Close this search box.

Looking back on an incredible year for Manchester

As we look back on a year to remember, let's take a breath, a step back and go through all the amazing things that have happened in the city in 2023

Manchester, the heart of the North, has undeniably experienced an incredible year.

From the grand opening of Factory International to the exquisite Chanel métiers d’art show in the Northern Quarter, and the prestigious MICHELIN guide choosing the iconic Midland Hotel for their naming ceremony, the city has been a hub of global attention.

Looking back, it’s sometimes easy to forget all of the incredible things that have taken place across the city.

It’s no wonder international publications such as Time Out, Lonely Planet and National Geographic named Manchester among their top places to visit in 2023. 

So we’ve put together a handy list of why Manchester is, and remains, the best city in the UK.

  1. Factory International Opening

The grand inauguration of Factory International showcases the city’s commitment to the arts.

Factory International celebrates the opening of new home, Aviva Studios, with an electrifying performance of Danny Boyle’s ‘Free Your Mind’

The opening of Aviva Studios was celebrated with a spectacular inaugural performance of Danny Boyle’s ‘Free Your Mind’, a modern-day adaptation of the 1999 film ‘The Matrix’.

And there’s been some incredible stuff on show there, from Yayoi Kusama’s You Me and the Balloons, to Johnny Marr performing with a full orchestra.


This state-of-the-art cultural space, designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, has quickly become a focal point for creativity, hosting a myriad of performances and exhibitions that showcase the diversity and richness of Manchester’s cultural offerings.

2. Chanel rocks Manchester

The Northern Quarter played host to one of the most exclusive events in the fashion world – the Chanel métiers d’art show.

The cobbled streets and historic buildings provided a picturesque backdrop for the convergence of fashion aficionados, solidifying Manchester’s status as a destination for high-profile events in the global fashion calendar and boosting the local economy.

3.MICHELIN Guide at the Midland Hotel

The prestigious MICHELIN guide, the epitome of culinary excellence, chose the Midland Hotel as the venue for their naming ceremony.

This not only honours the city’s burgeoning culinary scene but also positions Manchester as a gourmet destination on the international stage.

The Michelin Guide is perhaps the most prestigious accolade of the restaurant industry. Hosting it here suggests that we may be in line for a few more stars.

In 2024, the guide will be presented in Manchester for the first time in its history.

On 5 February 2024, all of the chefs running Michelin-star restaurants in Great Britain and Ireland will descend on the city.

4.CO-OP LIVE! Arena

Adding to the city’s legendary music scene, the Co-Op Live arena is set to make a significant impact and ‘put Manchester back as a global entertainment powerhouse‘.

With world-class facilities and a stellar lineup of performers, this arena is poised to be a magnet for music enthusiasts, elevating Manchester’s reputation as a global music hub.

The countdown to the opening of Co-op Live is well and truly on.

A host of acts have been announced for Manchester’s newest music venue.

Liam Gallagher will play four nights at the new venue in June 2024. He will perform the entirety of ‘Definitely Maybe’ as well as some B side tracks too.

Take That are another stand-out act announced so far, and they will now perform seven dates in May and June.

These will be some of the first gigs to take place at Co-op Live.

Manchester’s newest music venue is set to open in April 2024. This will be followed shortly after by the first gigs.

Following Olivia Rodrigo there will be shows from Keane, Take That and Eric Clapton all in May.

When fully complete and open, Co-op Live will have a maximum capacity of 23,500.

For context, this will make it the biggest indoor arena in the country.

The AO Arena in Manchester is currently the biggest with a top capacity of 21,000 and London’s O2 Arena would slip to third with its 20,000 capacity.

5. English National Opera moves to Manchester

For lovers of classical music and opera, the announcement of the English National Opera making Manchester its home is a dream come true.

This move not only brings world-class performances to the city but also cements Manchester’s position as a cultural hub with offerings spanning diverse artistic genres.

Manchester is currently the biggest city in Europe without a resident opera company, according to OECD population statistics.

Last November, Arts Council England told the ENO to move after being instructed by the government to spread more money beyond the capital.

The Arts Council suggested Manchester as a destination but left the final decision up to the ENO. And aren’t we happy they picked us!

6. The Re-Opening of Manchester Museum

Following a £15 million redevelopment, Manchester Museum reopened its doors to blockbuster queues with revamped galleries, a large temporary exhibition space, and a new entrance.

The Golden Mummies of Egypt sent shockwaves around the world, reported in national newspapers across the globe in a fantastic advert for Manchester.

The museum’s expansion showcases not just important pieces of Manchester’s history but the best of historic collections while addressing present-day urgencies, emphasising inclusivity and evolving into the museum that Manchester needs.

7. Hosting the Davis Cup

In September, Manchester hosted the Davis Cup Finals Group Stage at the AO Arena, where Great Britain won all three ties.

This event was awarded Event of the Year at the MCR Active Manchester Sports Awards. If anyone knows how to do sport, it’s us.

8. The Tour of Britain

Greater Manchester hosted the Tour of Britain Grand Départ in 2023, showcasing its cycling heritage and providing a thrilling start to the race.

The race culminated on the world-famous Deansgate in the heart of Manchester city centre, adding to the city’s vibrant sports culture.

Manchester is also has been crowned the first European Capital of Cycling.

And given how we handle such high-profile events with ease, why not?

9. Home of Football

Manchester City’s historic treble, including a first Champions League title, solidified its place as the home of European Football.

This achievement mirrored the glory of Manchester United’s class of 1998-99, marking a momentous chapter in the city’s football history.

Even some classic Manchester weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of the trophy parade as thousands turned out to rock the city at the trophy parade.

10. Host City for Euro 2028

Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium will be one of the host stadiums during the UEFA EURO 2028 competition, following UEFA’s selection of the UK and Ireland as hosts.

This announcement underscores Manchester’s position as a premier destination for major sporting events, promising a spectacular experience for fans across the country and Europe.

Manchester’s incredible year showcases a city at the pinnacle of cultural and sporting achievements, solidifying its status as the best city in the UK.

From the arts to sports, Manchester continues to shine as a beacon of excellence, drawing global attention and acclaim.

11. I Love MCR Awards

On a personal note for us, on 23 November, 2023, DieCast witnessed the launch of the inaugural I Love Manchester Awards.

This glamorous event celebrated the exceptional individuals shaping Greater Manchester.

More than just an awards show, it embodied the core values of I Love MCR – promoting culture, community, and recognising outstanding citizens.

The live event marked a decade-long commitment to spotlighting the best of Manchester’s on a global scale.

What set these awards apart was not just their prestige but also their philanthropy.

Every donation and raffle proceeds went directly to the I Love MCR Foundation, emphasising the event’s commitment to community betterment.

A celebration of civic pride and an unforgettable evening honouring those who make Manchester truly remarkable. We can’t wait till next year.

Find out more about I Love Manchester Awards here

Certainly a year to remember. And plenty to look forward to in 2024…|

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

Want to be the first to receive all the latest news stories, what’s on and events from the heart of Manchester? Sign up here.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Close this search box.