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The best small music venues in London

We know nights out in London can be expensive, particularly if you're visiting the capital and forking out for travel, food accommodation. That's why we've put together a list of affordable, live music venues to appeal to every budget. Check out how to have a great time in London as a music lover.


Live gigs in London

London is home to a huge range of small yet famous music venues. This combined with its rich history of live music makes the UK’s capital city a popular choice for music loving tourists.

However, nights out in London can be expensive. On top of the cost of travel, food and accommodation, paying for several gigs or concerts can increase the cost of a trip to London significantly. 

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the cheaper live music venues in London. From free concerts to affordable gigs, this live music venue guide includes everything the music loving tourist needs in order to enjoy an inexpensive, yet melodic trip to London.

Cheap live music in London 

London’s live music scene is very diverse with hundreds of venues offering both home grown and touring talent on a nightly basis. In fact, the abundance of nights, shows and bands means that accessing cheap live music in London is easy if you know where to go. Finding a good cheap gig in London is a great way to spend an evening as it gives you a chance to discover something unique to where you are without costing too much. The following venues are perfect for just that! 

The Moth Club

The Moth Club is based near Hackney Central and puts on concerts pretty much every night. Most events cost somewhere in the range of £10 – £15 depending on the band you’re seeing. With a lively atmosphere and a wide selection of music genres, the Moth club is a great place to discover new artists without breaking the bank. You can check out the Moth Club's latest events.

The 100 Club

This is a special venue for any serious music lover. The 100 club has been putting on live music since 1942 and proudly boasts the title of 'the oldest independent venue worldwide.'

To this day, the venue pioneers fresh, live music and tends to attract well known artists due to its colourful history in the live music scene. Despite this, it remains affordable, often meaning gig-goers can catch bigger acts for less cash. 

Tickets for gigs tend to range between £10 - £20. For music lovers it’s worth every penny to see high quality live music in one of the most iconic venues in the world. Find out what’s on at The 100 Club.

The Old Blue Last

The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch is one of the most renowned live music venues in London - and for good reason! 

With live music and DJs seven nights a week, visitors can enjoy a number of up and coming bands as well as some of the bigger names in music. And the best thing about this music venue? More often than not, the events are completely free. 

Head to the Old Blue Last’s listings and find out who’s playing while you’re in London.

ULU Live

The University of London’s Student Union boasts two much loved west London venues: The Venue is a 828 capacity venue adjoined to The Library, a 250 capacity standing bar that serves a selection of beers, wines and mixers at great prices. Both are located at UoL’s Student Central campus on Malet street, Bloomsbury. Throughout the year The Venue offers gig nights every day of the week showcasing bands across a wide variety of genres from classic rock through to soul, indie and big band. 


KOKO is a key venue in the world of London’s live music, and a must visit for any live music lover. Located in Camden, this venue has hosted various well-known acts and artists of all musical genres.

However, be sure to visit after Spring 2020, as it’s currently closed for renovation. It’s worth keeping on your list of small music venues in London. You can find out about KOKO.

The Spice of Life

The Spice of Life has been a thriving member of London’s music scene for years. It really came to life in the late 90s after the owners started a successful jazz club, and since then, many top acts have taken its stage.

Located in London’s bustling West End, it’s well worth a visit. It’s affordable too, with concerts costing anywhere between £5-20. Head to the Spice of Life’s events page.

Live music in london
London is home to a huge range of small yet famous music venues

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Top Jazz bars in London - our top picks

Venues that play good live Jazz in London are plentiful but hard to find. Finding the smoothest, most authentic Jazz nights can be a challenge due to the size of the city especially if your time in the capital is limited. Of course, there are the world renowned heavy weights such as Ronnie Scott’s but these can sometimes be very expensive and hard to secure tickets for. If you are spending time in the capital and want the best recommendations for a cosy low-key Jazz experience, make sure that you check out the following:  

The Blues Kitchen 

Camden town has always been the centre of iconic music for the last half century. From the mid-70s punk scene with The Sex Pistols and the Clash,  all the way through to the early noughties indie icons like the Libertines and Amy Winehouse. This charming area of north London is also home to some fantastic grass roots venues such as the Blues kitchen. The venue’s name gives a clue as to what you can expect in terms of music. Jazz and soul nights are also included in the live offering and you can even grab £5 cocktails every Wednesday! 

Cat and Mutton

For the serious jazz lover, The Cat and Mutton is a must-visit live music venue. The club hosts a jazz night every Monday from 8:30pm, along with a range of other events during the week. 

Located in Broadway Market, it’s affordable, lively and a perfect place to spend an evening in London. Check out the Cat and Mutton’s events.

Notting Hill Arts Club

Notting Hill Arts Club is a live music lovers dream. With concerts throughout the week, this dynamic and passionate venue offers everything a true music lover wants from a live music venue – variety, soul and affordability! 

Ticket prices depend on the artist, but you shouldn’t expect to pay more than £20. Head to the Notting Hill Arts Club events page.

Café Oto

You can find Cafe OTO in Dalston, and it’s another safe haven for passionate live music lovers. 

The venue strives to provide a home for 'creative new music that exists outside of the mainstream.' Here you’ll find live music seven nights a week, and all concerts are managed by a not-for-profit community interest company. 

While concert prices range in price, tickets are more than often below £10. So, for music lovers who want to discover fresh music affordably, this is the perfect venue. You can find a list of upcoming Café Oto events.

Windmill Brixton

The Windmill Brixton is one of South London’s best loved music venues. Having started out as a normal pub, the venue has now evolved into a live music lover’s paradise, earning raving reviews from the likes of Time Out Magazine and DrownedinSound. 

This venue prides itself on cheap entry, fairly priced beer and quality music. Perfect for anyone who’s looking for a night of musical entertainment on a budget.

Concerts start as cheaply as £3 – head to the Windmill Brixton’s listings.

Servant Jazz Quarters

This venue describes itself as a 'boutique music venue and cocktail bar in the heart of Dalston.' It specialises in live music during the week, while DJs take to the stage on the weekend.

It’s a great place to discover a range of music genres without the hefty price tag. Gigs cost between £6-15. Find out who’s playing and when.

The Piano Works

If you’re looking for a 'show' experience but don’t want to pay West End prices, you’ll love the Piano Works. 

The Victorian listed warehouse venue is in the heart of Farringdon and is a late night, live music venue where two pianists and accompanying musicians play songs requested by the audience. It’s affordable, fun and a great way to spend one of your nights in London. Find out more about the venue.

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Affordable accommodation in London

If you’re coming to London for a live music filled break, our accommodation offers you the perfect base. 

At Stay Central, we provide affordable, short term accommodation in the heart of London, perfect for tourists who want to spend a few days exploring the city.

Located close to a number of live music venues and with great public transport access, our University of London apartments put in you in the centre of the capital city without costing a fortune. 

In fact, our accommodation costs significantly less than most hotels and apartments in the area. We offer single bedrooms from just £55 a night, doubles from £104, and entire apartments from only £105.  

For more information about our range of accommodation types, take a look at our availability and prices.

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