BIMM Cities


20th October 2017

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With BIMM Birmingham now in full-swing since it’s official opening, we’ve been busy compiling a comprehensive list of all the must-see live venues, hang-outs and retailers so that all our new students know exactly where to head for all their music needs across the city.    

So, without further ado, feast your eyes (and fingers) on this plethora of links and recommendations for some of Birmingham’s essential live music venues , each of which has been hand-picked by the people in-the-know – aka your tutors!


Birmingham’s Live Music Venues

02 Academy – Purveying three separate venues in one easy to find academy space, the O2 surely need no introduction. We’re confident it’ll only be a matter of time before BIMM Birmingham students are gracing these stages with their own acts.




The Institute – With a combined capacity of 2,400, the Institute is also three venues in one. In the past it’s played host to big-league players such as Bears Den Lapsley, PVRIS, and Kano.





Hare and Hounds – A legendary live music spot that’s great for touring acts – a real stalwart of the birmingham music scene and another stage which we’re sure many of our students will be gracing in the not-too-distant future.




The Flapper – This a great place to catch artists who are starting to generate a real buzz within the industry. They also run regular nights with some absolutely killer food and drinks deals!



Jam house – Their weekly open-mic night for singer songwriters happens every Tuesday, with great touring acts across all genres throughout week and even a monthly salsa gig with live cuban band!




Sunflower Lounge – This is the perfect central venue for local bands just starting out as well as for intimate gigs with bigger touring acts. Recent appearances include the likes of INHEAVEN, Baby Strange and Violet.




Actress and Bishop – Just around the corner from the Jam House, this is the perfect place to find bespoke events and underground artists. Their events calendar isn’t as active as other local venues, but this just means that whenever they do put a show on, it’s always stellar!




Glee Club – Naturally, Glee specialises in comedy, but they’re also known to put on the odd live music event. Check out their listings for gigs, or just head down for a laugh.





Mama Roux – Those of you who made it along to our induction event will know all about this fantastic venue already. Just around the corner from BIMM Birmingham, this place arguably has of the most unique aesthetics of all venues across the whole city.




Night Owl – We already featured this Northern Soul stronghold in a previous blog post. But we just had to mention it again. They have a weekly club night on a Monday called ‘Neighbourhood’, which showcases some of the best gospel/soul/rnb musicians the city has to offer.




1000 trades – Great for acoustic acts, this place hosts weekly jazz gigs and a free jam session on Sunday afternoons! What better way to shake off those hangovers before the week kicks-off again?





Spotted Dog – Featuring a weekly jazz line-up, plus regular traditional Irish music and a jam session every Tuesday. This is the kind of classic pub atmosphere that makes for a real cosy night and a great acoustic venue.





British Oak – Every self-respecting musician should take up the opportunity to hit an open mic session at some point. It’s the best way to learn how to deal with those pesky nerves! Luckily, this lovely local hosts a weekly open mic session every Thursday night, with live acts also performing on Fridays from 8pm.




Symphony Hall foyer – Offering completely free jazz gigs from 5-7pm each Friday, Jazzlines are designed to help you unwind in the bar after a long week, with the sensational sounds of talented instrumentalists and seasoned vocalists lapping at your ear-drums.




The Dark Horse – With a varied roster of live music including thumping rhythm and blues, traditional acoustic and even a bit of latin Cumbia, this place is a must-see for any new arrivals to the area. Most of their gigs are free entry too!




Asylum – Birmingham’s self-proclaimed “best hope of salvation in this modern age”. They have the knowledge, equipment and the venue to take your nights to new highs and to satisfy your musical cravings, be they for heavy metal, grunge, indie or good old fashioned rock and roll. If you’re up for an absolute banger of a night out, try the UPRAWR club night. Be warned though – they can get pretty messy.



Cogs Bar – Last, but by no-means least, Cogs offers up a free weekly Jazz gig on a Thursday and also boasts a unique, three-floor layout with Victorian-inspired fittings to take you away from the routine of daily life. Just be sure not to fall off their multi-tiered stage, yeah? It’s not a good look.



James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.