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Primal Scream at the O2 Brixton Academy
Primal Scream at the O2 Brixton Academy

The Best Music Venues in Brixton

Picture of Ruaidhrí Carroll
London Travel Writer
Updated: 2 November 2017

It’s no secret that Brixton is one of London’s most culturally affluent areas, with an eclectic range of influences. It has a vibrant nightlife that chalks it up as one of the best places in London for a night out, especially in one of these great music venues.

O2 Brixton Academy

Around since 1929, this building boasts a history as impressive as the acts that have graced its stage, having served as a cinema for decades before surviving plans for demolition in the 1970s. The O2 Brixton Academy has seen Franz Ferdinand, Sean Paul and Macklemore and many more, entertain crowds in this 5,000-capacity shrine to sound.

Hootananny

Although not quite on the same scale as the likes of Electric Brixton and the O2 Brixton Academy, Hootananny is still an awesome venue. It’s far more intimate, but this brings a charm of its own to the end-of-the-week gigs – and tickets are fairly affordable. Be sure to bring some cash for the food stalls in the courtyard when you get peckish.

The Windmill, Brixton

Okay, so The Windmill, Brixton really is quite a small backstreet venue, but it compensates for this with quality music and refreshingly informal vibes. With reasonable entry prices and pub-priced drinks, this is not a venue to be overlooked, even if it is a bit on the small side.

Brixton Jamm

Once a public house, Brixton Jamm has been converted into a gig venue that hosts live performances and DJ sets long into the early hours. Similar to Hootananny in size, this place is open later on the weekends – until 5am. Although there is no late-night food served here, there is a large and lively courtyard ideal for anyone who needs a break from the dancefloor.

Blues Kitchen

Anyone after blues and soul need look no further than Blues Kitchen, which is also represented by venues in Shoreditch and Camden. There’s live music and delicious cajun food every night of the week. What’s not to like?

Electric Brixton

The other big Brixton venue, Electric Brixton has seen big names like The Chainsmokers and Liam Gallagher as well as local artists like Big Narstie take to the stage and charge up the crowd. Gigs usually start around 7pm and last until 11pm, but the fun doesn’t stop there as the venue usually hosts a club night until 5am or 6am. For anyone that’s got the endurance, Electric Brixton is great for an all-night affair.

Upstairs at the Ritzy

Anyone who’s been to Brixton will know the Ritzy Cinema as something of an institution in these parts. But that’s not all – Upstairs at the Ritzy attracts local folk for live music, as well as comedy, open mic nights and even dance workshops.

Effra Social

Formerly a social club for local Conservative party members, Effra Social has taken a more liberal approach in recent years but it’s more social than ever. There is some great food on offer and the venue also hosts quiz nights, book clubs, cinema clubs, comedy and poetry. It’s a real creative hub.