Manchester Off-campus living Stellify

What’s on in May?

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As we head to the end of Spring, the days are longer and we might (finally) be getting some sunshine. Here’s a round up of things you can do this month to make the most of the longer daylight hours.

Month of Music

May is the month of music and there are so many gigs on that you can still get tickets for: Olly Murs (5 May, AO Arena), Bad Boy Chiller Crew (5 May, Albert Hall), Lucy Spraggan (6 May, Albert Hall), Avril Lavigne (7 May, O2 Apollo), Post Malone (16 May, AO Arena), Pusha T, (16 May, O2 Ritz), Sam Smith (24 May, AO Arena), Sir Elton John (31 May, AO Arena), Coldplay (31 May, Etihad Stadium).

There’s also two great festivals happening this month, the Manchester Jazz Festival hosts a bunch of amazing artists and runs from the 19 – 28 May, with almost all of the opening weekend events being free across various venues. There’s also the Deansgate Mews Festival, over the bank holiday 26 May – 28 May, with 3 days of live music, food, drink and stalls – and free entry!

For nights out, the Deaf Institute has loads of events planned this month, from an indie discotheque and 70s night, Beyoncé club night to a 2010s Call Me Maybe party. And if  there’s not enough here that calls your name, have a look at what’s on at YES, events at Gorilla and listings at the Academy for more cheap events and up and coming artists. 

And Finally, Eurovision comes to Liverpool this month but if you didn’t manage to get tickets and would still like a lively atmosphere to view it, there are tickets left for the 532 Eurovision Watch Party 13 May 8pm – expect party bags, bingo, good pop ups and more!

Keep on Moving

You have until the 12 of May to sign up for The Purple Wave 10k or half marathon on Sunday 21 May. You can either run for fun with your friends or you can fundraise for Manchester Cancer Research and get your entrance ticket for free! This event is about celebrating our University of Manchester community so everyone is welcome. Have a look at our article for more info and training guides. 

If running isn’t for you, there are still fitness classes around campus you can join. You can sign up and pay as you go if you want to try out a few and find what fits. Find the full schedule here

Get Cultured


If May is the month of music, it’s also the month of arts and culture. There are loads of exhibitions to explore this month. For something a bit different, there are steam days at the Bolton Steam Museum (where all the trains will be in steam), entry is free but donations are appreciated. The first steam dates are Sunday and Moday 30 April – 1 May and Sunday and Monday 28 – 29 May, 10am-4pm.

Manchester Central Library are celebrating 50 Years of Rock photography, curated by photographer Jill Furmanovsky and Noel Gallagher. The exhibition is on the first floor exhibition space, Manchester Central Library, 15th April – 24th June. The exhibition is free but there are two paid events coming with Jill Furmanovsky on 9 and 11 May.

The esea contemporary (formerly the Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art), was relaunched in February and its free exhibition ‘Practice Till We Meet’ closes on 28 May. ‘Practice Till We Meet’ explores diasporic experienced, the condition of migration, and the challenges and actions taken to create a just life in a new place. Not one to miss!

The British Culture Archive: A Celebration of Life in the North, 1970s-1980s at the Bury Art Museum closes on 18 May. Curated by British Culture Archive founded Paul Wright, the exhibition gives us a glimpse into the landscapes of northern working class towns and cities, shining a light on everyday life in the pre social media world of the 1970s and 1980s. The exhibition also features photographs from The People’s Archive (a crowdsources archive documenting everyday life in twentieth century Britain. 

There’s also the HOME Gallery Spring exhibitions on until Sun 4 June and guided tours of The People’s History Museum on 13 and 20 May and the Colors Festival: Street Art Exhibition opening on 19 May, with over 30 pieces of work filling the 800m² space.  

Plays and Shows

It’s a bumper month for plays, shows and events with The SpongeBob Musical on at the Manchester Opera House 16 – 21 May, Bi-Topia, a play about the bisexual experience as part of Pride in Trafford runs from 17 – 20 May, there’s £5 tickets for A Gen-Z Guide to Life by Theatre 53two, Phil Wang’s Wang in there, Baby! tour at The Lowry 21 May, and The Vitality Blast Fixtures at Emirates old Trafford on 25 May.

Get Outdoors

As the weather (hopefully!) warms up, you might be looking to do more outside, see student creator Georgia’s guide to free outdoor spaces and affordable places to visit around Manchester. The Manchester Flower Festival, 26-29 May includes a flower trail and flower displays around the city. The Greater Manchester Walking Festival takes place across May and there are over 250 free group walks for different tastes, you can search by date, distance, difficulty and area.

For some hands on outdoor activities, you might want to join the volunteers at Platt Fields Market Garden who meet every Saturday 10-4 or go along to one of the Forest Garden Sessions at Birchfields Park every third Sunday 1-3.

Community Spirit

Don’t forget to check out what events are happening at St Peter’s House this month, including a zero-waste supper club on 12 May, sober communal meal Queer Family Tea 25 May 5-9 and weekly Wednesday study sessions 3:30 – 6:30 throughout May.

If you’ve been doing a lot of extra-curricular activities while studying, you might want this officially recognised to boost your employability. There’s a Stellify Award drop-in session Thursday 11th May 1pm – 3pm in Pod 7 in the Atrium at University Place.