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The music scene within Newcastle is always going through constant flux. There's countless venues for you to choose from, all offering similar yet different experiences depending on the artist/vibe that you subscribe to. No matter what time of year it is, there are always going to be opportunities to witness live performances from a myriad of different musicians and performers. In this article, I’m going to gloss over some of the cities top destinations for live music, as well as some that you never knew existed until now.


Utilita Arena 

This is the location that most of you will have heard of. Utilita Arena is the biggest venue in Newcastle and is the location where some of the biggest bands in the world perform. Over the past years, Utilita Arena has seen everyone from the likes of the Dua Lipa and Sam Fender to The Weekend perform. If any big names come to town, you can bet that they will either play at the Utilita Arena or St James’ Park which has been known to host a lot of gigs also. 

The Sage

Reserved for some of the more classical events in the north east, The Sage over on Gateshead side is one of the most iconic locations in the entire UK. Built in 2004, the building cost 70 million pounds, featuring multiple rooms that each have their own special feel. Prices at the Sage do vary depending on what it is you are going to see, but the sheer architecture of the building and the gravitas of just being within its presence is more than worth it. 

O2 City Hall

The O2 City Hall has provided gig-goers with some very memorable shows over the past few years. Artists of the likes of Florence + the Machine or The Vaccines have performed here, which gives you an idea on what kind of place this is. You’ll find that the City Hall will also present a lot of shows that centre on artists on the rise who will one day make it big, so there really is something for everyone.

The Cluny 

Located in the creative-cluster of Ouseburn is The Cluny, a very intimate space that showcases a lot more independent and local artists. The Cluny is similar to the Academy in that they have had a lot of musicians perform here that have gone on to plunge into the mainstream, such as Peace. There is very little space from the stage to the audience, which makes for very up-close visuals that only heighten the performances by proxy. 


Normally a night club, occasionally a venue for live music, Riverside is one of Newcastle’s top night club destinations, and for good reason. What this venue offers is equally as memorable as the others listed here. To me this venue feels somewhat American in its design, with a singular balcony looking on to the stage which has had the likes of Crystal Castles and Cage the Elephant perform on it. 

Cobalt Studios

Like The Cluny, Cobalt is located within the Ouseburn, and it is a creative hub to various different activities for one to participate in. Cobalt is a haven for creative movements and forward-thinkers, a spot that brings in artists from around the world — often unheard-of performers — and manages to mesh them in with the aesthetics. If you love independent and raw performances, then Cobalt should be your mecca. 

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