BIMM Cities

Our Favourite Independent Venues

27th January 2020

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It’s Independent Venue Week, and with us being located in some of the greatest music cities in the world – we asked our colleges to share their favourite venues and why…


Green Door Store
The Green Door Store is a fantastic independent venue for Brighton. Their programming is diverse and shows are affordable. They are in the heart of the local music scene. Toni-Coe Brooker who is Programmer and Production Manager for the venue is a voice for the independent venue community.
Nicky Kingsbury-Williams, Careers & Industry Manager.


Exchange is a 250 cap’ venue in Old Market and is a “Community Interest Company” which boasts a record shop and vegetarian/vegan coffee shop by day and holds diverse gigs 7 nights a week.
I love the community feel of The Exchange and always feel welcome and comfortable when I’m there, whether that’s to see a gig or going to grab some lunch.

I’ve been going to the Exchange for many years and have been lucky enough to play there, watched some amazing gigs and even worked there – as this is where we hold some of our auditions for our end of term gigs. – Jo Hadler, Careers Adviser


Off The Cuff
Tucked away in a leafy London suburb, nipped in between a gap in the wall off Herne Hill high street, it feels like you’ve stumbled across a gig in your grandma’s house. Add some fairy lights, friends and the oldest, comfiest sofa’s in existence and a warm glass of red in hand with the familiar sound of a rumbling train passing over your head and occasional waft of ‘old London venue smell’, and you have Off The Cuff.

No photo’s do it justice and you have to go to feel the atmosphere in this venue. You can’t conjure it up. It’s special. Lottie Hunt, Event Manager


The Night Owl
The Night Owl opened its doors in 2015, and it’s become a staple on Birmingham’s Music Scene, embracing the sounds and culture of all things retro. If you’ve got the moves ‘Le Freak’ is the night for you, with DJ’s spinning Disco, Funk and Soul classics. Or if Britpop is more your thing check out ‘DIG?’

The team behind The Night Owl really know how to put on a night with carefully selected live acts, to compliment DJ’s. It’s even become a regular haunt for touring acts to throw an after-party; including Happy Mondays whenever they’re in town.

With a sprung dance-floor, eccentric fashion and some of the best nights in town, The Night Owl is a strong contender for the title of Birmingham’s top venue.
-Hayley Jordan, Local Application Experience Manager


Kings Arms
Traditionally a theatre/comedy space, the Kings Arms is home to a mix of weird and wonderful performances and a great local pub with a creative atmosphere (and a cat). I have run a number of events there showcasing experimental bands in Manchester and building a theme and set design around the acts – the open space makes it a really exciting venue to work in.
-Eleanor Battle, Events and Guests Coordinator

Find out more about some of the incredible venues in our cities in our STAPLES series.