When the evening starts to wane, but you’re still looking to dance like a fool and drink more alcohol than would ever be recommended, Manchester has a multitude of nightclubs on offer. Some people may prefer a house night, others might feel uncomfortable without the crunch of guitars in the background, but anybody can have a good time if the nightclub is enough fun. It’s virtually impossible to rank them, but these clubs are consistently cited as among the best in the city.
Students’ relationship with 5th Avenue is a little like a moth bashing repeatedly into a light bulb. It leaves disorientated (or temporarily blind) and in pain, but then goes back and smashes into it again. The only difference is that the light bulb is a mainstream, student-friendly indie nightclub with a good atmosphere and penchant for providing cheap alcohol.
Tiger Tiger may be a chain, but with six themed bars, a nightclub and a huge restaurant on-site, it has a lot to offer. The club night is inspired by Ibiza, and has a reputation for being extremely lively. It can be a little on the expensive side, but they do have cheaper nights and offers on if you get there early. It plays R&B, hip hop and funky house.
A three-month per year nightclub located in an underground car park, which plays host to the best DJs across the country and from around the world. It plays drum and bass, house, dubstep and dance. It’s one of the most legendary nights out in the entire country, so it’s worth the inflated prices.
Star and Garter
The Star and Garter is a Manchester institution, offering the city’s longest running indie night, Smile. It doesn’t play mainstream tracks like 5th Avenue or 42nd Street, but its selection classic tracks keep people coming back. If you really love alternative music, but despair at the song selection in most indie clubs, this might be the place for you.
This Northern Quarter club offers the longest running club night in the entire city, Funkademia. The music is mainly soul, funk, smooth R&B, electro and hip hop, and it plays anything from the past four decades. It’s pretty popular though, so get tickets early if you don’t want to miss out.
The Tiger Lounge
If one “Tiger” nightclub just wasn’t enough for you, Manchester actually has two. The Tiger Lounge plays a more eclectic and kitschy mixture of music, and caters largely to the alternative crowd. They have live music, and regular themed nights. It’s run by the same people as FAB Cafe and Satan’s Hollow, and plays rock, punk, indie, and even French pop from the 1960s.
Sankeys has been around for three decades, and is still one of the best loved clubs in Manchester. It regularly plays host to top DJs, and has three different rooms. It also is fairly unusual in that it also has a cinema, and exceptionally unusual in that it has a beach. You have to book ahead if you’re seeing a DJ, and it can be expensive.
Officially going under its old catalogue number, Fac251 is locally known as the Factory. The club is in the same building as the legendary Factory Records label used as its headquarters – who brought the world New Order, Joy Division and the Happy Mondays. The bassist of New Order and Joy Division, Peter Hook, runs this three-floor club, which plays anything from dubstep right through to indie.
For a flamboyant evening filled with shows from drag queens and cheesy songs from the 80s through to the modern day blasted out by drag-DJs, the Birdcage is the place to go. Drinks are cheaper before 11 on Fridays, so it’s worth going down a little earlier if you’re on a budget.
The Deaf Institute
The Deaf Institute offers an eclectic array of regular nights, so there is likely to be at least one night in the month that’ll interest you. There are nights offering funk, reggae, 60s pop, soul, electro-pop, rap, and many other genres of music. The rap night, “Gold Teeth” has a dedicated following and a good reputation.