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Kate O'Donnell
credit: Lee Baxter

Queer Contact

The annual festival of queer performance and art is back at Contact

By Rob Martin

Each year, Queer Contact celebrates queer culture as part of LGBT History Month. For the 2015 Festival there' a fabulous mix of music, comedy, fim and performance which truly reflects the diversity of LGBT artists. 

Here are Time Out Manchester's top eight from the programme. Visit Contact's website for all events in the festival.

Visit some of Manchester's best gay bars whilst you're at Queer Contact

The Molly House

Bars and pubs

The eighteenth century equivalent of a gay bar, a Molly House was once a place where men could meet others like themselves, without fear of prosecution and public hanging. These days, the only worry is finding a space at the bar.


Bars and pubs

As the Manchester branch of the well-loved London nightclub, G-A-Y boasts a prime position within the city’s gay scene – both geographically, with its location in the centre of Canal Street, and in reputation, as one of the most popular bars of the area. That’s not to say it’s necessarily the best, but it’s certainly the king of the roost, enjoying a sturdy stream of trade throughout the week.



Bars and pubs Cocktail bars

As the date bar of choice to many, TriBeCa has the right mix of Village influence without feeling like a typical gay bar, transporting you to New York with the cool aesthetic of its many jazz lounges and late night drinking dens.


Bars and pubs Hotel bars

Set within the heart of Manchester’s main gay area, Velvet is a boutique hotel, restaurant and bar that adds a touch of class to the revelry of Canal Street. As one of the few proper cocktails joints in the Village, Velvet has become a forerunner in luxurious drinking and canal-side dining.


Sackville Lounge

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars

Just shy of the main gay quarter, Sackville Lounge is part of the Village’s more refined elite, standing back from the main hyperactivity of Canal Street to usher in something a little more urbane.

The Eagle

Bars and pubs

This men-only basement bar opened just a few years ago but is a well-established addition to the Gay Village. While its doors open for a more sedate experience from 5pm daily (2pm on a Sunday), it really finds its crowd late into the night of a weekend.



Bars and pubs

Established back in 1998, Vanilla has become one of the UK’s leading bars within the LGBT scene. Claiming to be ‘where the girls are’, Vanilla is branded primarily as a lesbian bar, but the joint still enjoys a healthy and diverse mix of men and women despite the clientele being predominantly female.


Bars and pubs

Set right in the heart of Canal Street, Via is always a popular choice for those after something beyond the usual gay bar offerings. Attracting a slightly older crowd, it isn’t exactly classy, but in comparison to some of the camper bars nearby, it does offer a slightly more upmarket vibe.


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