Our Favourite UK Venues | Independent Venue Week 2020

Our Favourite UK Venues | Independent Venue Week 2020
VenuesJanuary 27, 2020

This week (27 January- 2 February) is Independent Venue Week across the UK! We’re major fans of our local indie venues — like Sofar, they believe in creating space where music matters and championing local artists. 

For the next seven days, Independent Venue Week is celebrating these local venues around the UK and the people that own, run and work in them. Make sure you go out, support and check out a show!

To celebrate, some of our UK city teams are sharing their favourite local independent venues:

The Loco Klub | Bristol

The Loco Klub is such a hidden gem in Bristol. You've heard of the underground music scene — these folks take it literally. Tucked away behind Temple Meads station, upstairs is the old railway social club with a lovely little outdoor area for summer. Below are the ash pits, a series of railway arches built by Bristol legend Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The Loco Klub is vibrant and creative whilst still staying true to its historic roots. You can feel the history in there, and it transports you away from the outside world. The team at The Loco Klub are beyond welcoming and supportive — they're some of our favourite hosts! They're passionate about working within the Bristol community to host music, theatre, cabaret and art. As hosts of Sofar Bristol, they've hosted some amazing acts including Bad Sounds, Ngaio and No Violet.” - Esther, Sofar Bristol

The Loco Klub in BristolThe Loco Klub in Bristol | Photo by Dave Reed

Windmill | London

Windmill in Brixton is one of my favourite spots in London. It has managed to retain a real sense of community with artists and its audience. It’s an intimate and magical place for discovering anything from acts who have become my favourites, to those weird and wonderful performances that you can only ever experience at the Windmill.” - Adam, Sofar London

Windmill in LondonWindmill in London | Photo: Windmill

The Brook | Southampton

The Brook is a lively, diverse and award-winning Independent Music Venue established since 1994 in Southampton. Long considered a favourite in the South of England, it’s a large and beautiful old Victorian building full of character and charm, yet still maintaining an intimate concert space, where all who want can get up close and personal with live artists and performers. 

The Brook passionately supports local musicians and promoters and have held several Sofar Southampton shows over the years. Nick Lewis and Dylan Clarke are inspiring and great guys to work with and provide Southampton with a wide range of music and comedy nights. 

The Brook has welcomed onto its stage the brilliant Passenger, Jess Glynn, Rixton, Mel C, Public Service Broadcasting, Tom Odell, Lucy Rose, Billy Bragg, Taylor Hawkins, London Grammar and Katchafire, to name a few.” - Steve, Sofar Southampton

The Brook in SouthamptonThe Brook in Southampton | Photo: The Brook

Hyde Park Book Club | Leeds

"Hyde Park Book Club, transformed from what was an old petrol station, is now one of the most important creative hubs for the ever growing independent arts community in Leeds. The venue has two events spaces which host regular gigs for local promoters as well as their own regular jazz nights. Spoken word, book and magazine launches, and art and photography exhibitions also make up part of the extensive range of events hosted at the venue. This is all coupled with a fantastic cafe, bar, plant shop and record store, giving you a venue you could spend your whole day in and not get bored. The owner of Hyde Park Book Club is a huge fan of Sofar Sounds and has been a great help to us in Leeds, from hosting shows to linking us up with other art groups. Hyde Park Book Club is more than just a venue. It's a community!" - Matthew, Sofar Leeds

Hyde Park Book Club in LeedsHyde Park Book Club in Leeds | Photo: Hyde Park Book Club

Hare and Hounds | Birmingham

Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath is a beautiful old school pub that put on an amazingly varied programme of gigs, filled with the best touring and local artists. Also the sound system in there is the bees knees!" - Rohit, Sofar Birmingham

Hare and Hounds in BirminghamHare and Hounds in Birmingham | Photo: Hare and Hounds

There are so many more venues out there we love — check out Independent Venue Week for a full list and all the events going on this week!

And of course, discover and support local artists at an upcoming Sofar near you! Never been? Artists play 20-25 minute stripped-down sets with us, but we always share their upcoming full set shows so you can catch ‘em in full AND support your local venues. Win-win.

Header image of The Loco Klub by Chloe Williams

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