It is common knowledge that if you’re looking for high-quality concerts and live music gigs, there’s no place like the United Kingdom. The UK has a large variety of top-notch music venues which have hosted the live performances of many important players from the worldwide music scene. In this article, we have listed the venues which are, in our opinion, the best places in the country for attending live music shows. No matter what genre you’re into, these locations have a lot to offer! So, in case you have trouble deciding where to go to for a perfect night out, read on.
1. The Jazz Cafe
The Jazz Cafe is a world-class venue located in the Camden Town district of London. Contrary to what the name implies, this place is far from being limited to jazz music lovers. While it’s undoubtedly an amazing hub for jazz performances, events at Jazz Cafe also include exciting club nights as well as hip-hop and dance music gigs. Opened back in 1992, the venue has hosted the gigs of many legendary music figures, like Amy Winehouse, Adele, D’Angelo or Bobby Womack. Some of the events to look out for this year are:
- Milestones (Jan 16, tickets starting at £11.50),
- The Wire (10 Feb, tickets starting at £17)
- Nick Waterhouse (21 Feb, tickets starting at £22.5).
2. Electric Ballroom
The Electric Ballroom is another fantastic venue located in the heart of Camden Town, London. With a capacity of 1100 people, this is one of the most awesome places on the planet if you love genres like alternative rock, indie rock, metal or pop music. The Electric Ballroom has a fascinating history of over seven decades. During all this time, it has welcomed an overwhelming number of iconic performers, like Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, The Smiths, Joy Division, Prince, The Clash, Public Enemy, Garbage or Blur. This year, the show will not disappoint either. You’d get a chance to see:
- Beardyman (Jan 20, early bird tickets from £5),
- Trentemoller (Jan 28, tickets from £20),
- Alex Clare (Jan 31, advance tickets from £20),
- Evil Scarecrow (Feb 3, tickets from £12.5) later this winter.
If those are amongst your favourite bands and singers, you most certainly need to pay a visit to the Electric Ballroom!
3. Motion Bristol
There is a tonne of reasons for you to visit Motion Bristol, especially if you’re into genres like house, techno, dubstep, drum & bass or electronic music. Situated right in the heart of the city, the venue is considered to be amongst the most electrifying nightclubs on the globe.
Depending on the particular event, the capacity of Motion Bristol ranges between 700 and 2500 people. Every year, the venue hosts the Bristol In Motion electronic music festival, which brings together some of the top performers from the entire world. Apart from that, Motion Bristol has welcomed many widely-acclaimed bands and musicians, like Bloc, Annie Mac, Cocoon or Lacuna Coil. Later this winter, Motion Bristol will host shows of:
- Loyle Carner (Feb 12, but currently it seems that all tickets have been sold out),
- Todd Terje (Feb 10, tickets from £20.7)
as well as a variety of fun festivals, including:
- Free Rave Night (Jan 13, tickets at as low as £1),
- Regression Session (Jan 21, easy bird tickets at £6.8),
- Boogie Nights (Jan 20, early bird tickets at £12).
Established in 1987, Limelight is the most sensational live music venue in Belfast and probably in the entire Northern Ireland. The location is ideal for enjoying live performances from metal, rock and indie bands. In addition to that, the venue often promotes new talents and emerging stars. Therefore, no matter when you go to the Limelight, you’re bound to have an amazing evening! The list of bands and artists who have hosted live gigs here is nothing short of astonishing! It includes many legendary names like Oasis, Fall Out Boy, Placebo, Snow Patrol, Blur, Arctic Monkeys, Moby, Slayer or Echo and the Bunnymen. This winter, Limelight will welcome:
- The Felice Brothers (Jan 19, tickets from £17.5),
- Black Peaks (Jan 28, tickets from £12.5),
- Frightened Rabbit (Feb 7, tickets from £22),
- Trivium (Feb 12, tickets from £22).
5. O2 Academy Birmingham
Owned by the Music Academy Group, which is amongst the top players in the British music industry, the O2 Academy Birmingham is a first-rate music venue opened in 2000. Consisting of three smaller concert stages, this location is perfect for fans of all music genres. With the O2 Academy Birmingham, you simply can’t go wrong! Virtually any concert of significance in Birmingham will take place here. Ocean Colour Scene, Disclosure, Imagine Dragons, Biffy Clyro, Paloma Faith, Two Door Cinema Club, Black Sabbath, The Black Crows, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Prodigy, Clean Bandit and George Ezra are just a few of the names that have held live shows here. Some of the performers that will celebrate the arrival of 2017 with the Academy are:
- Ivory Wave (Jan 14, tickets from £7),
- Halfnoise (Jan 18, tickets from £8.55),
- Union J (Feb 8, tickets from £22.5),
- HRH Metal (Feb 11, tickets from £34),
- Busted (Feb 18, tickets from £80).
6. Liquid Room
Advertised as Edinburgh’s longest running venue, Liquid Room is the most incredible location for live music in all of Scotland. First opened in 1997, this place is a must for everyone who loves great tunes and spectacular club nights. The stage of the Liquid Room hosts some of the most phenomenal gigs of artists from all sorts of genres, like rock, pop, hip-hop, country, house or dubstep. Their new sound and lighting system is absolutely galvanising! In the course of time, the venue has featured concerts from fabulous performers like Black Eyed Peas, Calvin Harris, Coolio, Digitalism, Fratellis, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, MGMT, Nancy Sinatra or Rokysopp. This February, The Liquid Room will give thousands of fans a chance to enjoy:
- Skindred (Feb 3, tickets from £20)
- Loyle Carner (Feb 4, tickets from £15),
- The Naked and Famous (Feb 12, tickets from £17).
7. Cavern Club
The Cavern Club is way much more than just a simple live music venue. It’s a location that will forever be remembered by rock and roll enthusiasts from all over the world, as this is where The Beatles played in their early years. Some would even say this nightclub is the very birthplace of the illustrious band. Opened in 1957, the Cavern Club is situated inside a warehouse cellar, and at first, it functioned as a jazz club. As you enter this historical venue, you’ll literally feel as if you are travelling back in time. In its almost six decades of activity, the nightclub has welcomed guests like The Rolling Stones, Elton John, The Who or Queen. The beginning of 2017 is promising to be quite exciting, too. After all, it starts with:
- The Cave Dwellers (Jan 7, front stage tickets at £5),
- Carbon (Jan 14, front stage tickets at £5),
- Richard Batty (Feb 5, Cavern Pub, are of charge).
This being said, we hope you’ve found our selection of music venues throughout the United Kingdom useful and that you’ll soon be having an awesome time out in at least one of the seven locations we described. All of these places are full of life and have a fantastic atmosphere. Attending a live music gig in any one of these world-class venues is guaranteed to feel like a reinvigorating experience that will take your breath away! So, keep an eye open for artists you like who will hold live performances at these locations, and don’t hesitate to save yourself a seat!