The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Manchester's Deaf Institute And Gorilla Have Closed For Good
Christian Eede , July 16th, 2020 22:31

Both are victims of the COVID-19 shutdown

Manchester venues Deaf Institute and Gorilla have permanently closed down.

As Manchester Evening News reports, bosses at Mission Mars, the company which runs both venues, confirmed the news today (July 16) after rumours began spreading around social media this week. They described the closures as a "difficult decision" and said that they were confirming the news with "great sadness." The financial hit of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown that followed were cited as the reason for the closures.

The 300-capacity Deaf Institute opened in 2008, while the 550-capacity Gorilla followed it in 2012. It's not known how many staff have been affected by the decision to close down both venues.

"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," Roy Ellis, CEO and founder of Mission Mars, said. "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.

"We appreciate that these music destinations are well loved and have provided an early stage for many acts in the North West and are therefore well known in the world of music. We would encourage any industry and music entrepreneurs who might be interested in this as an opportunity to please get in touch. We are extremely grateful to our hardworking teams and guests and followers for their loyal support over years."

The news of both venues' closure was met with sadness by a number of musicians. Taking to Twitter, New Order said that it was "very sad news for Manchester and music."

Also writing on Twitter, Tim Burgess said: "I've played and watched gigs in both and they were the lifeblood of Manchester's vital network of venues. It's awful news but seems inevitable that so many more independent venues will be lost."

The Deaf Institute had been a high profile supporter of UK Music's recently launched Let The Music Play campaign which called upon the government to do more to protect the UK's live music sector.