Cultural Lancaster

Lancaster has you covered with a diverse selection of cultural activities

light up Lancaster event castle illuminated

However you like to take time out, Lancaster has you covered with a wide range of cultural activities.

From theatre, comedy, music, cinema and exhibitions to classical concerts and festivals, Lancaster has a great deal to offer in terms of arts and culture, with many events hosted on Bailrigg campus and many more hosted in and around the City of Lancaster.

Lancaster Arts: where ideas, creativity and people connect

We are Lancaster Arts and we make exciting contemporary performance, art and music happen with cutting edge artists from across the world, and you!

Lancaster Arts
Theatre performance at Lancaster University
Belly dancing society in Alex Square


We have over 160 student societies, offering you a choice from Acapella Society to K-Pop to Comedy Institute or Film Society. We also have a range of staff societies too. Our societies are a great way to meet new people, follow your interests, try new things, and find a community to be a part of at Lancaster. Get involved or come along and spectate.

Student societies

Galleries, libraries, museums and event spaces

  • The Great Hall

    The Great Hall is Lancaster's main performance space, and plays host to everything from concerts to graduation ceremonies.

  • The Nuffield Theatre

    The Nuffield Theatre brings professional and world-renowned contemporary performance and theatre to the Bailrigg campus.

  • Peter Scott Gallery

    Lancaster’s Peter Scott Gallery presents a varied programme of temporary exhibitions and associated talks.

  • Lancaster University Library

    The library building is at the heart of the campus. It is open to members of the University and for public access.

  • The Ruskin

    Explore the art and ideas of John Ruskin, writer, artist, and radical thinker. The Ruskin is temporarily closed for refurbishment, while our doors are closed, exhibitions and events take place off-site and online.

Film and theatre

Fans of independent film and theatre can enjoy comedy and theatrical tours at fantastic venues. You can also catch all major box-office releases at the city's Vue Cinema.

  • The Dukes

    Catch a variety of professional live theatre, including outdoor performances, alongside mainstream and cultural cinema screenings.

  • Take 2 Cinema

    The oldest society on campus and the only on-campus cinema, run by students for students.

  • The Grand Theatre

    Lancaster's Grand Theatre hosts major tours and offers live entertainment ranging from comedy by top comics to drama, dance, music, and family events.

  • British Film Institute (BFI)

    Our students can access BFI Player for free. You can enjoy hundreds of films, workshops, and masterclasses.

Lancaster University Degree Show

Third year BA (Hons) students at Lancaster University showcase their hard work in the Final Degree Show each year.

Degree Show
LICA degree show 2018 art student

Festivals and cultural events

  • Annual Roses event

    The annual inter-varsity competition between the students of Lancaster and York universities. Roses is one of the biggest events of the year!

  • Campus in the City

    Campus in the City is an initiative by Lancaster University to bring local people, academics and students together through exciting, fun and educational activities for all ages.

  • Light Up Lancaster

    Transforming the streets, gardens and historical venues of Lancaster for one weekend every year is Light Up Lancaster, a spectacular free-of-charge festival celebrating work by local and international artists.

  • Lancaster Words

    Lancaster Words is a biannual festival celebrating the written and spoken word.

  • Confucius Institute

    The Confucius Institute offer language and culture courses from Chinese ink landscape painting to calligraphy and Tai Chi. Students, local schools, communities and businesses are all welcome.

  • Lancaster Pride

    Lancaster University is always a proud supporter of Lancaster and Morecambe Pride.

  • Free Public Lecture Series

    Including thought-provoking lectures, immersive performances, panel events, dramatic readings, and captivating talks from well-known speakers and Lancaster academics.

Big weekends

There's big festival energy right on your doorstep. Make the most of your weekends with the region's largest open-air music festival, Highest Point, or try something different at the kitsch-filled Vintage by the Sea in nearby Morecambe.


  • Lancaster Castle

    Take a guided tour of Lancaster's historic castle and discover 1,000 years of history.

  • Lancaster Museums

    Lancaster is home to several museums and galleries, such as Arteria: Gallery 23, Lancaster City Museum and Lancaster Maritime Museum.

  • Regional Heritage Centre

    The Regional Heritage Centre promotes and celebrates the rich social and cultural heritage of Northwest England by engaging with the regional community.

Spine photography exhibit

Titled "60 Years of Lancaster University", the new exhibition documents the growth of the University over six decades, from black and white to technicolour images, showing how Lancaster has expanded nationally and internationally to offer world-class facilities for students and staff. 

Spine photography exhibit archive