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TOP 5 Bars to Catch an Awesome Gig in Manchester

New wave of music venues in Manchester...

For decades, Manchester has been known as a magnet city for talented musicians. The Smiths were the ultimate Manchester band of the 1980s as well as New Order and Joy Division and Manchester soon became MADchester with an explosive dance music scene.

“Manchester kids have the best
record collections”
Tony Wilson

The heart and soul of Manchester’s music scene, The Hacienda, closed its doors in late 1990’s. A host to bands including The Happy Mondays, The Smiths, Oasis, Madonna and many others, it was simple, “The Hacienda made people happy and it made them feel part of something special.” Today, there are dozens of live music venues in the city centre, from huge arenas to quirky bars with open mic nights.

Check out our favourite places to catch a gig!

1. Band on the Wall

Band On The Wall Manchester

Previously The George and Dragon pub, Band on the Wall has been part of the history of Manchester for over 200 years and has been a music venue at least since the 1930s. Check out the best of international and local music at this newly renovated, state of the art venue!

2. The Whiskey Jar


Home to the best open mic night in the north. The Whiskey Jar invites independent and signed artists every Tuesday at 7pm to take the stage. This is one not to miss. After all, all the best musicians started out playing in bars.

Free Entry.

Want to get involved? Email [email protected]

3. Gorilla


An incredibly unique industrial looking arena with a 600 capacity. Gorilla hosts regular live gigs and top notch club nights.

Ticketed Events.

4. Matt & Phreds

Matt Phreds

Located on Tib Street in the trendy Northern Quarter, Matt & Phreds has welcomed the likes of likes of Sneaky, Kit Downes, Marius Neset, Manu Delago, the Dagda Quartet, Jamie Cullum and even Adele over the years! A true neighbourhood joint!

Live music 6 nights a week.

5. Revolucion de Cuba

Revolucion Cuba Manchester

Located just off Deansgate in Central Manchester, Revolucion de Cuba hosts Live music, salsa dancing, proper drinks. Keeping the heat up long after the sun has gone down and carrying on until it rises again.

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

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