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Delve into two centuries of remarkable history, from inspirational people to life-changing discoveries and world firsts. Engage with some of the biggest names in the arts, engineering, science, health, social and environmental impact today. And meet the next generation of students set to make the world a greener, fairer and healthier place for all.


What better time to celebrate what we do here at Manchester than our 200th anniversary, with four days of totally unique events? Come and join us at this free, family-friendly festival.

We’re teaming up with brilliant partners including BBC Philharmonic, Factory International, The Guardian, In Place of War, Manchester Histories Festival, Pop Up Market Co, and many more.

People sit on deckchairs at Gilbert Green.


The historic heart of our Oxford Road campus is the backdrop to Universally Manchester Festival.

Across four special days the festival takes over Manchester Museum, the Whitworth and The University of Manchester Students’ Union with amazing performances and inspiring exhibitions. We’ll also be creating pop-up stages for thought-provoking discussions, music, poetry and comedy in Gilbert Square.

Spend time at our Festival Village on Bridgeford Street, which will host local artisan food and craft traders, or visit one of our picnic spots and quiet zones dotted around campus. On Saturday, 8 June the doors to Engineering Building A and University Place are open for our Community Fair, with hands-on activities for all ages, big name talks and family-friendly shows.

Start your day at the Visitors’ Centre in the Old Quad to collect your map, or get advice from our friendly festival ambassadors.

Can’t be in Manchester? Join us online, with at least two virtual events each day.

See our festival map.

Manchester Metrolink tram at St Peter's Square.


Getting to and around the festival is easy, whether arriving by bus or tram, train, bike, car or on foot. The entire festival site takes around ten minutes to cross from end to end.

TfGM offers some great budget-friendly options for families arriving by bus or tram. Visit its website for details of the Metrolink one-day family travelcard and one-day Bee Bus Family pass, and book in advance.

  • Nearest train station: Manchester Oxford Road
  • Nearest tram station: St Peter’s Square
  • Bus stops: Numerous along Oxford Road
  • Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria train stations can be reached in 15 to 20 minutes (on foot)

We recommend sustainable travel whenever possible, but if you need to arrive by car you’ll find the closest available car parks at the Manchester Aquatics Centre, Booth Street West and Cecil Street, and parking charges will apply. Please note Dover Street Car Park will not be open to the general public.

See our festival map.

Find out more about travel to campus.

A mother and daughter smiling on campus.


Universally Manchester Festival is a celebration for everyone.

Not only is it free to attend in person, a number of events will also be live streamed from our main stage – allowing you to take them in from wherever you are in the world. Live stream feeds will be made available to watch, with subtitles, at a later date. British Sign Language interpreters will be present at some events.

Our campus is generally accessible, with parking options for blue badge holders (including free parking in Booth Street West car park) and quiet spaces for those who need them. Accessible and gender-neutral toilets can be found across campus, along with baby changing rooms and prayer facilities.

See our festival map.

Read more about accessibility on campus.

Sun shines through a tree on campus.


Sustainability is at our festival’s core. Our greener celebrations will offer multiple water points; local sustainable food and drink traders; cycle shelters, repair stands and pumps for those wishing to cycle to venues.

We have recycling facilities throughout campus and both recycling and upcycling activities are planned within the programme.

Food will cater for a wide range of dietary requirements, including plant-based and gluten-free options. Please do consider bringing refillable water bottles and coffee cups with you.

Find out more about sustainability on campus.


The festival is taking place on our Oxford Road campus, ten minutes from the city centre of Manchester. Many activities are based around the historic heart of campus (Old Quad, Manchester Museum), extending from Engineering Building A to the Whitworth.

Our festival map details the venues and our activity hotspots.

If you can’t be here in Manchester, you can join us online with at least two virtual events each day.

We are well served by all major transport links, including bus, tram and train. You can easily walk, wheel or cycle around campus.

Although we encourage sustainable travel, we know this isn’t possible for everyone. There are a number of official University car parks available close to the festival site, including Manchester Aquatics Centre, Booth Street West and Cecil Street. Free parking to blue badge holders is available in Booth Street West. Please be advised that parking is likely to be busy during the festival, so please plan accordingly.

See our festival map.

Access to the festival is free and open to all, however some of our most popular events will be ticketed due to their popularity.

These tickets will be released to the public on 9 May 2024. Check out our individual event listings to see which require them.

Sign up for information, updates and access to early bird tickets for our most in-demand events.

A limited number of tickets will be available on the day, with a first come, first served queuing system in place at each venue.

But remember, many of our events do not require a ticket at all (and all are free) – so there will be plenty to see and do if you miss out on a ticket for a particular event.

You don’t – all events are free.

Yes, a number of events will be live streamed for those unable to attend in-person.

You can watch the live streams at the top of individual event listings – they will be added to these pages on the day of the event.

Live streamed events can be found by selecting ‘Live streamed’ from the ‘Event types’ dropdown menu on the ‘What’s on’ page.

Yes, absolutely!

There will be loads to do for the whole family – from hands-on activities to music, dance and lots more.

Please note, however, that some events will have age restrictions due to the nature of the activity (where health and safety requires this) and/or parental discretion may be advised. See individual event listings for more information.

We love dogs and they are allowed in our open spaces. However, they must be kept on a short, fixed lead at all times and are not permitted inside any of our buildings.

Please don’t bring your pooch to our pop-up stages – they won’t appreciate how busy these areas can get, and safety is our priority.

Assistance dogs are welcome everywhere.

Yes, you can bring and eat your own food and drink in our designated picnic zone.

If you want to try something new, amazing local food and drink traders will be joining our Festival Village on Bridgeford Street. Water points will also be available around campus. Please do consider bringing refillable water bottles and coffee cups with you.

Please don’t bring food and drink inside the buildings and be sure to clean up after yourself – using our many campus recycling points.

We have accessible and gender-neutral toilets in our buildings, and there will be pop-up toilets – including accessible toilets – near our main stages in Gilbert Square.

There are also baby change and feeding facilities available on campus.

There are many hotels available in Manchester. Festival goers can enjoy preferential rates at the Hyatt Regency Manchester hotel close to campus, located moments away from all of our festival venues.

Yes – prayer facilities are available on campus, including in Engineering Building A and The University of Manchester Students’ Union Building.

Our programme is now full, and our open call now closed.

Thank you for your interest – we have been overwhelmed with the response and received hundreds of amazing applications.

You may be aware of some protest activity currently taking place on our campus.

Please find information about it – and what we’ve been doing to make sure you can still enjoy your day with us – in our news post.