Manchester has always been a hot spot for music culture and creativity. The spawning ground of entire musical movements, genres and scenes, the city has produced some of the world's most cited and influential artists. But none of these artists, or the movements they helped create, would be where they are today without the clubs that went out on a limb to assist in introducing these new and, at the time, unfamiliar sounds.
From iconic and now-defunct nightclubs like The Hacienda, the birthplace of UK house music, and superclub Sankeys to the current predecessors including Hidden, The White Hotel and the huge The Depot (Mayfield), the rich heritage of progressive music in Manchester (especially dance), is still being upheld and carried forward.
So, as a homage to these significant places of music and their effect on culture, we've selected the clubs we rate the most. Here are the best clubs in Manchester.
(To learn more about the venues, their upcoming events or the artists set to perform, click on the highlighted links below...)
Image credit: Hidden / Facebook.com
Location: Downtex Mill, Mary Street, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, M3 1NH
Upcoming events: Homoelectric at Hidden | Hidden & Run | Obskur at Hidden
A popular destination amongst clubbers in Manchester, Hidden regularly provides the goods, offering events stacked with performances from some of the most hyped and renowned selectors within the electronic scene.
Comprised of several rooms, including a huge courtyard, the Basement Room, the Blue Room and the Hangar Space, the award-winning venue specialises particularly in house, techno and disco events, previously welcoming a host of contemporary greats the likes of DJ Zinc, Sherelle, Ross From Friends and more. If you love techno, make a note of this one, as it’s easily one of the best techno clubs in Manchester with plenty of heavy takeovers.
Find more events at Hidden
The Depot (Mayfield)
Image credit: The Warehouse Project / Facebook.com
Location: 11 Baring Street, Manchester, M1 2PY
Upcoming events: WHP Presents Sonny Fodera | Ben Hemsley Presents CONNECTION | many more TBA
Manchester's biggest club, a former railway complex turned ground-breaking venue, The Depot (Mayfield) is one of those places you just have to experience for yourself. Nothing we could say about this colossal events space would ever truly do it justice.
Featuring multiple-stage setups, consisting of jaw-dropping production and chest-rattling sound rigs, this megaclub allows up to 10,000 revellers in at any one time.
It's the home of the UK's largest seasonal club brand, The Warehouse Project, which runs large-scale and epic raves from early September right through until New Years Day each and every year. Frequently boasting performances from a wealth of world-renowned names, covering a multitude of genres - from rap to drum n bass, house and techno - Warehouse Project or WHP events, unsurprisingly, almost always sell out.
Find more events at The Depot (Mayfield)
The White Hotel
Image credit: The White Hotel / Facebook.com
Location: Dickinson Street, Salford, M3 7LW
Upcoming events: Deathcrash | Mandy, Indiana
What was once a car repair shop and garage is now a safe haven and platform for the avante-garde patrons of the north - a venue built to showcase the more experimental side of club music and beyond. Located on the fringes of the city, Salford's White Hotel is, without doubt, an acquired taste. But its dark decor and bizarre characteristics make it what it is: unique.
Split over two separate warehouse-type rooms, the off-kilter venue has been an obvious hit with some of Manchester's more outlandish party collectives and DJs, the likes Homoelectric, who have utilised the space for their exclusive one-room BabyHomo event, as well internationally respected dance names, such as German techno selector, Helena Hauff.
Find more events at The White Hotel
Image credit: Mint Lounge / Facebook.com
Location: 46-50 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LE
Upcoming events: Funkademia at Mint Lounge | Funkademia at Mint Lounge
Situated slap-bang in the middle of Manchester's buzzing Northern Quarter, the Mint Lounge, the district's only nightclub, has long been a stopping place for those who love nightlife, partying and club culture.
The open-plan basement venue, a hit with the city's student population and out-of-towners alike, is the home to many sought-after club night events. One of those is Manchester's longest-running club night, Funkademia. Curating a night of sublime funk, soul, disco, R&B and hip-hop, the Funkademia DJs regularly draw in the masses who love timeless classics.
Find more events at Mint Lounge
O2 Victoria Warehouse
Image credit: O2 Victoria Warehouse / Facebook.com
Location: Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 1AB
Upcoming events: Rong Indoor Festival w/ Aly & Fila, Dave Pearce, Christina Novelli, Signum, and more
Built back in the 1920s, Manchester's Victoria Warehouse's was originally used as a storehouse, containing packing facilities for big brands like Kellogg's and Cadbury's before taking the form of one of the city's leading live music venues/clubs.
Taken over in 2005 and redesigned specifically for live music events, the monstrous warehouse venue - the birthplace of club brand The Warehouse Project - has since welcomed hundreds of thousands, if not millions of music fans through its doors, to witness many unforgettable performances from the likes of world-conquering Aussie DJ, FISHER, Underworld, Fatboy Slim, Four Tet, Skrillex, Run the Jewels... the list goes on and on.
Lined up for later this year, they've got a massive trance festival, Rong Indoor, with some colossal names for a wild day festival. See you there!
Find more events at O2 Victoria Warehouse
Victoria Warehouse Basement
Image credit: O2 Victoria Warehouse / Facebook.com
Location: Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 1AB
In the depths below the aforementioned Victoria Warehouse venue lies an unspoilt gem of the Manchester club scene. The Victoria Warehouse Basement is the ideal location for heady raves that run long into the small hours with an intimate and closed-off environment. Complimenting and mirroring the general vibe and sounds found within more modern genres of dance music, from techno to tech-house and so on, the industrial setting - steel beams, exposed pipework, concrete floors and all - lends to the experience further. And it's not just us sitting up and paying attention.
Celebrated club brand, Sankeys MCR have are set to announce a brand new, rescheduled date at the venue to mark the beginning of their 'Back To The Future' summer series, whilst Kaluki and ZER01 are also each preparing for their huge events in the underground nightspot.
Find events at Victoria Warehouse Basement
Image credit: SOUP/Facebook
Location: 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester, M1 1DF
Upcoming events: Fuga Futura | SOUP Presents: Mareux
In Manchester's bustling and bohemian Northern Quarter district is one of the city's smallest yet most-adored locations for both clubbing and live music. Previously named the Soup Kitchen, SOUP is a venue that couldn't be any more dissimilar to the grandeur of the previously mentioned behemoths.
There's no million-pound lighting rig or sound rig, no pyrotechnics, and there's just enough room to swing a cat. Not that we're endorsing swinging cats about. Please don't swing your cat about. Instead, it boasts a down-to-earth, back-to-basics, DIY feel and character - for these reasons, music lovers in the city just can't get enough of it. And neither can the artists that come through it.
Given its size, you'd be surprised to hear that they actually do incredibly well at pulling in the big shots and heavy hitters. For instance, in the past, they've hosted the likes of Demuja, Finn, India Jordan, Afrodeutsche and Greentea Peng to name a few.
Find more events at SOUP
Image credit: Joshua Brooks / Facebook.com
Location: 106 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6NG
Upcoming events: Moxy Muzik with Darius Syrossian | Joshua Brooks Presents Horse Meat Disco | Marsh [All Might Long]
Underground music venue, Joshua Brooks is known as the club at which The Chemical Brothers cut their teeth, playing their first-ever show to a packed-out audience back in the '90s. An approved hotspot for fans of electronic music, showcasing the many various off-shoots and sub-genres, the venue has seen and nurtured some of the music world's biggest and brightest talents over its long and illustrious past.
Still at the forefront of dance music and clubbing in Manchester, Joshua Brook's boasts a huge calendar of events in 2023 with some serious high profile names.
Find more events at Joshua Brooks
Image credit: Love Factory / Facebook.com
Capacity: Unavailable but big
Location: 220 Dantzic Street, Manchester, M4 4NL
Upcoming events: MVSON: Return Of The Garden Party | Continental GT Steppers Festival | Carnival prom
A brand new large-sized venue for Manchester, Love Factory was launched towards the end of 2022 and it held some of the biggest fan zones in the city during the World Cup. Since then, it has been living up to its rave potential and has found a place in the hearts of ravers.
Upcoming events will see the likes of Continental GT Steppers and Mason Collective hit the venue. Two old industrial units, you have a lot of room to rave in.
Find more events at Love Factory
Image credit: Albert Hall / Facebook.com
Location: 27 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5QR
Upcoming events: Garage Nation Manchester | FAC51 The Hacienda | Craig Charles Funk and Soul House Party
The Albert Hall is regarded as one of the finest venues in Manchester. An absolute joy to look at inside and out, this wide space is probably best known for hosting gigs but it is more than capable of hosting amazing club nights and raves too and it has a habit of drawing in star names.
Make sure you experience a dance in front of the elevated stage with your fellow ravers, as the venue always has an extensive programme of upcoming events that you can't miss.
Find more events at Albert Hall
Image credit: AreaManchester / Facebook
Capacity: Unavailable but small
Location: 50 Sackville Street, Manchester, M1 3WF
Upcoming events: Basement 66 | Cheer Up Pop Party With Samantha Fox | Eurovision Screening
A space that has recently been rejuvenated, Area prides itself on being an inclusive and safe space for anyone who wants to come and lose themselves in rhythms, bass and grooves for a few hours. The venue is full of bright and vibrant decor to make you feel as though you've transcended into a new realm.
LED screens dominate the walls with cool displays. We're confident that the venue will have many standout nights in the future that people will remember for a long time.
Find more events at Area
Image credit: Progress Centre Manchester
Location: The Progress Centre, Manchester, M12 6HS
Upcoming events: Slapfunk Day & Night | Freak Queer Rave | OBP Presents: Sidney Charles and Dimmish
The Progress Centre is the kind of place where you're not necessarily going to see the biggest names in the business. Instead, you'll probably see cult favourites and brand new innovators here, with the line-ups always specially curated to give you something that little bit different.
In the past names such as Sasha, Samuel Deep and DR Banana have played at The Progress Centre and their upcoming shows have a varied range of talent to choose from.
Find more events at Progress Centre
Image credit: Canvas / Facebook
Location: Unit 5, Building 4, Circle Square, Oxford Road, Manchester, M60 7HB
Upcoming events: Northern Jungle Presents: Welcome To Jungle | Chip Live In Manchester | ABBA Disco
Canvas has the mission of becoming one of Manchester's finest music venues and it isn't too far away from achieving that goal. It is the perfect space to fit in a good amount of clubbers and you'll feel up close and personal with the DJ on duty. From gigs to raves, it can do a bit of everything.
With a disco ball that hangs down from the ceiling, you are naturally invited to dance.
Find more events at Canvas
Image credit: Impossible / Facebook
Location: 36 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5QR
Upcoming events: Impossible Saturdays, FORMAT | The Ultimate Gaming Social - Halloween 2023
One of Manchester's premier clubs, Impossible is hard to miss when walking down Peter Street and you've likely seen people eagerly queuing up to get inside. It promises to give you an immersive experience when you're inside and when they've got a guest DJ you definitely feel as though you've been sent to another world. One of the best nightclubs in Manchester with three floors and four rooms, it also boasts an unreal roast on Sunday mornings.
Find more events at Impossible
Image credit: Blues Kitchen Manchester / Facebook
Location: 13 Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3HN
Upcoming events: Nightmares On Wax | Mungos Hifi ft Charli P & Dub Smugglers | Arrested Development
There is very rarely not something happening at The Blues Kitchen. Priding itself on having live music seven nights a week, you never know how many genres you could find across any given week. From funk to jazz, soul, Disco, House and much more, they have an eclectic taste here.
With plenty of upcoming events on the horizon, you can't miss this amazing part of Manchester's nightlife.
Find more events at Blues Kitchen
Image credit: The Loft / Facebook.com
Location: Unit 1, New Street, Manchester, M40 8AW
Upcoming events: DJ Masda B2B Binh All Night Long, OBP The Afterhours, SURGE At The Loft: Milion, Julian Fijma + Noume
Lovely and intimate, The Loft is a relatively new addition to Manchester's nightlife scene, joining us in 2021. Naming itself, "A big kids playground where the fun never stops," you can already get a good feel for the place by that alone. Stripped back in terms of decor, the club focuses on a community vibe and banging tunes rather than using a fancy interior to attract ravers.
Putting music first, it's an absolutely banging club. And while many genres are showcased here, it's one of the best house clubs in Manchester. Or just one of the best clubs in Manchester period.
Find more events at The Loft
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.
Header image credit: Joshua Brooks / Facebook.com