Welcome to MCR! Fresher’s Nightlife Guide

For the next few years the capital of the North will be your home from home...

Welcome to Manchester! For the next few years the capital of the North will be your home from home, and although within time you will feel like you own the city, right about now you probably feel like a small fish in a very big pond. Let I Love Manchester help you then, with our essential welcome to student life in Manchester and discounted tickets available at Skiddle.

With 80,000 students spread between three universities, Manchester boasts one of the largest student populations of any city in Europe. The University of Manchester, with its spectacular Vicorian neo-gothic architecture and world class facilities, is the city’s main student hive, with the main campus located on Oxford Road and further buidlings in the city centre. A stone’s throw away from The University of Manchester, also on Oxford Road, is MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University), while The University of Salford lies a five minute bus ride out of the other side of the city centre.

Here’s a guide to the areas of Manchester most privy to you students and a few must do venues in fresher’s week:


Many of you will be living in the studentsville that is Fallowfield, so naturally will take to drinking here. There’s a great selection of student pubs, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and even a comedy club – with none of those nasty taxpayers around to spoil the fun. Even if you don’t live in Fallowfield you’ll definitely find yourself making the trip down here regularly to soak up the atmosphere at the heart of the student action.

The Northern Quarter

While Manchester’s bohemian quarter is fast being discovered by the hordes, there are still plenty of cool, independent bars which haven’t yet been tinged by the dreaded ‘mainstream’. The main concentration of bars in the N4 are focused around the High Street/Thomas Street crossroads, but wander over to Tib Street and Oldham Street where you’ll be rewarded with some great bars and clubs and a slightly more laid back vibe.

Oxford Road

Beginning at MMU’s All Saints campus and heading all the way down to central Library, the Oxford Road corridor is awash with great bars and venues, and tends to carry the same laid back spirit as the Northern Quarter but with a slightly more studenty vibe. The Deaf Institute, Kro2, Odder, and Sound Control are all generally safe bets for a great night and good crowd.

Deansgate Locks

Opposite Deansgate Train Station you’ll find ‘The Locks’ – a row of swanky bars housed in converted railway arches. You’ll love it or hate it.


As a student, you probably won’t have much need or desire to drink on Deansgate. But if you do fancy blowing your loan on overpriced drinks and footballer-spotting, head to WAGtastic bars such as The Living Room, Panacea (on John Dalton Street just off Deansgate) or Cloud 23, 23 floors up the landmark Hilton Tower.

The Gay Village

Canal Street offers a continental style, with drinking and partying taking place on the old cobbled street.

Live music

If you’ve made the decision to spend your formative years in Manchester, then we’ll assume that part of this decision may have been down to Manchester’s global reputation for live music. And while the Madchester days may be over (thankfully, some might say), the city continues to produce incredible local talent, as well as being a major stop off on the touring schedules of every band.

From the cavernous MEN Arena to the dark, intimate vibes of Night and Day cafe, Manchester is overflowing with live music venues – and it’s not hard to find a gig to attend on any night of the week. The University Campus is host to the three Academy venues of varying sizes, as well as The Deaf Institute next to MMU’s All Saints campus, which is one of Manchester’s finest independent music venues with an excellent line-up of gigs. In town you’ll find gigs at The Roadhouse, Band on the Wall, Sound Control, Night and Day, The Ruby Lounge, The Castle Hotel and Dry Bar. And with more and more bars hosting gigs and live music nights there really is an overwhelming abundance of venues to find your live music fix.

The Warehouse Project

A relative newcomer to the Manchester after-dark scene, The Warehouse Project began in 2006 and has quickly established itself as one of the leading club nights in the world. In case you’ve never heard of it (what, really?), it’s a series of club events that runs from September to Christmas every year, taking over a vast underground space beneath the arches of Picadilly Railway Station. If you’re new to Manchester, make sure you get yourself to at least one of these events – not least because this is the WHP’s final season in its current Store Street location and your last chance to experience the unique atmosphere there.

Even if you’re not a dance music junkie, there are plenty of events to cater for all tastes – from hip hop to pop and drum n bass to indie.

Check out a full list of Warehouse Project events.


One of Manchester’s longest standing and best loved club nights, Funkademia takes place every Saturday at Mint Lounge on Oldham Street (in the Northern Quarter). With a varied music policy including soul, hip-hop, funk and house past and present, it’s a great place to get your glad rags on and dance the night away to an ever changing roster of first-rate DJs.

See a list of upcoming Funkademia events and buy advance discount tickets here.


A stalwart of the Manchester clubbing scene, Sankeys has been around forever (approximately) and has seen some of the biggest names in global dance music take to its hallowed decks. If underground house, techno and electro-house are your thing then you may as well just pitch a tent at Sankeys and never leave because the line-up is always unflinchingly spot-on. Tickets for some events sell out, and are always cheaper if you buy them in advance.

See a full line-up of Sankeys events and buy advance discount tickets for Sankeys here.

Sound Control

With an events schedule as diverse as the city it calls home, Sound Control is a three level bar, club and live music venue which opened in early 2010 and has been busy establishing itself as one of the best club venues in town. With club nights covering everything from jungle to dubstep and funky house to drum n bass, there’ll be an event to suit you and your mates no matter what you’re into.

Check out a full list of Sound Control events and book your tickets through Skiddle.

Credit: Skiddle


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