Gigs & Nightlife

The best nights out in Greater Manchester according to The Manc audience – and our recommendations too

Nothing beats the buzz of a Greater Manchester night out in person, right?

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 13th August 2021

Manchester’s nightlife is world renowned.

For a city with a cultural footprint as rich, historic and significant as ours, it really is no surprise that Manchester has left its mark and made itself known on the global nightlife scene.

It’s probably why we’re known for being the city of 24-hour party people – and we think that’s something worth celebrating.

Now more than ever.

Over the past 15 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve watched musicals from our cars, experienced Zoom parties, solo kitchen discos, and seated half-capacity gigs – but nothing beats the buzz of a Greater Manchester night out in person, right?


To celebrate the long-awaited lifting of restrictions and the reopening of some iconic venues, StreamGM and The Manc teamed up last month to show some serious love and support to the region’s renowned theatres, nightclubs and live music hubs with the launch of SeeGM – a digital campaign to shine a bright spotlight on many of the amazing events, club nights, gigs and shows in our region.

#SeeGM is all about encouraging people to post happy memories of their times spent at gigs, shows and events on their social media platforms.


Now that it’s been a good few weeks since venues reopened, we thought we’d get stuck into asking our 700K loyal audience of Mancunians on Facebook the all-important question – ‘Where has your best night out been since restrictions were lifted and clubs reopened?’.

And we got over 130 enthusiastic responses.

Among the suggestions by our audience were popular venues such as History Nightclub on Longworth Street, The Crown & Kettle in Ancoats, Haus22 at Projekts MCR Skatepark, Point Blank on Deansgate, The Balmoral in Bolton, Hoochi Koochi in Rochdale – where Bez recently did a DJ set – and Coach & Four in Wilmslow.


Newly-opened The Blues Kitchen on Quay Street, K2 Karaoke Nightclub in Chinatown, The Grove Inn in Blackley, and Dandy Cock in Disley also received worthy shoutouts.

But what’s our take?

The Manc Group put our heads together with the team over at Stream GM to come up with a short list featuring a handful of our favourite venues that have recently reopened doors with a packed schedule of events for the summer, and here’s our recommendations:


‘Funkademia’ at Mint Lounge

Northern Quarter

‘Funkademia’ at Mint Lounge / Credit: Facebook (Funkademia)

‘Funkademia’ is Manchester’s longest-running club night.

Born in 1995 and taking place every Saturday at Mint Lounge in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter to a consistently full house, Funkademia is said to “feed a friendly crowd with a diet of pure unadulterated soul-funk”. Billing the night as a “chronological history of soul”, there is a collective of talented DJs taking you on a journey through four decades of the very best soul, funk, disco and hip-hop, with a touch of smooth R&B and big house classics.

You can find out more about Funkademia and grab tickets here.

Hidden Nightclub

Cheetham Hill

Hidden Nightclub / Credit: Hidden

It’s all in the name.


Tucked away at DownTex Mill in Cheetham Hill is Manchester’s “award-winning music and arts playground” that’s covered with idiosyncratic graffiti and offers a creative environment like no other. There’s also no shortage of action happening this summer and throughout the year, with regular promoters at Hidden including Homoelectric, Hit & Run, Lo-Fi, You&Me, Zutekh, High Hoops, Cirque Du Soul, Ossia, B.L.O.O.M., Teletech, Pooku, and so many more.

Find out about upcoming events at Hidden Nightclub here.

Night & Day Café

Northern Quarter

Night & Day Café / Credit: Night & Day Café

Night & Day Café has undoubtedly got an illustrious and iconic history in Manchester.

First opening its doors on Oldham Street all the way back in 1991, Night & Day eventually began morphing from a humble cafe into a dual venue that doubled as a boisterous live music club, and is nowadays known as an important meeting place for all the city’s creatives. 


TOYC, Jesse Malin, Scuttlers, American Aquarium, and Manchester’s-own Tim Burgess from The Charlatans are just some of the acts set to put on a show at the Northern Quarter institution over the coming months.

Find out more and grab tickets here.

Lions Den

Deansgate Mews

Lions Den / Credit: Facebook (Lions Den Manchester)

Lions Den may be slightly off the beaten track at Great Northern’s quirky Deansgate Mews, but it’s the perfect sun trap and one of the best places to head to for a laid-back night out and a laugh this summer.

Known as “a social space for everyone”, Lions Den is known for its large covered outdoor seating area, its real ales and craft beers, and for welcoming DJs, live music, various events, open mic nights, and a popular stand-up comedy night every Thursday courtesy of The Laughięnda Comedy Club.


It’s also a great place to play some pool, darts, and other retro games.

You can find more information here.

Gorilla & The Deaf Institute

Whitworth Street & Grosvenor Street

Ask any Mancunian music fan about Gorilla and The Deaf Institute, and they’ll only tell you good things.

These city centre stalwarts are two of the most historic and iconic music venues in Manchester, and although they may have gone through a well-documented rocky patch due to the COVID pandemic last year, they are having a new lease of life in 2021 with a packed calendar of events and so much to get stuck into.


You can find out what’s on a Gorilla this year here, and The Deaf Institute here.


Not found somewhere that takes your fancy? Still after some more recommendations? Head on over to our post on Facebook to check out more audience suggestions here.

We’ve also rounded up 10 of the best art and culture events happening in Manchester this summer too if you’re after something a little different.

You can also find out more about the #SeeGM campaign here.

Featured Image – Pxfuel