Featured Five...Unsigned band-friendly venues in Manchester

Blog by Molly Jones under Live

Image credit: Man Alive!

Gigs, gigs, gigs… You play them, people see you, they like you, you get famous. It’s a simple formula, but, of course, you need the right ingredients to get it just right, so here’s our picks of Manchester top venues.

1. Night & Day Café
26 Oldham Street
M1 1JN

Capacity: 250

A legendary venue that still remains one of Manchester’s greatest.  Local slots are available most days of week, with support slots with touring bands also up for grabs on occasion.

2. Deaf Institute

135 Grosvenor Stret
M1 7HE


Capacity: 300

This relatively new, shining star of venue has helped revive the Oxford Road area of the city. With an in-house sound system and engineer, the venue mainly host promoter band nights and clubs, but, if you can get a couple of band together, you might just be able to book your on gig.  Plus it has a huuuuuge, super cool disco ball – what more could you want?!

3. Academy 3

Oxford Road
M13 9PR

Capacity: 400

You might think that the Academy venues are the preserve of the signed, but you’d be wrong - 'Academy Unsigned' a regular night run by mcr:music, gives unsigned bands the chance to take to the most modesty sized stage at this big time venue. Get your own taste of the high life… For more details regarding mcr:music gigs and demo submission, contact their office on 0161 233 1

5. The Ruby Lounge
28-34 High Street
Northern Quarter
M4 1QB


Capacity: 350

A more recent addition to the Manchester circuit The Ruby Lounge hosts a great selection of regular unsigned nights from promoters such as Glasswerk and BBC Introducing, not to mention the newly signed touring bands.

5. Roadhouse
8 Newton Street
M1 2AN


Capacity: 250

Still going strong, the Roadhouse hosts unsigned nights 3-4 nights per week- you can send demos to either Jon Green or Lucy Hunt at the venue if you’d like to play.

Honourable mention must also go to the newly opened Sound Control (www.soundcontrolmanchester.co.uk) which is shaping up to be a top contender.

For more info on any of these venues, take a look at your copy of The Unsigned Guide or log into the online directory.



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