From monster invasions to heroic animals and two major arts fairs, it’s a busy month

Looking for more great things to do this October? Then check out our essential festival calendar - this month ft. Women in Comedy, Manchester Literature Festival and more... 

THE WAREHOUSE PROJECT | Various | Until 1st January 2020

Its opening weekend may sell out months in advance but there are still plenty of WHP concerts to go at; from Chase & Status to Hacienda Classic and Fatboy Slim. Special events span a Halloween spectacular with Annie Mac to a New Year’s blowout.

Various; check the website 

ELF LYONS: LOVE SONGS TO GUINEA PIGS | The Lowry | Saturday 5th October

Following her sold out run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, award-winning comedian Elf Lyons is back with a surreal tale of love and loneliness. Lyons recently endured several serious spine operations, also making this ‘Brief Encounter with rodents’ an uplifting ode to pulling through.

The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ (8pm; tickets from £14 at

2019 10 02 Elf Lyons
Fringe fave Elf Lyons plays the Lowry

SUFFRAGETTE ANNIVERSARY | Pankhurst Centre | 8th - 13th October

On 10th October 1903, Emmeline Pankhurst founded the suffragettes; one of the most captivating and powerful campaigns in history. This month, her former home commemorates the momentous movement with everything from a Wikipedia edit-athon to a Sunday funday. It’s also a great chance to support the centre following its recent break in.   

Pankhurst Centre, 60-62 Nelson St, Manchester M13 9WP (various times; free but registration required)

MANCHESTER ART FAIR | Manchester Central | 10th - 13th October

Founded in 2008, Manchester Art Fair is one of the UK’s most ambitious art fairs; selling modern & contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography and editioned prints from a huge range of UK and international galleries and artists. Special events span the Manchester Contemporary to kids’ area and printing demos with Hot Bed Press.

Manchester Central, Windmill St, Manchester M2 3GX (various times; tickets from £5 at

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Find a piece you love at Manchester Art Fair

GREAT NORTHERN CONTEMPORARY CRAFT FAIR | Upper Campfield Market Hall | 10th - 13th October

With over 150 selected designer-makers, GNCCF has a piece for everyone; from fine jewellery to functional homeware, statement accessories to unique prints. Mediums include ceramics, glass, jewellery, interior and fashion textiles, wood, paper, silver, metal, product design, printmaking and more. All that browsing making you peckish? There’s an onsite café too. 

Upper Campfield Market Hall, Barton St, Manchester M3 4NN (various times; tickets from £5.50 at

COCKTAILS IN THE CITY | The Viadux | 11th - 12th October

Bringing together some of Manchester’s leading bars - all in short sipping distance of each other - this (understandably popular) event promises £6.50 concoctions all night, as well as immersive tasting experiences and indie food market. 

The Viadux, Albion St, Manchester, M1 5LN (6-11pm; tickets from £10 at

170302 Cocktails In The City
Cocktails in the City promises £6.50 cocktails all night

SIGNALS | Waterside Arts Centre | Saturday 12th October

Alone on the night shift, two female data analysts monitor radio waves for signs of alien contact. Every shift is the same. But tonight is different. Tonight is the night they’ve been waiting for. The award-winning Footprint Theatre presents Signals; a new dark comedy that asks how it feels to be lost in the cosmos with only each other for company…

Waterside Arts Centre, 1 Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF (8pm; tickets £10 at

EUROPEAN DOCTORS' ORCHESTRA | Bridgewater Hall | Sunday 20th October

Featuring doctors of all specialties from across Europe, this is one special orchestra indeed - even more so as each of its shows raise money for local charities. Featuring Shostakovich’s Leningrad (whose modern-day St Petersburg is incidentally twinned with Manchester), the concert’s profits will be donated to St Ann’s Hospice. 

Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St, Manchester M2 3WS (7.30pm; tickets £22.50 at

2019 10 02 European Doctors Orchestra
The European Doctors’ is a special orchestra indeed

4 x 4 MANCHESTER | Fairfield Social Club | Tuesday 22nd October

A series of fun and challenging talks about cities, 4 x 4 is like a mini TED. Featuring Olly Wainwright - architecture critic for The Guardian - as special guest, this one-off ‘Sin City’ special looks at the moral conundrums associated with urban growth. Also featuring local beers and food stalls, it promises a fulfilling evening of dining, drink and debate.

6 Archway, Temperance St, Manchester M12 6HR (6-9.30pm; free, register on eventbrite) 

ELIZABETH PRICE: A LONG MEMORY | The Whitworth | 25th October 2019 - 1st March 2020

Spanning video to sculpture and prints, A Long Memory - the most extensive exhibition on Elizabeth Price to date - reflects her preoccupations with technology, history, politics and pop music. A new trilogy of video works, SLOW DANS, will be premiered and her Turner Prize winning THE WOOLWORTHS CHOIR OF 1979, remembering that fatal fire in Manchester, will be shown in the city for the first time.

The Whitworth, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER (10am-5pm daily, until 7pm Thurs; free) 

2019 10 02 Elizabeth Price
A Long Memory is the most extensive exhibition on Elizabeth Price to date

ANIMALS IN CONFLICT | IWM North | 26th - 27th October

We know about war’s heroic humans, but what about the animals who’ve supported them and even saved lives? In this family-friendly event, leading vet charity PDSA - whose Dickin Medal is recognised internationally as the animals’ Victoria Cross - will tell the stories of the incredible dogs, pigeons, horses and cat who have been awarded the medal. You’ll even hear of Wojek the bear and Tirpitz the pig.  

IWM North, Trafford Wharf Rd, Stretford, Manchester M17 1TZ (11am-4pm; free)

THE ENTERTAINER | Opera House | Monday 28th October - Saturday 2nd November 

1982: Archie Rice is a washed-up entertainer playing a summer season. As his soldier son sails with the Task Force to liberate the Falklands, his daughter Jean returns from campaigning against the war, and Archie’s professional and personal lives collide with devastating consequences. Don’t miss this vibrant revamp of John Osborne’s ‘state of the nation’ classic. 

Opera House, 3 Quay St, Manchester M3 3HP (2.30pm & 7.30pm; tickets from £13 at

2019 10 02 The Entertainer Helen Murray
Shane Ritchie plays Archie Rice in The Entertainer Helen Murray

PLAYLAND | Empty Space Theatre | 31st October - 2nd November

South Africa, New Year’s Eve 1989: a new country is about to born. At a downtrodden funfair out in the wild, two men confront each other - one white, one black - both with blood on their hands. A moving story of reconciliation and redemption, Playland comes from South Africa’s ‘greatest living dramatist’ and forms part of Black History Month. 

Empty Space Theatre, Salford, M50 2GL (7.30pm; tickets £10.50 at


After some Halloween inspo? We've got Beetlejuice in an empty swimming pool, drag queen royalty, Ian McKellen as a demon - and that’s just for starters. From films to festivals, performance to parties, behold our frightful highlights here

Various; see our roundup 

2019 10 02 Halloween In The City Monster 2
The monsters return for Halloween in the City

ROY OF THE ROVERS | National Football Museum | Until 3rd November  

Celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Melchester Rovers comic book legend, and his new female counterpart Rocky, this family-friendly exhibition charts Roy’s evolution through artwork, unique objects and interactive activities. 

National Football Museum, Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester M4 3BG (10am-5pm; free with museum admission)

For more unmissable goings on, take a look at our essential festival calendar