Whether it’s beneath the glorious beating sun with a hastily mixed cocktail or, more realistically, under a gunmetal sky in a pint-diluting downpour, Mancunians arguably enjoy an outdoor gig more than anyone else on the planet.

Wipe the droplets from your sunglasses and reluctantly grab a £20 poncho for the best outdoor concerts coming to the city this summer, from hometown heroes to the return of Britpop royalty.

Porcupine Tree | Castlefield Bowl | Thu 29 Jun | 6pm | From £63.15

Performing as part of Sounds of the City 2023, Porcupine Tree bring their innovative brand of exploratory, psychedelic experimental rock to Castlefield Bowl for a one-off UK show. Formed in 1987, the band has amassed a cult following over a long, stellar career as the kings of multi-instrumental melancholia, with their latest album, Closure/Continuation, releasing to critical acclaim last year.

Rice St, Manchester M3 4JR
Pulp | Castlefield Bowl | Tue 4 Jul | 5.30pm | From £108 (Resale)

While ‘Or just 8,000 people standing in a concrete amphitheatre’ may not possess quite the evocative genius of the original line, the announcement of Pulp’s first Manchester gig in 22 years caused a level of pandemonium many assumed would remain reserved for a certain brotherly reunion. Taking over Castlefield Bowl as a showpiece entry in the Sounds of the City series, Jarvis Cocker, Candida Doyle, Nick Banks and Mark Webber return to town for a bucket list evening of seminal Pulp tunes.

Rice St, Manchester M3 4JR
Blossoms | Castlefield Bowl | Thu 6 Jul | 6pm | From £89 (Resale)

From Charlemagne to There’s A Reason Why, Stockport’s favourite sons have fired out non-stop face-melting bangers in their singular style from the moment they placed fourth in the BBC Sound of 2016 talent list. On Thu 6, Blossoms bring a guaranteed setlist of modern classics to Castlefield Bowl for an unforgettable hometown concert.

Rice St, Manchester M3 4JR
Lewis Capaldi | Wythenshawe Park | Fri 25 Aug | 4pm | From £70 (Resale)

Performing somewhat curiously in deep South Manchester’s Wythenshawe Park, the beloved balladier is set to spend 90 minutes reminding 50,000 revellers of their most traumatic breakups ahead of bill-topping slots at Reading and Leeds. Tickets predictably sold out in minutes but, as it’s still a few months away, resale prices are reasonable enough for the time being.

Wythenshawe, Manchester
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds | Wythenshawe Park | Sat 26 Aug | 4pm | From £60.50

With teenage tears still drying in the dirt, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds take over the park the following evening, joined by special guests Future Islands and, worthy of an entry themselves, Primal Scream. General release tickets are still available, but are almost guaranteed to sell out before long.

Wythenshawe, Manchester
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Tue 20 Jun 2023