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Where to Enjoy Live Music in Manchester

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Time to leave lockdown living to the past and discover our fave spots to enjoy live music in Manchester….

Live music has finally returned and with so much to offer with Manchester’s talented performers coming back to the scene with a bang. From secret Jazz speakeasys to some of the coolest rock venues in the city. Manchester is filled to the brim with places to enjoy live music. So grab a drink and some friends and check out our top suggestions for yourself!…  

Soup Kitchen

Image © Facebook via @soupmanchester

31-33 Spear Street, Manchester, M1 1DF  

If you are a sucker for an intimate gig (which I am), as well as a cheeky draft lager, then look no further than Soup Kitchen. The venue is located five minutes from Piccadilly Gardens, tucked away on Spear Street, meaning that it is usually overlooked by the footfall as a trusty place to watch wonderful music. But I assure you, if you take the trip, you will be eternally grateful. The venue primarily hosts bands, and does so brilliantly with acoustics that churn out a loud, raw sound. However, it does not shy away from night life either, with DJ’s from all across Britain making the trip to perform at this Greater Manchester gem. Grab a bite upstairs from their tasty menu then pop down after hours to enjoy their next performance… 

Night People

Image © Facebook via @nightpeoplemcr

105 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD 

Late licensing and great sound proofing… Night People was made for parties and perfect for live music! The venue is split into two large rooms, separated by a catacomb-esque passageway at the back. It’s easy to get lost in the bright lights but if you do manage to find the stage (right hand side of the room FYI), then you’ll be completely blown away by the sheer power of the speakers. And there is plenty of room to boogie! God bless the sound technicians.

They have weekly live music events scheduled in and the line up is looking pretty cool… click the link here for more information about what’s coming up for Night people. 

Deaf Institute

Image © Facebook via @thedeafinstitute

135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester, M1 7HE  

The Deaf Institute, situated on Oxford Road, in idiom terms is the ‘Jack of all Trades, Master of None.’ But don’t let the none persuade you from investigating further. Deaf institute not only hosts live music, it is also a respectable restaurant, club venue and a laidback bar. Deaf institute makes this list on different accolades. Not as a juggernaut hotspot for live music, but a venue that you could spend an entire day in. The venue is three floors, with the gigs held on the top floor. So, whilst waiting for the music to start, you could tuck in to their new menu from This Charming Naan. Stick around afterwards, and you can bask in the eccentric brilliance of the Horse Meat Disco club night. What a way to spend a weekend. 

O2 Ritz Manchester

Image © Facebook via @o2ritzmanchester

Whitworth Street W, Manchester, M1 5NQ 

Countless numbers of people have flocked to this venue on weekends the O2 Ritz Manchester is one of our hot spots for live music. Situated on Whitworth Street W, the Ritz attracts some of the larger forces in music such as Mike Skinner, Arctic Monkeys, R.E.M and, at the dawn of its existence, a little four-piece known as the Beatles.  

Coming up they have new legends gracing this venue such as Snow Alegra and Masego to name a couple and if that isn’t even they’re even hosting club nights dedicated to a plethora of music tastes. From Taylor Swift music nights (aptly named Swiftogeddon)  to Reggaeton there’s really something for everyone. You can check out their upcoming nights here.  


Image © Facebook via @HiddenMcr

16-18 Mary Street, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, M3 1NH 

This is the distinctive venue on the list. Now, you may not find any live bands here, but this rebranded abandoned factory tucked away in Salford plays host to the rising stars on the hip-hop, grime and bassline scene. With the imminent closure of Antwerp Mansion, there is no other contest for Hidden in regard to its three-story open plan complex, kitted out main stage and a rather large second stage on the ground floor. Hidden has a humble reputation and has managed to rake in ravers and party-enthusiasts on talent alone. With grime storming into the mainstream over the past decade, Hidden is undoubtedly the hotspot to witness the rising stars blow the roof off. The venue is pretty cheap too, which is always a bonus. 

Night and Day Café

Image © Facebook via @NightNDayCafe

26 Oldham Street, Manchester, M1 1JN 

Another intimate venue creeps its way onto the list and rightfully so! The Night & Day Café is a bar by trade, but in recent years has attracted indie starlets such as The Wytches, Cabbage and even a young Kasabian. Although the audience may be packed into a narrow, quite restrictive space, prepare to be blown away by the might of the electric guitar and the crisp edge of the microphones. Another venue that employs exceptionally talented sound technicians. Night & Day Café is the epitome of making the most of what they have. Take your eye away from the performance and you can cast your glance on countless cool and visually pleasing wall art. As a side note, if you happen to take pleasure in a particularly vibrant toilet, then I suggest you spend a penny or two here. 


Image © Facebook via @JimmysManc

27 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6AJ 

Owned by former One Night Only lead singer George Craig, Jimmy’s is an all-round slick place to explore and somewhat of an indie-hipster haven. Jimmy’s not only hosts small local bands, it also hosts open mic nights for bidding artists and spoken word poetry events. The stage can be found downstairs, in a dimly lit, maroon coloured room that looks like a setting from Twin Peaks. 

Self proclaimed as the go-to place for a Rock ’n’ Roll party atmosphere, they also boast a pretty tasty Rock ’N’ Roll BBQ menu, bottomless brunches over the weekend and not forgetting the good ol’ Sunday roast.  

With live performances every couple of days, dust off your leather jacket and head down to Jimmy’s for a jam, a drink and a bite.

Manchester Academy 2

Image © Facebook via @manchesteracademy

Manchester University Students Union, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PR 

The only way I can describe Academy 2 is a student union on steroids. The venue is one of three Academy venues that all neighbour each other and, whilst Oxford Road has copious musical establishments to visit, Academy 2 has a tendency to be overlooked in favour of its compatriots. I would especially recommend this venue to anyone interested in seeing a more orchestral or brass band performance, because the sound of a saxophone or violin filling the air is almost as tantalisingly as the scent of chips from across the street.