As one of the best cities in the world for live performance and culture, London is brimming with exciting and often historic venues. That was before the coronavirus pandemic at least. Whilst some venues have come into the line of fire with the financial strain of last years lockdowns, others have managed to pull themselves out of debt thanks to government aid. Whilst many people will mourn the loss of venues across the country, many of those at risk in London have been saved. Fundraising events for live music venues such as The Lexington close to Kings Cross have saved many grassroots venues across the city and indeed the country, and now they’re reopening their doors to unrestricted events – to an extent.
So, if you’re embarking on a London overnight trip this August or September, what better way to celebrate the easing of restrictions than to enjoy some of the amazing venues across the city.
Whether it be music, theatre or comedy, the venues detailed below represent the best in London culture and now that London restrictions have been lifted and hotels are implementing measures such as the Montcalm Care protocol, they’re all yours to enjoy!
Whilst COVID precautionary measures may have been lifted, venues still maintain their own individual policies of mask-wearing and social distancing where possible. Furthermore, live music venues with standing tickets are, on the whole, requiring proof of a negative COVID test before entry into a venue.
The Royal Albert Hall
Opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, this famous venue was named in memory of the famous queen’s late husband. Now programming a legendary array of classical and pop music, sometimes intertwining the two, the Royal Albert Hall and its distinctive mosaic-clad exterior can be seen from Hyde Park and is in fact only one and a half miles from the Montcalm Marble Arch hotel.
Built by famous architecture firm Chamberlin Powell & Bon in 1965, the Barbican is among the most unique buildings in the city, as well as hosting some of the most cutting edge performance. This multi-arts space offers up classical and contemporary music events, theatre performances and even cinemas. The architecture and space surrounding the Barbican Centre is incredibly unique too, a brutalist style maze of walkways and views over the historic Barbican Estate.
The 100 Club has been nestled on Oxford Street since 1942 when it was opened as a swing club. Over its long and colourful history, this staple of Central London has been a hotspot for jazz, hardcore punk and some of the best bands of the UK, making it a must-play venue for many musicians and easily reachable for tourists on central London getaway deals.
This legendary jazz club is a must-visit for couples visiting the city and looking for a romantic night out. The smoky (figuratively) jazz club has been on the Soho scene on Frith Street since 1959 and continues to intoxicate audiences with its lavish drink menu and house jazz band.
One for the thesps, the Globe Theatre is a reconstruction on the same spot as the original and is a famous landmark in the London Bridge area thanks to its previous repertory theatre company – The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. This theatre company, run by William Shakespeare, performed all of the legendary bard’s plays to Elizabethan audiences, and today you can still watch as they did 350 years ago with cheaper standing tickets.