Thu 31 Oct - Sat 2 Nov 2019

Alex Saint from Creative Tourist tells us what Mancunians can look forward to during Museums at Night this year

Manchester is gearing up for this year’s Museums at Night festival with a one night only, city-wide social. A mix of odd couplings and musical mayhem; a host of curious events at every turn; a fresh look at Manchester’s historic buildings, collections and quarters – and a chance to get into places and spaces not normally open after dark.


It’s Manchester After Hours. It’s madness. And it’s (mainly) free.


A group of people in a big historic cathedral at night watching a big screen

Steam & Screen VideoJam (c) MOSI


With everything clustered around seven highlight events, you can create your own itinerary – and make a night of it with some eclectic cultural event hopping and stopping off for food and drink along the way. There’s poetry and soundscapes, video jamming with engines, secret gigs amongst medieval book stacks, traditional Warli art, local record labels cutting it up in the serious surrounds of a music library, a live lit walking tour and more music in the Northern Quarter’s creative clubs.


Behind it all is Creative Tourist (Manchester’s own events collaborator and culture website), who a few months ago locked a clutch of independent arts organisations and music promoters in a room – together with some museums, galleries and libraries – and refused to let anyone out until they’d hatched a plan for Museums at Night. And what a plan they came up with.

People on a pink-lit dancefloor in a museum

Dancing at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry (c) MOSI


While it’s hard to pick a favourite event, watching Louis Barabbas and musicians from the Debt Records roster cut a disc in the historic Henry Watson Music Library will be pretty unmissable, and we’re also looking forward to seeing Video Jam respond – via art, music and film – to the vast looms and carding machines of the Museum of Science and Industry’s textiles gallery.


The tickets for Hey! Manchester’s musical promenade around the 16th-century Chetham’s Library, meanwhile, will sell out in second when they’re released in mid-April, but for those who miss out, there’s the sonic account of Jason Singh and Guiliano Modarelli’s journey to India (and time spent with Warli artists) at Manchester Museum, performance drawing with BBC Get Creative at the Whitworth, and an entire night out in the Northern Quarter where, amongst other things, experimental Beijing-based artist Li Binyuan presents the UK debut of his physically demanding live performance, Deathless Love.

A man using a hammer to smash other hammers

Li Binyuan’s performance (c) Mia Forrest


More? Well, there just happens to be a former Poet Laureate premiering a new commission at IWM North, a pop-up People’s History Museum politics pub quiz, radical busking at the Working Class Movement Library, an art and music bus and, knitting it all together, a live storytelling tour in locations around the city. It’s a night that will be nothing if not eclectic – and very, very Mancunian.


Get the full listings at:

Stay tuned at #mcrafterhours


Manchester After Hours has been coordinated by Creative Tourist, and is funded by Arts Council England, National Lottery in partnership with Visit Manchester.

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Thu 31 Oct - Sat 2 Nov 2019