UK Nightclubs and Dance Clubs - Best For Live Music and Hot DJs

Hot, Cool, Pop, Rock or Indie - Live Music and Hot DJs

UK nightclubs and dance clubs offer a great mix of live music and hot DJs. Whether you're after cutting edge and indie, avant garde or established acts, the UK's cities, with their large student populations, are packed with cool places for a wild night out. Some of the best UK night clubs have actually been around a while and established their hip credentials decades ago. And new ones pop up all the time. These are among the best places to go to hear what's happening on the UK music scene now and to shake your booty until the sun comes up.

  • 01 of 10
    Gotye Performs in London
    ••• O2 Empire in Shepherd's Bush London. WireImage / Getty Images

    The Academy group operate big live music venues and a handful of smaller live music clubs in all of England's major cities. These are usually the "must play" venues on major band tours. Most also have smaller performance spaces to showcase newer bands. Since 2009, they've been in partnership with O2 and the venues are now mostly called O2 Academy. Click on the following links for contact details and gigs in:

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  • 02 of 10
    Kew The Music 2016 - Day 4
    ••• Jools Holland, Maestro of the Jamhouse group. Redferns / Getty Images

    Jazz pianist Jools Holland has become a kind of eclectic music empresario. His late night music program on BBC television is noted for its lack of dogmatism. You might find the latest rapper appearing beside a cool jazz saxophonist, a disco diva, a techno band, a girl singer-poet and a superstar like Sting or Paul McCartney. Holland's clubs offer the same cool mix with dinner and drinks available too. Dress is casual but smart and the club aims for an over 21 crowd. Admission is often free or under £10.
    Essentials

    • Address:St.Pauls Square, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
    • Phone +44 (0)121 200 3030
    • Website
  • 03 of 10
    Juliette Lewis and the Licks Play the Concord 2
    ••• Juliette Lewis and the Licks at The Concord2 in Brighton. Kate Booker / Getty Images

    Live music and over-18 club nights on the seafront in super cool Brighton. Everything from Martha and the Vandellas to the latest Rock and New Wave.
    Essentials

    • Address: Madeira Shelter Hall, Madeira Drive, Brighton BN 2 1EN
    • Phone +44 (0)1273 67 33 11
    • Website

    Plan a Visit to Brighton

  • 04 of 10
    The Great Escape Festival 2016 - Day 1
    ••• Chiara Hunter at the Great Escape Festival 2016 at Komedia. Redferns / Getty Images

    This is a multi-arts venue that hosts the hottest bands, club nights, cabaret and comedy. There are several different shows, clubs or acts performing most nights and a choice of bars for hanging out. Comedy, live music and cabaret evenings often have table seating and a dinner option. Booking in advance is essential, but, except for the most popular acts and bands, you can usually buy tickets earlier on the same day. 
    Essentials

    • Address: 44 - 47 Gardner Street, North Laine, Brighton BN1 1UN
    • Phone +44 (0)1273 647100
    • Website

    Plan a Visit to Brighton

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Tesseract Perform At The Thekla In Bristol
    ••• TesseracT perform on The Thekla in Bristol. Redferns via Getty Images / Getty Images

    Thekla is a boat pulled up to Bristol's Mud Docks. On board there's a bar and restaurant and live music every day into the evening. Come 10:30-ish and the DJs take over with some of Bristol's coolest club nights. Popular, different, eclectic.
    Essentials

    • Address: The Grove, East Mud Dock, Bristol BS1 4RB
    • Phone +44 (0)117 929 3301
    • Website
  • 06 of 10
    ••• Performer at Henry's Cellar Bar in Edinburgh. Loraine Ross ccl

    Henry's used to be a jazz club. It had a bit of a refurb a couple of years ago and now it is one of Edinburgh's top new music venues for the hippest audiences, looking for the next big thing. Expect rock, punk, garage, indie, electro, blues, alternative, country, hip hop, folk, hardcore and what Henry's calls "krautrock" -- and, oh yes, jazz too. It's small - it really is a cellar bar - and atmospheric and, if you don't like the music, there's a good bar right next door.
    Essentials

    • Address: 8 Morrison Street, Edinburgh West End
    • Phone +44 (0)131 228 9393
    • Website
  • 07 of 10
    Jools Holland
    ••• Impressario Jools Holland, behind the Jamhouse venues in Birmingham and Edinburgh. Tim Parkinson ccl

    Like it's sister club in Birmingham, The Jam is a cool place for a grown up night out. An intimate music venue with an "unplugged" feel. Music during dinner tends to be soloists, duos and trios in what the club refers to as "a more acoustic vein" and coming from a variety of genres. At about 10 p.m., the bands shift the music up a gear and there are late night DJs from Wednesday to Saturday. The atmosphere is relaxed and "female-friendly".
    Essentials

    • Address:5 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JE
    • Phone+44(0)131-226- 4380
    • Website
  • 08 of 10
    Angel Olsen Performs At The Club Academy, Manchester
    ••• Angel Olsen at the Club Academy Manchester. Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

    Not affiliated with the Academy Group, the Manchester Academy venues and Club Academy - are a group of live music performance spaces on the campus of Manchester University. They include Manchester Academy 1 on Oxford Road, and Manchester Academy 2 and 3 in the Manchester University Student Union Building. Manchester Club Academy is also in the Student Union Building on Oxford Road.

    Gigs are listed on the main Manchester Academy website. They tend toward the indie scene for which Manchester is known but can capture any interesting British and international acts that are touring - Lily Allen, Twisted Sister, Aimee Mann, Dirty Pretty Things. the Kaiser Chiefs, Meshuggah are among hundreds of acts that have performed since the 1960s.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Mo Performs At O2 Ritz, Manchester
    ••• Mo performs at the Manchester Ritz. WireImage / Getty Images

    The Ritz Manchester , on Whitworth Street, has been around since 1927 and is still topping best bar lists. The crowd is young and the club holds a mix of club nights, theme nights, live concerts and stage shows. Student only and under 25 nights are very popular. The club closed temporarily in May 2011 to undergo a major redevelopment. It's now part of the giant Academy group mentioned in the first item of this list - but it manages to maintain its independent vibe.
    Essentials

    • Address:Whitworth Street West, Manchester, M1 5NQ
    • Phone:+44(0)161 236 4355
    • Website
  • 10 of 10
    Bottles at Floritas, Newcastle
    ••• Florita's, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. John Catnach ccl

    Pink flamingos in Newcastle-upon-Tyne? Florita, self-described "Miami wild child and international socialite," brings a touch of Miami's South Beach to this northern city. Top DJ's keep the action going on what some describe as the UK's "sexiest dance floor." There's a big outdoor garden and a VIP room where you can try to book a table in hopes of seeing Will.I.Am, JLS,Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Fergie and Rihanna, all of whom have dropped in when gigging in Newcastle.

    • Essentials
    • Address: Collingwood Street,Newcastle-upon-Tyne,Tyne and Wear, NE1 1JF
    • Phone: +44 (0)191 261 8271
    • Website