Room with a view: Live music at the Deaf Institute

Matthew Britton
Deaf Institute Music Hall

Once derelict, Manchester’s Deaf Institute is now arguably the best small live music venue in the city

Not so long ago, the Grade II-listed Deaf and Dumb Institute was an abandoned shell, loved only by pigeons and history buffs. All that changed when the folk behind the Trof chain of bars got their hands on the place. They swiftly turned neo-Gothic decay into decadent wonder thanks to a winning combination of food, booze and live music.

In the blink of a fashionable eye, the Deaf Institute went from crumbling building-on-the-block to one of Manchester’s best-loved live music venues. Now, while perhaps not the live music force it may have been a couple of years back (when promoters Now Wave seemed desperate to put on a groundbreaking act there every other night), the Deaf Institute has gone from a bright young upstart to one of the most stable venues in the city.

Once a bright, young upstart; now a stable music venue

Though most nights are taken up by student-centric club nights (aimed more at the art-school crowd than anything else, mercifully), the enchanting surrounds of the upstairs music hall, complete with giant glitterball, means that the Deaf Institute is still possibly the best small (ish) venue in the city. Of course, the move away from constantly putting on live shows is likely based on economics – club night-goers spend more and turn up in numbers far more plentiful than, say, the fans of a Fleet Foxes side-project – but few other spaces have the capacity to make show as special as here.

Culture Guides

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics

Exhibitions

Let’s make the most of early summer, with this month’s selection of brand new art exhibitions from across the North!

Geronimo Festival 2022

Families

Festivals, shows, museums, and much, much more – there’s plenty of summer fun to be had for families in Manchester and the North, whatever the weather. Here are our top picks.

Writer Niamh Mulvey. Photo by K Elliott

Literature

There’s plenty of sunshine-drenched reading to immerse yourself in from established names and emerging talent, poets and prose writers alike, both in real life as well as online.

Music

From rising stars playing basement sets to open air shows by your favourite bands’ favourite bands, there are some gems in this month’s music picks.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Eclectic theatre festivals, silly slapstick and dreamy outdoor shows, there’s lots of brilliant performances happening inside and outside over the summer.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Spend June at some of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Cinema

Explore Hollywood history, queer rarities and squirm-inducing horror across the big screens of Manchester and the North this month.

Tours and Activities

Discover a new hobby, experience the most deliciously diverse area of Manchester’s city centre and explore the city’s infamous music scene in this month’s Tours and Activities guide.