The morning performances were given at the Collegiate Church, Manchester and, except for the performance of Handel, The Messiah given on 15 September, were three-part performances of sacred choral repertory.
The evening performances were described as Grand Miscellaneous Concerts and were held at the Theatre Royal. They were two-part vocal concerts, with orchestral overtures/symphonies at the beginning of each part and some occasional instrumental solos/concertos.
The morning concerts were led by Franz Cramer with Mr W. Wilkinson (organ and chorus master) and the evening performances by Mr Mori. All concerts were conducted by Sir George Smart.
Programmes for all concerts include a printed list of the Patrons and Committee for the Festival and give detailed information about the vocal and instrumental soloists (see below). Those for the morning performances provide complete lists of the orchestral and choral ensembles.
Vocal: Mrs. H. R. Bishop, Mrs. W. Knyvett, Miss C. Novello and Mrs A. Shaw, Mr Braham, Mr Bennett and Mr H. Phillips; Madame Caradori Allan, Mademoiselle Assandri and Madame Malibran de Beriot; Signor Ivanoff, and Signor LaBlache. Also, Mr Machin (for the third evening concert), Mr Terrail (morning performances).
Instrumental: Monsieur De Beriot (violin), Mr Nicholson (flute), Mr Challoner (harp), Mr Willman (clarinet), Mr Harper (Cornet a piston), Mr Lindley (cello), Mr Baumann (bassoon) and Signor Dragonetti (double bass), Mr Crouch (cello).
Many of the programmes carry annotations in Smart's hand. These record the timings of the performances (complete and of individual sections/pieces), document the encores performed, and detail any minor alterations to the printed programme, particularly those resulting from the lateness or non-appearance of one of the performers.
An extended note on the programme for the evening concert of 14 September highlights 'the last Piece in which Mrs Malibran ever sung', going on to note that she was to die on 23 September 1836. Smart's notes (which also record the date of her funeral) are supplemented by a printed announcement of Malibran's enforced withdrawal from the festival and a printed document providing details of her funeral.
13 September: Haydn, The Creation, with a coronation anthem by Thomas Attwood, a selection from Mozart, Requiem, and Henry Bishop, The Seventh Day.
14 September: Sphor, The Christian Prayer (first performance), with selections from Handel, Jephtha, Solomon and Israel in Egypt.
15 September: Handel, The Messiah. Bound with this programme are two handwritten notes concerning the tardiness of certain performers, signed by 'The Committee'. These were clearly passed to Smart during the performance.
16 September: selections from Beethoven, Mount of Olives, Cudmore, The Martyr of Antioch, and Spohr, The Last Judgement.