Basement Venues in Manchester

Being a basement venue isn’t always about being subterranean. It can describe the general vibe of a venue, the sweaty, touch-the-ceiling kind of atmosphere that puts you as close to the performance as possible. These are venues that usually have a capacity of only a few hundred and put on a wide variety of indie acts, ranging from local gems to international big hitters. Rife with a strong culture for music appreciation, there is an abundant amount of basement venues in Manchester. Find out more about them below:

Manchester Club Academy

Nestled at the bottom of the Manchester Academy venues is the Club Academy, a 620 capacity venue in the basement of Manchester University’s Student Union. The Club Academy is certainly one of Manchester’s most prolific basement venues, frequently welcoming in touring musicians since 1963.

Getting through the Academy can feel like a maze with their many rooms, as well as the mixture of University of Manchester buildings too. All of the Academy’s building can be found on the University campus on Oxford Road, opposite the medical school and Holy Name Church. The Club Academy is actually inside of the Student Union, and you can enter it from the stairwells at either side of the central foyer. There will usually be security on hand at the door to help you find your away, as other gigs can be taking place inside the building!

For gigs and concerts at the Academy, you will need to be at least 14 and accompanied by an adult over 18. For club nights however, the minimum age is 18. If you have any accessibility requirements, make sure to reach out to the venue ahead of time and fill out their Access Requirements form. You can find all of the Academy’s accessibility information here.

If you’ve got anything on you that you don’t want to hold onto throughout the show, all of the Academy’s venues have a cloakroom available to visitors.

Address: Manchester Academy, University of Manchester Students’ Union, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PR
Nearest train station: Oxford Road Station
Nearby car parks: Grafton Street car park. General traffic is prohibited through bus gates on Oxford Road.

Band on the Wall

Sweet Nothing x Room 2 Records 

Gig

Sweet Nothing x Room 2 Records 

Sat 20 Jul

Band On The Wall

From£7.10

View

Easy Star All-Stars “Dub Side of the Moon”

Gig

Easy Star All-Stars “Dub Side of the Moon”

Sun 21 Jul

Band On The Wall

From£0.00

View

Moon Hooch

Club

Moon Hooch

Tue 23 Jul

Band On The Wall

From£17.00

View

See All Events at Band On The Wall

Situated in the heart of Manchester’s trendiest neighbourhood, Band on the Wall has truly become a landmark venue in the city’s music scene. As a result, Band on the Wall is

with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes surrounding it. Their unusual name references the venue’s early days as The George and Dragon, where performers would play quite literally halfway up the back wall of the pub to make more room for visitors. It became known affectionately as ‘The Band on the Wall’ to locals, soon becoming the centre of Manchester post-punk scene in the 70s with bands like Buzzcocks, The Fall and Joy Division playing some of their earliest gigs there.

Now, the 340 capacity venue continues that reputation for the cutting edge of indie music with a constant slew of interesting on stage – although sadly no longer on the wall. They host performers ranging from jazz, blues and indie all the way through to pop, R&B and soul. It’s been awarded Best Live Venue and Best Clubnight by City Life, as well as earning the Attitude is Everything Live Event Accessibility award in 2019! It’s not a basement venue in the technical sense, which does mean that it’s entirely wheelchair accessible.

Address: Band on the Wall, 25 Swan Street, Manchester, M4 5JZ
Nearest train station: Manchester Victoria Station
Nearby car parks: Northern Quarter Car Park & Manchester Arndale NCP.

Night and Day Cafe

Boogarins at Night & Day

Gig

Boogarins at Night & Day

Sat 20 Jul

Night & Day Café

From£11.75

View

Shonen Knife

Gig

Shonen Knife

Tue 23 Jul

Night & Day Café

From£15.20

View

The Amber List

Gig

The Amber List

Thu 25 Jul

Night & Day Café

From£0.00

View

See All Events at Night & Day Café

Staying in the Northern Quarter we have the Night and Day Cafe, a legendary basement venue in Manchester and a landmark location in the music scene. Bands big and small have all graced their stage, ranging from Everything Everything to Johnny Marr and Arctic Monkeys. In fact, Jeremy of Everything Everything once said “Every band of the last two decades you can name has been through here at some point”. 

As a result, the Night and Day Cafe has become somewhat of a pilgrimage for true music lovers. It continually puts on interesting gigs from innovative and talented bands, accompanied with good food, friendly staff and even better company.

Address: Night and Day Cafe, 26 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN
Nearest train station: Manchester Victoria Station
Nearby car parks: Northern Quarter Car Park

YES

Gathering of Strangers

Gig

Gathering of Strangers

Sat 20 Jul

YES

From£0.00

View

Yes Mate with Oneman

Club

Yes Mate with Oneman

Sat 20 Jul

YES

From£5.50

View

Post Animal / Naked Giants

Gig

Post Animal / Naked Giants

Mon 22 Jul

YES

From£11.00

View

See All Events at YES

One of the latest additions to the Manchester nightlife scene is YES, a new venue inside an old auction house on Charles Street. It was launched in late 2018 by Now Wave, bringing four stories of non-stop action and entertainment to the centre of Manchester. On the ground floor is the main bar with a selection of booths and seating, complete with an open kitchen operated by local favourites, Firebird Hope. Stop in to grab a fried chicken sandwich, or get there before 7pm to get the most out of half price pizza slices and cheap teas and coffees.

Earning its basement venue in Manchester name however is a combination of the basement club and first floor gig venue, fit to take a 250 person capacity. The basement club comes with all the dinge and darkness you would expect, open with free entry on Friday and Saturday nights. The gig room keeps an interesting array of indie musicians performing, as well as being painted bright pink. The final floor includes a lovely little attic bar, which sprawls out onto a roof terrace for those rare occasions where Manchester has some nice weather. There, YES sees a variety of street food pop-ups coming to feed the clientele.

Address: YES, 38 Charles Street, Manchester, M1 7DB
Nearest train station: Oxford Road Station
Nearby car parks: NCP Bloom Street

Deaf Institute

Located a little bit further out of the centre of the city is the Deaf Institute, slightly off of Oxford Road. Spread across three floors, Deaf Institute has three distinct areas each with that basement venue feel. The main floor is stocked with huge tables and delicious food, usually found cranking out rock music over the speakers, whilst the first floor hosts the music hall. There, live gigs, comedy nights and club music ring out in the ballroom space, outfitted with a massive mirror ball, velvet curtains and a domed ceiling. It’s a little known fact that Deaf frequently sees some of the world’s biggest talent early in their careers, ranging from Twenty One Pilots to Kate Tempest playing to their 300 capacity audiences.

Deaf certainly has a reputation for being on the indie side, usually bringing in hot talent and trendy club nights to delight visitors. The crowd can skew a little young however, due to it’s close proximity to the universities. During the day, they operate a bar and kitchen with everything you’d expect from burgers and hot dogs to nachos and ice cream – and they estimate that 80% of their food is vegan.

Unfortunately, due to stairs immediately upon entrance, the Deaf Institute is not wheelchair accessible. The main stairwell has no lifts or aides either, but you can send them an email at for further clarification dimanagers@trof.co.uk.

Address: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester, M1 7HE
Nearest train station: Oxford Road Station
Nearby car parks: NCP Car Park on Oxford Road

Gorilla

The railway arches of Whitworth Street house a number of interesting places to visit on a night, including the bar, kitchen and live music space Gorilla. With shining lights flooding the street, Gorilla is usually full of an evening thanks to their award-winning food but its the live music room that is exceptional.

At the side under the next railway arch is the entrance to the stage, leading you up some stairs and into an impressive space that welcomes in acts from around the world. Kylie Minogue, Keifer Sutherland, GZA, Bowling for Soup’s Jaret Reddick and more have played in their 700 capacity room. Every spot is easy to see from, although a viewing platform at the back above the bar makes it even easier.

Gorilla is incredible easy to reach as well, falling in next door to Oxford Road station and close to several bus and tram stops. It’s surrounded by other interesting places like HOME, Dog Bowl, the O2 Ritz and more, making it a great place to either start or end your night.

Address: 54-56 Whitworth Street, Manchester, M1 5WW
Nearest train station: Oxford Road Station
Nearby car parks: NCP Chester Street & NCP Oxford Street

Soup Kitchen

Swing Ting feat. Batu

Club

Swing Ting feat. Batu

Sat 20 Jul

Soup Kitchen

From£0.00

View

Pye Corner Audio + Faten Kanaan live at Soup Kitchen

Gig

Pye Corner Audio + Faten Kanaan live at Soup Kitchen

Sun 21 Jul

Soup Kitchen

From£11.00

View

Dalek

Gig

Dalek

Mon 22 Jul

Soup Kitchen

From£12.10

View

See All Events at Soup Kitchen

Soup Kitchen is probably the Northern Quarter’s worst kept secret. Just off of Stevenson Square, this independent and multi-award winning bar and venue makes for the perfect inner city hangout During the day, the kitchen is topped up with fresh food and vegan delights for communal-style eating, but it’s the basement room that takes centre stage. Downstairs is a 150 capacity entertainment space, bringing live gigs, club nights, comedy shows, film nights and even art exhibitions to the centre of the Northern Quarter.

It’s an intimate space that’ll bring you as close to the performers as possible, with a diverse selection of local and international bands, DJs, producers and musicians. If you’re heading to a show there, you can stash your stuff in the cloakroom so there’s nothing to worry about. However, don’t count on getting in if you’re not over 18 – once it hits 10pm, anyone looking under 18 will be turfed out of the ground floor bar and the basement is completely off limits. The basement has no step-free access unfortunately, but the ground floor bar and kitchen is completely fine.

Address: 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester, M1 1DF
Nearest train station: Piccadilly Station
Nearby car parks: Northern Quarter Car Park

Joshua Brooks

Joshua Brooks, the Manchester Man himself, has been at the forefront of Manchester’s music scene ever since the legendary Chemical Brothers played first ever residence there. With a penchant for techno and electronic, JB manages to curate line-ups filled with some of the world’s greatest DJs, whilst upstairs keeps visitors well fed with burgers from Big Grillie Style. There you’ll also find the big screen showing the best of sport and cold craft pints straight from the bar.

Address: 106 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6NG
Nearest train station: Oxford Road Station
Nearby car parks: NCP Chester Street

Not found what you're looking for?
Find more inspiration for things to do here.

Join thousands of satisfied users

I love that I can find tickets at face value in a different venue when everyone else assumes it’s sold out. I go to gigs several times a year and always use this site now!
Eleanor M.
Quick and easy to use
Colin S.
Was simple and easy setting up and getting around the site, found it really helpful
David R.
Fantastic value
Janet B.