Two years after closing its doors one last time, Band on the Wall is finally returning, with a whole new look in tow. Following a cash injection of £3.5 million as part of the National Lottery’s Heritage fund, Band on the Wall’s 200-year-long heritage has been brought back to life, with a huge transformation of the main room set to be revealed soon, and an extension of the venue’s capacity – which will now host 500 people.
Opening out into a completely accessible music venue, the new space will be totally step-free, with main performances taking place on the ground floor. The new grand bar space is also housed on the ground floor, too, where guests can enjoy food and drink, alongside more intimate performances.
Upstairs, locals can take advantage of the brand new ‘learning suite’, which will house Band on the Wall’s programme ‘World of Music’ – a broad and integrated programme of heritage, music, learning and research projects. Aiming to deliver community-based learning engagement, World of Music will celebrate Manchester’s migrant communities and their musical legacies, with a huge space where locals can record music, interviews, podcasts and film in the upgraded state-of-the-art AV studio.
Gavin Sharp, CEO of Band of The Wall, said: “Band on the Wall has always been bigger than just a venue, and over the last two years we’ve been very busy working on our expansion project – including an increased main venue capacity, new café bar, a second smaller performance space, and significantly enhanced and expanded learning facilities to support our exciting and brand-new learning programme, World of Music. We are delighted to open our doors once again this March, and we look forward to welcoming guests back to our newly improved venue.”
Jennifer Cleary, Director, Combined Arts & North, Arts Council England, said: “Band on the Wall is an iconic music venue with global recognition. It has been a wonderful journey seeing the venue modified and modernised, whilst keeping its historic charm, and we have been pleased to support this redevelopment with National Lottery funding through our capital programme. We look forward to seeing the new possibilities that the re-opening of the venue will continue to bring – both locally and internationally.”
Band on the Wall resides in a historic building that dates way back to 1860, with its name paying homage to its past as The George and the Dragon pub, where performers would play on a stage situated halfway up the wall. The venue has seen huge names take to the stage over the decades, including Björk, the Buzzcocks and Joy Division.
Tickets are on sale now for the venue’s March reopening, and you can find out more here.