We are so lucky at the University of Salford to have a huge range of arts and culture on our doorstep, both in Salford itself, and just down the road in Manchester city centre.

Somewhere that’s combining my interest in both the North West’s legendary music scene, and the region’s reputation for being at the forefront of technology is the Science and Industry Museum. Their latest exhibition “Use Hearing Protection” charts the early days of Factory Records through immersive art and sound installations, including letting visitors loose on a mixing desk to create their own “unique” interpretations of the classic tracks from that era.

Discounted entry is available for students, and you can book a slot on their website. Plus, read on for my review of my visit, as well as some recommendations as to where else to put on your must-visit list as a music-loving student in our region.

My thoughts…

A fellow Salford student and I were invited to go and check out the Science and Industry Museum’s new exhibition, ‘Use Hearing Protection’, and let’s just say we had a blast!

This exhibit is for all the Indie fans out there, which if you’re living in Manchester, you’re most likely to be already!  Located just next to Deansgate, the Science and Industry Museum is the perfect activity for a day out in Manny…

Learn all about the history of Factory Records from 1978 to 1982 and how their success gave the city of Manchester an ‘authentic voice and distinctive identity’. We were able to fully immerse ourselves in the exhibition with interactive technology from the 1980s! I personally thought I was a master of the synthesizer by the time we Ieft. Not to mention how we fangirled over the handwritten letters from bands such as Joy Division and New Order! The artwork was phenomenal and we spent ages gawking over the band covers, posters and amazing photography. We were even told that some of the original models had come back to see these images in person -my favourite being an image of two young women who had remained friends all these years!

Not only that, but the team had set up one of the rooms for a private event. Everything looked magical with all the projections and lights, my flatmate told me ‘It’s like we’re in a music video of our own!’ which I couldn’t agree with more. The Hacienda hallway was also just as enchanting, all of which can be seen in the TikTok video we’ve made below. Be sure to check it out!


This is is for all you music nerds.❤️ to Science and Industry Museum for the look around. Link in bio for why our region is the one for a culture fix!


Manchester is known for its great taste in music and is still producing more influential musicians every year! Some of our new favourites would have to include The 1975, the Courteneers, Aitch and of course one for the mums…Take That. But where can you check out some of the best music spots in Manchester? Well thanks to the history of Factory Records, I’ve collated a list of some hit places to visit if you consider yourself an Indie fan…

Vinyl Exchange (Northern Quarter)

Nothing says edgy like taking a wander round a record store. In fact, after we’d finished our little outing to the Science and Industry Museum, my flatmate and I headed straight there to immerse ourselves in even more Joy Division! It’s great if you want to learn more about Manchester’s roots, listen to some oldie but goldie hits from bands such as Oasis and the Stone Roses, and enjoy a traditional way of listening to music!

42s Nightclub

If you haven’t heard of 42’s and you’ve been living in Manchester for a while now, you must be hiding under a rock! 42’s is the absolute go to for an Indie night out. I’ve been and absolutely loved it! If you’re not a fan of the top 40 UK Hits then head on down to 42’s where you’ll spend the night belting out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of your lungs. Not to mention the cheap drinks, wicked atmosphere and super chill vibes the club dishes out on a Thursday night. Don’t fancy wearing those heels? Neither do we! Swap ‘em for a pair of trainers and dance the night away!

The Ritz

Consider yourself an old soul? Kick it in Manchester’s oldest nightclub, The Ritz! Located on Deansgate, the Ritz plays some super banging tunes, offers £1.90 drinks to students, and still hosts live music events for when you’re really in the mood to #rockandroll.

NQ64 Arcade

There’s nothing more retro and cool than this arcade bar! Spend all day and night playing some of the most classic games on original arcade machines! Games include Pac Man, Mortal Combat, Robo Cop, Street Fighter, Guitar Hero, Dancing Stage and more! The drinks are delicious, and the atmosphere is amazing. Not to forget the banging Indie tunes they play!

Foundation Coffee House

Not a fan of a wild night out? Don’t worry, we could all do with a break! Hit up Foundation Coffee House for a chilled out, Indie afternoon. With great coffee, space to study and a super cosy atmosphere, Foundation definitely motivates you to getting that essay that’s been playing on your mind, done!

The Bread Shed

One final spot I’d recommend is The Bread Shed for the ultimate live music experience at an affordable price. If you’re into a more techno and dub scene, they’ve got an incredible venue for you to bust a move in. It also has live events for all the Indie lovers out there and stays open as late as 4am! This one is most definitely for the night owls…

Thanks to ‘Use Hearing Protection’ my friend and I were able to get excited about Indie music and living in the big city all over again! Be sure to check out the Science and Industry Museum and all these hot spots we’ve listed just for you. Let us know your favourite in the comments and happy listening!