Hidden away at the heart of East Anglia, the bustling city of Norwich has a thriving music scene, particularly when it comes to the worlds of country, folk and rock.
According to our data, Norwich has the eighth-highest density of rock and indie gigs in the country with 3.48 rock and indie gigs per 1,000 people of its population – that’s higher than cities like Leeds and Liverpool.
While the closest the very biggest acts may dare to come to Norfolk is miles away in London, this beautiful medieval city still has its fair share of fantastic music venues that guarantee great nights out.
Below, we pick out what we think are Norwich’s five finest music venues for anyone looking to catch a live show in the East of England:
Based in Union House on the campus of the University of East Anglia, the LCR is Norwich’s biggest – and arguably best – music venue.
Boasting a standing capacity of 1550, the LCR is owned by UEA Students Union. Along with hosting regular student nights, the LCR is also Norwich’s biggest draw for acts from out of town, hosting hundreds of live gigs a year.
Since it opened in the 1960s the LCR has hosted some of the world’s biggest acts including Coldplay, The Smiths and Gary Numan. On nights when the LCR is fully packed, you won’t find any bigger music event in the city – or a stickier floor.
Address: University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ
You might be able to tell from its medieval setting that Norwich Arts Centre is a venue steeped in history.
Located in what started as a church in the 15th century, Norwich Arts Centre has previously welcomed acts such as Nirvana, Muse and Oasis. It was famously the place where Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards carved ”˜4 Real’ into his arm with a blade in 1991.
Norwich Art Centre’s cosy 260-person standing capacity and intimate atmosphere led it to be named Britain’s Best Small Venue by NME in 2014, and make it a great place to catch up-and-coming and cult acts.
Address: 51 St Benedicts St, Norwich NR2 4PG
There is no music venue in Norwich that can boast a more picturesque location than The Waterfront.
Also operated by UEA Students’ Union, The Waterfront lies on Norwich’s historic King Street right on the banks of the River Wensum, opposite the Riverside entertainment complex.
The Waterfront benefits from being able to host gigs in either of its two distinct rooms: its 700-capacity main room and its smaller 200-capacity upstairs room, which is often used for club nights.
Just some of the illustrious names that have been lured down to The Waterfront include Amy Winehouse, Nirvana and The Prodigy, and it’s a frequent favourite of visiting rock acts.
Since our records began, The Waterfront has hosted far more rock/indie/alternative events than any other venue in East Anglia – 312, making it the 10th busiest rock venue in the UK.
Address: 139-141 King St, Norwich, NR1 1QH
Only open since 2010, OPEN is the best of Norwich’s newest venues. This modern live venue and events space located in a Grade II listed building has made its mark on the local scene.
Run by a charity for young people under the age of 25, OPEN is a huge multi-purpose venue, holding two spaces for gigs and conferences as well as a climbing wall, dance studio and gym.
Able to accommodate events for between 50 to 1450 people, OPEN is a diverse and vibrant gig venue that shows Norwich’s strong sense of community.
Address: 20 Bank Plain, Norwich NR2 4SF
Epic Studios have a long history of entertaining people in Norwich. With a record of hosting TV shows dating back to the 1970s, Epic Studios also serves as a wider entertainment venue, regularly hosting gigs.
Found on Magdalen Street to the north of Norwich city centre, Epic Studios is the place to catch original artists and tribute acts alike. Past visitors to the studios include Slaves and Soft Machine.
Music isn’t all Epic Studios has to offer these days either. The venue is also regularly used to host live sporting events such as mixed martial arts, wrestling and darts.
Address: 112-114 Magdalen St, Norwich, NR3 1JD
If you’re interested in catching a gig in Norwich, click on the venues above or explore Norwich to see gigs coming up across the city.