As one of the most bustling capital cities in Europe, London has a rich musical scene that can be enjoyed by people from all age groups and backgrounds. London is home to many large venues where the biggest names in music go on tour every year. The 02 usually hosts top names in the industry like Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga and Rihanna in recent years. Tickets for these concerts sell out pretty fast so make sure to follow sites like Ticketmaster, See Tickets and Gigs and Tours to get the opportunity to see your favourite artists live. I was able to get a ticket to go see Ed Sheeran at the Royal Albert Hall through the Gigs and Tours website, so definitely do not miss out!
However, sometimes the tickets to the concerts at big venues can be inaccessible to many students due to the high costs. If you’d still like to experience live music during your time in London, I would recommend that you check out these smaller venues that often host newer names in the industry—imagine the next Coldplay in the making!
Royal Albert Hall
Located in South Kensington, The Royal Albert Hall is one of England’s premier concert halls that hosts more than 360 events per year. The venue was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871 and named after her late husband, Prince Albert. It is also this year’s venue for the prestigious British Academy Film Awards. You can also enjoy a self-guided tour, splash on a music-themed afternoon tea, or dine at one of the venue’s restaurants. While some of the concerts and tickets are at the top end of the budget, the venue often has more affordable tickets on offer, but you have to be quick! The famous Victoria and Albert Museum is a couple of blocks away so make sure to not miss either of these attractions when you’re in South Kensington.
Lafayette is a 600-capacity live music venue near King’s Cross Station that frequently hosts several gigs per week, featuring acts like Charlie XCX, Ashe, and James Issac. Tickets are affordably priced at £10-£15. The auditorium is part of the Goods Way, a social space that has the New Orleans-styled bar called Sweetbar and the foot court, The CourtYard.
O2 Academy Brixton
The O2 Academy Brixton is a mid-sized music venue located in Brixton, South London. The venue is owned by Academy Music Group and has won the NME Best Venue 12 times. Brixton was famously selected by Madonna to host her live show, which was live streamed by more than 9 million people. I was, fortunately, able to see the electric-pop duo HONNE at this venue. In addition to great music, the venue also hosts live comedy, often with big names in the British comedy scene.