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'Next-generation', subterranean music venue with a members' club is opening in Manchester

By Jenna Campbell

Following two years of disruption, the revival of Manchester’s music scene will soon be further bolstered by the arrival of a brand new 'next-generation' music venue, which opens in the city centre next month. Located within the heart of the Circle Square development off Oxford Road, Canvas Manchester, will boast live music, club nights, a members' lounge and bar and restaurant open until 4am every night.

The 600-capacity subterranean gig venue promises to 'nurture the city’s visionaries of music, culture and the arts’, and will host live gigs from both national and international acts, as well as album launches and listening parties. It will aim to create a 'blank space' for emerging and underground talent.

The venue has been brought to life by BeSixth, who run East London’s The Pickle Factory and Oval Space. Dean James, co-owner and co-founder said: “We’re thrilled to finally open our doors at Canvas.

"With authenticity at the forefront of everything we do, our key ambition is to provide the most innovative space where emerging music and new talent can grow. We’re incredibly proud of our diverseness; in both what we do and who we are - from our growing Canvas community, right through to our teams.

"By giving people a platform to share and collaborate, Canvas has a really unique way of bringing together artists and audiences from underrepresented backgrounds.

“We try hard to avoid being polarised - I think it’s this passion that keeps us ahead of the curve and relevant to what our communities actually want adjoin to. Through the development of Canvas membership programmes, our long-term vision is to forge an environment that young creatives and grass-roots talent are not only excited to be a part of, but we also hope that they share in a sense of ownership with us too.”

While members’ clubs are not as prolific in Manchester as they are in London, Canvas memberships will be available for an affordable £15 a month for under 30s - in the form of a Canvas token (an NFT) - and will invite those who sign up to participate in events, panel discussions and wellness classes.

Confirmed panel discussions include Q&As on the challenges facing the media industry, while educational programmes will be brought to members from the likes of Carl Cox, Eats Everything, Becky Hill and more. Late summer will also see the arrival of a plunge pool and sauna, and will complement the variety of dance and fitness classes also on offer.

Above it all, a ground-floor restaurant, 100-cover Canvas Kitchen, open to the public from 7am to 4am every day, and a members’ lounge, Canvas Club. With ambitions to champion the diverse nature of the city, the restaurant will serve a variety of globally inspired small plates, international wines and cocktails.

From ‘invigorating’ health shots to cocktails that champion ‘a new breed of bartending’, menus at Canvas do not skimp. Guests will be able to sample everything from global breakfast plates of Merguez sausage with hummus and spinach, to larger international plates of Slow Chicken with corn-fed thighs, sweetcorn fritters and collard greens.

Located in Manchester University heartland, the Circle Square residential, commercial and leisure development is a joint venture between Bruntwood SciTech and Vita Group. Once it is fully completed, the space will feature a variety of restaurants, bars and pavement cafes all centred around Symphony Park - Manchester’s largest and newest city centre park.

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