Supporting Manchester’s Grassroots Music Venues

supporting Manchester’s grassroots music venues

Earlier this year, we commissioned the team at the hub to work with us on a project designed to give Manchester’s grassroots music venues a say in how Manchester City Council and partners like us can better support the city’s grassroots
music scene.

As an organisation that brings together people and organisations from across Manchester’s music landscape to support the city’s vibrant music sector and build and sustain an inclusive music ecology, we know how important grassroots music venues are. We also know that for the city’s venues are to survive, they require greater support, and we are committed to playing our part in that.

Against this backdrop, we’re really excited to be working with the team at the hub on this project. Music specialists who grew up working in music venues, they’re real champions
of grassroots music, and the report they did last year to evaluate Arts Council England’s Grassroots Live Music Fund helped unlock £5m new government funding for grassroots

Their approach to this project is deliberately consultative and collaborative, and they’ve built consultation with venues into the heart of the process. Across the project they’ll be:
– doing interviews
– running focus group discussions
– facilitating bigger gatherings of venues from across the city

They’re also talking with reps from other music cities in the UK and overseas to draw on their experience, and will work closely with an Advisory Group whose members include reps from Music Venue Trust, the Association of Independent Promoters and Attitude is Everything. By summer 2024, the aim is to have arrived at a set of recommendations that everyone can get behind and that set out a clear path for supporting the city’s venues.

If you’d like to find out more about the project, we’d love you to get in touch. Use our contact form and we’ll get back to you. We are stronger together, so please do get

Image: Manchester Collective, Rosewood at The White Hotel. Photo by Chris Payne

New York Times includes Manchester in their ‘52 Places to Go’ list for 2024


Music is front and centre in the New York Times, who have included Manchester in their ‘52 Places to Go’ list for 2024.

It’s going to be a great year for music across the city-region, kicking off with the opening of Co-Op Live, which alongside AO Arena, will make Manchester home to the two of the biggest arenas in the UK. No doubt this is one of the reasons why international music conference WOMEX has chosen the city as its host, when it brings 2,600 music professionals to Manchester in October.

manchester nominated for Best Global Music City

manchester nominated for Best Global Music City

We’re delighted to announce that Manchester has been nominated for ‘Best Global Music City’ at the 2023 Music Cities Awards.

We’ve been nominated alongside Sao Paulo, Brazil and Frutillar, Chile.

The winners will be announced on October 18th at an Awards Ceremony on the opening day of the Huntsville Music Cities Convention in Alabama, USA.

You can read more about the nominees on the Music Cities Awards homepage.

The Orielles and Loose Articles represent Greater Manchester at SxSW

Greater Manchester at SxSW

In March, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) took a delegation of artists to South by Southwest (SxSW) in Austin, Texas – an annual gathering of parallel film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences.

All Manchester’s music organisations and promoters were invited to submit suggestions to GMCA to create a longlist of potential candidates. Indicative of the breadth of exciting talent that Greater Manchester has to offer, the longlist was representative of genres as wide ranging as Hip Hop and indie, and included both emerging acts and those already established on the local and international scene.

Discussed by a panel of Manchester music industry professionals over the summer of 2022, the longlist was whittled down. After careful deliberation, two acts were selected to represent Manchester’s varied music scene – avant-pop trio The Orielles and punk band Loose Articles.

GMCA are hopeful to make the delegation an annual event that will grow Greater Manchester’s presence at SxSW year on year, so that international opportunities can be extended to as many artists as possible.

Manchester Music Economy Report

Manchester Music Economy Report

A new report finds Manchester is the second largest live music economy in the UK.

Manchester’s live music economy is second only to London in the UK, according to a 2022 published report conducted by industry specialists Nordicity and Sound Diplomacy.

Commissioned by Manchester City Council and Manchester Music City to review Manchester’s economic landscape, the report found that the total economic impact of Greater Manchester’s music ecosystem between 2019-2020 was £469 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) and 11,270 FTE jobs (FTEs). This comprised a total economic impact of £390 million in GVA and 9,590 FTEs from the music sector, £63 million in GVA and 1,340 FTEs from music tourism and £16 million in GVA and 340 FTEs from the night-time economy.

The research found that Manchester’s live music scene makes up 64% of the ecosystem, while concert producers, booking agents and promoters account for 38% of music businesses in the city, making Manchester a particularly strong live music destination for both audiences and those working in the sector.

The significance of Manchester as a major national hub for classical music education via the Hallé Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the BBC Philharmonic, was also underlined, while Manchester’s global reach through tourism, events and heritage were highlighted as making Manchester competitive against other music cities.

Download the full report

Manchester Music City proudly support All Things Equal, a manifesto for gender equality in music

All Things Equal, a manifesto for gender equality in music

While gender equality in music is being discussed more than ever, there is still a huge gap between what’s talked about and the reality of the industry. In the UK, there is clear evidence that people of marginalised genders face significant barriers to accessing opportunities that allow them to develop a creative career.

All Things Equal champions and celebrates all those who experience sexism and cissexism inclusive of all identities, backgrounds, social classes, ages, bodies, races, ethnicities, religions and disabilities. As such, the All Things Equal manifesto has been developed with contributions from hundreds of intersectional voices through consultation, collaborative action and an ongoing programme of research.

The research process highlighted five individual areas that need to change.

1. Education – to support more young people to learn, experiment and see themselves in all areas of the industry.

2. Talent Development – to demystify creative careers, create opportunities and cultivate safe spaces for artists of marginalised genders.

3. Live Music – to create an environment of respect in live music, for performers, professionals and audiences alike.

4. Parents and Carers – to support parents and those with caring responsibilities to find success and balance in their careers.

5. Leadership – to challenge outdated concepts of leadership and support opportunities for all types of leaders.

All Things Equal believes that progress in these areas will have long-term impacts and help to create an inclusive and welcoming industry for all. 

Find Out More