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  • 4.0 star rating
    9/4/2012
    Listed in Mancy Manc

    I came to the G-Mex wearing a suit for the careers expo, and I was back a month later was wearing glow Mau5 ears at the Deadmau5 show.

    As far as being versatile, it transitioned well. I would have never thought it's the same place. It's nothing out-of-this-world, but I'm not sure where either of those events would have been held otherwise.

  • 3.0 star rating
    4/11/2013
    3 check-ins here

    Gigs, concerts, events, talks, conferences, you name it - if it's an event, it can be held here!

    Fatboy Slim was a one of the many gigs I came to here - an all nighter which was FREEZING cold, but it also holds other events like the Manchester Tattoo Festival on a yearly basis and other major events like the UFC weigh ins, Q&A's etc.

    It's a huge venue with space to bring in more or less anything through the doors, however it's not tiered for concerts so the sound quality at gigs etc. can be a little poor. They usually have burger vans pulled in and a set up of chairs and tables outside them.

    It's not a place I'd rave about but there's nothing bad about it!

  • 3.0 star rating
    30/1/2010

    A must for historians, trainspotters and Madchester fans, Manchester Central is an impressive, Grade II listed building that's been part of the city's landscape for over 130 years.

    Originally built as a train station, it's a truly gigantic space with beautiful arches and an impressive dome shaped roof. Alas, the trains departed the building for good in the 1960s and Manchester Council transformed it into an exhibition centre and music venue in the late 1970s. Renamed Manchester G-Mex, it played host to sold out shows by bands like James and Happy Mondays during the height of Madchester music scene.

    In 2007, G-Mex was renamed Manchester Central and the council started a new plan to renovate and redevelop the building at a proposed cost of - wait for this! - £28 million. The foyer has already been rebuilt as a swanky and soul-less concrete and glass space and there's plans to build more meeting rooms. I'd love to tell you that the space is mainly being used as an incredible music venue but alas, it's main use seems to be for wedding trade shows and political party conferences. Damn shame.

  • 3.0 star rating
    29/9/2009
    First to Review

    Gmex, sorry - Manchester Central, seems to have had a bit of an identity crisis over the past few years. And now on top of name changes it is in the midst of getting a makeover: a new entrance.

    It's Manchester's answer to massive exhibition and convention centres like Earl's Court.. And I mean massive. You'll end up coming here for Bridal fairs or Snowboarding festivals. Or as I did for the Ucas stalls in sixth form so we could try and decide where to spend the next three years of our lives.

    The whole point of Gmex is that it can transform to meet the needs of the latest convention so even though the outside is pretty monumental, the only thing you will probably remember from your time here is the Cafe. Unless a friend of yours who has been declaring he will study drama at Cambridge is told that the grand university doesn't actually offer that course. All its famous ex-students studied other subjects. Oops.

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/11/2009

    Haha, I have to agree with Sophie on this one, it is still and always will be the GMEX.

    Visitors to Manchester always assume it's a train station and it did actually used to be Manchester Central station but that was way back in the day and closed in 1969.

    But it is now known as Manchester Central, an exhibition centre/music venue/conference centre/sports venue.

    It recently hosted the Conservative party conference and received huge praise on how well it was handled. Most weekends you'll find wedding and careers fairs, sports exhibitions, furniture shows and even gigs being held here.

    In 2002 it even hosted some events for the Commonwealth Games whilst they were being held in Manchester.

    I went to see James perform here last year and the anticipation was huge as they has played here before in 1990 and it was known as one of their most memorable gigs... it was every bit as amazing as I thought it would be.

    The possibilities of Manchester Central are endless, it is essentially a big open space that can turn into pretty much anything people need it for and so far it has been doing it's job very well.

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/2/2010

    G-MEX was once a bustling busy train station, now they've converted it into one for the best music venues I've ever been. My particular experience involved watching bloc party, something like a 3 hour set which nearly made me keel over from the movement and crowds.

    G-MEX does BIGG events, so I doubt you're going to watch your mates band there, but still it remains a personal atmosphere and if you're mad enough for it you can crush your way to the front and enjoy getting your rib caged compacted as the crowds surge forward into the barrier, always a giggle.

    Crowd surfing ain't a "right mate out you go", scenario which is nice so feel free to jump around. Loads of bars usually near the entrance and tons of toilets. Uber good.

  • 4.0 star rating
    23/2/2010

    Once came to a graduate recruitment fair here for which I was encouraged to wear a suit - "think of it as the first part of a job interview". God help me, it was so, so depressing. Be that as it may, my appreciation of the illustrious industrious grandeur of the building was enough to nullify my crushing despair at the at once competetive and empty state of the graduate job market.

    The building is beautiful in a monumental sort of way. Think about it - Manchester has no Big Ben, no Tower Bridge or Gaudi Cathedral, no Liver Buildings or Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty. No monuments by which the city can define itself. However, looking at the grandiosity of this place, I am instantly flushed with a definite sense of time and space and location - it feels like Manchester itself - closest thing the city has to a monument.

    As a gig venue, well, consider this - the place used to be a train station. Stations are almost renowned for their echoey qualities, and no amount of curtains and upholstery will save this. And yet, without exception you seem to get bands who wield loud and wholesome sounds playing here - Bloc Party, The Verve, Courteeners, Ian Brown, James - this quasi-cavernous space will not swallow up any low-key acoustic performances. Rather, it will find itself filled and, instantly, you will have yourself atmosphere.

  • 4.0 star rating
    17/3/2010

    A huge convention centre and music venue that's played host to huge bands like Elbow and probably-shouldn't-be-so-huge bands like The Courteeners in recent times, Manchester Central is an awesome building that's steeped in history but also brings Manchester into the present.

    An old railway station (go on google, look at the old photos. It's very eerie to think that it used to be a bustling train station), the architecture of the place is of course amazing and its curved roof makes for a space that is both cavernous and inclusive.

    I actually think the name change is for the better, and is an improved reflection on the history of this grand old building. It was built as a train station in the 1800s after all. What's all this G-Mex malarkey?

    • Qype User MissCa…
    • Manchester
    • 56 friends
    • 296 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    4/8/2010

    Manchester Central you say? Pah! Where I come from, this place is - and always will be - known as the GMex centre, or 'that place I had to do a school project on when I was twelve'.

    The GMex has had a lot of work done to it over the past few years, and has come a long way on from the venue where I saw my first gig (Blur in case you were wondering) with my Mum back in 1995. It's had a fair lick of paint, and a name change. Although I'd argue that with the name change, some of the charm has gone from the old place.

    Whilst it's still used for gigs every now and then, its main purpose appears to be as an exhibition hall. On any given weekday, you'll usually find some bored conference goers milling about the area who are taking a breather from their thrilling Car Park Concrete redevelopment event or some such. Or a member of the Labour Party who appear to have a habit of coming there for their Party Conferences during the Autumn. And, as far as I can tell, it's still a cracking little space. Which is should be considering that it used to be a graceful old train station and is a Grade 2 listed building.

    In a sense, it's lovely to see Manchester Central still being used to its full capacity on such a regular basis - particularly as in the early 1980s it was left to fall into a criminal state of disrepair. If you can ignore the fact that big business is trying to turn it into just another soulless conference centre, it really is a beautiful building, and a truly wonderful symbol of Manchester's proud industrial heritage.

    • Qype User Mr_Sif…
    • Sheffield, South Yorkshire
    • 7 friends
    • 127 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    20/11/2008

    A fantastic venue to go and see bands. The former train station is a huge vast open space.

    I went to see the Arctic Monkeys here last December and the night was fantastic. However the prices inside were very expensive!

    • Qype User vicky…
    • Manchester
    • 5 friends
    • 39 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    9/12/2007

    A brilliant place to watch a gig. I saw Ian Brown here last night and it was superb. Sounded great and even though it was sold out there was still room to move around.

    The toilets weren't very well situated as you had to negotiate your way around the crowd to get to them which was hard.

    Drink was really expensive £3.20 for a beer/smirnoff/wine which was pre poured. But there wasn't much choice when you're in there. Also something which was annoying - I dont know if thats the same everywhere but you weren't allowed to go out and come back in again. A lot of people missed the encore because of this.

    There was loads of food to buy in there. There was lots of space and room to move about. It was a really good atmnosphere!

    • Qype User Paulo_…
    • Manchester
    • 36 friends
    • 231 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    29/9/2008

    Bit of an icon on the city landscape now rather than a serious player in the concert game and more renown these days as a conference centre (although the actual conference centre is next door in a modern purpose built complex) and only last week it hosted the Labour Party Conference under the new branding of 'Manchester Central'.
    I've seen a few gigs here, back in the past (pre MEN Arena) and more recently. It's huge and cavernous and not really suited for this game anymorebut at busy times of the year and when all the many other venues are booked up, it serves the purpose rather well.
    It's soon to undertake another refurbishment - the glass cladding and skirting are looking a little dated these days. Be pleased that the architects are Stephenson Bell, who designed the new Conference centre next door and are experts in bringing old Manchester building back to life.

    • Qype User jowadd…
    • Manchester
    • 14 friends
    • 156 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    19/11/2008

    I first went to this venue when i was 6years old and its still bringing in the crowds. Hosting top music events and exhibitions, its close to the shops bars and transport and miles better than its rival venue MEN Arena!

    • Qype User lisago…
    • Manchester
    • 14 friends
    • 149 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    7/11/2007

    The G-Mex centre now known as Manchester Central Conference Centre used to hold the biggest concerts in Manchester but now hosts exhibitions. In the past it has held an erotica exhibition, holiday homes in Spain and coming up an international arts fair. I think it is best suited to exhibitions as now Manchester has the M.E.N. and I don't think the fantastic architecture of the MCC roof could hold up massive PA systems any longer. Highly recommended

    • Qype User Pigle…
    • Manchester
    • 1 friend
    • 26 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    22/11/2007

    I saw Morrissey here a year ago and the venue is ideal for gigs of that size. It's all-standing so you can wander where you like, there's plenty of room even when it's sold out. Beer is crap quality and expensive though there is a decent selection of alcohol including wine and alcopops, food is better than most gig venues but it's also expensive. Eat and drink before you arrive.

    • Qype User george…
    • Bury, Greater Manchester
    • 2 friends
    • 50 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    25/11/2008

    Manchester central is the original name of the train station it once was during the industrial revolution. A few years after it closed down it was renamed GMEX. Now back to the original name, it is the venue for exhibitions, conferences and gigs. I've been here many times for the holiday exhibition and UCAS university events. Its a very big place and easy to get lost. Iconic place easy to access from the tram station next-to it.

    • Qype User chippa…
    • Manchester
    • 0 friends
    • 2 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    11/3/2010

    Excellent venue and so much atmosphere. According to the courteeners there was 10,000 people packed in and the roof nearly came down with the amazing performance. The sound quality was amazing and the lighting show was brilliant. If you get the chance go see a live bad there, even the Whip and Buzzcocks supporting the Courteeners held the crowd. But it did take the main event to light the hall and bring the massive venue to a climax.

    • Qype User Tile…
    • Manchester
    • 0 friends
    • 5 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    13/8/2011

    Central (Formally known as Gmex) is fast becoming THE place for mainstream bands to perform in manchester! It is a massive building, which feels like an aircraft hanger inside! Security where good with crowd controll, although the usual overpriced beer and drinks have to take this down a star! The acoustics for a hall this big is awesome and I would go as far to say it IS better than the MEN for it.
    In all  great building for gigs!

    • Qype User KevCam…
    • Manchester
    • 2 friends
    • 360 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    26/6/2012 Updated review

    Large indoor area primarily used for large exhibition events but sometimes for performances and other things. Easily accessible via bus then walking from Piccadilly Gardens or from Oxford Road and also via the Metrolink with its own station. Parking around the site is limited and usually is a nightmare at peak times from getting out of the city centre

    3.0 star rating
    10/6/2012 Previous review
    This absolutely huge arena/space in Manchester is becoming a favourite place for big gigs/fairs to… Read more
    • Qype User terenc…
    • Saint Helens, Merseyside
    • 9 friends
    • 37 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    4/12/2010

    Been 2 a few gigs here & don't really rate the acoustics. Don't get me wrong, I kind've like the way it's set, with all standing and it's good 2 move about & get a decent spec if ur of average height. It's just that this place wasn't made 4 this sole purpose & u feel like ur watching a band in an aircraft hanger. Maybe some think it adds 2 the venues character. Although there r practical & sound issues, it's not all bad. I just prefer other venues. Popular venue 4 an established artist/band, about 2 hit a bigger mainstream audience.

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