These are the UK’s best small venues

Get down to a gig ASAP

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Earlier this year, Radiohead’s Philip Selway spoke to NME about the importance grassroots venues played on the band’s development while Benefits’ Kingsley Hall claimed that to  “truly celebrate independent venues”, music fans need to “get away from the mentality that you’re going to see the next big thing”.

“Just go out and enjoy it,” he argued. “Live for the moment, appreciate these amazing institutions and acts. For many bands, this is our Wembley.


It’s a sentiment shared by Frank Turner, who made the same point when speaking at the launch of Music Venue Trust’s annual report in Parliament back in January.

It comes after the Music Venue Trust released their annual report – revealing that gig attendance is lower than pre-pandemic levels, and calling for urgent government action and investment from large arenas to prevent them from “going over a cliff”.

It’s not all bad news though. The Music Venue Trust recently confirmed that its Own Our Venues campaign had raised over £2million and was going to move ahead with purchasing nine gig spaces. On completion of the purchase, the venues will be offered an immediate rent reduction and help contribute to building repairs and insurance, while also guaranteeing long-term security and market-resistant rents.

Below is a roundup of some of the best small venues in the UK.

Location: 6 Leadmill Rd, Sheffield S14SE
Capacity: 900
Upcoming gigs: The Bootleg Beatles (May 27), Inhaler (June 6), The Pigeon Detectives (July 8)
Find out more here.


Tunbridge Wells Forum
Location: The Common, London Rd, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tunbridge Wells TN48YU
Capacity: 250
Upcoming gigs: Benefits (April 25), Coach Party (May 12), Sleeper (May 25)
Find out more here.

Location: 6 O’Meara St, London SE11TE
Capacity: 320
Upcoming gigs: Georgia (April 20), Lime Garden (May 16), Kate Nash (June 1)
Find out more here.

Green Door Store
Location: 2 – 4 Trafalgar Arches, Brighton, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN1 4FQ
Capacity: 280
Upcoming gigs: Ditz (April 27), Prima Queen (May 22), Ten Tonnes (September 13)
Find out more here.

The Deaf Institute
Location: 135 Grosvenor St, Manchester M17HE
Capacity: 260
Upcoming gigs: CLT DRP (April 28), Cub Sport (April 30), The View (May 10)
Find out more here.

Brudenell Social Club
Location: 33 Queen’s Rd, Burley, Leeds LS61NY
Capacity: 400
Upcoming gigs: The Lottery Winners (April 20), Black Country, New Road (May 3), Rachel Chinouriri (May 5)
Find out more here.

Location: 100 Eastvale Pl, Glasgow G38QG
Capacity: 1000
Upcoming gigs: Girli (April 22), Foals (May 8), Caroline Polachek (May 25)
Find out more here.

Clwb Ifor Bach
Location: 11 Womanby St, Cardiff CF10 1BR
Capacity: 460
Upcoming gigs: Vistas (May 15), Skylrk (May 26), Swim Deep (May 30)
Find out more here.

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