IT started out as a joke, but now a Sale man and his two friends are hoping to revolutionise Manchester night life.

After Craig Gidley and his friends Craig Davies from Worsley and Stephen Powell from Oldham found themselves fed up waiting in the rain for a nightclub in Spinningfields they had a light bulb moment.

The trio all aged 31 from Manchester, became determined to create an app to help other club-goers in the city from standing in the rain, to help them find the best bars, have drinks ready on arrival or find which bars have VIP booths available.

Local man, Mr Gidley said: "We were in a taxi , 11 o'clock at night, on the way to a club, not even knowing if we would get in. We started talking hypothetically about this app where we would be able to get queue jump for the club before we even got there.

"We talked more and more about it and spoke to other people about our idea and everyone seemed to agree and like the idea, so we decided to go forward and make a pitch."

Together, they pitched their app 'Viper' to Entrepreneurial Spark, a programme by NatWest for early stage and growing ventures and got accepted.

Mr Davies said: “We absolutely love Manchester for a night out, but we know first-hand there are issues to be resolved in terms how customers currently spend their nights and we feel that Viper is a huge step in improving that in an innovative and exciting way.

“No longer will customers have to walk 30 minutes across the city to find they have to queue another 30 minutes to get into a bar. No longer will users have to message a bar on Twitter or phone them up days in advance to book VIP – Viper lets you do it on the night.

Viper will be for the top clubs in Manchester, with the likes of Bijou Club, Epernay, Living Room, Artisan and Be At One already signed up.

Business Development Manager at Epernay, Carla McMaster, said: “We're really excited to be involved with Viper and especially look forward to them launching later this month.

"We will be using the app to promote our featured nights, offer exclusive deals and make sure all our customers get the most from their Epernay experience.

"The Manchester nightlife industry is incredibly competitive and we feel that being part of Viper app network is a great way of us being able to market our bar to our target audience."

All of the money made from Viper will go straight back into maintenance, improvements and developments for the app and the entrepreneurs are hoping to expand into other cities including: Liverpool, Birmingham and London.

Viper has taken a year to develop and will be available on iOS and Android and is free to download. Users can pre-subscribe to the Viper app ahead of the launch by heading to You can also follow @viper on Instagram and Twitter.