Things to do | Posted 28 Nov 2018

As a music fan, there aren’t many places you’d rather be. Across the UK and Ireland, we’re incredibly proud of our musical history, and for good reason. We’ve produced some of the greatest bands and artists the world has ever known, and have a thriving live music scene. Whether you’re looking for rock and roll or funk and soul, house and techno or hip-hop and R&B, there’s something for everyone.

But where is the best place to be a music fan? We analysed 50 of the biggest cities and towns across the UK and Ireland to find out. Each location was ranked based on the answers to three key questions:

  • How many arenas, live music venues and nightclubs does it have?
  • How many events does it host per month?
  • What is the average cost of a pint of beer?

(Please note, figures were adjusted according to population, then used to provide an overall ‘music fan ranking score’ for each location)

Due to the size and nature of London, we broke this down by borough to create a separate ranking - more on that later…

Taking the number one spot was Manchester, birthplace of Oasis, The Happy Mondays, New Order, The Bee Gees and many more household names. Music fans in The Northern Powerhouse have a whopping 249 venues to choose from, with an average of 448 events taking place each month. And with a pint of beer costing £3.15 on average, your next northern night out won’t break the bank either!

Coming in second place was Brighton and Hove. Despite only having 126 venues and an average of 247 monthly events, Brighton and Hove has a much smaller population, meaning there’s much less competition for gig-goers.

Third place went to Glasgow, with 147 venues, 331 monthly events and a pint of beer costing an average of £2.75 – the 10th cheapest pint on our list.

The crown for cheapest pint of beer goes to Durham, where punters can expect to pay around £2.10. At the other end of the scale, music fans in Dublin are paying the most for their beer, with a pint costing £4.41 (€4.98*) on average. However, Dublin comes out on top for number of events, with the Irish city hosting an average of 564 gigs every month!


Which are London’s most musical boroughs?

As we mentioned earlier, we decided to split London out from the rest of our ranking. As a total, the city is home to an impressive 6 arenas, 441 live venues and 2,198 nightclubs, hosting an average of 1,576 events each month!

However, we wanted to take a closer look, seeing how this varied from one borough to the next.

Hackney came out on top as the most musical borough in London, with 16 live venues and 178 nightclubs. Second place went to Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament, as well as 11 live music venues and 81 nightclubs.

Feeling inspired to explore the UK and Ireland’s impressive music scene? Explore the complete data set below to find out where your favourite city ranks.

Looking for somewhere to stay for your next trip away? Book your stay today with Leonardo Hotels.

The UK and Ireland's Most Musical Cities

Please note: The figures for total number of active venues and events were gathered from SongKick and Resident Advisor. The average price of a pint was determined using PintPrice.

*GBP to Euro conversion accurate as of 26/11/18

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