One of the biggest cities in the north of England, Manchester is blessed with a huge variety of gig venues, some of the UK’s biggest musical exports and a packed calendar of events.
Throughout the decades, Manchester can be very proud of its musical heritage. The history can be charted from 60s legends The Hollies through to The Smiths, Simply Red and into the 1990s where the city’s musical scene really came to life. Manchester became known for bands including Joy Division and the Stone Roses and, more recently Oasis, The Chemical Brothers and even everyone’s favourite boyband Take That formed in the city.
And when it comes to watching your favourite band, there are plenty of venues to choose from! There’s the 21,000 capacity Manchester Arena, venues at universities and sports grounds – not to mention a wealth of smaller options. Manchester seems to be full of Grade II listed buildings and some of them have been turned into gig venues, including the converted theatre that is now the O2 Apollo, and The Ritz with its famous sprung wooden floor and viewing balcony.
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Some of the stand-out gigs in Manchester over the last few years have included Coldplay playing two nights at the Etihad Stadium in June 2016 during their first stadium tour for four years. The show was brought to life with fireworks, flashing wristbands and showers of confetti, the band put on a show like only they know how.
Another colossus of live music to hit the Etihad Stadium in 2016 was Bruce Springsteen on the first night of his The River tour. He played an electrifying three-hour set – including 33 songs – to 55,000 fans.
Looking ahead, as ever there is something for everyone coming up in Manchester. The Maccabees are bringing their Live for the Last Time: The Farewell Shows to the O2 Apollo on 28 June 2017. Formed in 2002, the five-piece indie rock band have decided to call time on a 14-year career so see them while you have the chance!
Scottish solo artist Emeli Sandé will perform at Manchester Arena on 22 October to celebrate the release of her new album Long Live The Angels. The album is a journey through the crazy last four years of Emeli’s life since she released her number one record Our Version Of Events.