Manchester’s Old Abbey Taphouse has built a recording studio and rehearsal space to help musicians.

The pub, run by licensees Rachele Evaroa and Craig Thomas, specialises in putting on live music events and helping performers.

Rachele says: “It engages people more than DJs and we need to find ways to keep it going. You need grassroots spaces where musicians can start performing.”

Rachele and Craig are also musicians themselves (listen to the music in the background of this video).

The pub in the middle of Manchester Science Parks also works with the university and local scientists to run projects.

It has a mushroom farm lab, and will soon open a microbrewery and a holistic room for wellbeing and massages. For more, keep an eye out for our Famous For feature in the January issue of Inapub.

Need some tips on hosting live music in your pub? Here is Rachele and Craig’s advice.


  1. Get a basic budget PA system and some microphones for around £100 and invite bands down to try it out.
  2. If you don’t have the space, you don’t need to get a full band in with drums and lots of kit. Find some smaller interesting acts.
  3. Tie live music in with other events. The Old Abbey Taphouse runs a supper club which also showcases live acts. 
  4. Pay your musicians, or at least offer travel and food expenses. That way you can persuade quality acts to perform.
  5. It’s not the fame of the band that will pull in customers. It’s the whole experience package. You need to partner the music with a good food and drink offering, and promote the event to create a buzz around it. 

For more help, read these five tips for holding live events. Or take a look at these pubs, one has its own radio station and this one won £10,000 to transform its live music offer.