The Best Music Venues in Birmingham, UK

Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham | © Andy Hughes

Freelance Travel and Music Writer

Birmingham is a focal point for new music and there are lots of brilliant venues in which to see the up and coming musicians in the region. From a 100 capacity basement to a much bigger space for the more established acts, the UK’s second city caters for all. Here are some of the best music venues in the city.

1. The Sunflower Lounge

Music Venue

Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
© Andy Hughes
With a bar upstairs and a 120 capacity music venue downstairs, The Sunflower Lounge plays host to a wealth of touring bands and the best local artists around. The likes of Royal Blood and Peace have played early shows in their careers here, with both now going on to play major festivals around the world. Tip: head here if you want to see the next big thing…

2. Hare & Hounds

Situated in the leafy suburb of Kings Heath, the Hare & Hounds is a stunning Victorian pub with two upstairs venues. With regular events hosted by in-house promoters Leftfoot and This Is Tmrw, alongside some of the best small touring acts from all over the world, the Hare & Hounds is a sure fire bet for a good night.

106 High Street, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7JZ, England, UK

3. The Flapper

Canal boats outside The Flapper
© David Stanley/Flickr

With one of the more idyllic summer backdrops in the city, The Flapper overlooks Birmingham’s canal network. This 150 capacity venue is where you’ll often find live bands on the heavier side of the spectrum – oh, and a Metallica themed pinball machine! Due to its close proximity to the Barclaycard Arena, The Flapper is the ideal pre-show meeting point with resident DJs playing tunes to get you in the mood.

Cambrian Wharf, Kingston Row, Birmingham B1 2NU, England, UK

Canal boats outside The Flapper | © David Stanley/Flickr

4. Symphony Hall

With a capacity of over 2200, the Symphony Hall is an internationally acclaimed concert venue in the heart of Birmingham city centre. Typically famous for its multi-tiered auditorium, the world-class Symphony Hall regularly plays host to a range of international artists across genres including classical, pop and folk. Nearly 400,000 people attend over 320 events a year here, which is a testament to the breadth and quality of its programming.

The International Convention Centre, Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA, England, UK

5. Barclaycard Arena

Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
© Elliot Brown/Flickr

Previously known as the NIA, the Barclaycard Arena is a 15,800 capacity venue. With a range of restaurants in the complex, as well as the popular Brindleyplace a 2 minute walk away, this is a popular venue for those looking to catch today’s stars when they visit the city. Acts to have played here in recent years include Black Sabbath, Paul McCartney, Muse and Justin Bieber.

King Edwards Road, Birmingham B1 2AA, England, UK

Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham | © Elliot Brown/Flickr

6. Centrala

One of the more unique event spaces in Birmingham, Centrala is a multi-functional, not for profit arts venue which often plays host to experimental music. Set up in Digbeth by the Polish Expacts Association, Centrala’s aim is to be a community hub for creatives, and houses two galleries for live events as well as a training centre and café.

Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 5RT England, UK

7. Mama Roux’s

Building, Music Venue

Mama Rouxs venue interior
© The Rainbow Venues

8. The Night Owl

Music Venue

Just a stone’s throw from Mama Roux’s is The Night Owl, the Midlands’ only dedicated Northern Soul and Motown music venue. Here you can try your hand at Northern Soul dance classes or open mic, and on weekends head down to catch some great live music with original club nights afterwards. Keep an eye out for themed events and special guest DJs…

17 Lower Trinity Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B9 4AG, England, UK

9. O2 Institute

Music Venue

Digbeth Institute, O2 Institute, Civic Hall
Roger Marks/Flickr

The O2 Institute has evolved over the years – all the way back from a Methodist chapel originally built in the 1900s – and has been a popular music venue since the 1950s. Its main space (1500 capacity) is a stunning, multi-tiered hall, while its other rooms (600, 300 capacity) are perfect for both local and international bands looking to break through. Previously known as Digbeth Civic Hall and simply The Institute, this venue is perfect for catching bands before they break through to arena level.

78 High Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 6DY England, UK

An original plaque outside the O2 Institute in Digbeth | Roger Marks/Flickr

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