From Bruce Springsteen club nights to world-famous dinosaurs, it’s an eclectic month…

Looking for more great things to do this February? Our essential festival calendar features Ted X, Illuminate and more. Link below this article…

MANDY BARKER: OUR PLASTIC OCEAN | Waterside Arts Centre | 10th January - 7th March

At first glance, Barker’s mesmeric images resemble sea creatures and corals…but closer inspection reveals a more disturbing reality of footballs, fishing nets and other human detritus. With the oceans absorbing eight million tonnes of plastic annually (they could contain more plastic than fish by 2050), it’s a shocking and timely call to action. 

Waterside Arts Centre, 1 Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF (various times; free)

10 YEARS ON | People’s History Museum | 13th -15th February

For a decade, PHM has been championing ideas worth fighting for at its central Manchester home. Now the UK’s museum of democracy is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a series of ‘birthday’ events, from parties to book launches and radical tours. 

People’s History Museum, New Ct St, Manchester M3 3ER (various times; donation encouraged) 

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PHM celebrates a decade at its current home this year

MANCHESTER OPEN EXHIBITION | HOME | 18th January - 29th March

Challenging the stereotypes of ‘open' exhibitions, HOME’s landmark event accepted submissions from all ten Greater Manchester boroughs and displays over 500 works from more than 450 residents. Find out more in our article

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN (various times; free)

CONCOURSE | Depot | 31st January - 4th April

The Warehouse Project may be on a break but that doesn’t mean the music stops ‘til next season - WHP is co-hosting a series of ‘Concourse’ event at its Depot home, named after its standout new stage. Curated by innovative local promoters, these span Zutekh Presents to legendary club night Bugged Out and Bicep before the ultimate Parklife finale. 

The Depot, Mayfield, Fairfield St, Manchester, M1 2QF (various times & prices) 

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Dutch electronic music trio Noisia play Concourse

DATA, DEEDS & DETERMINATION | St Peter’s Square | Thursday 6th February

Inspired by a vision ‘for Greater Manchester to be one of the best places for women and girls to grow up, get on and grow old,’ The Pankhurst-Fawcett Scorecard was launched one year ago to track equality. The aim? To see significant change by 2028, when the centenary of all women achieving the right to vote is marked. Find out how it’s progressing so far in an afternoon of shared songs, poems and pledges.

Emmeline Pankhurst statue, St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 3LR (2-4pm; free)

WIN AN ADVENTURE HOLIDAY | Science + Industry Museum | Thursday 6th February

To celebrate Exodus Exits, its new trips for people in their 30s and 40s, adventure holiday company Exodus is putting on an evening of travel-themed fun: from infusing Icelandic vodka to sketching the Amalfi coast and making a Frida Kahlo headband. You might even win a holiday… 

Science + Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4FP (6-9pm; £5) 

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From Portugal to Peru, Exodus Exits has you covered Alentejo Tourism Office

LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH | Central Library | 6th - 29th February

Central Library is celebrating LGBTQ+ Month with an events calendar that’s as colourful as its flag: from an evening of queer culture with literary maverick Rosie Garland and friends to a Valentine’s party with drag artiste Angel Delight and a film screening of Maurice. For more LGBTQ+ events, check out PHM’s Outing the Past Festival and Guy: A New Musical at Sale Waterside Arts Centre.

Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD (various times & prices, some events free) 

HUNGRY HEART | Off the Square | Friday 7th February

Bruce Springsteen fan? You’re in luck. The only club night dedicated to ‘The Boss’ is coming to new NQ hangout Off the Square for a ‘joyful marathon run of Bruce’s epic back catalogue - niche versions, live concert tracks (and) big album hits.’ A liberating, feel-good night guaranteed.  

Off the Square, 67 Lever St, Manchester M1 1FL (8pm-2am; tickets from £8 at

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Let loose Springsteen-style at Hungry Heart

SPACES IN BETWEEN | RNCM | Friday 7th February

Commissioned by the British Council as part of its ‘most politically engaged and ambitious programme to date,’ Video Jam’s audio-visual premiere explores what it means to feel at home in an age of mass displacement. With five short films by artists around the world, each scored by a UK composer, it promises to be a special and thought-provoking evening.

RNCM, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD (7.30pm; tickets £14 at 

JOAN CHARNLEY | The Weavers Factory | 8th February - 1st March

It was Joan Charley’s love of art that inspired her neighbours to open a gallery. But she was also an award-winning textile artist herself, designing for brands across the country. Weavers Factory curator Julian Bovis re-visits some of Charnley’s finest designs and re-interprets them for the 21st Century in this special exhibition, which kickstarts a diverse 2020 season at the Uppermill gem. 

The Weavers Factory, 3 New Street, Uppermill, Manchester, OL3 6AU (Tues-Sun 10am-4pm; free) 

THE LAST QUIZ NIGHT ON EARTH | The Welcome Inn | 11-15th February

Their touring production Chip Shop Chips sold out across the North (OK it did include a chippy tea but still.) Now Manchester theatre company Box of Tricks is back with another quirky show, this time a pre-apocalyptic comedy…in a pub. With a cast of eccentric characters, expect a countdown like no other.

The Welcome Inn, 2 Robert Hall St, Salford M5 3LT (7.30pm; tickets £12 at

FOUR MINUTES TWELVE SECONDS | Oldham Coliseum | 21st February - 7th March

James Fritz’s Four Minutes Twelve Seconds was Oliver-nominated for its rousing exploration of consent, online safety and crime and punishment - now he’s reinterpreted the West End thriller especially for the Oldham Coliseum. Like Black Mirror? You'll love this.

Oldham Coliseum, Fairbottom St, Oldham OL1 3SW (7.30pm; tickets from £17 at

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Four Minutes Twelve Seconds explores the dark side of technology

INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY | Citywide | 20th - 22nd February

With about 6500 languages in the world and 200 languages spoken in Manchester, the city is highlighting our linguistic diversity with three days of free events. Hear Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels interpreted in Tamil, experience a mushaira (South East Asian poetry performance), learn to say ‘our kid’ in Kurdish and much more besides.

Various; free


A concert with a difference, The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour celebrates the iconic late singer using cutting edge technology and digitally remastered arrangements of her classic hits. With a live band and performers, plus stunning special effects, it promises to be an evening to remember.  

O2 Apollo, Stockport Rd, Manchester M12 6AP (6.30pm; tickets from £30.50 at

2020 02 03 Whitney Houston
The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour promises to ‘reunite audiences with the Queen of Pop’

DIPPY ON TOUR | Number One Riverside | 10th February - 28th June

World-famous diplodocus dinosaur cast ‘Dippy’ has left his home, the Natural History Museum in London, for a tour round the UK. Next stop? Rochdale. At over 21 metres long, his arrival is a huge occasion quite literally - accompanied by a family-friendly exhibition at nearby Touchstones spanning fossilised scorpions to swamps. Find out more here.

Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU (various times; free)

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

Need some Valentine’s inspo? We’ve got a roundup for that too