Newcastle's music scene: your venue menu

Head of Culture Maud Webster takes readers through the assortment of music venues our Toon has to offer.

Maud Webster
2nd October 2021
Credit: Newcastle University SU Gigs & Events via Facebook

If you’re a live music fan and have just moved to Newcastle, get ready to be spoiled with choice when it comes to venues to see your favourite artists grace the stage. Gig venues of all shapes and sizes can be found all around the city - from huge events with big headliners at the Utilita Arena, to more intimate, up-and-coming talent at the Ouseburn’s Cluny.

O2 Academy

Round the corner from the station, Newcastle’s O2 Academy offers some good shows from touring bands and artists (as well as a WIDE range of tribute bands - Fleetingwood Mac or Antarctic Monkeys, anyone?). Be warned the bar is very pricey (I still have a vendetta from first year) but overall it’s a pretty nice, mediumish-sized venue. Upcoming gigs include Rag’n’Bone Man (3/10), Easy Life (11/10) and Sleaford Mods (24/10).


Credit: Sage Gateshead via Facebook

If classical music is more your thing, you can hop across the Tyne to the massive, glinting, silver building called the ‘Sage’ (it looks a little like a big metallic slug… but that’s for acoustic reasons). You can cop student tickets to Royal Northern Sinfonia shows for a fiver - and this includes a free beer, if you need some persuasion.


Your campus has it’s very own music venue - aptly named ‘Venue’ - which you can find below Luthers in the main student union building. It hosts frequent club nights as well as booking many solo acts and bands on tours. Artists playing the SU soon include Inhaler (1/10), Beabadoobee (2/10) and HRVY (18/10).

Utilita Arena

With a capacity of 11,000, the Utilita can be found to the east of the city just by the river and is the largest concert venue in the North East. Huge names in the music industry have played here over the past couple of decades, including Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Cher and bands such as The Backstreet Boys, Take That and Little Mix. Check out the Utilita if you fancy seeing the eclectic mix of JLS (22/10), Rick Astley (12/11) or Sam Fender (18/11).


Credit: The Cluny via Facebook

In Newcastle’s hipster district, the Ouseburn, you can find the Cluny - a pub / music space which hosts a huge range of up-and-coming artists covering many genres. The Cluny’s playing host to Liz Lawrence (3/10), Joesef (12/10) and Porridge Radio (9/11) if any of these take your fancy.

This is just a little preview into the venue offerings Newcastle can bestow upon you - there are heaps of other places playing all kinds of live music so be sure to make your own discoveries! If you have a favourite place you’d love to rave about in writing, get in touch with one of our music editors and share your thoughts with the Courier’s readers.

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AUTHOR: Maud Webster
she/they | third year architecture & urban planning student @ newcastle | co-head of culture for the 21/22 academic year

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