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Music is part of Manchester’s DNA and the city is widely acknowledged as the UK’s music capital, with particular strengths in rock, pop, jazz and classical music.

The city has a thriving live music scene with an estimated music audience of 1.7million in 2017. Live music venues range from the Manchester Arena – the largest indoor arena in Europe, and the Bridgewater Hall with its world-class acoustic, through to a wealth of smaller music venues including Matt and Phred’s Jazz Club, Band on the Wall and the Albert Hall – a restored Grade II listed Wesleyan chapel.

Manchester is home to three professional orchestras and a sophisticated classical music education offer in Chetham’s School and the Royal Northern College of Music. It is famous for being home to bands such as the Stone Roses, Smiths, Oasis and Take That. It has thriving jazz and folk music scenes, with annual festivals to celebrate these genres. And it has recently been named rock and indie capital of the UK based on the volume of live shows and events outperforming any other city in the country in the last few years.

Joining the Music Cities Network is a major opportunity for the city to build further on these strengths. This will include a major review of the city’s music sector and its audiences, and identifying areas where support for emerging talent could be enhanced. 

Why Music cities network?

Debra King Manchester

"Working with the other cities and members at MCN means to me…that we can connect musicians, independents and organisations in each city with different music sectors from across the world.  It is a space where true collaboration, knowledge sharing, policy development and connectivity happens."

Debra KinG, Director Brighter Sound & Sector Lead: Manchester Music City Chair of the board Music Cities Network E.V.
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