About

Band on the Wall has been a cornerstone of Manchester’s thriving music and cultural landscape for the greater part of a century. Our mission is to promote equality and diversity through music and to bring leading artists from around the world to the stage – both at our award-winning Manchester venue and nationally, through touring programmes and trailblazing creative music projects.

Our unusual name harks back to the building’s days as The George and Dragon pub in the early 20th Century. Regulars would affectionately refer to the ‘Band on the Wall’ as the place where house musicians quite literally played on a stage halfway up the back wall to make room in the busy pub.

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While gaining a reputation for bringing the finest jazz, folk, blues and international music to Manchester, Band on the Wall also found itself at the centre of Manchester’s famed post-punk scene in the late 1970s when Buzzcocks, The Fall and Joy Division played some of their earliest concerts at the venue. In 2009, we reopened after a period of closure and extensive refurbishment, during which we installed a sound system that guarantees the best live music experience in a venue of our size, completely renovated the venue and expanded to open our new bar, The Picturehouse. The Picturehouse bar is open to the public daily (no gig ticket needed) and serves up good beer, a handpicked selection of music from around the world, acoustic sessions, a regular music quiz and some of the tastiest home-cooked food the city has to offer.

Our archive seeks to ensure that details of all performances that happen here will not be lost. This is an ongoing project, and you can explore previous concerts by visiting our archive and YouTube channel.

Band on the Wall is a living music library; a place where everyone can access and enjoy the most inspiring music from a wealth of different cultures. We are committed to providing opportunities for everyone to be involved in making and experiencing music. Our education partner Brighter Sound deliver projects, classes and courses designed to nurture talent and encourage community engagement – you can find out what’s on offer on our Education pages or by visiting their website.

Charity No. 516351. Company No. 01893979. VAT No. 408 2612 73