The Wire / Concerts

What Are The UK’s Best Music Venues?

Posted 27 Oct 2022

There’s nothing like a gig. Yeah, Spotify is fine while you’re on the bus to work, and we’ve all asked Alexa to queue up our favourite playlist to get us through an afternoon spent at home, but nothing compares to being at a gig, surrounded by people, while the crowd goes wild.

From pubs to stadiums to huge open fields, the UK’s packed with amazing venues. And Heaton Park, Manchester, where you can’t hear the band 50 metres away if the wind’s blowing in the wrong direction.

So if you want to experience a great gig, here are five venues to visit (and five upcoming gigs that’ll show them off)

5: Sheffield Leadmill

Student nightclub during the week, amazing (if a bit small) music venue at the weekends, the Leadmill is where the Arctic Monkeys burst onto the scene all those years ago. The Leadmill hosts the best local bands from the North of England, as many tribute acts as you’d expect for a mostly skint crowd of students, as well as a few gems on their way up. Marcus Mumford, of Mumford and Sons fame is set to play there in November, which should be a classic Leadmill night.  

4: O2 Apollo, Manchester

With a small 3,500 person capacity, you wouldn’t expect the Apollo to make this list over Manchester’s Arena or the Etihad (where you can get Coldplay tickets for 2023), but the Apollo is an iconic venue in its own right. Small but perfectly formed, you’ll get a great view and superb sound quality. Get Blossoms tickets for December to see it at its best.

3: Brixton Academy, London

Down to the capital now for our first trip to a London venue. Brixton Academy is one of those venues that’s just about large enough for a band on the brink of stardom, or to give the limelight to a returning legend after a long or short absence. Happy Mondays are filling the returning legends slot there soon, or you can grab Yung Lean tickets to see a resurgent viral star on the up.

2: King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow

Iconic name, iconic venue, and the starting point for iconic bands. Oasis, Queens of the Stone Age, Jake Bugg, Manic Street Preachers and Biffy Clyro all got their start at the Wah Wah Hut, so it’s worth a visit for anyone on the lookout for the next big thing. 

1: Wembley Stadium, London

Of course it’s Wembley. The premier venue in the country, only the world’s biggest acts can sell out Wembley Stadium. Live Aid packed it out all those years ago, and in 2023 Harry Styles will do the same on multiple sold-out nights at England’s national stadium. So make sure you grab your Harry Styles tickets and see what Wembley truly has to offer.

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