Hands in the air at a live music concert.

In the post-pandemic world, we all want to get back amongst it and socialise to do all the things we always loved experiencing together. It may be a little cliché, but memories of amazing moments last forever and are priceless. Live entertainment is a massive attraction in the UK, and Brits and international visitors love fun-filled live events with a fervent passion.

But why do we love live entertainment so much in this country? Well, the passion, desire, atmosphere, and memorable times watching our favourite icons perform in the flesh are some of the reasons we love live entertainment so much here in the UK. We have world-renowned live music festivals such as Glastonbury that welcome up to 200,000 music-loving hedonists. Our musical history is rich, and British bands such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Queen are adored all over the world. And of course, we have outstanding music acts with worldwide popularity today, such as Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Stormzy, Dua Lipa, and many more!

Not only is there fantastic music to enjoy when it comes to live entertainment here in the UK. There are also plenty of events for those who love live comedy, theatre, musicals, opera, dance shows, and such like. UK cities such as London, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow, and many more have a strong reputation for throwing unmissable live entertainment events with electric atmospheres at unique venues. We certainly know how to throw a killer party in the UK, no doubt about it!

Whether you’re visiting a UK city as a tourist or living in one as a resident, you must seize the moment and take in live entertainment up close to fully appreciate it. With live entertainment being such an important part of the culture in UK cities, CIA Landlord Insurance decided to perform some insightful research into the best UK cities for lovers of live entertainment.

We took the 12 most populated cities in the UK and carried out various investigations to help us discover the best UK city for lovers of live entertainment. Continue reading to learn more about the most awesome UK cities for live entertainment.

London is the best UK city for lovers of live entertainment

An outside view of London's Queen's theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.

The table below shows the top UK cities for lovers of live entertainment according to the various research metrics we deployed. It turns out that London came out as the winner as the best UK city for live entertainment.

1 London
2 Manchester
3 Glasgow
4 Birmingham
5 Leicester
6 Bristol
7 Sheffield
8 Leeds
9 Belfast
10 Edinburgh
11 Liverpool
12 Coventry

With tons of creative neighbourhoods and awesome live venues, such as the O2 in Greenwich, Wembley Stadium, Hyde Park, Finsbury Park, the Royal Opera House, Prince Albert Hall, the National Theatre, Alexandra Palace, and the Barbican, our investigations unsurprisingly revealed London to be the best UK city for passionate lovers of live entertainment.

The capital truly has everything in regard to top unmissable opportunities to see live entertainment. So, whether you’re planning on visiting London for a short holiday or actually living there, don’t miss out on its impressive array of live entertainment. Most of the biggest and best international music artists, comedians, dancers, and theatre performers make sure they stop off in the old smoke while on tour.

Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham are also great for live entertainment

Famously known by music lovers as ‘Madchester’ for its wild and lively music scene, Manchester boasts energy-infused live music venues such as the Albert Hall and the Ritz. In the research we carried out, we found Manchester to be the 2nd best UK city for live entertainment. Manchester and nearby Salford are home to bands and artists etched in British music history, such as Oasis, Stone Roses, the Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Happy Mondays, Take That, and plenty more! Want to indulge in a bit of fun nostalgia around one of Manchester’s most iconic musical exports? Check out the Salford Boys Club, the backdrop for the cover of the Smith’s 1986 album – The Queen is Dead.

Our investigations also undercovered Glasgow as a top spot for enthusiastic fans of live entertainment, with it finishing in 3rd place! Are you particularly into seeing musical theatre and opera live? Be sure to head along to the stunning Victorian auditorium the Theatre Royal Glasgow in the city centre. Glaswegians are friendly folk, and this adds to the fun vibe of going to a live event in the Scottish city.

Brum is also a fantastic destination for fans of live entertainment. The Symphony Hall, the Utilita Arena, and the Jam House are prime examples of cool places to go and enjoy yourself in Birmingham. Are you also a fan of the iconic hit TV show Peaky Blinders? Why not try and sandwich in a Peaky Blinders tour to learn more about the history behind the show while you’re in the city centre? The 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham really went a long way in showing the world that Birmingham is a modern city on the up and a top place to host thrilling live events.

London is the best city for central live music venues

Concert crowd attending a concert, people silhouettes are visible, backlit by stage lights. Raised hands and smart phones are visible.

Lovers of live music love finding top venues to see their favourite artists that are located bang in the city centre and easy to get to via public transport or on foot. Our research in the table below unveiled that London is the UK city with the highest number of live music venues in central locations. KOKO and Brixton Academy are pretty centrally located outstanding venues you can pop into for an evening of live music.

Camden is also a cosmopolitan area of London that is full to the brim with underground live venues. Amy Winehouse and the Libertines made a name for themselves in the borough of Camden. We feel the neighbourhood is worth a visit for music heads and anyone who enjoys smaller, more intense live music nights. Going to a live gig in Camden and making the most of exploring the area during the day may be just perfect for music fans who love attending quirky venues.

Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Liverpool are also UK cities with a decent amount of live music venues in their central districts. Being able to attend a memorable night at a live music event at a breathtaking venue just a stone’s throw from the city’s main central station is a real blessing! In this country, the architecture and intricate designs of our quirky music concert buildings are a thing to behold.

For those of you who prefer rocking out to live music outdoors, there are lots of exciting live music shows and festivals held outdoors in urban parks across the UK, in locations such as Glasgow Green in Glasgow, and Heaton Park in Manchester. There’s nothing quite like seeing your fave band play live in the sun, wind, or rain in the UK!

Ranking City Number of live music venues in the city centre area
1 London 119
2 Glasgow 111
3 Manchester 105
4 Bristol 104
5 Edinburgh 103
6 Leeds 101
7 Liverpool 101
8 Birmingham 98
9 Sheffield 87
10 Belfast 44
11 Leicester 43
12 Coventry 32

London ranked as the best city for fans of live theatre

Going out to the vibrant theatre show full of twists and turns during the evening is a highly entertaining experience. Theatre-goers, you will be pleased to know there are thousands of theatres in gorgeous buildings across the UK hosting shows throughout the year. You’re truly spoilt for choice!

Carrying out our research, we learnt that London is the UK city with the most theatres, the table below shows it has a staggering 100 in total. The West End with places like Strand and Tottenham Court Road is renowned for its heritage of live theatre performances in atmospheric venues. There’s nothing better than going to a play, pantomime, or musical in London! It’s also a great family activity for your kids to enjoy.

Manchester ranked as the UK city with the 2nd greatest number of theatre venues. Therefore, heading to the North-West is another great choice if you’re passionate about watching entertaining live theatre!

Ranking City The number of live theatre venues
1 London 100
2 Manchester 37
3 Birmingham 26
4 Edinburgh 26
5 Liverpool 25
6 Leeds 24
7 Glasgow 24
8 Belfast 22
9 Bristol 22
10 Sheffield 22
11 Coventry 15
12 Leicester 14

London is the best UK city for people seeking a good laugh at comedy clubs

A microphone on a stand up comedy stage with colourful bokeh.

You can find comedy clubs in big and small size venues across the length and breadth of the UK. They say laughter is the best medicine, so what better place to go for a barrel of laughs and some food and drinks with friends and family than a comedy club?

We took a look into the best UK cities for comedy lovers. We found out that London had the most comedy clubs, with a total of 88 venues. Whatever kind of comedy show takes your fancy, you’re sure to find it in London. The 99 Club Leicester Square and the Museum of Comedy are some of the best-known comedy clubs in London that punters flock to in their droves for a good laugh.

Bristol came in 2nd place with 18 comedy clubs. So, Bristol is a cool city to head down to if you are in the mood for going to an enthralling live comedy show. The gigs at the Comedy Box in the Hen and Chicken pub in the city are a must-see and a key fixture in the UK comedy circuit for all reputable comedians!

Ranking City The number of comedy clubs
1 London 88
2 Bristol 18
3 Manchester 14
4 Belfast 12
5 Liverpool 8
6 Glasgow 8
7 Leeds 7
8 Birmingham 7
9 Sheffield 6
10 Edinburgh 6
11 Leicester 5
12 Coventry 2

London is the UK city with the most upcoming live entertainment events

Live entertainment can include anything from music shows, to dance, theatre, opera, comedy, and more. But which UK city is the most jam-packed with cool upcoming live entertainment events for you to look forward to? Our findings in the table below from looking at the website of the leading live entertainment ticket sales vendor Ticketmaster are that London has a whopping 18,095 events coming up! If you’re looking for somewhere with a broad range of upcoming live entertainment events, look no further than London! There’s always something going on in London live entertainment-wise.

We discovered that Manchester also has 1175 live entertaining events coming up, and Glasgow 1128. So, London isn’t the only city in the UK with lots of exciting live events coming up on the horizon.

Going out to watch live entertainment up close and personal is a fun activity that we can all enjoy, regardless of age, race, sex, religion, or disability. In the UK, we put on excellent well organised live events and conjure up thrilling atmospheres for audiences.

Ranking City The number of upcoming music, sport, arts, theatre, comedy, and family attraction events
1 London 18095
2 Manchester 1175
3 Glasgow 1128
4 Birmingham 766
5 Leicester 552
6 Sheffield 431
7 Belfast 406
8 Bristol 403
9 Leeds 402
10 Edinburgh 331
11 Liverpool 236
12 Coventry 84


We chose the 12 most populated UK cities for the purpose of this research into the best UK cities for lovers of live entertainment. We used certain metrics to help us decide the best UK cities for lovers of live entertainment.

We put Google Maps pins in central areas of UK cities and searched the term ‘music venue’ nearby to determine the number of music venues in central areas.

We used Google Maps and searched the term ‘theatre venue’ nearby and counted all the theatres in the list within the boundaries of the city to work out how many live theatre venues each city had.

We then searched the term ‘comedy club’ nearby in Google Maps and added up the number of comedy clubs that came up in each of the 12 chosen cities to determine the cities in the UK with the most comedy clubs.

To work out the UK cities with the most upcoming live entertainment events, we searched each city on Ticketmaster’s website, one of the largest vendors of tickets for live events in the UK.


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