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Welcome to Band on the Wall's Archive.

‘This place is a landmark and its history is epic’ – Adam Poppitt

Band on the Wall, previously the George and Dragon pub, has been part of the history of Manchester for over 200 years and has been a music venue at least since the 1930s.

Almost all of the thousands of music performances over the years went unrecorded, undocumented and un-notated. Lost in time. Our archive seeks to ensure that, from now on, all will not be lost.

AV Recordings

Music and the musicians are at the heart of the archive; and contemporary audio-visual recording of performances is its core.  A huge selection of videos of performance at Band on the Wall since 2009 is available for free – just click on ‘Videos’ at the left side of the page. The videos, filmed by Band on the Wall AV Unit, also can be freely accessed in High Definition at:

·      our Vimeo page:


·      our own YouTube page:


(to be added)


Our history document is in two sections:

Click on 19th Century History tabs (left) to read our wide-ranging early story of the George & Dragon which was then at the locus of ‘the most fundamental transformation of human life in the history of the world’.

Click on 20th Century History tabs (left) to access information about the venue in the last century. This currently includes a detailed section about the venue's 'rebirth' and development in the 1970s. We will soon be adding a chapter about the 1980s, a decade in which the venue's international credentials were established and when obstacles to its continued existence (the first of a few) were overcome. Future chapters will also give the inside story on the venue's achievements and challenges in the 1990s and post-2000, including a new section about the roller-coaster ride that was the building refurbishment project, completed in 2009. 

Our archive encourages input from individuals and organisations – whether materials such as print, photos, or audio or video recordings, or simply anecdotes from the venue’s past. If you think you can help, send an email to Gawain Forster --

This uniquely evolving archive has been seed-funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Manchester City Council.


The 19th century and post-1975 history of Band on the Wall has been written by Ian Croal, Chief Executive of Band on the Wall from 1981 to September 2009, main music programmer for many years, principal author of the venue’s strategic plans to 2009, main fundraiser and Project Director of the venue’s £4 million capital development and the Archive.

Archive Technician Clive Hunte is a well-known musician, photographer and film-maker, specializing in music. Previous to his appointment at Band on the Wall, for six years he was Audio Visual Documenter at Contact Theatre, Manchester.

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