James Orchestral Tour – Manchester Apollo – 9 & 10 May 2023

Manchester Apollo, Stockport Road, Manchester M12 6AP

About the Venue

Opened in 1938, the Art Deco venue was originally named the Apollo Cine-Variety Theatre Ardwick and only became a dedicated concert venue in the 1970s when it stopped showing films. With a capacity of 3,500 standing/seats and 2,693 all seated, it was the city’s largest concert venue up until 1986 with the conversion of Manchester’s Central Station to the G-MEX (9,500/12,500 capacity) and 1995, when the Nynex Arena (now Manchester Arena) opened with a capacity of 21,000.

The interior of the Apollo is in a traditional Art Deco theatre style – plush seats with a stepped overhanging balcony and a gently sloping floor in the stalls should mean a good view for everyone.

Getting There

The venue is situated in the Ardwick area of Manchester, to the south-east of the city centre and although the venue only has a relatively small car park, there is plenty of street parking, or you can park in the centre and it’s about a 15 minute walk from Piccadilly Station.


The nearest train/tram stop to the Apollo is Manchester Piccadilly, and you can either walk the 0.6 miles along the A6 or there is a taxi rank at the station.

Walking route from Manchester Piccadilly


Several buses depart Manchester Piccadilly Gardens bus station every 10 mins or so and pass the Apollo – 192/201/203/204/205 are the best ones to catch. Single fare is £2 flat rate which you can pay contactless or cash.

Bus route from Piccadilly Gardens


The Apollo has 2 official car parks – one is next to the building and is usually reserved for Blue Badge Holders and the other is Marshall Street car park, which is open and supervised an hour before doors open and costs £10 CASH ONLY on entry. VIP attendees may need to park on the street if the car park isn’t open when you arrive. Use the postcode M12 6AJ for this car park.

There is plenty of street parking nearby – parking restrictions are that it is Resident Only until 6pm, but you can also park there for up to 3 hours – therefore, if you arrive after 3pm, you can park on any of the adjacent streets for the duration of the evening.

Surrounding streets with plenty parking are:

Apsley Grove, Dalberg Street, Dolphin Street, Harkness Street, Palfrey Place (in office/workshop units behind Apollo)

Beamish Close, Peace Road and surrounding streets (residential)

Ardwick Green N, Durling St, Cotter St (residential and around Ardwick Green Park – preferable so you’re not annoying the neighbours!)

Do double check parking restrictions when you get there to make sure you won’t get ticketed!

Things To Do In Manchester

If you’re not familiar with Manchester, there is a useful Visit Manchester website with all sorts of things to do and see, depending on your interests. There’s a section on places to Eat and Drink, along with suggestions of places to visit, such as the new garden at the Castlefield Viaduct, People’s History Museum, the National Football Museum and much more.

There isn’t much in the way of food and drink near to the Apollo, there’s a small pub called the Apsley Cottage Inn nearby, along with some takeaways and a McDonalds a few minutes walk away, The venue itself however, has 4 bars using contactless payment only (no cash).

If you have time, do go and visit the site of the old Hacienda, where there is a plaque to James as well as the music pavement plaques on Oldham Street, near to Affleck’s Palace.

The place where Tim met Larry and Jim when they stole his pint whilst he was dancing is in the basement of the Students Union building near to the Academy on Oxford Road

The band famously performed a set on top of the roof of the Piccadilly Hotel, overlooking Piccadilly Gardens in 1991 – this is a video of the full set:

You can download the map above here – https://ontheworldmap.com/uk/city/manchester/manchester-city-center-map.jpg – the Apollo isn’t marked but is in the bottom left square, G6

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