Small venues for music and arts events allow crowds to get close and personal with raw and upcoming talent. The traditional atmospheric pub environment has always been seen by performers as a rite of passage for new acts, a vital starting point which could be the key to a successful career.
According to Mintel Live Entertainment and Music Concert, there is a growing interest in live music acts. However, despite this, an increasing number of small music venues known to host some of the biggest names, have had to close their doors due to the growing number of large events hosted at festivals, stadiums and arenas. Bigger venues are taking over the music industry with larger profit margins which are detracting from smaller gigs and tours.
Small music venues are in crisis. For decades, many of these venues have contributed to a large part of British history and culture. Smaller venues have a character and atmosphere which is captured so differently to larger venues and has a uniqueness which needs to be preserved.
Top 5 favourite small venues:
12 Bar Club, London
The 12 Bar Club is an intimate independent venue located in the heart of London which hosts music seven days a week with up to four performances a night. With a blues and punk-fuelled history, the club focuses mainly on song writing, featuring artists from around the world. The Libertines, Seasick Steve, Martha Wainwright are among the many performers who have performed at the cosy venue, which prides itself in showcasing the best upcoming performers.
The Joiners, Southampton
The Joiners venue in Southampton celebrated a one off special show with Frank Turner last year after winning NME’s Britain’s Best Small Venue 2013 title. The Joiners has a 200 person capacity and has been open since 1968, playing host to upcoming bands. Alongside a large number of well known and successful bands, the Arctic Monkeys, Bombay Bicycle Club, Tinchy Stryder, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Oasis, and The Vaccines have played and the Southern venue.
Band on the Wall, Manchester
Previously known as the George and Dragon pub, the now Band on the Wall club in Manchester is a non profit venue run by registered charity Inner City Music, which supports the best music from around the world. The venue has been a part of Manchester’s history for over 200 hundred years and been a music venue since the 1930s.The club also runs an education programme alongside the community and local schools with music and singing courses and workshops from children to adults such as jazz classes, family music workshops, choir classes and lots more.
First opening its doors in 1980, Leadmill is Sheffields longest running music venue and has won awards from NME and Live UK. Over the years the venue has hosted gigs from bands such as Kings of Leon, The Killers, Pulp, The Stone Roses, Arctic Monkeys and many other big names. Band of Skulls will be one of the many bands gracing the Leadmill stage this summer along with upcoming acts Deep Vally, Howling Bells and Rae Morris.
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Located in the Hyde Park area of Leeds, the Brudenell Social Club is a non profit making venue which hosts music and art performances and claims to have no boundaries. The lively club which is most famous for hosting bands like Franz Ferdinand and the Kaiser Chiefs, hosts gigs most nights of the week, hosted by local promoters.