A POPULAR Bury bar and music venue is preparing to celebrate a big birthday.

The Blind Tiger will mark 15 years of being at the heart of the borough’s music scene since opening its doors in Bolton Street.

Over the years the venue has hosted some of the UK’s hottest bands and gained a reputation as one of the region’s nightlife hotspots.

To mark the milestone occasion The Blind Tiger has lined-up a series of rocking events to celebrate its anniversary in style.

James Morris, The Blind Tiger’s owner, said: “We would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last 15 years and made The Blind Tiger what it is.

“We are one of the only independent bars in Bury that has lasted this long and we are still going strong.”

The Blind Tiger opened for business in Bury in 2005 aiming to champion music in a unique venue.

It takes its name from a slang term for American speakeasies during the prohibition era.

Such illegal bars would put up secret signs so people keen for a tipple and good time would know there was a party and live music going on inside.

James said: “I wanted it to be something a bit different to everything else in Bury with a focus on live music and DJs. At the time we were one of the first to do more diverse and exotic spirits and beers before craft beer took off.

“It’s a bit like a little Cheers bar, everyone knows each other and we never have any trouble.

“We’re not just here to make money its a proper community.”

In 2012 The Blind Tiger branched out to open another bar in Bolton which quickly became one of the town’s top music venues during its stint, and for a time had another location in Wigan.

It has also taken over at the former Artisan bar in Rawtenstall since 2017.

Already a well established music venue in its own right, James and The Blind Tiger have injected the bar’s unique personality drawing in some of the UKs best underground bands and tribute artists.

The Blind Tiger was also instrumental in creating and hosting the annual Glaston-Bury music festival.

Among James’s innumerable Blind Tiger highlights have been sets from Blossoms, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Inspiral Carpet’s Clint Boon.

He added: “We have made loads of friends over the years and that’s the real highlight for me.”

In honour of its 15th anniversary The Blind Tiger is set to host a big birthday bash on February 22.

The party will kick off from 3pm and feature live music from Scratch and other guests artists, followed by DJ John Leather into the early hours.

Fore more details visit www.theblindtiger.co.uk/