As we bid adieu to the melodies of 2023, Greater Manchester gears up for another spectacular year in live music. The city, already boasting a vibrant musical legacy, has an exciting line up of festivals and gigs set to grace its stages in 2024. From iconic venues to hidden gems, the Manchester music scene promises a diverse range of experiences for music enthusiasts.
Parklife: A Metropolis of Musical Marvels
June is destined to be a month of musical euphoria as Parklife, the UK’s largest metropolitan festival, makes its triumphant return. Following the success of 2023, which witnessed stellar performances from Aitch, The 1975, Skrillex, Wu-Tang Clan, and Nas, expectations are high for this year’s line up. House superstars Fisver and Chris Lake are set to bring their ‘Under Construction Show’ to Manchester, marking its first appearance outside of America. As the anticipation builds, Manchester prepares for a feast of homegrown talent and international acts that will undoubtedly leave music enthusiasts on the edge of their seats.
Sounds of the City: A July Jamboree
Castlefield Bowl, the iconic venue nestled in the heart of Manchester, will play host to the Sounds of the City festival in July. With a line up that includes Avril Lavigne, The National, Fatboy Slim, Tom Grennan, and others, this festival promises to be a highlight of the summer. Hacienda Classical, a perennial favourite, will return, infusing the historic venue with its unique blend of classical and electronic beats. The stage is set for an unforgettable musical experience in the heart of the city.
We Invented the Weekend: A Celebration of Leisure and Culture
In the spirit of leisure, “We Invented the Weekend” returns for its second edition, building on the success of its inaugural event in 2023. This two-day free festival, spread across MediaCity and Salford Quays, will offer a diverse range of activities, including sports, music, comedy, theatre, dance, workshops, and talks. With over 200 free activities last year, the 2024 edition promises even more excitement, making it a must-attend for those seeking a weekend filled with cultural delights.
Manchester Song Festival: A Melodic Showcase
From March 1-3, the Stoller Hall will resonate with the enchanting tunes of the Manchester Song Festival. Featuring performances by award-winning Jazz singer Cleveland Watkiss, classical tenor Mark Padmore, and Korean Opera star Hera Hyesang Park, this festival is a celebration of vocal talent across genres. With vocal workshops catering to singers of all abilities, the festival aims to create an immersive experience for both performers and the audience.
Manchester Jazz Festival: A Decades-Long Jazz Odyssey
Making its grand return in May, the Manchester Jazz Festival enters its 29th year. Renowned for showcasing the best in contemporary jazz, the festival will unfold across venues like Matt & Phreds, Band on The Wall, The Yard, and St Ann’s Church. As the festival continues to evolve, it remains a testament to Manchester’s enduring love affair with jazz, featuring a diverse lineup of Northern, national, and international musicians.
Wythenshawe Park Gigs: Noel Gallagher’s Legacy Continues
Wythenshawe Park emerges as a musical hotspot with two headline-worthy gigs announced for 2024. Following Noel Gallagher’s memorable performance, Manchester music legends New Order and Stockport favourites Blossoms are set to grace the stage. With a supporting cast that includes Johnny Marr, Róisin Murphy, Inhaler, and others, these gigs promise to be a weekend of musical magic in the heart of Wythenshawe.
Moovin Festival: A Countryside Musical Retreat
Described as “Manchester’s best-kept secret,” the Moovin Festival returns to Whitebottom Farm near Marple for an August bank holiday extravaganza. With previous years featuring top-notch performances from the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Goldie, Todd Terry, and local heroes like Mr. Scruff, the line up for 2024 is eagerly awaited. Amidst the stunning countryside setting, thousands of revellers are set to experience a music spectacle like no other.
BBC 6 Music Festival: Greater Manchester’s Sonic Showcase
The BBC 6 Music Festival, a beloved event showcasing legendary and emerging talent, returns to Greater Manchester from March 7 to 10. The city-region will play host to a mix of daytime, evening, and late-night shows across various iconic venues. While the line up for 2024 remains shrouded in secrecy, the festival promises unique performances and DJ sets that will captivate music enthusiasts.
Pride: More Than Music
August Bank Holiday sees the return of Pride, not just as a musical extravaganza but also as a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in Manchester. The Gay Village will host a myriad of events, including a parade, Candlelit Vigil, Youth Pride MCR, Family Pride MCR, Superbia Weekend, and the Human Rights Forum. While last year showcased a diverse line up with acts like Danny Beard, Jake Shears, Alison Goldfrapp, and others, Pride continues to emphasize community spirit alongside musical brilliance.
90s Baby Festival: A Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane
For those craving a nostalgic journey, the 90s Baby Festival returns to Manchester Barton Aerodrome on July 20 and 21. Expanded to a two-day event due to popular demand, the festival promises to be a family-friendly weekend filled with 90s music, fairground fun, glitter stalls, and a variety of refreshments. While the line up is yet to be unveiled, last year featured acts like B*Witched, Five, Liberty X, and others, ensuring a nostalgic blast from the past.
Made in Manchester: A Tribute to Local Talent
Romiley and Bolton will host the coolest family music festival later this year, celebrating the best of Manchester’s music scene. With tributes to iconic Manchester bands like Take That, Oasis, and The Smiths, as well as performances by local talents such as The Shed Project and Will Edgar, Made in Manchester promises an immersive experience for music lovers.
In conclusion, 2024 is set to be a musical rollercoaster for Greater Manchester, with a diverse array of festivals and gigs catering to every taste. As the city continues to solidify its status as a musical powerhouse, residents and visitors alike can look forward to a year filled with rhythm, melody, and the unmistakable spirit of Manchester’s music scene. So, mark your calendars and get ready for a year of unforgettable musical moments in the heart of the North!