Top 100 UK Music Venues Revealed

Southbank Centre tops list of leading concert venues

PRS for Music analysis highlights healthy growth in live shows

Southbank Centre in London is the leading music venue in the UK, according to new figures released by PRS for Music.

In the 12 months to 31 December 2008, Southbank Centre, which consists of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery, held 634 musical events - attended by over a million people - almost 200 more than the next busiest venue.

PRS for Music the organisation that collects royalties for songwriters and composers, analysed data of more than 10,000 live music events in 2008.


The PRS for Music research also shows that:  

  • In total, the top 100 venues put on 17,837 concerts last year
  • The top 5 venues in 2008, put on more than 3,311 concerts between them.
  • More than a fifth of venues in the top 100 were in London
  • Other top concert locations were: Manchester (5); Glasgow (5), Birmingham (3); and Bristol (3). Perhaps surprisingly, Liverpool, often considered a hotbed of musical activity, had only 2 venues in the top 100.

PRS for Music licenses all live performances in the UK and is able to track music and live trends.

PRS for Music staff regularly attend concerts at these venues collecting set lists, in order to ensure that members are paid their proper royalties.

The top 10 UK venues are: 

  • Southbank Centre
  • Wigmore Hall, London
  • The Sage Gateshead
  • St Martin-In-The Fields, London
  • Royal Northern College Of Music, Manchester
  • Stables, Milton Keynes
  • King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
  • Jazz Café, London 
  • O2 Oxford Academy
  • O2 Academy Birmingham

The full top 100 is attached at the end of this press release listed in order of live performances.


PRS for Music analysis of the top 100 UK concert halls celebrates the success of venues up and down the country, putting on all types of music. From the Southbank Centre to King Tuts Wah Wah Hut; from the Norwick Arts Centre to the Cliffs Pavilion, the British music scene is thriving. Music is at the heart of Britain’s creative industries and live music is an essential and growing part of that

Jeremy Fabinyi, Acting CEO at PRS for Music

It’s great news that Southbank Centre has topped the list for the leading music venue in the UK compiled by PRS for Music. We have a wonderful range of performance spaces, Resident Orchestras and ensembles, and a staff who all share a passion for a breadth of music and artists, from Messiaen to the Master Musicians of Jajouka. Thanks to PRS for Music for this accolade – we’re delighted.

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. 

The UK’s top music venues

Rank Venue Location

1.  Southbank Centre LONDON
2.  Wigmore Hall LONDON
3.  The Sage Gateshead GATESHEAD
4.  St Martin-In-The Fields LONDON
5.  Royal Northern College Of Music MANCHESTER
7.  King Tuts Wah Wah Hut GLASGOW
8.  Jazz Cafe LONDON
9.  O2 Oxford Academy OXFORD
10.  O2 Academy Birmingham BIRMINGHAM
11.  02 Academy Newcastle NEWCASTLE
12.  Bridgewater Hall MANCHESTER
13.  O2 Academy Islington LONDON
14.  O2 Academy Liverpool LIVERPOOL
15.  Fairfield Halls CROYDON
16.  Spa Complex SCARBOROUGH
17.  Philharmonic Hall LIVERPOOL
18.  Underworld LONDON
19.  Barbican Centre LONDON
20.  Royal Scottish Academy Of Music & Drama GLASGOW
21.  Royal Albert Hall LONDON
22.  St James's Church LONDON
23.  Borderline LONDON
24.  Norwich Arts Centre NORWICH
25.  Cadogan Hall LONDON
26.  Birmingham Conservatoire BIRMINGHAM
27.  Komedia Cabaret Bar BRIGHTON
28.  Glasgow Royal Concert Hall GLASGOW
29.  Koko LONDON
30.  Kings Place LONDON
31.  St Davids Hall CARDIFF
32.  St Johns (Main Hall) LONDON
33.  Wedgewood Rooms SOUTHSEA
34.  Brighton Dome BRIGHTON
35.  Glasgow ABC GLASGOW
36.  Little Civic WOLVERHAMPTON
37.  Birmingham Town Hall BIRMINGHAM
38.  O2 Shepherds Bush Empire LONDON
39.  St George's Bristol BRISTOL
40.  Turner Sims Concert Hall SOUTHAMPTON
41.  Night & Day Cafe MANCHESTER
42.  Royal Academy Of Music LONDON
43.  Queen's Hall EDINBURGH
44.  Rock City NOTTINGHAM
45.  Ronnie Scotts Club LONDON
46.  Eden Court Theatre and Cinema INVERNESS
47.  The Junction CAMBRIDGE
49.  O2 Academy Bristol BRISTOL
50.  JB's Club DUDLEY
51.  International Convention Centre BIRMINGHAM
52.  City Halls GLASGOW
53.  Customs House SOUTH SHIELDS
54.  Colston Hall BRISTOL
55.  Strule Arts Centre OMAGH
56.  Robin R'N'B Club 2 BILSTON
57.  Limelight Club CREWE
58.  Rescue Rooms NOTTINGHAM
59.  Royal College Of Music LONDON
60.  Seafront Bandstand EASTBOURNE
61.  Royal Concert Hall NOTTINGHAM
62.  The Brook SOUTHAMPTON
63.  Whitby Pavilion Complex WHITBY
64.  Gala Theatre and Cinema DURHAM
65.  Pavilion Theatre BOURNEMOUTH
66.  Roadhouse MANCHESTER
67.  City Hall SHEFFIELD
68.  Dartington Hall - Great Hall TOTNES
69.  Hawth Theatre Complex CRAWLEY
70.  Embassy Theatre SKEGNESS
71.  Huntingdon Arts WORCESTER
72.  The Met BURY
73.  Music Hall ABERDEEN
74.  West Road Concert Hall CAMBRIDGE
75.  Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (Live) GLASGOW
76.  Bush Hall LONDON
77.  Gordon Craig Theatre Cinema STEVENAGE
79.  Derngate NORTHAMPTON
80.  The Point CARDIFF
81.  Mr Kyp's POOLE
82.  Waterfront Hall BELFAST
83.  The Roundhouse LONDON
84.  Sands Venue GAINSBOROUGH
85.  The Boardwalk SHEFFIELD
86.  The Mill BANBURY
87.  Farnham Maltings FARNHAM
88.  21 South Street READING
89.  De Montfort Hall LEICESTER
90.  Waterfront NORWICH
91.  London Astoria 1 LONDON
92.  O2 Academy Brixton LONDON
93.  Cliffs Pavilion WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA
94.  Epsom Playhouse EPSOM
95.  Guildhall Complex PRESTON
96.  The Venue LONDON
97.  Roses Theatre TEWKESBURY
98.  Perth Concert Hall PERTH
99.  Carling Apollo MANCHESTER
100.  South Hill Park Arts Centre BRACKNELL

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