PREVIEW: Manchester After Hours #MCRAfterHours

On May 12, Manchester’s museums, galleries and libraries will open up after dark for Manchester After Hours, a night of unique experiences celebrating art, culture and heritage.

The event, which is part of the annual nationwide ‘Museums At Night’ celebration, will offer visitors the chance to see places and spaces not usually open to the public.

Here’s what happened last year:

This year, the occasion promises to be a “mixology of odd couplings and unexpected combos”, with a number of the city’s cultural hotspots taking part, joining hundreds of others around the UK.

Check out the map below to see what’s going on where and plan your nocturnal journey through the city!

Where to go if… You’re a little (or very!) hungry

Castlefield Food Festival

Get down to Castlefield Food Festival’s night market (@CastlefieldFood) at Castlefield Bowl to enjoy stalls serving up delicious treats, a farmers market, live music, demos and masterclasses! The market is open until 10 from Thursday to Sunday so there’s no excuse!

12 – 15 May / FREE ADMISSION

Where to go if… Fashion is your thing

Fashion and Freedom

Manchester Art Gallery are giving attendees the chance to see the new ‘Fashion and Freedom’ exhibition before anyone else! Accompanied by music and drinks, the display will feature pieces from the likes of Vivienne Westwood, looking at the impact of the First World War on fashion and the changing roles of women.


Where to go if… You’re a fan of Shakespeare

Neon Sonnets

John Rylands Library and RNCM are joining forces to mark the 400 years since the great writer’s death. The Royal Northern College of Music will perform original compositions inspired by the work of William Shakespeare and the library’s collection, fusing literature and music.

6-9 / FREE ADMISSION (limited capacity)

Sally Stevens, Public Programme Co-Ordinator at The John Rylands Library, said: “I thought I would ask Michelle Castelletti (Artistic Director at the RNCM) if she thought this could be inspiration for the music, and she immediately agreed that it could.”

She added: “There will be performances of music inspired by Shakespeare taking place throughout the Library, plus there will be some excerpts from plays. A rolling programme takes place on the hour from 6-9pm, so people can follow this through, or drop in and out as they wish!”

Join in the conversation with #MCRAfterHours