Five Cities with the Best Music Scenes in the UK

Manchester - UK Working Holiday


Currently on a working holiday in the UK? London may have a thriving live music scene but it’s not the only place in the UK with quality bands on tap. Other cities in the UK provide plenty of entertainment as well as great employment opportunities. Whether you’re looking for office work or casual bar work, if you’re earning you’ll want to make sure you claim back your tax before you leave the UK. (Why you should claim back tax before you leave the UK). You will most likely be paid via PAYE which could also lead to you overpaying tax, so check here if you’re owed a PAYE Tax Refund

For those looking to venture further afield on your UK working holiday and experience the best of what the UK’s other cities have to offer here’s some other hotspots for live music and entertainment! 

6 Helpful websites for planning your UK Working Holiday 


This lively northern city around 2 hours by train from London was once dubbed ‘Madchester’ for its alternative rock and pop culture back in the 1990s. Live music is still very much a part of any night out in Manchester and there are excellent venues, large and small, to see both established and up and coming acts. Check out the Manchester Arena for the heavy hitters or the legendary Night and Day Cafe and the northern quarter area for something more alternative.

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A popular stop for any working holiday maker for its kitsch pier and the chance to build a few sandcastles, Brighton is also blessed with a huge number of music venues relative to its size (over 400!). Time your visit right and book tickets for The Great escape, a summer weekend of live music across 30 city centre venues.


Another vibrant northern city with clear music history credentials (the Beatles were born and bred here); Liverpool is famed for its small independent venues. Head over to the East Village arts Club – their atmospheric red draped main room is one of the best places to see live music in the city.

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This small but perfectly formed city near the border with Wales is packed full of places to enjoy live music and is famous for being home to the trip-hop scene (the mighty Massive Attack hail from here). Check out The Louisiana for nightly live music in a tiny but atmospheric venue. An added bonus is the city’s proximity to picture perfect Wales, a stop that should be on any UK working holiday itinerary.


If you really want to impress your fellow working holiday makers with your commitment to seeing the best live music in the UK, cross the border into Scotland and make a bee line for Glasgow. Head down to Stereo housed in the former Daily Record newspaper building for up and coming bands and the Glad Café for a tasty bite with your gig.

Related articles:
What you need for a working holiday in the UK
Paid too much tax on your working holiday in the UK
Summer jobs for a working holiday in the UK 

Apply for a PAYE Tax Refund


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