Edinburgh has a thriving live music scene, from folk music and jazz to alternative and funk, you will be guaranteed to find something to boogie to! Whether you are out for a fun night out or just looking to expand your music taste, you should check out the following recommendations of where to watch live music in Edinburgh!

Sneaky Pete’s

live music in Edinburgh
Source: Sneaky Pete’s, Facebook @SneakyPete’s

A student classic, Sneaky Pete’s hosts all manner of artists in their cosy club in Cowgate. This nightclub is extremely popular, debuting many local artists and bands. There’s times where up-and-coming local bands share the stage with established international acts, which is really fun to see. The venue has gigs of all genres of music, so you’ll be hard put to find something you won’t enjoy! Sneaky Pete’s can accommodate around 100 people, but it can get full pretty quickly so getting there early is always a good idea.

The Jazz Bar

live music in Edinburgh
Source: The Jazz Bar, www.thejazzbar.co.uk

Located on Chambers Street, The Jazz Bar is an Edinburgh favourite amongst locals. As Scotland’s longest standing independent jazz venue, their main genre of music playing is…jazz! However, they also host bands and artists of other genres frequently, ensuring that there is something playing for everyone. It has live music performances every day of the week, opening as early as 2pm on Saturdays and staying open until 3am from Wednesday to Sunday. So pretty much any time and any day you’re in the mood to escape with music, The Jazz Bar can provide.

The Jazz Bar also hosts open stage ‘Jazz Jam’ sessions, where their house trio backs surprise jazzy guests who drop in to play. If you want to participate, you can bring your instrument and ask for a place on the evening’s list of guest players

WhistleBinkies

live music in Edinburgh
Source: WhistleBinkies, www.whistlebinkies.com

For anyone wanting to partake in some live music, WhistleBinkies has an open mic night every Monday! With free entry every night and a minimum of four live bands every week, this South Bridge music bar is a great night out for any melophile! The venue is an institution in the city, providing live music in Edinburgh for over 30 years. It’s housed deep in the vaults under South Bridge and attracts both locals and visitors, and – particularly thanks to the free entry – students.

The Voodoo Rooms

live music in Edinburgh
Source: The Voodoo Rooms, Instagram @thevoodoorooms

For a more bougie experience, head to The Voodoo Rooms on West Register Street. It’s a 200-year-old building that’s been restored, but still has the whole old-world style. There are five large rooms and three bars; the Bar & Dining Room, the Speakeasy, and the Ballroom & Ballroom Bar, which host live music, club nights, cabaret, and other events. When it comes to being one of the best live music venues in Edinburgh, The Voodoo Rooms hosts various performances, mainly in the Speakeasy and Ballroom. There’s also a large selection of delectable rums and tequilas, so you’ll no doubt be singing and dancing until the sun comes up!

Biddy Mulligans

live music in Edinburgh
Source: Biddy Mulligan’s, www.biddymulligans.co.uk/event/live-music-thursday-4/

One of Edinburgh’s most iconic Irish taverns, Biddy Mulligan’s is in the heart of Grassmarket. Open seven days a week, Biddy Mulligan’s hosts fantastic local bands every evening! Additionally, this Irish pub is perfect for the unpredictable Scottish summer weather with an outside beer garden and lively inside décor!

The Queen’s Hall

The Queen's Hall Edinburgh
Source: The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh

One of the hallmarks of the Queen’s Hall is its versatility. It hosts a wide array of events, from orchestral concerts to rock gigs, and from comedy shows to community events. The venue is also a key player in the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, hosting a variety of performances during these world-famous events. It’s located in the heart of the city, housed in a historic Georgian building that was originally a chapel. It was converted into a concert hall in 1979 and has since been a key player in Edinburgh’s thriving arts scene. The Queen’s Hall is now renowned for its excellent acoustics, making it a favourite among performers and audiences alike.

O2 Academy Edinburgh

O2 Academy Edinburgh
Source: O2 Academy Edinburgh

The O2 Academy Edinburgh is maybe one of the most prominent live music venues in Scotland’s capital city with the largest capacity. Known for hosting a diverse range of performances, from rock and pop concerts to comedy shows and club nights, the venue has welcomed acts like Foo Fighters, Oasis, Coldplay, Faithless, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Calvin Harris and many more. It’s a history building, but with all the modern tech in place like state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems.

After watching live music in Edinburgh, why not try out some of the whacky bars around town? Or if you fancy your own hand at singing, head to a karaoke bar in town with your mates and sing your heart out.