Some of the greatest names in the history of showbiz have graced the boards and stages of Middlesbrough’s venues over the years. From the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, to Oasis and the Arctic Monkeys, Middlesbrough has always been a must-stop on the touring schedule of musicians and comedians, both established and emerging.
Middlesbrough Town Hall is an outstanding cultural venue in the heart of Middlesbrough. Opened in 1889, the building is one of the oldest in Middlesbrough, and underwent a stunning renovation in 2018 to uncover original features and areas of the building including the old police cells, old fire station, and courtroom (don’t miss the beautiful ceiling!). The Town Hall includes two large event spaces, a studio, and café.
It also offers a full programme of cultural events including rock and pop concerts, classical recitals, exercise classes, arts and participation, and much more. Big name comedians like Jimmy Carr, Ross Noble, and Sarah Millican are regulars, alongside well-known bands.
The Alchemy bar and TSOne pub on Southfield Road both run regular gig nights, and The Empire gives you the chance to see some of the biggest names from every genre of music performing. The stunning building has been popular with touring artists ever since its opening in 1897 – it’s one of Middlesbrough’s oldest and most beautiful buildings, inside and out. Popular club nights run every week, playing a mix of indie, rock, and chart music.
Middlesbrough Theatre is situated in leafy Linthorpe among beautiful cherry blossom trees. It’s close to the bustling Linthorpe Village, an up-and-coming destination for cocktails, and pre- and post-theatre dining. Since opening in 1957, the welcoming theatre continues to host a huge variety of different productions from national and international touring companies, and local playwrights.
The annual pantomime is a not-to-be missed event (oh no it isn’t!). Seasonal programmes include hilarious family shows, ballets and classical concerts, drama performances, music shows, comedians, and much more.
If you’re looking for intimate gigs, pop up performances, and the latest music from local talent, then you’re spoilt for choice in Middlesbrough.
Sofar Sounds hold regular ‘secret gigs’ in various venues across the area and pioneer the best up and coming musicians from across the UK and beyond.
The Westgarth Social Club on Southfield Road is an institution for bands from across the country and beyond; up-and-coming musicians flock from across the country to perform there. This is the place to see the bands and solo artists that everyone will be talking about in years to come.
Twisterella Festival is the creation of Middlesbrough-based independent music promoters The Kids Are Solid Gold and Pay for the Piano. Centred around Teesside University, the 1000 capacity multi-venue music festival takes over venues on Linthorpe Road and Southfield Road, including Teesside University Students’ Union, The Townhouse, TSOne, and The Westgarth Social Club, along with pop-up sessions in some of the town’s coolest bars in nearby Baker Street and Bedford Street.
Hit the Bar is a multi-purpose space and bar in the up-and-coming Boho area in Middlesbrough’s Historic Quarter. It’s a brilliant place to catch some of the best live music in the Tees Valley, or to soak up the matchday atmosphere before heading down the road to The Riverside Stadium.
Live music at Hit the Bar
Taking place on the last Saturday of each month, the extremely popular Orange Pip Market plays host to local and national bands, jazz artists, flamenco dancers, and more. Pop up DJs often take to the decks for the summer market events in some of the quirky shops and spaces on Baker Street, making for plenty of feel good vibes.
At the end of the night why not try one of the plenty of places to relax and have a drink, or you can head to one of the bars or clubs to continue to the fun. More music, comedy and theatre events can be found at Enjoy Tees Valley.