Kicking off as a musician in the industry today is a real struggle. Music venues are one of the best ways to get your music heard as an artist, and one of the most direct ways to gather fans around your musical project. Finding gigs and knowing where to play could be a hassle. Let’s focus today on the UK, and discover 5 music venues in the UK you should be playing at least once in your life as an independent artist.
1. Why Small Music Venues in the UK?
Playing live shows in the right small music venues in the right city can be a bit of a decision-making nightmare. When you plan a tour or a bunch of gigs in a particular place, you want to play the coolest venues. You know, the ones where the early adopters hang out to check out the latest independent artists and emerging bands. We could easily write an article on the top 100 independent venues in the UK but come on, you just need a quick fix. So we’ve taken a tiny selection of some of the best small venues in the UK for independent artists.
2. What makes a good UK Small Music Venue?
Is it the sound system, the DJ after the gig, or even the bar staff? Well actually, it’s the audience. An excellent vibe and a commitment to good music draw the crowds in. Especially those in the know about the music industry. This is what makes a good live venue. So without further ado, let’s look at 5 Venues in the UK you should play at least once.
3. Which Small Music Venues in the UK should you play?
YES – Manchester
One of Manchester’s youngest venues, YES has quickly risen through the ranks of one the hottest places to play in the UK’s coolest city. Starting life in 2018, YES was launched by infamous Manchester promoters Wes Jones and Jon Wickstead of Now Wave and Ruth Hemmingfield, previously of Gorilla and Deaf Institute. Two other Manchester venues are well worth a look at.
With this combination of local music experience, perfect promotions, and top venue management, YES soon became the go-to place for emerging bands and artists to play throughout the UK. Set over four floors, YES boasts a range of cultural experiences. From live music, club nights, and DJs to food and several bars. At least two of the floors, The Pink Room and the Basement are used for live music.
Brudenell Social Club – Leeds
One of the oldest venues we have on our list. And definitely one of the most important. Established way back in 1913, the Brudenell Social Club has gone through many changes throughout its rich history. The symbiotic relationship between a traditional UK social club and a forward-thinking music venue works incredibly well. One side has snooker tables, darts, and sports TV, while the other hosts secret gigs (Kaiser Chief and Franz Ferdinand), new emerging bands, and international touring artists.
The venue is welcoming for everyone, audiences and artists alike. With an excellent sound system and a real intimacy between the crowd and musician. They are fantastic champions of new bands and will seek out the perfect support or headline slot so that you make the maximum impact when unleashing your music to the ears of Leeds residents and beyond.
You can contact them here to enquire about playing at The Brudenell Social Club.
The Cluny – Newcastle
If you tour the UK you need to spread your musical word everywhere. Not just London. If you head up to the North East, you’ll land in the city of Newcastle. And there, you’ll find, The Cluny.
The Cluny is perfect for covering the North East of the UK. Its 300-capacity venue draws the locals in, in droves. Always expecting good quality live artists from all over the world. Its small size doesn’t detract from its delivering a lot of break-out live acts. Offering a range of musical styles, the live music at The Cluny has something for everyone.
Get in touch with The Cluny for a gig in Newcastle.
The Trades Club – Hebden Bridge
Right out in the sticks of West Yorkshire is the market town of Hebden Bridge. An LGBTQ+ friendly town with a mix of traditional UK country life paired with modern, forward-thinking residents and values. At the heart of Hebden Bridge is The Trades Club. A celebrated small music venue with a diverse range of bands and artists playing regularly. Plus the list of artists and bands that have played this ‘middle-of-nowhere’ venue is awe-inspiring.
Even the fact that it’s not situated in the middle of a big city, The Trades Club is one of the best UK current venues for any national or international touring band to play. You can contact them here for show enquires.
Paper Dress Vintage – London
Shop by day and bar by night. Paper Dress Vintage transforms from a vintage boutique during the day to a live music venue and events space at night.
Situated in Hackney, London, Paper Shop Vintage leads the way in innovation allowing themselves to utilize their space for live gigs with a bar area on an evening. Perfect for intimate live shows, Paper Dress Vintage brings you closer to your audience allowing you to lay down your ideas, sounds, and vision in a close-up setting. One of London’s hippest venues and certainly one where you would find some of the best live music and independent artists in the capital.
If you fancy a bit of vintage shopping before you hit the stage, then you can contact Paper Dress Vintage here.
4. How can Groover help you find Music Venues in the UK?
Booking gigs can be a massive energy drain getting in the way of the process of music-making. You could consider signing with a booker? Groover allows you to contact the best media and music pros – including bookers – with a guaranteed response in less than 7 days! No more unanswered emails, you can be sure that your music is listened to and you will receive constructive and kind feedback, whatever the decision of the pro you will have contacted. You can also regularly check this springboard guide which suggests regularly great opportunities for independent venues and festivals.