Northern Quarter Gig Venues

We like to break out of our disco daze sometimes and witness some live music so we’d thought we’d give you a run down of our favourite places to watch live music in the Northern Quarter.

There’s no shortage of things to do in Manchester; and live music is an essential thread of the city’s fabric. Although Manchester is awash with gig venues, it’s in the bohemian Northern Quarter where you’ll find the highest concentration of live music.

Here are five of the best places to see live acts in Manchester’s Northern Quarter:

Ruby Lounge
Capacity: 350-400
Vibe: Dark and decadent
A stalwart of the NQ night scene for some time now, The Ruby Lounge is a moody, underground lair with a decadent edge. Holding 350 gig-goers, the venue attracts some big names to its stage – though it somehow still manages to retain an intimate atmosphere thanks to its layout, low ceilings and dark decor.
32A High Street
Ruby Lounge listings

Soup Kitchen
Capacity: 175
Vibe: Raw and edgy
A newish addition to the Northern Quarter gig scene is Soup Kitchen, whose cavernous basement space has been opened up to club nights and gigs, thanks to a nifty foldaway stage. Raw, exposed brick and neon strip lighting give the place a cool, edgy vibe – which is reflected in the alt and underground nature of the artists who play there.
31-33 Spear Street
Soup Kitchen listings

Night and Day Cafe
Capacity: 250
Vibe: Old school rock n’ roll
The old man of the Northern Quarter live music scene, the dark and atmospheric Night and Day Cafe has been hosting gigs since time began and continues to pull in great bands at the start of their careers – or more established bands doing intimate shows. Its long, narrow layout can make it difficult to see if you’re stuck at the back, so arrive early for a good spot.
26 Oldham Street
Night and Day listings

Capacity: 150
Vibe: Hip and artsy
Hidden away down a back alley and accessed via a staircase through a discreet door, Kraak has a secretive, under the radar vibe which lends a bit of excitement to any event there and ensures a knobhead-free environment. The dynamic space hosts an eclectic range of live shows from up and coming acts and more established artists playing one-off events.
11 Stevenson Square
Kraak listings

The Castle Hotel
Capacity: 50
Vibe: cosy and atmospheric
Following an extensive refurbishment a couple of years ago, the historic Castle Hotel on Oldham Street is one of the most charming pubs in the city centre – popular with fans of real ale, Victorian stuff and moustaches. The pub’s ornate back room has been converted into an atmospheric, cosy music hall that holds 50 people under its stunning wood panelled roof for intimate live events.
66 Oldham Street
The Castle Hotel listings

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