Despite what much of the press may have you believe, Manchester’s clubbing scene isn’t still in thrall to rave and the heights of the Hacienda. Of course, many of Manchester’s clubs pay tribute to that genuinely revolutionary, vital era in British clubbing history, but there’s a healthy scene around it of anything and everything else you could imagine, too.
Manchester’s industrial past has lent it a wealth of huge, atmospheric venues in the form of old textile mills, factories and warehouses – and these are put to good use by the city’s club promoters. The Warehouse Project, Manchester’s clubbing behemoth, borrows from this aesthetic but the true warehouse parties can be found in otherwise unloved spaces on the city’s outskirts. And as well as the many advertised club nights, there are often secret parties taking place – you just need to get hold of the right phone number.
While dance music seems to have an iron grip on the city every weekend, the weeknights are often less 4/4 – with plenty on offer for the hip-hop fan right through to the cosmic disco lover. And for those with a desire to air-guitar on the stickiest of floors, Manchester is well-known for its indie clubs – not just the pack-’em-in student valhallas like 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, but also smaller concerns like long-running club night Remake Remodel, where the DJs spin a range of glam, punk and psych.
The Gay Village, around Canal Street, attracts thousands of revellers to its many bars and clubs each weekend, but when the truly legendary Legends club closed in 2012, Manchester lost one of its most important venues for alternative gay clubbing. Fortunately, one of its main crews, Homoelectric, moved their unparalleled party to Rusholme's Antwerp Mansion, where they continue to host the likes of Maurice Fulton and Prosumer – and you should also look out for cult nights Bollox and Drunk At Vogue.
If you’re looking for a night out, you’ll find it with The Skinny.