Birmingham has approximately 232 music venues scattered throughout the whole B-postcode (BLMP Map v4.0). With over 190 venues located in the epicentre of the city (B1-B48). These venues, if filled to capacity on a single evening, could accommodate approximately 98,000 attendees. This figure represents about 10% of the city’s population and includes venues ranging from smaller, intimate settings like the Sunflower Lounge in the city centre to larger venues like Resort World on the city’s outskirts. As of 2023, the city’s total capacity for concert-goers in a single night has increased to over 104,000. The majority of Birmingham’s live music venues are bars or pubs that host music events, accounting for about 39% of all venues. The city also has a significant number of social and student clubs, theatres, and small venues dedicated solely to music, most of which have a capacity of up to 400 people. When compared to other cities such as Liverpool, Oxford, Glasgow, and Newcastle, Birmingham’s live music scene exhibits similar characteristics.
Like Liverpool, nearly half of Birmingham’s venues are bars and pubs. However, Birmingham stands out due to its relatively large percentage of ‘unorthodox’ venues. These include university buildings, restaurants, social clubs, and outdoor spaces that are not traditionally associated with live music. For instance, the city hosts numerous outdoor events at locations like Moseley Park, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and the Vale Fest. Furthermore, Birmingham has the capacity to host a large-scale urban festival in the city centre.
Each venue is represented by a dot coloured by one of the venue types. Visitors can subset the data by one of the venue types by using the selection panel on the left-hand side.
- By hovering over a dot the venue name will be displayed
- By clicking on a dot a venue information panel will be displayed.
- Visitors can also zoom in and out of the map, and also drag to different areas.
- A database view of the venues on the map, organised by venue name, type, postcode, Parliamentary constituency, and ward.
- The database can be organised by any of these variables, or can be further subset using the search function.
- Visitors can subset the database by one or more of venue types by using the selection panel on the left-hand side.
The initial map was based on work undertaken as part of the ‘The UK Live Music Industry in a post-2019 era: A Globalised local perspective’ project (BLMP), funded by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) which is led by Nesta and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
The updated version of the map and coding were funded through the following: UKRI International Fund awarded to Live Music Project by Aston University (project coordinator: Dr Patrycja Rozbicka; December 22 – March 2023), Aston University’s Proof of Concept Fund (February 2023 – July 2023), and University of Liverpool’s Policy and Participation Fund (February 2022 – June 2022), and Birmingham City Council: Birmingham and Eurocities Live Music Industry Research and Development (April 2023 – December 2023).