5 Best Student City Music Scenes

Of course, students the country over are far too busy studying to spend their evenings dancing, drinking and having a good time. However, if young scholars were ever able to prise themselves away from their weighty textbooks and tomes –


They’d be guaranteed a great live music scene in the following five cities-


#1. Liverpool

The place that gave rise to The Beatles and a host of other high-profile acts, Liverpool has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the best live music cities in the world. If you’re in search of a great night out in this northern city, you won’t be disappointed. So that you don’t miss out on the performances taking place there, check music ticket websites like Gigantic.

One of the best venues in Liverpool is the East Village Arts Club. Generations of revellers have enjoyed this Seel Street establishment and previous incarnations of the club have included the Masque and the Barfly. It reopened following a refurbishment in 2013 and its main room plays host to an impressive variety of acts. Another of the city’s gems is The Caledonia. This Catharine Street bar has a cosy feel and you can listen to an array of musical ensembles there right through the week.

For house, garage and techno, HAUS is hard to beat. Located on Greenland Street, this warehouse venue is run by a team of promoters and DJs who certainly know how to throw a party.

#2. London

Given its vast size, it’d be a travesty if London didn’t offer students some top-notch live music options. Fortunately, the capital doesn’t disappoint. Whether you’re after urban music, metal, jazz, folk, indie, R&B or anything else, you can rest assured you’ll find the perfect venue in the city.

In the Brixton setting of St Matthew’s Church, you’ll find Mass. This huge multi-purpose institution features three rooms and can hold an impressive 1,500 people. Its music programme runs from grime and hard house to R&B and hip hop.

Meanwhile, for a night of soul, it’s hard to beat Betsey Trotwood. This Farrington pub hosts a selection of soul artists in its upstairs bar and also offers plenty of tasty tipples on tap.

#3. Leeds

Leeds also enjoys a great reputation for live music and a notable highlight is the Brudenell Social Club. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly but top-class venue, this Queens Road establishment could be it. With a history dating back to 1913, it’s been entertaining crowds for decades. A non-profit making venue, it is most famous for staging secret gigs for high-profile bands like Franz Ferdinand and the Kaiser Chiefs.

The O2 Academy on Cookridge Street is another top local spot. This impressive venue benefits from a state-of-the-art PA system and mesmerising lighting effects. As well as its main auditorium, it has a secondary 400-capacity club space.

#4. Glasgow

North of the border in Scotland, Glasgow more than holds its own in the UK music scene. This west coast city has a rich musical heritage, having spawned the likes of Belle and Sebastian and Mogwai. The venues that dot the metropolis reflect the calibre of its artists too. For example, King Tut’s on St Vincent Street is a must-see. It may be small, but this establishment punches above its weight. Oasis were signed after playing a gig there in the early 1990s and the venue continues to showcase some of the best up and coming talent on offer. Get there early if you want a good view though. With a capacity of just 300, things quickly get cramped.

For a more large-scale gig experience, you can head to the O2 ABC. Since opening in 2005, this Sauchiehall Street venue has established itself as a major player in the local music scene. It is home to two venues and four bars.

#5. Manchester

Last but by no means least, Manchester boasts an electrifying live music scene. If you’re around in the city at the right time, catch The Warehouse Project. This is an annual run of street parties that takes place in the centre of town over three months. During the festival, some of the world’s best DJs and live acts gather to perform in a former warehouse with a capacity of 2,000. You have to get in there quick though. Tickets to the events sell out in no time.

For some jazz and world music, make your way to Band on the Wall in the Northern Quarter. This recently renovated venue has been showcasing acts since the 1930s and it’s still a popular haunt today.