People dancing in DBA events space with colour lights and music.

Grassroots venues in Manchester need the love.  

Derby Brewery Arms is among one of the few grassroots nightlife venues as drinking and music culture is changing, so what does the future look like for nightlife? 

The venue (known locally as the DBA) is a beautiful grade II listed building in the heart of Cheetham Hill and one of Manchester’s grassroots pubs and music venues. The dramatic decline in pubs and nightlife spaces and with drinking culture slowly dwindling to more sober-curious coming through the generations, do grassroots venues have a chance to thrive?  

Mancheste's music scene has slowly been declining but this grade II listed events space, DBA is keeping grassroots venue alive.
The DBA is in the heart of Cheetham Hill and brings many partygoers to its vicinity each week for its rich history in the music and nightlife scene. Credit: Martha Norris.

Samuel Proietti (aka SAMSET), who hosts events at DBA, commented: “Venues like this are a chance to revitalise Manchester’s nightlife, which has been killed by the escalating cost of living crisis. It’s such a shame because Manchester’s vibrant nightlife scene is a crucial aspect of the city’s cultural identity and economic vitality, preserving the very essence of Manchester’s cultural identity and social fabric through the power of music.

Allowing Manchester’s creativity to flow freely isn’t just an investment in our city’s cultural vitality; it’s an investment in our future prosperity

“The government needs to take action and financially support these great venues committed to fostering community engagement and inclusivity. By removing barriers and providing support to venues, we empower local artists, entrepreneurs, and event organizers to unleash their innovative ideas and talents.” 

The Music Venue Trust is a charity which is creating opportunities to save grassroots venues across the UK and help with funding from expensive VAT costs. A spokesperson said: “One of the major factors on which we lobby is the need for recognition of Grassroots Music Venues (GMVs) as cultural venues.  

“Too often the perception that they are profit-making businesses/bars/ nightclubs means that they are treated harshly by local authorities and local police.  

“All arts centres and theatres have licensed bars, yet they are not treated as if serving alcohol is their main business and are regulated accordingly. And GMVs are rarely successful in applying for cultural funding.” 

Twitter post explaining MPS to call for stadiums and areas to give a £1 levy to support grassroots venues voluntarily.

Places like DBA are important for the success of keeping a sense of history in the nightlife field but also for keeping it affordable and accessible.

The horizon of the colourful nightlife in Manchester is changing slowly, events like SAMESET are helping grassroots venues a place to keep coming back to.  

For more updates on Grassroots venues keep updated here