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Ents24 identifies the UK’s most popular grassroots venues

By | Published on Wednesday 11 January 2017


So, are you all ready for Independent Venue Week, which, please remember, kicks off on 23 Jan this year? Ahead of that celebration of groovy venues that boast at least some independence, live entertainment guide Ents24 has been doing some number crunching to identify the most popular grassroots music venues region by region.

The firm used the Music Venue Trust’s definition of ‘grassroots venue’, and then defined ‘most popular’ as the venues “most tracked by Ents24’s two million monthly visitors” meaning, says the company, that the results are “free of editorial bias, campaigning and judging panels”. So, bad news for fans of editorial bias.

“As founder members of the Music Venues Alliance, veterans of Venues Day, and through our daily work with the 22,500 active venues listed on Ents24, we put our belief in the cultural and economic importance of the UK’s live music venues into practice”, Ents24’s Adam Brooks said yesterday as the most popular venue lists went live.

“Whilst the business of running an amazing venue isn’t a popularity contest, we wanted to recognise the grassroots venues that fans return to again and again, and encourage everybody to take a look at what’s happening near them during Independent Venue Week – and beyond”, he added.

So, there you go. And here are the venues. Small means a capacity under 350, medium 351-650, and large 651+.

South West England
Small: The Louisiana, Bristol
Medium: The Fleece, Bristol
Large: Bristol Academy

South East England
Small: The Joiners, Southampton
Medium: The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Large: Brighton Dome

North West England
Small: The Deaf Institute, Manchester
Medium: Band On The Wall, Manchester
Large: Liverpool Empire Theatre

North East England
Small: Ku Bar, Stockton-on-Tees
Medium: ARC, Stockton-on-Tees
Large: Newcastle City Hall

East Midlands
Small: The Bodega, Nottingham
Medium: The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Large: Rock City, Nottingham

West Midlands
Small: The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Medium: Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
Large: The Robin 2, Wolverhampton

East England
Small: The Portland Arms, Cambridge
Medium: The Waterfront, Norwich
Large: Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea

Small: Fruit, Hull
Medium: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Large: Leeds Academy

Small: The Borderline
Medium: The Garage
Large: Brixton Academy

Small: The Globe, Cardiff
Medium: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
Large: St. David’s Hall, Cardiff

Small: Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
Medium: Oran Mor, Glasgow
Large: Glasgow Academy

Northern Ireland
Small: The Black Box, Belfast
Medium: The Belfast Empire
Large: Ulster Hall, Belfast