Times are tough right now, there’s no denying that. But there’s also no denying the healing power of music – especially going to witness your favourite artist or new obsession live. Luckily 2023 is already jam-packed with massive tours and big gigs to help brighten up our lives, whether that’s Arctic Monkeys stepping up to stadiums, rap’s newest star GloRilla showing her mettle, or reunited legends like Blur and Pulp giving us some good old nostalgia. Here are the biggest gigs and tours to look forward to this year.
Dates announced: Arctic Monkeys’ 2023 dates start early, ringing in the New Year in Australia. From there, they’ll tour Asia and Europe, before coming home to the UK for a massive stadium tour and returning to the US.
Why you should go: To witness a live show as dazzling as the mirrorball the band performed around on their 2022 tour. Something tells us the grandiose strings of latest album ‘The Car’ will sound absolutely majestic in the humongous venues the Monkeys will be playing over the next 12 months.
Dates announced: Elton John starts his year in Australia and New Zealand before returning to the UK and Europe for a Glasto finale.
Why you should go: These are quite literally your very last opportunities to see one of pop’s most iconic and unique artists. Sure, loads of acts say they’re quitting touring and then have a big change of heart a few years later, but you don’t want to take the risk of missing out on Elton.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dates announced: Red Hot Chili Peppers will tour New Zealand, Australia and Asia in the first two months of the year, moving on to North America in spring, and Europe and the UK in summer.
Why you should go: They’re pros at the big stadium spectacular – they’ve been doing it for long enough by now. They’re also bringing some huge names with them in support, from Post Malone to The Strokes and Iggy Pop. Not bad!
Dates announced: After three rescheduled LA dates in January, Harry Styles will head to Australia in February, continuing on to Asia and Europe, arriving in the UK in May.
Why you should go: The ‘Love On Tour’ tour might seem never-ending, but even if you’ve been multiple times, it’s still a whole lot of fun to go again. Enjoy the conga lines to ‘Treat People With Kindness’ and make friends with your seatmates as you bellow out Harry’s modern pop anthems together. Sounds lovely.
Dates announced: The iconic British girl group will head down under in February before playing a one-off London date in September.
Why you should go: These dates are a continuation of the original Sugababes line-up’s reunion – Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhan Donagh – and will see the women celebrating the 25th anniversary of the group. They’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in that time, but this feels like a perfect way to mark the milestone.
Dates announced: US tour begins January 27.
Why you should go: GloRilla is the hottest new hip-hop talent in the game and it’s not going to be long before she’s filling massive venues around the world. Get down to this tour and say you saw her first – and enjoy her mix of femininity and boldness in her infectious songs.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Dates announced: US leg begins February 1; the tour arrives in Europe on April 28, with UK dates from May 30.
Why you should go: There’s been some (deserved) uproar about very expensive tickets, but if you can find a pass at a reasonable price, Springsteen will certainly give you value for money – his gigs are known to stretch for hours, rattling through the big hits and the fan favourites far longer than most acts would perform for.
Dates announced: US leg runs from February to August, with UK dates nestled in the middle in April.
Why you should go: To hear the brilliant new songs from upcoming album ‘This Is Why’ among all the best cuts from their back catalogue. Plus, it’s been way too long since Hayley Williams and co went on a proper tour – five years, in fact.
Dates announced: The UK, Europe and North America are all on Caroline Polachek’s schedule, beginning in the former in February.
Why you should go: The alt-pop star’s live shows have been described as a work of art and she always packs surprises into her sets – like at her last London gig, when she was joined by Croydon’s Trinity Girls Choir on ‘Billions’.
Dates announced: UK tour kicks off in February.
Why you should go: This tour feels like a victory lap for Self Esteem, who arguably has had the best last couple of years out of all of us. Her album ‘Prioritise Pleasure’ has constantly wowed fans and critics alike, while her live show has been praised as one of the best in recent memory. Give yourself another chance to see why it’s so brilliant before she inevitably pops off to come up with her next mind-blowing record.
Dates announced: US tour kicks off February 21.
Why you should go: Because SZA’s new album ‘SOS’ is a very late contender for Album Of The Year and, had it been released earlier, would certainly have been nearing the top of a lot of lists. If you need any more incentive (you shouldn’t), she’s also bringing along Omar Apollo in support to add some extra greatness.
Dates announced: The Doncaster rock’n’roller will head out on a world tour, beginning in the UK in February before hitting Europe and North America.
Why you should go: Yungblud’s gigs are renowned for being inclusive, euphoric and theatrical celebrations where you can let go, be yourself and find a community of kindred spirits. We could all do with a bit more of that energy in 2023 so get down to a show and make the most of it.
Dates announced: Europe tour begins February, with UK dates from March before continuing onto North America.
Why you should go: Lizzo shows are the ultimate upper – a feel good celebration of life from one of the most infectious personalities in music. Grab your mates and make sure you get there in time for “bad bitch o’clock”.
Dates announced: The ladies of BLACKPINK will take their BORN PINK tour across Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand in the first half of the year, before heading to London in July to headline BST Hyde Park.
Why you should go: This K-pop girl group know how to put on a show, from hi-tech, futuristic VTs to set the mood between each phase of the concert, to artful and flashy stage production. The songs are equally as good – by the time you leave the venue, you’ll have several jostling for place as that day’s earworm.
Dates announced: Blink’s return begins in South America on March 11, before heading to North America in May and the UK and Europe in September.
Why you should go: It’s the pop-punk icons’ first tour with Tom DeLonge since he left the band in 2015 – aka a massive deal. There’s also a new album on the way, so this won’t just be a big nostalgia trip.
Dates announced: US leg begins March 17; international dates TBA.
Why you should go: Taylor Swift’s 2023 tour is dubbed ‘The Eras Tour’ and, while it’s not entirely clear exactly how she’s going to honour each of her past albums yet, it’s guaranteed to be the perfect chance to celebrate the many highs of her brilliant career so far (if you can beat Ticketmaster). Plus, the support bill in the US is stacked, with Paramore, Phoebe Bridgers, Gracie Abrams, Haim, Girl In Red, and many more along for the ride.
Dates announced: US tour begins April 24; one further festival date confirmed so far at Portugal’s Paredes de Coura Festival.
Why you should go: Sure, New York in the early noughties had The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol, but it also had The Walkmen, a band who often get left out of top billing when talking about that much-romanticised scene. Take one listen to the indie disco classic ‘The Rat’ and tell us that’s fair, and then go book your tickets to their reunion tour.
Dates announced: The tour begins in Europe in April, heading to the UK for two sets at Download Festival in June, before moving onto North America.
Why you should go: As if you need a reason to go and see Metallica, the titans of metal. But just in case: they’re masters of their craft – aka big, bruising, headbang-worthy riffs – and have a discography of seemingly endless anthems for you to get lost in the moshpit to.
Dates announced: The Italian rockers will tour Europe across spring with a massive London gig at The O2 in May.
Why you should go: In this day and age, it’s rare for Eurovision contestants to carve out careers post-Song Contest that aren’t short-lived or derided as novelty. But Måneskin are living proof that it is doable, so long as you have the tunes and the charisma to deserve more than 15 minutes of fame. The four-piece have both in bucketloads, as you can bear witness to on this tour.
Dates announced: An intimate UK tour in May.
Why you should go: Foals are now one of the biggest bands in the UK and so the opportunity to see them in tiny venues is a rare chance we must grab when it’s presented to us. Dance to ‘My Number’ on the sticky floor of a club in spring, then celebrate their ascent as they headline Reading & Leeds in the summer.
Dates announced: The UK and Ireland-only dates begin in May, continuing til July.
Why you should go: They’re back, baby! Just under a decade since their last live performances, Pulp have reunited once more and are taking their show back on the road to liven up our summer. Expect all the classics, but no Steve Mackey – the bassist has confirmed he won’t join the band on tour.
Dates announced: Select European festival dates woven between three headline shows in Dublin and London this June.
Why you should go: When Blur first reunited in 2009, they instantly blew away any fears that the band might not be the same after years apart. This latest reunion should be no different and the members seem in good spirits about it, too. “We really love playing these songs and thought it’s about time we did it again,” Damon Albarn said when the gigs were announced.
Dates announced: One London show and appearances at Primavera Sound in Barcelona and Madrid
Why you should go: It’s been 20 years since anti-folk icons The Moldy Peaches last performed in Europe. Although they announced their reunion with the slogan “Once a Moldy Peach, always a Moldy Peach”, who knows when this opportunity to see New York underground royalty will come around again?
Dates announced: George, WA, Gorge Amphitheatre (June 10).
Why you should go: Joni Mitchell might be playing only one date next year but you should move heaven and earth to try and make it. Why? The last time she held a full concert was 23 years ago and it’s unlikely she’s about to hit the road for even a handful more dates at this point, so it could be your only chance to see the bonafide legend live.
Pet Shop Boys
Dates announced: The UK and European tour runs from June to July.
Why you should go: This is Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Dreamworld – The Greatest Hits Live’ tour so you’re basically assured that you’re going to hear all of the biggest and best songs in their inimitable arsenal.
Dates announced: London, Finsbury Park (June 23)
Why you should go: It’s Jamie T’s biggest headline show to date and bound to be an absolute riot. This is an artist who can do indie disco bangers, poignant, softer (if booze-soaked) cuts, and everything in between and make it seem effortless.
Dates announced: UK and Europe tour begins in June before covering Latin America.
Why you should go: This huge stadium tour will cover both of The Weeknd’s two latest albums – ‘After Hours’ and ‘Dawn FM’ – taking you inside the sci-fi-tinged world of both masterpieces.
Dates announced: Stormzy will take over one day of London’s All Points East, curating a special ‘This Is What We Mean Day’.
Why you should go: The whole day will be Stormzy’s vision – something he’s already proved countless times is a great thing. The line-up has yet to be announced but expect to discover exhilarating new talent, big names making surprise appearances and, of course, it all to be topped off by a headline set from Big Mike himself.
The Postal Service & Death Cab For Cutie
Dates announced: US tour kicks off September 8
Why you should go: Ben Gibbard is pulling double duty on the tour, fronting both The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie. The tour itself is a celebration of two albums – the former’s ‘Give Up’ and the latter’s ‘Transatlanticism’, and you’ll get to see both played in full. What more could you ask for?