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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Dive Into the Craft Beer Scene in Manchester, England

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4. Insider's Tip

Some of the city's best rock concerts pop up in unusual places, like the Manchester Cathedral.  

Liverpool can lay claim to the Beatles, but Manchester seems to have given the music world just about everyone else: the Smiths, Oasis, the Stone Roses, New Order, Joy Division, and the Buzzcocks, to name but a few. While the city is certainly packed with teen-filled nightclubs and raucous dance halls, fantastic under-the-radar venues exist, seemingly hidden in plain sight. The Northern Quarter’s Castle Hotel, a pub since 1776, has plenty of indie cred—its intimate back room, with a capacity of only about 70, has played host to on-the-rise bands such as Mercury Prize winners Alt-J. For up-to-date show listings, especially for folk, Americana, and experimental bands, keep an eye on the website Hey! Manchester, which often promotes gigs in unusual spaces, such as singer-songwriter Darren Hayman inside the University of Manchester’s Godlee Observatory, freak-folk duo CocoRosie at the Manchester Cathedral, and even German pianist Hauschka in the presidential suite of the Lowry Hotel.

Published on May 1, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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