This is the place when you are fond of heavier music. May it be Punk or all variations of Heavy Metal - this intimate live music venue is all about a great gig experience.
As central as you can get - Radisson Blu is the perfect choice if you are heading for a gig in major venues like O2 Academy or First Direct Arena which are in walking distance. So are a number of more exciting live venues and bars.
Radisson Blu is also near recommended sightseeing spots such as Town Hall, Leeds Cathedral, and Leeds University (The Refectory) and an ideal base camp for record shopping.
Located in Leeds’ vibrant Northern Quarter, well known Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen is one of the city’s best live music venues. Combine it with a nice bar and restaurant area, top it with a spectacular roof terrace - the result is one of the best places to spend a characteristic Leeds evening.
While new records are all well and good, sometimes you need a place that specialises in the best of the past - independent Relics Records is one of them, with plenty of original pressings of classic records. Spread out over two floors, since 1991 they offer everything of popular music from the 50s up until the present day on both CD and vinyl. It’s the collection of the older stuff that is the most impressive though.
Having originally opened in 1971, Jumbo Records is officially the oldest independent record shop left standing in the city of Leeds. A legend of the local music scene for over 30 years now, with a huge selection of vinyl and CDs as well as music magazines. Especially for vinyl addicts, Jumbo is a haven. There are loads of Rock, Indie, and Pop albums records to browse - added with the staff’s personal recommendations on them. Jumbo covers the whole spectrum of Dance, Soul, Jazz and Soundtracks, too.
Santiago is all about Rock music. Located in Leeds' Grand Arcade in the very heart of the city, it's one of the best venues for having some drinks while listening to tunes from a broad range from Metal to Classic Rock and Hard Rock. They have bands on regularly, the majority of which are free, while it’s even played host to one-off gigs by the likes of Frank Turner in the past.
Leeds' Merrion Street offers loads of bars in spitting distance. One of the most worth ones to spent the evening is MOJO. With its motto Music For The People placed above the two-level bar, and plenty of Rock ’n’ Roll and Americana memorabilia, it's about both music and drinks alike. There are plenty of places to drink and stay around, but few of them are as unpretentious as MOJO.
What a friendly, independent bar hangout is Verve. Offering live music and comedy performances in their basement Mariachi Tequila bar. All for free. A truly unique place within Leeds’ vibrant bar scene. Verve serves an extensive choice of bottled and draught beers as well as incredibly delicious long drinks and cocktails.
When the Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen opened in 2013, it responded to a need for a large-room live music venue with a decent bar, craft beer, and reliable street food. What was once a large nursery school in the city’s Northern Quarter is now a vibrant, youthful, three-storey hangout and one of the city’s best live music venues. Ultimate highlight: the spectacular roof terrace.
Leeds University, really? Yes, it's not only a place to study, but also to enjoy live music in three different venues, with The Refectory the most popular one. Situated in the heart of the campus, it hosted legendary performances since the 60s such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. The venue is highly renowned for The Who live album Live at Leeds which was recorded there.
Brudenell Social Club is a non-profit community and live music venue northwest of Leeds city centre. It is a centrepiece of the local music scene and most famous for hosting secret gigs for bands like Franz Ferdinand, British Sea Power, and Kaiser Chiefs. It is owned and run by members, for members.
The arrival of this first large-capacity venue was undoubtedly long-overdue. Before, Leeds was left behind as huge Rock bands toured the country, who were forced to play in Sheffield, Liverpool, or Manchester, instead of the city equally famed for its contribution to music. The calendar of First Direct Arena has a strong emphasis on Rock ‘n’ Roll.
It's an impressive Gothic building that hosts O2 Academy Leeds. With global superstars as well as local newcomers on the event calendar, this is one of the most renowned venues in town. Also centrally located in walking distance to main sightseeing attractions, shopping options and numerous bars and restaurants, O2 Academy is a hotspot for both locals and tourists.
Leeds Festival alongside with its twin Reading Festival, marks one of the most iconic British music events. Basically a Rock festival, it also showcases a line-up that spans various genres including Metal, Punk, Indie, and House. It's a true Hall Of Fame that have graced Leeds Festival famous main stage. Among them AC/DC, Metallica, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Green Day, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, just to name a few.
The Wardrobe offers a full event calendar of gigs, combined with excellent drinks and food. Also a great choice if you are looking for smaller shows - whether music, comedy, or art performances. The basement venue hosts bigger, yet intimate live performances. As for the kitchen, The Wardrobe provides a delicious selection of pre or post gig snacks, salads, and burgers on its menu.
Headrow House opened up in 2015 and has since become one of the most popular music venues in Leeds, helped by it’s amazing beer hall, cocktail bar, restaurant, and rooftop terraces, no doubt. For a really cool relaxed feel and definitely worth a visit. Also hosting numerous live performances from both renowned and upcoming artists and bands.
Since its beginnings in 2007, Live at Leeds is an award winning metropolitan festival held annually within a variety of venues and spaces in Leeds city centre. Most of them even in walking distance. It showcases the best new emerging artists alongside more established acts from around the world.