The north-west’s multicultural hub, Manchester is popular for its sport, its shops and of course its thriving music scene.

Along with football, music is one of Manchester’s biggest exports. The Madchester years in the 80s and Britpop in the 90s thrust Manchester to the centre of the UK music scene and there are many bands and artists that hail from the city. Joy Division and later New Order, and The Smiths defined the sounds of UK music in the 1980s and Manchester continued producing the goods with Black Grape, Oasis and James among the many bands to spring up in Manchester in the following decade. Current indie band Blossoms are keeping up the tradition.

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If you’re looking for a venue to see your favourite pop groups or rock bands, the biggest names in the industry are usually found at Manchester AO Arena, with a capacity of 21,000. The city has some popular mid-sized venues including the O2 Apollo, a converted theatre in a Grade II listed building with a capacity of 3,500 and Manchester Academy 1, 2 and 3, all located on the University campus.

Some massive names have played in Manchester over the last few years, including a homecoming gig from Morrissey at Manchester AO Arena in August 2016 – the only UK venue he played that year. Another local boy made good is Peter Hook, formally of Joy Division and New Order and owner of the famous Hacienda nightclub in the city. Peter Hook and the Light packed out the O2 Apollo in September 2016, performing New Order and Joy Division’s Substance albums in their entirety.


From Black Stone Cherry & The Darkness, Chris Brown, Panic! At The Disco, Lizzo and Dermot Kennedy, 2023 really did offer something for everyone. And whatever your taste in music, there’s an event on the bill in 2024 for you too, with the likes of D-Block Europe, The 1975, Rick Astley, Niall Horan and Ne-Yo just some of the impressive acts heading to the city this year.

If you’re looking for concert tickets in Manchester, or the latest news about which bands will be visiting the city, keep an eye on GetToTheFront and we’ll keep you up to date.