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FIRST LOOK: The legendary Band on the Wall reopens after massive £3.5m transformation

Band on the Wall is back, and it’s looking better than ever…

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Manchester's Finest Group

The legendary music venue Band on the Wall has reopened its doors following a massive £3.5m transformation.

The historic live music haunt, located down Swan Street, played a huge part in the growth and establishment of Manchester’s music scene, having being famously at the epicentre of the city’s punk movement in the late 1970s.

Over the years, numerous bands and musicians have graced the stage at Band on the Wall, including icons such as The Buzzcocks, Joy Division, The Fall and The Arctic Monkeys.

However, as the Covid pandemic gripped the country and national lockdowns ground live music to a standstill in 2020, Band on the Wall was faced with ‘the biggest crisis’ in its history and was forced to close, making twenty-six members of staff redundant in September that year.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Manchester’s Finest Group

The venue made a brief comeback at the start of last year, but was forced to close again for renovation works, which included an ambitious expansion to the neighbouring Cocozza Wood Building. 

But now, after two years of closure and uncertainty, Band on the Wall’s refurb is complete.

The venue’s main performance space has been redesigned by celebrated Manchester architects OMI, who have given it an accessible step-free entrance and expanded its capacity to 500.

The area also boasts a brand new bar space – serving hot and cold food – with a new stage for smaller capacity performances catering for up to eighty people.

This bar area will open during the day to serve as a community space and will be open for free to the general public.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Manchester’s Finest Group

As mentioned earlier, the venue has been expanded into the three-storey Cocozza Wood building which had previously stood derelict and unoccupied since 1972. Now, it forms the larger ground floor venue space and upper floor learning suite.

And while the venue itself may look a world away from its former state, Band on the Wall will continue to nurture Manchester’s upcoming talent with local and grassroots community projects.

The first floor is a dedicated space for its learning programme World of Music, a broad and integrated programme of heritage, music, learning and research projects. World of Music will deliver community-based learning engagement that celebrates Manchester’s migrant communities and their musical legacies.

Band on the Wall’s CEO Gavin Sharp said on the reopening: “Band on the Wall has always been bigger than just a venue, and over the last two years we’ve been very busy working on our expansion project.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Manchester’s Finest Group

“This includes an increased main venue capacity, new café bar, a second smaller performance space, and significantly enhanced and expanded learning facilities to support our exciting and brand-new learning programme, World of Music.

“We are delighted to open our doors once again, and we look forward to welcoming guests back to our newly improved venue.”

Band on the Wall is open NOW and, not one to waste any time, already has a full season of gigs and performances on the bill.

You can see the venue’s season highlights and listings here.

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You’ll soon be able to get married at Chester Zoo surrounded by the animals

Know anyone who’d love to get married here?

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Chester Zoo

If you’ve ever dreamt of getting married while surrounded by animals, then we’ve got some very good news for you this morning.

Chester Zoo is opening a brand new wedding and events venue, and if the images are anything to go off it will be a stunning spot to tie the knot.

The luxury wedding and events venue is set to open next year, and the zoo has released an exclusive set of artist’s impressions to show what it will look like.

Chester Zoo

The wedding spot will be called ‘The Square’ and is currently scheduled to open in spring 2023 – while the main event room will have a capacity of 200, the reception and breakout rooms will bring total capacity to 380.

An extension of an existing Grade II-listed stable block that’s been there since 1931, The Square will feature an impressive gated entrance, private courtyard, vaulted rafters, exposed brickwork, and large windows which overlook the zoo’s botanical gardens.

The stable block once housed some of the zoo’s first animals, including lions, bears, and chimpanzees, and Chester Zoo say they plan to retain the ‘rich history and character’ of the building.

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo

Jamie Christon, CEO at Chester Zoo, said of the launch: “Work is underway to bring to life this incredible building that has stood at the heart of the zoo for more than 91 years.

“The Square will be a special, one-of-a-kind space that preserves the zoo’s rich history and character, while also adding a modern twist to its interior that showcases our plans for a more sustainable future.

“While the zoo has, for some time, offered an intimate wedding and events space at The Oakfield gastropub, which can hold around 50 guests, we’re frequently asked if we can accommodate larger scale events.

“That’s why we’re really excited to begin welcoming guests to this incredible new venue from early next year.”

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo

He continued: “But what’s particularly special is that income generated by each and every occasion that takes place at The Square will contribute to our charitable mission and help us to secure a brighter future for wildlife on our planet.

“When The Square opens in spring 2023, there will be nothing else quite like it in the UK.”

The Square is planned to open in spring 2023 – you can find out more here.

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A Kate Bush club night is coming to Manchester

The singer was catapulted back to stardom after her song featured in the fourth season of Stranger Things

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EMI & Wuthering Nights

Manchester will soon welcome a club night dedicated to Kate Bush following her explosive return to the UK charts.

The singer recently gained a whole new fan base after her 1985 track ‘Running Up That Hill’ featured in the fourth season of Netflix’s smash hit series Stranger Things.

Shortly after the release of the series last month, the song was catapulted to number one in the UK charts, thirty-seven-years after its original release – when it only reached number three. 

Over a month on from the Stranger Things hysteria, Kate Bush continues to dominate the charts, with the likes of Harry Styles, Drake and Lizzo being unable to knock her from the number one spot. 

So to continue the hype appropriately, a club night dedicated to all things Kate Bush will be taking over a venue in Manchester later this year.

The Wuthering Nights club night – named appropriately after the 1978 track – describes itself as a ‘Kate Bush disco’, and hosts events around the country for fans of the singer to come together and experience her music in a whole new way.

The club night has confirmed it will be taking over Manchester’s Gorilla in October, as well as another venue in London. 

The organisers say of their upcoming events: “Get ready to exchange the experience with hundreds of Kate Bush fans in the magical surroundings of Gorilla as we romp through Kate’s back catalogue with an overuse of smoke machines, visuals and camp re-enactments of Kate’s expressive dancing.

Wuthering Nights / Facebook

“Dressing up in your best Bush get-up is encouraged, slip on your red shoes, stick some ivy in your hair, raid the charity shop for that billowy dress and come and live out your inner Kate fantasy for us.”

Throughout the event, there will be prizes handed out to the best-dressed party-goers, as well as free souvenirs (including a pair of Kate Bush-themed knickers, apparently).

DJs Christopher Dresden Styles (Pop Curious) and Beardre Barlow (Bollox) will also be on duty to play the singer’s best hits across the evening. 

Wuthering Nights: Kate Bush After Dark is coming to Gorilla on Saturday October 8th from 11pm until late. Get tickets here. 

 

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You can watch Love Island with bottomless pornstar martinis at this Manchester bar

I’ve got a text!

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Manchester's Finest Group

In case you’ve been living under a rock these last few weeks, Love Island is once again back on our screens.

Love it or hate you can’t avoid it, and if you are one of the people who’s into the ITV2 dating series then we’ve got some very good news for you.

One bar in the city centre has launched a new deal where you can get bottomless booze while you watch Love Island live.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Shack in the Northern Quarter has decided to start screening the show live alongside bottomless cocktails and fizz every Wednesday evening.

Located on High Street, the bar will be hosting weekly Love Island screenings – and you can order yourself and your pals some food from their selection of massive sharing platters.

These come stuffed with sliders, wraps and fries, and are the perfect way to soak up all that bottomless booze.

Manchester’s Finest Group

There’s two drinks options for you to choose from:

Bottomless Drinks for £20pp

This options includes Prosecco, Mimosas, Bellinis, Coors, Corona, Red Stripe, Aspall Cider, Shack Fruit Cider.

Bottomless Drinks for £25pp

This one includes all of the above plus: Pornstar Martinis, Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris, House Spirit & Mixer (Gin, Vodka, Spiced & Dark Rum, Excludes Red Bull).

So don’t bother watching Love Island all on your own at home, make a proper event out of it and enjoy it alongside bottomless drinks and some seriously good sharers.

Get yourself booked in here.

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