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How to find cheap concert and gig tickets in London

Stay on the pulse to find cheap music tickets for gigs in London and make the most of the city’s unrivalled music scene.

As well as being a prime location for headline tours, London is a springboard for up-and-coming talent and a place where musical subcultures thrive.

Thousands of music shows are played each year in London's many unique venues, and affordable concert tickets are easy to come by when you know where to look.

Where to find the best concerts and gigs in London

Crowds dance and clap along to a live band on stage at Oslo Hackney

Most of London’s best concerts take place in the city’s biggest music venues, like OVO Arena Wembley, Royal Albert Hall and Alexandra Palace. Here you’ll find big names from around the world take to the stage in front of thousands. If you’re after a more intimate gig or inexpensive concert tickets, there’s also hundreds of smaller venues dotted across London, from legendary dance halls to lively pubs.

Don’t miss north London’s iconic music venue The Roundhouse, the home of the 60s and 70s rock ‘n’ roll scene. Nearby you’ll find emerging bands at The Camden Assembly, plus rock, jazz and blues at The Camden Club, one of the city’s newest hotspots.

Check out other brand new music venues to catch rising acts. HERE at Outernet’s cutting edge underground space brings an exciting lineup of club nights to Tottenham Court Road. While round the corner, The Lower Third is the latest grassroots venue on the scene.

Can you get cheap tickets to see music in London?

There are plenty of ways to get cheap music tickets in London. Grassroots venues are a great place to start and can be the launchpad for many up-and-coming artists. Local pubs, record shops and art venues also hold regular gigs and open mic nights at an affordable ticket price  and sometimes for free.

Getting hold of cheap tickets for stadiums and arenas can be more difficult, with long ticket queues and higher price tags. Sign up to pre-sales and mailing lists to be in with the best shot.

London's grassroots music areas

A photo of a man playing guitar, while the audience watches in a nicely lit room with a piano.

Alongside more established areas such as heritage drenched Soho and punk stomping ground Camden, the latest sounds of the city are captured in the burgeoning creative communities in north, east and south-east London.

Visit the likes of Brixton, Dalston, Hackney, Peckham and Stoke Newington to discover new, experimental genres, underground club music and the UK grime movement – all at relatively little cost.

Let yourself be surprised by Sofar Sounds; pick an area of London and end up watching a musical performance in somebody's living room, a church or even a warehouse.

Find London's grassroots venues with this handy map.

Grassroots venues in London

A man playing the guitar and a woman playing the violin in London's Columbia Road Flower Market. 

London’s small stages have long played an important role in launching the careers of artists and bands. Visit the capital's many grassroots venues for newer and lesser-known acts from the UK and beyond.

The likes of the Sex Pistols, The Clash and Oasis all cut their teeth at the 100 Club on Oxford Street; while Oslo in Hackney and The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington are small spaces with big sound systems. It’s in these unflashy clubs and pubs that you can see future stars for a fraction of the price of an arena show.

Some artists return to old favourites to practice new material ahead of bigger shows, so it’s always worth checking the listings for a chance to see your favourite band play to an intimate crowd.

Like Rough Trade East, Rough Trade Records' flagship UK store near Brick Lane, which regularly sells cheap gig tickets ahead of a new signing or album release. You’re just as likely to find musical giants as rookie bands – guests have included Jarvis Cocker, Blur and Queens of the Stone Age.

Free gigs in London

A jazz band plays live music under red lights at The Troubadour

Music always features heavily in Southbank Centre’s cultural programmes. Get involved in sessions with local school and gospel choirs or classical orchestras, and enjoy regular free gigs.

Discover London’s jazz scene for free at The Troubadour on Sundays and occasional Mondays. Free Sunday jazz sessions are also part of The Old Blue Last’s eclectic mix of performances, where you can hear everything from Celtic folk to punk rock.

From beatboxers in Brixton, to opera singers in Covent Garden and guitarists on Columbia Road Flower Market, buskers bring London’s streets and stations to life as you go about your day.

Open mic nights in London

Look out for open mic nights to hear unsigned rising stars for free. Discover The Bedford's Club Room stage in Balham that’s nurtured the likes of Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, or head further south to Tooting Tram & Social which is a real talent scout haunt. Head to north London where you’ll find The Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden where local talent play on the first Tuesday of every month.

Lunchtime recitals

Hear talented musicians studying at the Royal College of Music perform lunchtime, rush hour and weekend concerts at beautiful locations around the city, some of which are free to attend. Keep up to date with the listings so you know when and where to find them.

Listen to more classical music concerts at various churches in London, including free lunchtime recitals at St James’s Church Piccadilly London. Or combine music with a traditionally British fish and chips lunch for £20 at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church on Friday afternoons. The Royal Opera House puts on recitals at St Clement Danes Church in the Strand during certain times of the year, where there’s also free Sunday lunchtime recitals. You can also attend Choral Evensong at churches across the capital.

Cheap concert and gig tickets

Lots of good noise comes out of the Rye Wax basement in Peckham’s CLF Art Cafe. Enjoy weeknight events spun by DIY producers, performers and DJs across the musical spectrum that you can attend for as little as a few pounds.

The Jazz Cafe in Camden hosts a mix of breakthrough Afrobeats, rap, reggae and disco throughout the week, with some under the radar gigs and events starting from £5 a ticket.

Get in the groove at popular The Blues Kitchen bars in Shoreditch, Camden and Brixton, which host live rhythm and blues bands every night. Weekends draw a particularly big crowd, where you can usually watch up to three bands for under £10.

Head to east London hangout Colours Hoxton, which hosts cutting-edge cultural events on weekdays and live music on most nights – costing a tenner on average.

London music festivals

Crowds throwing their hands up in the air and singing along while the artist sings in the crowd

Find value for money watching music all day and long into the evening at one of London's music festivals. Big name events including Mighty Hoopla, Field Day, BST Hyde Park and South Facing Festival all draw international attention for their leading lineups.

There's also something to suit all ears with genre-focused events such as The London International Ska Festival and the Brixton Disco Festival, as well as Wireless Festival which champions rap and grime artists.

On August bank holiday weekend, you can’t miss the sound of steel pans and Jamaican calypso at the famously free Notting Hill Carnival.

Where to buy cheap gig tickets in London

Booking in advance is generally the best way to get cheap gig tickets for music in London. Check with the venue to find official websites for buying concert tickets online and look out for cheaper tickets that come with earlier entry times. You can also save on postage and booking fees by heading straight to the box office.

Find gig listings on tickets.london to save on tickets, or download the Visit London app to find out more about London's grassroots music venues. Ticketing apps like DICE also have a huge lineup of cheap concert tickets, so keep an eye out for free gigs.

Take a look at this complete guide for more music in London inspiration.