If you’re a lover of live music,  then Nottingham is the place to be whether you like jazz, blues, rock or pop.

Home to the iconic Rock City and Rescue Rooms, Nottingham is also home to many smaller hidden gems that you may not know about.

Here’s a run down of some of the music venues worth searching for.

Singalong forever. Best show ever. Photo by @indiehorse

A post shared by Taco Hell (@tacohellband) on

JT Soar
A venue unlike any other, JT Soar is a former fruit and vegetable warehouse that now contains a DIY music and arts space. Found next to Sneinton Marketplace, it’s a popular place for secret shows and parties. Head here to see bands that you’ll brag about in years to come.

The Chameleon Arts Cafe
Hidden away upstairs near Market Square in the City Centre is The Chameleon Arts Cafe. Hosting unsigned bands and creative events, with an array of artwork and photography from local creatives on the walls.

There’s a bar on the first floor too, perfect for pre-gig drinks. Check out their Facebook page for the upcoming events.

The Maze
A criminally underrated venue on Mansfield Road, from the outside The Maze looks like your average “old man pub” but hidden away at the back is a room that regularly hosts gigs, comedy nights and club nights.

It attracts some big names looking to do smaller, more intimate shows.

The Malt Cross
One for the fans of the artisan style, The Malt Cross is a genuinely stunning venue. A former Victorian Music Hall, the Malt Cross was once describes as “place of widespread villainy and lechery” in its original form.

Caves underneath the venue are used to host open mic and spoken word poetry nights. With high ceilings and a panoramic view of the stage, The Malt Cross is a venue with endless charm and character.


As well as doing a brilliant cooked breakfast, Jamcafé hosts many live music nights. Located on Heathcote Street, music genre is no limit here, with the weird and the wonderful actively encouraged.

Their weekly Friday Sessions are particularly popular.  They also host a popular open mic night and quiz.

Small, but perfectly formed. For something a little more civilised, head down to Tilt for a cracking cocktail (or two – with table service!) and check out some of their live blues performances.

Click here for a full gig listing.

Eyre Llew perform at the Gigantic Christmas party. #gigantic #tickets #eyrellew #postrock

A post shared by Jimi A (@jimi_a) on

Angel Microbrewery
Formerly The Old Angel, a punk and metal haven, the venue changed hands and had a makeover recently.

The upstairs venue is now called The Chapel, and regularly hosts nights put on by local record labels as well as experimental open mic nights.