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Mason Maynard's Guide to clubbing in Manchester

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At 22 years old, Mason Maynard lives and breathes the Manchester nightclub scene. Returning to his home city after a residency at Eric Prydz’s night in Ibiza, he gives us his hottest tips for Freshers gearing up for their big move to one of the UK’s biggest student cities.

It suffices to say, Manchester is alive and buzzing. An eclectic dynamism of people, businesses, restaurants and venues, it’s no wonder it attracts one of the largest numbers of students to its streets every year. “Manchester has a mixed bag of people from all walks of life,” Mason echoes. “There’s always something going on, everyone’s friendly and it’s easy for someone who’s never been here to come and make friends. People look out for each other even when they’re total strangers.”

The warmth and welcoming nature of Mancunians also extends into its pumping nightlife scene. Iconic for its live music events, promotion of new, up-and-coming artists and plethora of diverse nightclubs, Mason has experienced first hand (as a young producer) how the city’s creatives provide stepping stones for one another: “I think the different music scenes that we house make for a quite unified place in which everybody supports each other.”

So, in terms of a night out, Manchester and “good time” are synonymous. For all of you preening yourselves ahead of a couple of weeks of Freshers mayhem, Mason is here to point you in the right direction. Here’s the lowdown of his 5 best venues for a night you’ll never forget.

1. The Warehouse Project, Store Street

“This venue I definitely call home...there’s something about every single time you’re queuing up on a dark wet Friday and Saturday, you just get a feeling that you can only describe having experience [it] yourself...Every single night I’ve been there has been a highlight of clubbing...the line-ups are world class.”

Hosting stonkingly good names including Annie Mac, Danny Howard, Chase & Status, Bonobo and Bugzy Malone (I could go on and on…) Warehouse Project (WHP) is a haven for dance music lovers across the country.

Devastatingly, we will soon be saying goodbye to the infamous Warehouse Project at Store Street, after the final decision was made to close the venue at the end of 2018. Mason is sure it will continue to be “mecca” of clubbing in Manchester, and the UK.

2. Albert Hall

Haven’t you heard the saying that all good music venues are hidden away inside a restored and resurrected Wesleyan chapel? Well, Albert Hall certainly proves that. An unparalleled host of some of the biggest names in the industry, Mason (rightfully so) has “nothing but love" for this venue.

“Similar vibe to Store Street in that you know everyone and all your mates are together in one place…[it] makes the night all the better as everyone you want near you is at arm’s length.”

From boozy bingo nights and Oktoberfest raves, to live performances from Jorja Smith, Sigrid and Sonny Fodera, Albert Hall certainly has it all.

3. Gorilla

“This one is about 700 capacity and when it’s full, it’s a sweaty zoo which can make for some of the best nights around,”

With a busy line-up of beautifully endearing sets from the likes of Alice Merton, raucous raves with Mitski and Sofi Tukker, and wildly daring hip-hop horror nights around Halloween, Gorilla is a smorgasbord of dynamic, diverse nights out.

4. Joshua Brooks

Since its inception in 1993, Joshua Brooks has stood at the very forefront of Manchester’s music scene; it bursts with underground grooves and hosts some of the biggest names in electronic, house & techno.

“This is another venue that has the sweaty zoo kind of feel. On any given night you can go here and easily have a blast,”

If you’ve a penchant for the sticky, acid house raves of the 80s then Joshua Brooks is the place for you.

5. Sankeys

While you fresh-faced bunch won’t be able to experience it in its prime, Sankeys is last - but absolutely not least - on Mason’s list.

“[Sankeys] will forever live on as an iconic part of Manchester nightlife. 2 floors of raving until 6am, always busy with likeminded people and...an instrumental part in many DJs careers,”

Set in an old soap manufacturing hall, the Sankeys dynasty was built on incredible underground electronic music - mainly house, techno and drum & bass with the odd theme night sprinkled in for good measure. Its down-to-earth ethos (and its popular no gum policy) attracted the likes of Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers and local boys New Order, and successfully put Manchester on the global map of clubbing cool.

Catch Mason at The Warehouse Project on the 29th September alongside Solardo, Claude Vonstroke, Heidi and more.

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