Bristol prides itself on having one of the best music scenes in the UK – and who are we to disagree? Whether you prefer basement jazz or backroom indie, this portside city has a good ear for music and an eclectic host of venues to boot. Follow our music lover’s guide to Bristol for insider tips on where to go and what to listen to.


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The Louisiana

This place is rumoured to have the Midas touch, with a history of nudging indie artists over the brink of fame and big-name success. An impressive legacy of home-grown artists includes the likes of Muse, Coldplay, The Libertines, and Bloc Party, as well as international talent Kings of Leon and The White Stripes. Better bring your sunglasses or you might be blinded by the stars.
Wapping Road, Bathurst Terrace, Bristol, BS1 6UA

The Canteen

Offering up delicious sustainable food by day, and live music by night, something tells us Canteen is our kind of venue. The all-inclusive music repertoire ranges from blues and country to jazz, reggae, and Afrobeat, with some funk thrown in for good measure. Free live music starts from 9:30pm Monday to Saturday, and Sundays from 4pm.
Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QY


Anson Rooms

It may be part of the student union, but there’s nothing amateur about the gigs at Anson Rooms. This place has decades of experience hosting big-name acts, with legends such as Pulp, Radiohead, Amy Winehouse and The Smiths having graced its stage. It looks like the student just became the master, because there are few venues more respected than this.
University of Bristol Students’ Union, Richmond Building, 105 Queen’s Road, Bristol, BS8 1LN

The Tunnels Bristol

Housed within two former railway arches, The Tunnels Bristol is a new independent music venue that’s already causing a bit of a stir. Low ceilings and sonorous acoustics provide great atmosphere in these 360-capacity tunnels, where recent acts include acclaimed fresh talent such as Ryan McGarvey.
Bristol & Exeter House, Lower Station Approach, Bristol, BS1 6QS



The Old Duke

If it’s jazz you’re after, then it’s jazz you’ll get at The Old Duke: a Bristol institution that has been around for decades. Relaxed and unpretentious, this well-loved old pub attracts a convivial local crowd, with a programme of live music from 8:30pm or 9pm in the evenings, and 12:30pm during Sunday lunch.
45 King Street, Bristol, BS1 4ER




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Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to… whose guides cover all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas.

About the author

Elizabeth GourdElizabeth suffers from an acute case of wanderlust, which no amount of traveling or adventure can cure. She has lived in London, New York and Berlin, and is currently a writer for Hg2 | A Hedonist's Guide To...

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