Student Life

Music and Gigs

Close-up of someone playing an acoustic guitar

Manchester has been home to some of the most successful and iconic bands over the years, from The Hollies and the Bee Gees to The Smiths, Oasis and The Stone Roses.

We have seen Northern Soul, Madchester and Britpop come and go, with this city’s acts at the heart of it all.

Music is in our blood, and while we love celebrating our history, we’re always looking to the future and making new sounds. You can find live music just about anywhere in the city, on any night of the week. Mancunians know how to put on a show, so it’s no surprise that many bands and artists rate us as their favourite city.

Stadium performances by global superstars can be witnessed at Emirates Old Trafford, the Etihad Stadium, and Old Trafford football ground. The likes of Arctic Monkeys, Beyonce, Coldplay, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen and Take That have strutted their stuff there.

In the heart of the city, Manchester Arena and Manchester Central both welcome large crowds for a wide range of gigs, while Parklife, in Heaton Park, is an annual music festival that attracts thousands of revellers.

Night and Day is a legendary performance space with an intimate backdrop, while Matt and Phreds is a must for jazz enthusiasts. Sound Control, Ruby Lounge, are just as popular.

Band on the Wall welcomes exciting live acts to the George and Dragon pub. In the old days, bands would play on a narrow shelf above the crowd, leading to the nickname ‘Band on the Wall’.

The O2 Apollo Theatre is one of the most instantly-recognisable venues in the city. Often hosting rising starts on the brink of stadium stardom, or well-established acts returning to their cosier roots, it has become one of the most popular venues of its kind in the North-West and beyond.

You can also enjoy the atmospheric surroundings of the Albert Hall, which is home to more live performances than ever before, while classical music is belted out at the Bridgewater Hall, where the BBC Philharmonic and Halle orchestras play their hearts out to a backdrop of industry-leading acoustics. On Oxford Road, the Royal Northern College of Music delivers more intimate concerns featuring leading names in classical, chamber, and a range of other styles.

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