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Band on the Wall

Critics' choice
Music

Band on the Wall, one of Manchester's best-loved music venues, has fought a long battle to get to where it is today. Although its musical pedigree dates...

25 Swan Street

Blue Cat Café

Critics' choice
Music

The Blue Cat is a little enclave of city bohemia picked up and transplanted to the 'burbs. It proudly showcases the best new bands, both local and touring,...

17 Shaw Road

Bolton Town Hall

Attractions, Comedy, Dance, Music

Bolton has never been content to sit in Manchester's shadow. Its Town Hall, completed in 1873 and dominating the town centre, easily has enough grandeur to...

Victoria Square
Free

Bridgewater Hall

Music

With such impressive musical accoutrements as a 5,500-pipe organ, and a menu of 300-plus events every year, there's no better place to tune into classical,...

Lower Mosley Street
Major venue

Deaf Institute

Critics' choice
Bars & pubs, Music

The Deaf Institute - aka Trof 3 - is the third bar in the Trof empire, following Trof 2 in the Northern Quarter and the original in Fallowfield, called...

135 Grosvenor Street

Iguana Bar

Bars & pubs, Clubs, Comedy, Music

This unpretentious, welcoming set-up has seen a number of additions and improvements to its already eclectic schedule. Stop in for long-running weekly...

115-117 Manchester Road

Lowry

Critics' choice
Art, Comedy, Dance, Museums, Music, Theatre

A long way from the grimly functional mill buildings so often captured by its eponymous subject and raison d'être, the Lowry marked a tipping point for the...

Pier 8
Free

Manchester 235

Bars & pubs, Casinos, Music, Restaurants & cafés

Inhabiting a slightly tired-looking leisure development, Manchester 235 is a luxury, Vegas-influenced restaurant/bar/casino/live music complex. It was the...

Great Northern

Manchester Academy 1/2/3 & Club Academy

Clubs, Music

Three spaces on the university campus accommodate acts across all genres, from unsigned to well-established. The Academy now includes Club Academy, home to...

Manchester University Students Union

Manchester Apollo

Music

A staple of the Manchester gig circuit, and just a short walk from Piccadilly, this former theatre turned mid-sized concert venue is packed nightly by music...

Stockport Road

MEN Arena

Comedy, Music

The City Centre's largest concert venue (aka the Manchester Arena) is a stopping-off point for those commanding a big crowd: typically big pop acts (à la...

Victoria Station
Major venue

Opus

Clubs, Music

With a bar, restaurant, comedy, live music and club facilities, this is one of the most well-rounded (and liveliest) venues in the mainstream Printworks...

Printworks

Rampant Lion

Bars & pubs, Clubs, Music

Established for years as cosy boozer for the student halls next door, the Rampant Lion reopened in 2009 with stylish new decor, a gastropub menu and a...

17 Anson Road

Ritz

Clubs, Music

This ex-ballroom's sprung dancefloor has been graced by generations of Mancunians. Mondays and Saturdays are popular student sessions. Even better (and...

100 Whitworth Street West

Roadhouse

Clubs, Music

Walking down the flight of steps into the Roadhouse is akin to kicking open the doors of a blast furnace: downstairs, you're all but guaranteed the hottest...

8 Newton Street
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