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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

Charlie's Karaoke Bar

Music

Tatty but charming, Charlie's occasionally mutates from karaoke hangout into club proper. Decadent cabaret soirée the Whim Wham Club is on the first Friday...

1 Harter Street

Chetham's Library & School of Music

Attractions, Music

Chetham's is a stunning piece of the 15th century that has survived more or less intact to the present day, the former college's library and surrounding...

Long Millgate
Free

Dancehouse

Comedy, Dance, Music, Theatre

Although best known for its comedy nights, this art deco former cinema puts on dance, drama and music gigs, and is the home of the Northern Ballet School.

10 Oxford Road

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

Islington Mill

Critics' choice
Art, Music

Islington Mill, a converted cotton warehouse, has led something akin to a cultural revolution in Salford over the past decade. The building, just a few...

James Street
Free

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

Martin Harris Centre

Critics' choice
Music, Theatre

This venue quietly hosts some of the city's best literary events. Its concert hall is home to the Quatuor Danel string quartet (which often gives free...

University of Manchester, Bridgeford Street
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