Two of Manchester’s best-loved music venues have closed down for good.
Both the Deaf Institute on Grosvenor Street and Gorilla on Whitworth Street have been unable to weather the storm caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bosses at Mission Mars, the company behind both sites, confirmed the news today after rumours began swirling on social media, describing it as a ‘difficult decision’ announced with ‘great sadness’.
The Deaf Institute has been part of Manchester’s musical fabric for more than a decade, while Gorilla joined the scene in 2012.
Despite their intimate size, both have hosted some of the biggest names in music at all stages of their careers, from The 1975 to Florence and the Machine to Kylie Minogue.
Now neither venue will be reopening, even after lockdown measures are eased enough to permit live indoor performances.
Roy Ellis, CEO and founder of Mission Mars said: “The Deaf Institute and Gorilla have been at the forefront of the music scene in Manchester for many years and it is with great sadness that we announce that we will not be reopening.
“This difficult decision has been made against the backdrop of COVID 19 and the enforced closure of all of our sites and with continued restrictions upon opening of live music venues.
“We appreciate that these music destinations are well loved and have provided an early stage for many acts in the North West and are therefore well known in the world of music.
“We would encourage any industry and music entrepreneurs who might be interested in this as an opportunity to please get in touch.
“We are extremely grateful to our hardworking teams and guests and followers for their loyal support over years.”
The 300-capacity Deaf Institute was recently part of the Let the Music Play campaign, appealing for a £50m government rescue package.
Around 90 per cent of grassroots venues are believed to be at risk of permanent closure.
Deaf Institute has hosted countless intimate gigs and club nights since it opened in 2008, in a Grade-II listed building near Manchester Met University.
Spread over three floors, with a bar and restaurant on the ground floor specialising in vegan food, it’s known for its eclectic interiors, giant glitter ball, and for launching up-and-coming musicians of all genres.
The venue was also the home of the CityLife Awards for several years.
It’s not yet known how many staff will be affected by the closure.
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