The Ritz

Music, Music venues Central Manchester
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
The Ritz
© Rob Martin The xx during MIF13

A Grade II listed spot making a triumph return as one of the best live music venues in the city


Manchester seems to be full of Grade II listed buildings, and The Ritz is one of the best.

True, it doesn't look like much from the outside but once you're inside you can easily imagine it in its dance hall former glory. Its famous sprung wooden floor and viewing balcony have survived the many changes the building has endured over the years.

For a long time it was a club. Indie student nights on Mondays, a downmarket 'hit man and her' on Friday, and just about everything in between. It was often the scene of massive drunken brawls spilling out into the street.

However, recent changes have seen The Ritz become one of the best live music venues in the city. From The Horrors to Martha Wainwright and Public Enemy to PJ Harvey, the live music programme now reflects the quality of the venue's yesteryears, where bands such as The Smiths, The Stone Roses, R.E.M and even The Beatles and Frank Sinatra graced its stage. Investment in the sound equipment has really paid off.  

Though there's little that can be done about it, the venue's bars are located around the main hall which means that the crash of empty bottles can sometimes interrupt a special moment. On the plus side, an outstanding new security policy sees staff inside and outside the building, managing the queue for the benefit of local residents and restricting the brawls to the pretty much non existent.

Plenty of reasons to put a spring in your step.

By: Rob Martin

Posted:

Venue name: The Ritz
Contact:
Address: Whitworth Street West
Manchester
M1 5WY
Transport: BR: Oxford Road
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4 / 5

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tastemaker

The Ritz always felt like a wasted opportunity back when it was just used for hosting student club nights. Such a nice old building seemed to deserve more than the same old nights hosted in multiple venues across the city. It's come into its own since switching its focus to live music though, which is a welcome relief. The venue is perfect for gigs, and hosts an enviable roster of big names every night of the week. Definitely worth a visit.