Your Ultimate Night Out Guide: Edinburgh’s Top Live Music Venues

Table of Contents

Vibrant live music venue in Edinburgh with a packed audience enjoying a live band performance, showcasing top music spots and energetic nightlife.

Introduction to Edinburgh’s Live Music Scene

Edinburgh is known for its lively and diverse music scene. From traditional Scottish tunes to modern rock and pop, the city offers a rich tapestry of sounds. Whether you are strolling down the Royal Mile or exploring hidden gems in the Grassmarket, you are sure to encounter live music that will captivate your senses.

  • Importance of live music in Edinburgh’s culture:

Live music is a vital part of Edinburgh’s cultural identity. The city hosts numerous music festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which showcases various musical talents. Local pubs and venues regularly feature live performances, making music an integral part of everyday life in Edinburgh. This deep-rooted musical tradition entertains and brings people together, fostering a sense of community and shared experience.

Best Music Venues in Edinburgh

Historic Music Venues

  • The Usher Hall

The Usher Hall is a grand concert hall located in the heart of Edinburgh. Opened in 1914, it has hosted many famous musicians and orchestras. With its stunning architecture and excellent acoustics, it remains a top choice for classical music lovers.

  • The Queen’s Hall

The Queen’s Hall is another historic venue, built in 1823. It is known for its diverse range of performances, from classical concerts to contemporary music. The hall’s intimate setting makes it a favorite among both performers and audiences.

  • The Liquid Room

The Liquid Room is a historic nightclub and live music venue. Established in 1997, it has become a staple in Edinburgh’s music scene. The venue is known for hosting a variety of music genres, including rock, pop, and electronic dance music.

Contemporary Music Venues

  1. Sneaky Pete’s

    Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Cowgate, Sneaky Pete’s is a small but mighty venue. Known for its intimate atmosphere, it hosts a variety of live bands and DJs. With a capacity of just 100 people, every show feels personal and engaging.

    Fun Fact: Sneaky Pete’s has been a launchpad for many up-and-coming artists. It’s a must-visit for those looking to discover new music.

  2. The Mash House

    The Mash House is another gem in Edinburgh’s music scene. Situated in the vibrant area of Guthrie Street, it offers three floors of entertainment. The venue is known for its eclectic mix of music genres, from indie rock to electronic dance music.

    Tip: Check their schedule ahead of time to catch your favorite genre. The Mash House is perfect for a night of dancing and live music.

  3. Summerhall

    Summerhall is not just a music venue; it’s a cultural hub. Located in a former veterinary school, it hosts a wide range of events, including concerts, art exhibitions, and theater performances. The venue is famous for its unique atmosphere and diverse programming.

    Did You Know? Summerhall is a key venue during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, making it a hotspot for both locals and tourists.

Venue Location Capacity Special Features
Sneaky Pete’s Cowgate 100 Intimate setting, up-and-coming artists
The Mash House Guthrie Street Varies by floor Eclectic mix of genres, three floors
Summerhall Former veterinary school Varies by event Cultural hub, diverse programming

Live Music Guide: What to Expect

  • Types of music genres popular in Edinburgh: Edinburgh is known for its diverse music scene. You can enjoy genres like rock, jazz, classical, folk, and electronic. The city hosts many festivals, including the famous Edinburgh International Festival, which features a wide range of music styles.
  • Typical concert etiquette: When attending a concert in Edinburgh, it’s important to be respectful. Arrive on time, avoid talking during performances, and turn off your phone. Applauding at the right moments shows appreciation for the artists.
  • How to find and buy tickets for music events: You can find tickets for music events on websites like Ticketmaster and Eventbrite. Local venues often sell tickets directly on their websites. It’s a good idea to buy tickets early, as popular events can sell out quickly.

Edinburgh Nightlife: Beyond Live Music

Edinburgh is not just about live music. When the concerts end, the city comes alive with vibrant nightlife. Here are some top spots you should check out for a memorable night out.

Popular Bars and Clubs for After-Concert FU

Edinburgh boasts a variety of bars and clubs that cater to all tastes. Whether you enjoy a quiet drink or a lively dance floor, there’s something for everyone.

  • The Voodoo Rooms: Known for its stylish decor and eclectic cocktails, The Voodoo Rooms is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. It’s a great place to unwind after a concert.
  • Cabaret Voltaire: This underground club offers a unique atmosphere with its stone walls and vaulted ceilings. It’s perfect for those who love electronic music and a good dance.
  • Whistle Binkies: If you still crave live music, Whistle Binkies offers live bands every night. Enjoy a drink while listening to some great tunes.

Local Food Spots for Late-Night Dining

After a night of music and dancing, you’ll likely be hungry. Edinburgh has plenty of late-night food spots to satisfy your cravings.

  • Mamma’s American Pizza: Open until late, Mamma’s offers delicious pizzas with a variety of toppings. It’s a perfect spot for a late-night bite.
  • Oink: For something different, try Oink’s famous hog roast sandwiches. They are a local favorite and a must-try.
  • Palmyra: If you fancy some Mediterranean cuisine, Palmyra offers tasty kebabs and wraps. It’s a great option for a quick and satisfying meal.

Top Music Spots for Different Genres

Rock and Indie Music

  • Bannerman’s Bar

Bannerman’s Bar is a must-visit for rock and indie music lovers. Located in the heart of Edinburgh, this bar has been a staple in the local music scene for years. With its cozy atmosphere and historic setting, Bannerman’s offers live music almost every night. The bar features both local bands and international acts, making it a great spot to discover new music.

Fun Fact: Bannerman’s Bar is situated in the historic Cowgate area, known for its vibrant nightlife.

  • The Caves

The Caves is another iconic venue for rock and indie music. This unique spot is actually a series of vaults and tunnels beneath the South Bridge. The Caves offers an unforgettable experience with its atmospheric setting and top-notch acoustics. It’s a popular venue for both up-and-coming bands and established artists.

Did You Know? The Caves is part of the larger “Unusual Venues” group, which includes other historic sites in Edinburgh.

Jazz and Blues

  • The Jazz Bar

The Jazz Bar is a must-visit for jazz lovers. Located on Chambers Street, it offers live music every night. The bar has a cozy atmosphere, perfect for enjoying smooth jazz tunes. Many famous jazz musicians have performed here, making it a key spot in Edinburgh’s music scene.

Tip: Arrive early to get a good seat, as it can get crowded!

Address Opening Hours Website
1A Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1HR Mon-Sun: 5 PM – 3 AM
  • Whighams Wine Cellars

Whighams Wine Cellars is another fantastic venue for jazz and blues. Located in the West End, it offers a mix of live music and delicious wine. The cellar setting adds to the charm, making it a great place for a relaxed evening.

Did you know? Whighams has been a part of Edinburgh’s music scene since 1983!

Address Opening Hours Website
13 Hope St, Edinburgh EH2 4EL Mon-Sun: 12 PM – 12 AM

Live Bands and Music Events in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is home to many talented bands and musicians. Some of the popular local bands include Young Fathers, a Mercury Prize-winning band known for their unique sound. Another favorite is Idlewild, a rock band with a loyal following. You can also find Broken Records, an indie folk band that has made waves in the local music scene.

Annual Music Festivals and Events in Edinburgh

Edinburgh hosts several annual music festivals that attract visitors from all over the world. One of the most famous is the Edinburgh International Festival, which features various music genres, from classical to contemporary.

Another major event is the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, held every July. This festival showcases some of the best jazz and blues musicians from around the globe.

For those who love folk music, the Edinburgh Folk Festival is a must-visit. It celebrates traditional Scottish music and dance, offering a unique cultural experience.

These festivals provide a fantastic opportunity to enjoy live music in beautiful settings, making your visit to Edinburgh unforgettable.

Edinburgh Concert Venues: What to Know Before You Go

  • How to get to and from venues:

Edinburgh has many ways to get around. You can use buses, trams, or taxis. The Lothian Buses are very reliable and cover most of the city. You can also use the Edinburgh Trams, which run from the airport to the city center. If you prefer taxis, you can easily find them around the city or book one using apps like Uber.

After the concert, you might find it busy. Plan your trip back in advance. Check the last bus or tram times so you don’t miss them. Many venues are in the city center, so walking is also a good option if you are staying nearby.

  • What to bring to a concert:

When going to a concert, it’s important to bring a few key items. Always carry your ticket or have it ready on your phone. Bring a valid ID, especially if the concert is for ages 18 and up. It’s also a good idea to have some cash, as not all places accept cards.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes since you might be standing for a long time. Check the weather forecast and bring a jacket or umbrella if needed. Lastly, pack light. Most venues have security checks, and large bags might not be allowed.

Conclusion: Your Ultimate Edinburgh Night Out

Edinburgh is a city full of vibrant music venues. From the historic Usher Hall to the intimate Sneaky Pete’s, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the lively atmosphere at The Caves and the eclectic mix at The Voodoo Rooms.

  • Final tips for enjoying Edinburgh’s music scene:
    • Plan ahead: Check out the event schedules and book your tickets early.
    • Dress comfortably: Many venues are casual, but you’ll want to be comfortable for dancing.
    • Explore different genres: Edinburgh offers a wide variety of music styles. Try something new!
    • Stay safe: Keep an eye on your belongings and travel with friends if possible.

Edinburgh’s music scene is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a fan of rock, jazz, or classical music, the city has something to offer. Enjoy your night out in Edinburgh and make unforgettable memories!