Reported today in local newspaper, The Manchester Evening News, both the Deaf Institute on Grosvenor Street and Gorilla on Whitworth Street in central Manchester are to be closed permanently as a direct result of the global pandemic.
There’s something of an irony to the news considering the on-going battle every major city continues to face from developers ear-marking our cultural nightspots as prime real estate. In spite of all their bluster, money and influence, and our steely determination, community spirit and togetherness, it’s taken a microscopic virus to gut our home towns of the clubs we fondly remember, and nights out that wallpaper the insides of our minds.
Roy Ellis, CEO and founder of Mission Mars who own both venues 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.”
Despite their size, both the Deaf Institute (300 Capacity) and Gorilla (600 Capacity) has hosted acts as diverse as The 1975, Florence and The Machine and Kylie Minogue as well as dance and alternative acts such as John Digweed, Todd Terje, and Leafcutter John.
It’s currently unknown how many staff are affected by the closures. Estimates suggest up to 90% of small venues are at risk of closure which will decimate the grassroots music scenes in the UK in spite of the UK Government announcing a £1.57 Billion investment fund for Arts and Culture.