11th September 2018

Your freshers guide to some of Manchester’s grooviest music venues

David Augusto welcomes Manchester’s new students with a host of well-renowned venues, but also hidden gems that are not to be missed
Your freshers guide to some of Manchester’s grooviest music venues
All Photos: Athena Anastasiou & Leo Francis

With Manchester being such a musical hotspot, you’ll soon find that it offers some amazing venues that leave you eager to explore all that this eclectic city to offer.

Here is a short list of places that might help:

1. The Castle Hotel: M4 1LE (70 person capacity for music room)
Despite the name this is a pub/live music venue. There is a jukebox to the left of the main bar area, a downstairs room with a piano and additionally a live music space. This is in an intimate back room with a stage where many local acts play. Whether you go to see a gig or just for a drink at the pub, it is a solid choice and is even open for an extra hour till 1 am every Friday and Saturday.

Full music listings and prices (for entry to backroom only) available here.

2. Night and Day Cafe: M1 1JN (220 person capacity)
This is a medium-sized live music venue which also runs club nights. The venue is focused in one room that comfortably holds a dancefloor. If you are in the hinterland between drinking and dancing, you will not feel out of place doing one or the other (without feeling like you have to do both). Special mention for the Manchester Songwriter’s Festival on the 19th of September which is a North West semi-final.

Full listings and prices available here.

3. The Deaf Institute: M1 7HE (70 downstairs, 175 main area & 260 upstairs person capacity)
This is a large venue with a small basement room, main bar area, and a large upstairs music hall.  Deaf Institute host bands, DJs & promoted club nights. It also hosts slightly larger acts than the previous venue and you often find acts travelling to play here. Their website also usefully link to music videos of the artists to give you a feel for the act (and the price).

This is available here.

4. Band On The Wall: M4 5JZ (340 person capacity)
A music venue that is something special. As a charity, they have a diverse programme: including free showcases, workshops and premium events. The main stage room is split across two levels with seating above and a dancefloor below. This is a great place to see talented international musicians that may only play a handful of events this year in the UK. However, the roster includes plenty of talent with roots closer to home that equally deserve attention.

As always, use the website as a guide.

5. Manchester Albert Hall: M1 7HE (1900 person standing capacity)
Situated in a restored grade 2 church building which really does seem bigger on the inside. There is a cascading ring of benches overlooking the large stage and dance area on the floor below. However, despite the massive space, the queues for the bar, cloakroom, and toilet can get serious but the experience is worth the wait. As they are not part of a chain like the O2 venues of similar size they are free to book whatever they want.

For more information visit their website.

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