Places to Perform Live Music + Performance Opportunities for Singers
In this guide, we’ve compiled some of the places you can perform, with links to a wide range of opportunities. If you scroll down, we’ve also included some venues that are great places to perform in London, with links to other cities around the UK.
All musicians and singers want to play great live shows. Performing live is essential for a singer as it helps them to gain real industry experience and learn their stage craft.
If you’re looking to share your music with an audience, here are the places and events where singers can perform live.
Play live music at the following places
Live music – where can singers perform live? By performing to a crowd live, a singer can get a sense of which songs work for them and which songs don’t.
Also, and equally as important, it’s an opportunity to network, build fans and create further performance opportunities.
#1 Pubs and clubs
Most local pubs and bars will open their venue to singers on a regular basis as a way of making money.
This is a good opportunity for singers to get experience as they are often run on a regular basis and the crowd will never be the same. This way you’re constantly playing for people who haven’t seen you perform before.
Don’t just try to play at the same venues and places other singers and bands frequently perform at!
Restaurants are a great place to cut your teeth as a live singers, and will often be looking for new acts to entertain their customers.
This will then further increase the likelihood of you getting booked to play larger venues.
You can read tips elsewhere on our website on how to get more gigs as a singer, including advice on how to contact venues for opportunities.
#3 Open mic nights
You have the opportunity to showcase new material and see how it is received. This way after your performance you could ask for any feedback and make any additional changes to the song to give it more appeal.
You could use it as a chance to write a proper set list so you keep the best received songs in and remove any that didn’t get much of a reaction.
The most important thing is to network. Try different Open Mic nights all over your area don’t just stick to the same ones. Speaking to other singers and acts will hopefully open up more performance opportunities, shared gigs, promoter details and other gig opportunities.
#4 Our national singing competitions
Open Mic UK is the exciting national singing competition for singers and solo artists in the UK.
This singing competition attracts over 10,000 acts every year as it travels across the country in search for the UK’s best singers, singer/songwriters, rappers and vocalists. Acts can perform either covers or original material and it’s open to all genres, so whether you’re into pop, RnB, acoustic or classical, Open Mic UK has it all.
To find out more, including when the nearest auditions are taking place to you, explore our singing competition page.
#5 Community events
Being well known in the community as a singer can open many doors for a singer. So why not take some time to volunteer your talent to community events such as church fetes and open days for example.
You never know who’s going to turn up to one of those events.
#6 BandWagon gigs
BangWagon is a website where you can search for live performance opportunities in your area and see whether or not they’re paid.
The idea of this website is for venues to fill their slots for the night and for singers to be given a chance to build their experience up.
#7 Alive Network
Alive Network isn’t necessarily a place where you can find places to perform, but it is a place where people can come to find you to perform for them.
People who are looking for a singer for a certain event can browse the site and find singers in specific areas and see how much they’ll cost. As a singer putting yourself on this website gives you the opportunity to be booked by people who may have never heard of you, and they’re paying.
It’s potentially a new audience and an income stream.
So that’s our list of possibilities where you could play live music and get much needed singing experience. But what about some real life examples of venues we know are currently offering opportunities.
Take a look below.
Places to perform in London
If we take London as an example, there is a huge variety of venues where you can perform. If you live in the capital city, here are some places offering performance opportunities for singers.
These venues offer opportunities to perform for indie bands, and singers wanting to test their skills at an open mic night.
- The Dublin Castle (Camden), 94 Parkway, London
- Brixton Jamm (Brixton), 261 Brixton Road, London
- Lock Tavern (Camden), 35 Chalk Farm Road, London
- The Hope & Anchor (Islington), 207 Upper Street, London
- The Windmill (Brixton), 22 Blenheim Gardens, London
- Blues Kitchen (Camden), 111 Camden High Street, London
- Anise Bar, Liverpool Street, London
- Bedroom Bar (Shoreditch), 68 Rivington Street, London
- The Dover Castle (City of London), 6A Great Dover Street, London
- The Nelsons (Hackney) 32 Horatio Street, London
Open mic nights around the UK
We’ve also compiled lists of some of the best open mic nights in and around the UK. Select from the list below to check what places to perform live music you can find near to you.
What other places can you recommend our readers check out as places to sing and perform? Offer your own ideas in the comments below!