Owned by charity Inner City Music Limited, Band on the Wall have unveiled plans to reopen the Victorian Cocozza building behind the current venue and combine the social and musical history of the two buildings.
The Bigger, Better, Stronger project will see the main venue increase from 340 to 520 capacity, create a second 80 cap venue for live music and film screenings as well as introduce a new studio classroom and rehearsal spaces.
Throughout its history Band on the Wall has housed performances from musicians belonging to migrant communities from all over the world including Italy, Ireland and South Asia to name a few.
A notable example includes a performance from Rudi Mancini in 1937 an accordion player of Italian heritage who performed on a stage halfway up the wall, giving the venue its quirky name.
Later in the 20th century, Band on the Wall became home to many Caribbean communities becoming well known for reggae. The Israel Youth Band, Manchester’s Twelve Tribes also rehearsed and performed at the venue led by Tee Carthy who still works at the venue now.
The £1.4m national lottery-funded project secures the future of Band on the Wall in a time where independent venues are under increased stress.
Expect lots of events for the community, rooted with music and culture of Manchester’s migrant histories. Programmes will include working with schools, funding a youth folk music orchestra, South Asian dance workshops and a large-scale jazz ensemble.
The next generation of Band on the Wall hopes to continue to inspire new musicians and be a place to learn and develop skills.
Band on the Wall, 25 Swan Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 5JZ