The 10 Best Live Music Venues In Cardiff

India Leigh

Cardiff is not only home to the oldest record shop in Wales, Spillers Records, it is also the home of a number of notable bands, including Stereophonics and Manic Street Preachers. A number of festivals celebrate live music in the city, including the Sŵn festival, which takes place annually. Tying it all together, the city boasts a range of venues that cater to all styles of music — Welsh language bands are well represented and encouraged. Check out our 10 favorite live music venues in the Welsh capital.

1. The Globe Cardiff

Music Venue

The Globe, situated on Albany Road, lies at the heart of the heavily student populated area of Roath. A former cinema, the venue includes an auditorium and a balcony, and provides a varied and exciting lineup. The Globe’s 350 seating capacity is complemented by a large stage which allows for an intense experience. Whilst many tribute bands are known to play here, it’s important to keep an eye on the schedule as there’s usually something special waiting around the corner.

Hours: 7:30 p.m.-12:00 a.m.

2. The Full Moon/Moon Club

The Full Moon/Moon Club

The Full Moon describe themselves as “Purveyors of Fine Music and Hard Liquor,” and it’s hard to question their claim. With a wide range of spirits and liquors to sip while enjoying a gig, this small venue hosts a diverse range of music genres inside its walls. The venue has a room capacity of 260 for club nights, and 180 for live gigs. Its location makes the Moon Club an ideal place to see local bands whilst remaining in the heart of the city.

Hours: 5:00 p.m.-Late
Address: Womanby ST, Cardiff, UK, +44(0)2920373022

The Full Moon / Moon Club | © IndiaLeighThe Full Moon / Moon Club | © IndiaLeigh

3. Clwb Ifor Bach

Music Venue

Clwb Ifor Bach
© IndiaLeigh
Opposite to Moon Club you’ll find Clwb Ifor Bach, named after a Welsh leader who rebelled against the English during the 12th century. The venue, which first opened in 1983, is used as a social centre for Welsh speakers in the city. The three-story building has been an important part of the live music scene in Cardiff, welcoming acts from across the globe. If there isn’t a live band playing, there is often an alternative club night to enjoy instead.

Hours: Monday-Tuesday 7:00 p.m.-3:30 a.m.; Wednesday-Sunday 7:00 p.m.-4:00 a.m.

4. Live Lounge

Live Lounge

The Live Lounge is exactly what it sounds like. All day, everyday, the venue provides multiple live acts, starting from midday and playing until late. The stage at the front of the bar hosts a mixture of local bands, tribute acts, and a few bands from further afield. When the live music finishes, the stage becomes a dance floor. The venue is popular with locals and students alike. The Live Lounge is not limited only to night events, so pop in to enjoy an act or two while testing out the in-house restaurant.

Hours: Weekdays 8:00 a.m.-4:00 a.m.; Weekends 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Address: 9 The Friary, Cardiff, UK, +44(0)2921328159

Live Lounge | © IndiaLeighLive Lounge | © IndiaLeigh

5. Gwidhw

Music Venue

Gwidhw - Oort Kuiper
© Courtesy of Lloyd Griffiths at Gwidhw Cafe Bar
Gwdihw Café Bar, located near the Motorpoint Arena, is a cosy, homely venue, which promotes a variety of music genres. Boasting a fantastic beer garden and serving a wide array of ciders, ales, and spirits behind the bar, Gwdihw is well worth a visit. Live music genres includes funk, soul, indie, and more. With an ever-changing lineup and series of events, this bar has been referred to as one of the best live music venue in Wales.

Hours: Varies Everyday

6. St David's Hall

Concert Hall

St David’s Hall is not only a performing arts theatre but it’s also the National Concert Hall of Wales, and hosts the country’s proms. Opened in 1983 by the Queen Mother, the hall’s brutalist architectural style has caused the building to become an important part of the city’s landscape. The venue’s programme consists of a wide range of live music, including classical, jazz, contemporary, and more. More often than not they will offer a free, or relatively cheap, concert which can be enjoyed during a lunch break, so keep an eye on the schedule.

Hours: 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

7. Tramshed

Music Venue

tram shed
© BenSalter/flickr
Cardiff’s Tramshed is the city’s newest music venue, located just across the River Taf from the Central Station. Set in a historical building of great cultural significance, the venue is a breath of fresh air for Cardiff. This old city tram depot has already managed to line up an exciting and varying programme that caters to all interests.

8. The Motorpoint Arena

The Motorpoint Arena

Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, located in the heart of the city, is a multi-purpose venue which attracts big names from all over the world. This is a popular stop for artists to make when on their world tours. The arena has seen the likes of Beyonce, Bob Dylan, and Lady Gaga, among other stars. Opened in 1993 by Dame Shirley Bassey and owned by Live Nation, the arena has a maximum capacity of 7,500 people. Attending a concert here won’t be an intimate experience, but it’s the best venue in the country to see international artists.

Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m.-600 p.m.
Address: Mary Ann Street, Cardiff, UK, +44(0)2920234500

Paolo Nutini at The Motorpoint Arena | © IndiaLeighPaolo Nutini at The Motorpoint Arena | © IndiaLeigh

9. Glee Club

Music Venue

Glee Club
© IndiaLeigh
Cardiff Bay has lacked a live music venue for sometime, due to the recession and various other reasons. Gleecomedy and live music club has partially filled this void by putting on a range of live music events, alongside some comedy, of course. With a decent stage and prices that are particularly friendly to the student wallet, the club has welcomed local and international artists to their stage. Glee’s in-house restaurant and well stocked bar only adds to the atmosphere in the redeveloped area of Cardiff Bay.

Hours: Monday 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

10. Cardiff University Students' Union

University

Cardiff University Students Union
© Simopala/flickr
Cardiff’s Students’ Union is a great place to catch live gigs at reasonable prices. With two venues, Y Plas and The Great Hall, there are typically multiple events happening each week. Y Plas caters for the smaller gigs, whereas The Great Hall welcomes chart toppers and great bands to play to a 1,600-strong crowd. The gigs are not limited to students, and offer decent drinks prices and a large dance floor.

Hours: Open 24/7
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