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Venue Focus: Bowlers, Manchester

We take a closer look at one of Manchester's largest and most influential bastions of raving - Bowlers

Mike Warburton

Last updated: 22nd Jan 2014

As rave culture engulfed the country in the mid eighties, one of the most iconic venues to continually give home to the burgeoning scene was massive 4500 capacity monolith Bowlers. As time has passed, rave culture in this country has in part seemed to have lost its potency, with the original soul and spirit being lost along the way.

The same cannot be said of Manchester's Bowlers.

Resolutely purveying everything that made rave culture great, Bowlers continues to host the biggest, most audacious rave ups that regularly fall into legendary status. It's with that in mind that we take a little look ahead to see what the rave giants have planned for the coming months.

Totally Lost It - Valentines Massacre

Friday 14th of February sees Bowlers invite 'Totally Lost It' to curate a darkly enticing twist on Valentines Day, with their attention grabbing 'Valentine's Massacre' party.  Forget the usual fare of taking your loved one out for a meal, or enjoying a nice quiet romantic date somewhere exotic - 'Totally Lost It' instead enlist the cream of the hardcore and hardstyle scene for an all guns blazing assault on your senses.

Angerfist, Gammer, MC Whizzkid and Re-Con all line up to destroy the main arena, whilst gabber, industrial and hardstlye impresarios The Demon Dwarf, Jay Prescott, Joey Riot and Unix Clan take over 'The Cave', primed to tear you a new one. 

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Bowlers 22nd Birthday

Saturday 1st of March sees our beloved venue turn the ripe old age of 22. Age hasn't slowed the pace of the infamous locale, with everyone involved proving to be more ready to party than ever. All five arenas will be crammed with old skool royalty as the birthday party unleashes itself on the Bowlers faithful.

Favourites like Stu Allan, RatpackPaul Taylor, Rob Tissera and Mark XTC takeover the main room for a blistering selection of Old Skool classics. Elsewhere expect to witness the very best in happy hardcore, bounce, drum n bass and straight up house as Bowlers parties its way into its 23rd year of operations.

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Fifteen Years of Sidewinder

At the heart of the grime scene since 1999, Sidewinder has over time established itself as perhaps the most important urban night outside of London. As up and coming grime artists left the confines of London to hone their skills in the wider world, Sidewinder became one of the most pioneering spirits with forward thinking underground music.

Some of the biggest names in the scene have cut their teeth at Sidewinder. The likes of Dizzee Rascal, Lethal Bizzle and Wiley have all been involved in the night's illustrious past. Having grown from a small 300 person venue to a mammoth 3000 capacity home in milton keynes, Sidewinder has certainly made its name at the epicentre of grime, garage and bass music, with audiences continual enthralled by the countries finest MCs as they battle it out in spectacular displays of linguistic dexterity.

Their 15th birthday sees Luck & Neat, Cameo, Pay As You Go, Martin 'Liberty' Larner and Trudos headline the Main Arena, with Bassline bosses Jamie Duggan and DJ Q leading the way in in the Down:Load arena next door. Deep house too will be on the menu in the ShapeShifter Arena, with Lance Morgan, Arun Verone and Spice getting the dancefloor bouncing.

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s2s Festival - Battle of the Brands

The mighty Sunrise 2 Sunset party starters are next on Bowlers' guest list. Despite this only being their fourth event, previous sell out appearances at Blackpool's North Pier (below) and their massive Winter Wonderland party at the finale of 2013 announced the arrival of a new raving superpower.

Making their eagerly anticipated debut at Bowlers, S2S have hooked in a killer line up of some of the North West's biggest and best promoters to hail their Manchester arrival in emphatic fashion. As for the music, Kissy Sellout, Julie McKnight, The Wideboys and Majestic are among some of the dance music luminaries to take to the main arena.

Beat Freak and Fresh are at the controls in Arena two, with a fresh line up of Electro and Jackin ambassadors taking centre stage. Arena three welcomes a scintillating deep house and bass music bill courtesy of Sanction and Abyss, and Old Skool Manchester legends Stu Allan, K-Klass and Butty & Recca headline the Bowlers Vs Back by Dope Demand, with a jam packed roster of house music hedonists at the helm.

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Looking into what Festivals to do this summer? We are too. Keep your finger on the festival pulse at our special section right here.

Upcoming Events At Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester

Here are the next 4 upcoming events At Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester

Sidewinder Oldskool Summer Festival 2020 Featured event
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Sidewinder Oldskool Summer Festival 2020

This event has been Cancelled

Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester

Saturday 2nd May

2:00pm til 2:00am

Minimum Age: 18

For ticket prices, please click here (Additional fees may apply)

The UK's biggest oldskool festival playing UKG/ Bassline/ UK Funky/ House/ Bashment/ R&B/ Hip Hop/ d...

Icons of Darts featuring Phil Taylor & Raymond Van Barneveld
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Icons of Darts featuring Phil Taylor & Raymond Van Barneveld

This event has been Cancelled

Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester

Saturday 30th May

4:45pm til 11:45pm (last entry 8:00pm)

No age restrictions

For ticket prices, please click here (Additional fees may apply)

Taylor & Van Barneveld Clash at Manchester's BEC Arena

Manchester Adored Presents The Circus
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Manchester Adored Presents The Circus

Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester

Saturday 8th Aug

2:00pm til 2:00am (last entry 11:00pm)

Minimum Age: 18

For ticket prices, please click here (Additional fees may apply)

Our 1st Manchester Adored Event featuring the Very Best in the UK'S Tribute bands + LIVE DJ Set fro...

Great Northern SKA Festival
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Great Northern SKA Festival

Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester

Saturday 22nd Aug

2:00pm til 12:00am (last entry 10:00pm)

Minimum Age: 12

For ticket prices, please click here (Additional fees may apply)

The Great Northern SKA Festival is back for its 5th year!