Now that the academic year is over, it’s time to celebrate all the hard work you’ve done this year. A great way to celebrate is to go to a concert with your friends. Here are some of the best live music venues for gigs in Manchester.

O2 Ritz

O2 Ritz Manchester gigs
Source: Wesley Harding

The O2 Ritz is located on Whitworth Street, incredibly close to the university campuses. This venue is perfect for people who like smaller concerts, with a 1500 capacity. It hosts an array of exciting concerts from artists all over the world, as well as stand-up comedy.

O2 Apollo

O2 Apollo Gigs in Manchester
Source: O2 Apollo

The O2 Apollo is bigger than the O2 Ritz, with a capacity of 3500. It’s a very popular venue that hosts large global artists, for example Phoebe Bridges is playing there on the 23rd and 24th of July. The O2 Apollo also has big plans for 2023, with Pentatonix visiting in May.

Band on the Wall

Band on the Wall, gigs in Manchester
Source: Band on the Wall Website

This multi-award winning venue is unique and internationally-acclaimed. Following the COVID lockdown, Band on the Wall reopened after a large £3.5 million renovation. The venue itself is beautiful, inhabiting a former cinema. There’s a speakeasy-style café/bar, which is open during the day. Band on the Wall hosts concerts, club nights, and educational events – there’s always something new and exciting on!

Albert Hall

Albert Hall, gigs in Manchester
Source: Albert Hall Manchester Website

Albert Hall is a beautiful venue, built in 1908 as a Methodist hall. Since then, it has been transformed into an airy music venue and given a new life. As well as hosting gigs, Albert Hall also features spoken poetry, for example the famous poet Rupi Kaur is visiting in September.

The Deaf Institute

The Deaf Institute, gigs in Manchester
Source: Twitter

The beloved Deaf Institute was set to close down in 2020, however it was saved due to its popularity. The Deaf Institute is a bar/music venue, spread across three floors with three different bars. The selection food and drink is fantastic, with cocktails from just £5.

Manchester Academy

Manchester Academy, gigs in Manchester
Source: Time Out

Manchester Academy is located next to the University of Manchester Students’ Union, making it the ideal location for UOM students. There’s also a fantastic selection of food and drink within the Union, so you could grab dinner before heading to your gig. There are often student showcases and performances, as well as external artists.

AO Arena

AO Arena, gigs in Manchester
Source: AO Arena Website

AO Arena, previously known as Manchester Arena, is the largest indoor arena in Europe. It’s also one of the busiest concert venues in the world. The biggest artists in the world have visited AO Arena, and it has also hosted sporting events such as swimming and boxing. This venue was tragically targeted by a terrorism attack during an Ariana Grande concert in 2017. It reopened months later with a special benefit concert by Noel Gallagher. Since then, new security measures have been put in place to make it safer than ever.

The Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre, gigs in Manchester
Source: ATG Tickets

The Palace Theatre is fantastic for all the musical theatre fans out there. This beautiful theatre has everything, from dance, ballet performances, plays, musicals, stand-up comedy and more. This winter The Lion King is coming to Manchester, so get your tickets, Disney fans!

The White Hotel

The White Hotel, gigs in Manchester
Source: Creative Tourist

The White Hotel is a lesser-known industrial-style venue on the northern outskirts of central Manchester. It’s a much smaller venue than the other locations on this list, making it perfect for anyone who wants a gig that isn’t too busy. There’s a great selection of new, up-and-coming artists who perform at the White Hotel, which will make your experience unique and exciting.

If you’re looking for more fun ways to occupy yourself this summer in Manchester, check out our picks of the best places for 241 cocktails in the city!