Iconic Manchester music venue to be saved

Music gig
In an era when many music venues are closing, Band on the Wall in Manchester is coming back for an encore.

Band on the Wall in Manchester is well known to music fans across the country for hosting some of the earliest shows from Manchester legends including Joy Division, The Fall and Buzzcocks.

Now, thanks to £1.4million from The National Lottery, the venue is set to expand, hosting a wider range of events and unveil the musical heritage of the city’s migrant communities.

It is a heartening story when, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Live Music Inquiry, between 2007-15 the UK lost 35% of its grassroots venues.

Band playing
In its early days, house musicians performed from a stage that was halfway up the back wall, which is where the venue got its unusual name

 

Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris (Joy Division/New Order), said: “Band on the Wall was at the heart of the post-punk scene of the 1970s and has always been an instrumental part of Manchester's world-famous music scene.

It was at Band on the Wall where we, as Joy Division, played some of our earliest shows, and is still a place where artists can hone their skills today.”

The National Lottery-funded Bigger, Better, Stronger project will secure Band on the Wall for future generations and enable the next wave of Manchester’s musicians to learn and perform.

Supporting the musical traditions of the migrant communities

The location of the venue, once known as The George & Dragon pub means that there is also a wealth of history relating to the musical traditions of the migrant communities who have called the Ancoats and Northern Quarter neighbourhoods their home.

Rudi Mancini
Accordion player of Italian heritage Rudi Mancini gracing the stage in the early 20th century

Throughout its history, Band on the Wall has been home to performances from musicians belonging to migrant communities from Italy, Ireland and South Asia, and continues to provide a platform for musicians from around the world.

Bigger, Better, Stronger will help bring these stories to light, and celebrate the impact that music has had on the development of Manchester’s diverse communities for over 200 years.