Frog & Bucket has been saved from closure after comedians and fans joined together to raise thousands of pounds for the famous Manchester club.
Despite functioning as a launchpad for the comedy careers of some of Britain’s greatest standups, the Frog & Bucket wasn’t considered ‘culturally significant’ enough to qualify for the government’s Culture Recovery pot – which had been launched to protect the country’s most important venues during the pandemic.
The decision to refuse the club funding was met with widespread outrage from the comedy circuit; being described as “total bulls***”.
But now, many of the people who first found success at Frog & Bucket have repaid the venue in its time of need.
Jack Whitehall, Adam Hills and Richard Herring – who all cut their teeth on Great Ancoats Street – donated substantial sums to the club’s GoFundMe page, with contributions also flooding in from Britain’s Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy Lee Ridley, All Killa No Filla podcast legends (and Frog regulars) Kiri Pritchard McLean and Rachel Fairburn, and Peep Show’s Isy Suttie.
The ‘Save the Frog and Bucket’ fund has since toppled £23,000; not only ensuring the club’s survival but also enabling a brand new round of gigs for 2021.
Thanks to the fresh financial boost, Frog & Bucket is fully-equipped with the tech required to provide quality visuals and sound for streaming online shows right around the country.
The club has confirmed the reincarnation of its long-running Beat the Frog and Barrel of Laughs shows in online formats until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Beat the Frog has been a Monday night fixture at the venue since 2003; with acts attempting to survive on stage for five minutes without being voted off (if three frog cards are held aloft, it’s game over).
Audience members, participating via Zoom, will have the power to ‘croak’ off the comedians – who will be performing live from their homes and the club itself.
On March 8, the Beat the Frog line-up will be entirely female to mark International Women’s Day.
Barrel of Laughs, meanwhile, will showcase the best of the country’s headline acts and will be largely filmed from the Frog’s stage.
There will also be limited number of a live audience passes – with ticket-holders able to log in and interact with the show.
The club is also planning a “plethora of solo shows” in the weeks ahead – with full details of the spring programme to follow.
Superintendent Phillip Hutchinson, Silver Commander for the operation, said that more than 60 fans were hit with a dispersal order and made to leave the area.
Hutchinson went on to warn that “Disorder and violence at football matches is unacceptable and we have launched a post-match investigation to identify more offenders who will be arrested and placed before the courts, where we will seek football banning orders.
It was only last month that Latics player Hallam Hope was ‘seriously injured’ following an assault in the car park after a home game against Chesterfield.
Wrexham, still riding the wave of positivity after being bought by celebrity owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, went on to beat the north Manchester side 2-1 with a last-gasp winner in the 95th minute.
A Manchester gaming bar is throwing a 2000s-themed Myspace party this week, taking it back to a time when studded belts were all the rage and angsty bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, and Taking Back Sunday ruled the airwaves.
Staff at Pixel Bar are getting ready to relive their Myspace Scene kid days with a free-to-enter ‘Myspace social’, which will take place on Tuesday 4 October at the Northern Quarter gaming bar.
Promising a night full of emo, pop punk and scene classics, if you regularly find yourself listening back to old Brand New songs and fingering packets of blue-black hair dye in Boots, this is probably a party for you.
Throughout the night Pixel Bar will be running a 40% industry discount on food and drink for partygoers, as well as hosting games of beer pong and giant Jenga.
Dressing up is not mandatory but it is encouraged, and its bar staff will be going all out in their best emo and Scene kid get-ups – so expect to see a lot of kohl eyeliner, sweeping fringes, and maybe even a few pairs of fingerless gloves.
Sharing the news of the upcoming party on social media, Pixel Bar wrote: “We’re officially bringing Myspace back!
“Head down next Tuesday for our Myspace special. Mega industry discount with 40% off food and drink!
“@camthedj is spinning all the Scene/Emo tracks bringing back the emo fringe.”
Originally hailing from Leeds, Pixel Bar opened its second site in Manchester at the end of 2021 and became an instant hit with the city’s gaming community.
Selling 18 different gaming-themed cocktails, with choices like ‘Jigglypuff’, ‘Princess Perch’ and the ‘Yoshi’s Island Iced Tea’, plus a selection of ‘magic potion’ shots promising do deliver ‘full health’ and ‘stamina’, it has quickly become a haven for gamers.
The bar also has a signature cocktail called ‘Who’s that Pokemon?’ – a combination of vodka, lemon juice, soda and your choice of flavoured syrup.
Elsewhere, you’ll find the newest PlayStation 5, Xbox X Series, and Nintendo platforms, arcade games, high-spec PCs and a downstairs club room playing early 00s pop punk until the early hours.