Sheffield is a city with music at its core. From Monkeys to Leppards, Reverends to Common People, for decades the Steel City has been a pioneering hub for music.
Over the years, it’s been the city’s venues that have pushed new sounds and scenes from Sheffield out in to the wider music world. From the Mojo and Northern Soul, Niche and bassline, to all the fantastic acts that have graced The Leadmill’s stage – Sheffield’s independent venues have driven the city’s passion for music for decades.
A report produced by the University of Sheffield in 2016 found 69 dedicated music venues, bars, nightclubs and miscellaneous venues that regularly present live music in the city. Here’s our guide to just a handful. Got an independent venue you love? Let us know in the comments!
Sheffield’s longest running live music venue and former flour mill, The Leadmill, has seen many iconic names over the years and was described by Franz Ferdinand as a ‘rite of passage’. In 2017, The Leadmill sold its old dancefloor, with hundreds of people buying their piece of the venue’s history. Whilst more recently, an old recording was unearthed of Prince Charles praising The Leadmill when he visited in 1988. This Independent Venue Week see The Wedding Present at The Leadmill, who will be playing a show on 3 February to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of Tommy, the band’s first singles collection.
In the 80s, The Mulberry Tavern became the first music venue in Sheffield to have a video jukebox for its punters, which made people flock to watch the videos of the decade’s most legendary performers. Today, The Mulberry is home to two bars – upstairs for pool, DJs and karaoke and downstairs for live music from both local and touring rock and metal bands. This Independent Venue Week, Rawkus with Bloodstock Open Air present Black Moon Rising, Bleating Apocalypse, Deltanaut, Grave, and Le Menhir.
Bungalows and Bears
The recently refurbished Bungalow and Bears has hosted some fantastic musicians on the brink of the big time. New Young Pony Club, Django Django and Jessy Lanza have all graced the Bungalows stage in recent years, with some of the most exciting DJs, including Crazy P and Afriquoi, taking events into the early hours.
Famously the spot where four young lads known as the Arctic Monkeys first played a live show, The Grapes is a no nonsense, Irish pub with proper Guinness, proper music and a special place in the hearts of its locals. You’re guaranteed to find some decent music on at The Grapes, pop in this Independent Venue Week to see what you can discover.
Still featuring the revolving dancefloor from its days as Stardust nightclub (although sadly, no longer revolving), DINA hosts all sorts of live music. From electronic open mic nights, where you’ll find people creating music from all sorts of sounds from all sorts of devices, to gigs from local stars, including Otis Mensah. At DINA it’s all about variety, so take a look at the venue’s upcoming events and find something that suits you.
The home of all things heavy in Sheffield, Corporation has been a mainstay of the city’s music scene since 1997. The venue has been voted in the top three rock clubs in the UK by Kerrang, and on average, has a live show about once every three days. This Independent Venue Week, Corporation has four live gigs on – Michale Graves on 29 January, Dead Boys on 1 February, Lowdrive (album launch) on 2 February and Good Tiger on 3 February.