Pre-Gig Bars in Manchester

Live music in Manchester is thriving and with gigs on practically every night in the city centre, finding the perfect fun bar in Manchester to have a couple of drinks beforehand can be a tricky business. We've put together our recommended list of all the best bars in Manchester to grab a pint, a cocktail or a bite to eat before heading to see your favourite band or act pack out one of Manchester's many famous music venues.


Sorry, the places listed below don't have online bookings available, but we hope you still find this list useful for your night out!


The Hard Rock Cafe is famous for its musical history and this Manchester branch in The Printworks area is the biggest in the UK. This restaurant and live music bar in Manchester is the perfect way to start your night pre-gig, enjoy one of their famous burgers or even a cheeky cocktail, before heading on to hear your favourite band play.

Matt and Phred's

2 user reviews 4

Matt and Phred's is one of the best live music bars in Manchester and the perfect place to start your night before a gig. Enjoy one of their great cocktails, beers or even a bite to eat with friends in this prohibition style Jazz oasis in the Northern Quarter before heading to the nearby M.E.N arena to see that much anticipated concert.

Big Hands

4 user reviews 4

A stone's throw away from Manchester Academy on Oxford Road, Big Hands is the perfect bar for a few drinks before or after a gig seeing your favourite band in Manchester. If you're looking to avoid clubbing in Manchester but still want a good time, this intimate gem is open till late 7 days a week and has a unique pre-gig atmosphere which is not to be missed out on.