 adventurous revellers try out traditional folk dancing, soak up the sounds of a zither orchestra and sample Transylvanian craft beer and delicacies including chimney cake and lángos (fried dough served with toppings such as crème fraiche and garlic). This year promises a larger outdoor stage and extended programme, which will also shine a light on the culture and folklores of other other European countries including Bulgaria, Turkey, Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary, Greece and Slovakia. 24th May – 26th May.


Hugh Jackman at Manchester Arena

Dick Thomas Johnson Commons

Hugh Jackman has announced his first world tour. In the The Man, The Music, The Show, Jackman will perform hit songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Miserables and more, accompanied by a live orchestra. 24th May – 25th May.


Monster Jam

If the coolest monster trucks and freestyle motocross with some of the world’s best drivers doing some of the craziest stunts sounds like your cup of tea, get down to Monster Jam, a high-octane, thrilling family show at the Manchester Area. It’s on for one day only on the 5th May.


Great Manchester Run

On the 19th May Manchester will be swarming with runners taking part in the Great Manchester Run. This 10K race is the way to achieve your fitness goals. Or if running isn’t your thing, it’s still worth heading down to the city centre on the day to support the thousands taking part and simply soak up the atmosphere. But not the rain, hopefully.


Gin & Sin – a 1920s murder mystery

This interactive event is hosted by Manchester Murder Mysteries at The Oxford Street Bistro inside the Palace Theatre. Be prepared to mingle with some of the most notorious gangsters, flappers and booze-hounds in town at renowned speakeasy, The Lodge. The great thing is that YOU are the star of the show. Each guest will have a small role to play, whilst you work in teams to gather information, decipher clues and uncover the criminal. Tickets £49.95 including a 2 course dinner and welcome drink. 24th – 25th May.



Two music stages bring together the best local talent and some of the best tribute acts in the north west for G-Fest, a family friendly music event that will take over the grounds of Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club. The event welcomes tribute acts such as Bruno (Bruno Mars tribute) and Club Tropicana, an eight-piece band playing all the 80’s hits. All proceeds will go to Georgia’s Children of the World. Tickets are £12.50 per adult and £6 per child. 5th May.


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