Life in Manchester

Manchester’s musical heritage is second to none. Home of the ‘Madchester’ movement of the late 80s, which birthed an impressive list of bands, including Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and more. It was also the home of the legendary club, The Haçienda, which helped to fuel the rise of acid house music and rave culture in the city.

Live music is a part of any night out in Manchester, with several streets dedicated solely to live music.

Manchester is a highly creative city with a diverse cultural scene and a wealth of theatres, galleries, live music and cinemas. Some of the most popular music venues and hangouts include Manchester Academy, Ritz, The Deaf Institute, Manchester O2 Apollo, Manchester Arena, Jimmy’s, The Castle, and Peer Hat.

Aside from the City’s musical hotspots, you can soak up some history, art and culture at key locations such as Manchester Museum, Manchester City Gallery, MOSI, The Lowry, Palace Theatre and Manchester Opera House, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester Craft Centre, HOME and Bridgewater Hall.

But, don’t just take our word for it. Hear from Martha and her five reasons to live in Manchester.

Tony Wilson Place

An amazing cinema and gallery for independent films with consistently impressive free exhibitions.

Charles Street

A four-storey gem of the Manchester scene, featuring a club space, a pink live venue, bar and food hall.

Piccadilly Records
Oldham St

This amazing record store in the heart of the Northern Quarter is a must-see for any self-respecting music fan.

Matt & Phreds Jazz Club
Tib Street

One of Manchester’s most beloved live music venues, specialising in jazz, blues, boogie and jam nights.

Epping Walk Bridge
Princess Road

The location for the iconic image of Joy Division by photographer Kevin Cummins.

Manchester bees
Kirstie Rawlinson portrait

“It’s such a diverse, buzzing and interesting city and I don’t think the atmosphere is quite like anywhere else.”
Kirstie Rawlinson, Songwriting

A quick glance down the long list of internationally renowned artists who call Manchester home, and it becomes clear that music has been a key part of this city’s identity for decades.

Classic indie lovers will love The Venue, 42nd Street and Factory. YES has a good variety of nights and has a basement venue attracting yet more famous names. For metal and rock, gigs tend to be at the Academy venues up Oxford Road and try Satan’s Hollow for a late one.

You’ll generally find out what’s going on thanks to enthusiastic promoters bombarding you with flyers about town.


A great pride runs throughout Manchester’s live music and nightclubbing scenes. The Warehouse Project attracts some of the world’s biggest DJs. Manchester’s Gay Village caters for a vibrant LGBTQI+ scene.

With four universities, Manchester has a huge student population, and there are plenty of student club nights and events throughout the year to suit all music tastes.

Emanuel J Burton - Drums - Manchester student

“I love the community spirit, the creative energy floating through the city, the food spots and the music scene.”
Emanuel J Burton, Drums

Manchester Festivals

Mancunians love a festival. And in Manchester, big names flock to play at the likes of Parklife and Dot to Dot. It’s also home to Neighbourhood, where some of Manchester’s most prestigious music venues join forces to host a one-day event. Over 100 artists and bands from all over the world perform at this friendly and diverse event.

Each April sees the smaller scale (but equally fun) When In Manchester Festival, which BIMM Manchester Music Business graduate Miriam Rahimov co-founded.


This biennial arts event is a magnet for creative talent from around the globe. A true highlight of the festival calendar, Manchester International Festival (MIF) is a must-see.

Sound Of The City

Taking place at Castlefield Bowl, this series of performances takes place over a week and a half in Summer. 2020 sees headline slots from Foals, Lewis Capaldi and DMA’s.

Be sure to visit ‘The Curry Mile’ in Rusholme (past the universities up Oxford Road) for affordable, good-quality Indian food. China Town (just off Portland Street) has many Asian cuisines to suit any budget, including legendary spot Pho Cue. There’s also a fantastic fish and chip shop called Portland Plaice. If it’s breakfast you’re after, you cannot miss out on Goey, serving delightful breakfasts for all tastes.

In the Northern Quarter, check out Sugar Junction for a quaint vintage tea room. Almost Famous, Luck Lust Liquor and Burn are amazing for deliciously dirty burgers and Mexican street food. Or if you’re on a budget, Wolf and the Door do amazing £1 bao buns and tacos, not to be missed!

Almost famous, manchester
Manchester clothing shop

Manchester Arndale is the main shopping centre with all the big names in the middle of town. For top-end brands, try King Street; for more vintage tastes, try the Northern Quarter. The Trafford Centre, a short bus ride to Old Trafford, opens at 10am and has many shops and restaurants.

For food shopping, there’s a medium-sized Aldi supermarket on Bridge Street in the centre and a range of small Spar and Sainsbury’s shops along Oxford Road. Larger supermarkets are all around the outskirts of the city.

Manchester has plenty of open spaces and green areas to grab a break and enjoy the fresh air.

Just a short walk from our Bank Chambers building, you’ll find Piccadilly Gardens – a nice spot to hang out in the sunshine between lectures. A bit further south, just off Canal Street, you’ll discover Sackville Park, home to the Alan Turing memorial statue.

Look a little further afield, and you’ll find Manchester and its surrounding areas teeming with numerous wide-open spaces like Heaton Park, Alexandra Park and more.

Alexandra Park, Manchester

BIMM Music Institute Manchester is well connected to the rest of the city via public transport.


Manchester is very cyclist-friendly, with accessible cycle lanes. If you live a short distance from the college, it might be the most cost-effective way to travel. Find out more about cycling in Manchester at


The closest bus stops to Great Marlborough Street, on the main student route, are located on Oxford Road, by the Dancehouse coming into the city centre, and by the Palace Hotel to leave the city centre. Bank Chambers is a few minutes from the central bus station at Piccadilly Gardens. Buses at these stops frequently run between Manchester City Centre and popular student areas such as Rusholme, Fallowfield and Withington.

Manchester has the busiest bus route in Europe due to the number of universities on the Oxford Road corridor. As a result, you will rarely have to wait more than a few minutes for a bus during the day. Most buses on this route go from Piccadilly Gardens to South Manchester straight down Oxford Road.

  • 142 or 42 – Piccadilly Gardens – Universities– Rusholme – Fallowfield – Withington – Didsbury Village – East Didsbury
  • 143 – Piccadilly Gardens – Universities –Rusholme – Fallowfield – Withington – West Didsbury
  • 43 – Piccadilly Gardens to Manchester Airport
  • 147 – Manchester Piccadilly Train Station – Universities – Manchester Royal Infirmary and other hospitals


Manchester is well-serviced by taxi cabs, UBER and other minicab companies. Always make sure to pre-book your taxi from a fully licenced taxi firm.


For those living outside of the city, BIMM is easily accessible from either Piccadilly or Oxford Road Station. Oxford Road Station is the closest to Great Marlborough Street, and Piccadilly Station is nearest to Bank Chambers.

Metrolink (Trams)

Manchester Metrolink has been expanding throughout the city and is a quick and easy way to travel across Greater Manchester. Metrolink runs on several lines, including Salford Quays/Media City and East Didsbury.


The nearest major airport is Manchester Airport (MAN / EGCC). This airport has international and domestic flights and is 13 miles (half-hour train journey) from the centre of Manchester.

Any Questions?

For any questions regarding Manchester student life or if you’d like more information on how to apply to BIMM Music Institute Manchester please contact our Enquiries Team on 01273 840 346 or email [email protected].


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