Live music

Whatever your taste in music, you’ll find it live in Birmingham

O2 Academy, Birmingham
O2 Academy, Birmingham

The newly reopened O2 Academy, Birmingham hosts many big name indie, R&B, Hip Hop and dance acts. Gigs in the last year include the Arctic Monkeys, Dizzee Rascal, The Enemy and the Kings of Leon.

The HMV Institute hosts big names and up-and-coming acts, with several gigs each week. There are also three club nights a week, covering alt, pop, rnb, dnb, indie, electro and more.

The National Indoor Arena, NEC Arena and LG Arena are all within walking distance or a five minute train ride from the city centre. These arenas are frequent ports of call for some of the world’s biggest acts - Muse, Take That, Beyonce, Kasabian and the Foo Fighters are just some of the bands to have performed there in the last year.

If arena bands aren’t for you, or if you just want to discover something new, many smaller venues across the city host unsigned acts and open-mic nights throughout the week. Birmingham’s diverse culture also means you can find live music from across the world in one city. The Drum is Europe's first arts centre dedicated to developing and promoting African, Caribbean and Asian arts. It regularly hosts live music.

There are a number of venues in the city centre where you can see jazz and blues bands. The Jam House, owned by Jools Holland, has live music six nights a week.

Music festivals

Birmingham hosts many music festivals including the International Jazz Festival, the Moseley Folk Festival. Check out our Events & festivals page for more.  


Birmingham Town Hall
Birmingham Town Hall

If you enjoy classical music Birmingham has a lot to offer. The Symphony Hall, one of the finest concert halls in the world, is home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) and offers cheap tickets for students (often just £5). The Hippodrome Theatre is a base for the Birmingham Royal Ballet and hosts many other touring musicals and events.

The Grade I listed Birmingham Town Hall was reopened in 2007 after major renovation work, and hosts a range of musical events, including spectacular concerts on its Georgian 6,000-pipe organ.

The award-winning Birmingham Opera Company has built a reputation for performing world-class professional opera in unusual spaces. Over the last few years they have performed Beethoven’s Fidelio in a big top pitched beside Aston Villa FC and Bernstein’s Candide in an old car parts factory in Digbeth.

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