I have been to a few concerts at the MEN, the latest of which was the X-factor tour, and the acoustics are incredible. Whether it’s a pop concert or a classical extravaganza; the Manchester Evening News Arena (MEN) is the place in Manchester for world class performances.
Try to arrive early as the bars and toilets get really crowded. To avoid longer queues head to one of the bars a bit further from the main entrances. You’ll find that drinks are served in plastic containers but they can be taken into the arena. Once the show starts you won’t be able to leave and re-enter the building; the MEN has no designated smoking areas due to various issues.
Souvenirs can be purchased from a shop inside the MEN. You will also find rogue traders selling souvenirs and tickets outside, but you are advised to avoid these; Ticketmaster is the MEN’s official booking agent.
Inside the Seating Area
The layout of the venue varies depending on the performance, but your tickets will detail the layout for that particular show. If you want to get close to the acts then it’s best to sit at ground level, which is often closed off from the other seating areas during performances. The upper levels are unbelievably steep, and access to seats is via stone steps with very few safety rails, so be careful! Not all seats are accessible to wheelchair users, but the MEN have specific disabled seating areas so it’s best to check beforehand.
If you want to enhance your concert experience, the MEN offers a number of packages, but these are expensive.
Starting with the most affordable; ‘The View Experience’ costs from £80 per person. This gives you a VIP seating area, and a dedicated bar and entrance, which opens half an hour earlier than the main entrances.
The hospitality packages start at £185.00 per person plus VAT and you have a choice of Bronze Silver or Gold packages. All of these include a hospitality suite and premier seats in the VIP area.
Rather than a one off experience, you could opt for membership of the Concert Club at £1750 plus VAT for a standard membership of four seats. All members can use the premier lounge, they receive advanced notice when event tickets go on sale, and their seats are reserved for two weeks.
I’ve got a further two events booked at the MEN Arena for later this year: Peter Kay in October, and Rihanna in November. It will be interesting to see how a comedy act plays out in such a large arena. As for Rihanna, I can’t wait!
Image Credit: Gene Hunt