O2 Ritz Manchester
The O2 Manchester Ritz on Whitworth Street has seen better days but it still knocks most venues out of the water when it comes to hosting gig nights.
There’s the famous springy dance floor (designed for ballroom dancing in the 1920s but equally effective for mosh pits in the 2020s). And there’s the spacious, wrap-around balcony which gives everyone a chance of getting a good view of the stage.
The bar is in the auditorium so you don’t have to miss any of the gig to get a pint in. (Drinks prices are a bit steep, mind). One thing to note: the building is over a century old and doesn’t seem to have any air conditioning; it can be baltic in there in winter and stifling hot in summer. Plan your outfit accordingly.
The atmosphere is usually buzzing though so you’ll forget about any discomfort when the lights go down and the band comes on. Manchester luminaries to have played this stage include The Smiths (their first ever gig), The Stone Roses, New Order, Happy Mondays, and many more.