Discover The Best Live Music Norfolk Has To Offer A Soundtrack To Your Next Virginia Adventure

Hello there, music enthusiasts! Are you looking for a place where you can unwind, de-stress, and enjoy some good live music? Well, you’re in the right place! In this article, we’ll be exploring the thriving live music scene in Norfolk. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there’s something in store for you.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a list of the most recommended places to catch live music in Norfolk. From bars and cafes to music venues, we’ve got you covered. Not only that, but we’ll also provide you with insider tips on how to make the most out of your live music experience in Norfolk.

So, if you’re ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant Norfolk music culture, keep reading! You’ll be surprised to know that this charming county has produced some of the most talented artists in the UK. Get ready to discover new music, connect with like-minded people, and make unforgettable memories.

Best Live Music Venues in Norfolk

Norfolk, known for its vast stretches of white-sand beaches, scenic waterways, and diverse culture, is also renowned in the musical world for its lively and eclectic music scene. From homegrown jazz and blues to top-notch performances by nationally acclaimed artists, the county has it all. Here are some of the best live music venues in Norfolk that serve as the hub of musical entertainment.

The Norwich Arts Centre

Nestled in the heart of Norwich, the Norwich Arts Centre is a non-profit organization that relies on donations and funding to provide a platform for artists, musicians, and performers. The venue is housed in a converted church and boasts a captivating Gothic charm that serves as the perfect backdrop for live performances. With an impressive lineup of events and gigs, the Norwich Arts Centre is a must-visit destination for music enthusiasts.

  • Ambience and Facilities: The Norwich Arts Centre boasts an intimate and friendly setting that makes it perfect for those who want to get up close and personal with the musicians. The venue has a capacity of 290 people and has a bar that serves a selection of drinks and snacks.
  • Performance Quality: The Norwich Arts Centre has a well-deserved reputation for promoting emerging and innovative artists. The venue regularly hosts gigs and performances by top-notch musicians from different genres, including jazz, folk, blues, and rock. Notable acts that have graced the stage include Alt-J, Ed Sheeran, and Coldplay.
  • Ticket Prices: The ticket prices at the Norwich Arts Centre are affordable and reasonable, ranging from £10-£20. The ticket prices may vary depending on the artist and the type of event.
  • Pros and Cons: The Norwich Arts Centre’s intimate setting provides an excellent opportunity to connect with the artists and enjoy live music. The venue’s location in the city center makes it easily accessible to visitors. However, the venue has limited seating, which may not be ideal for those who prefer spacious venues.
Comparison of Norwich Arts Centre with other venues in Norfolk
Capacity Price Range Location Performance Quality
Norwich Arts Centre 290 £10-£20 City Center Excellent
The Waterfront 700 £15-£35 Near River Wensum Great
The LCR 1500 £25-£50 Campus-based Top Notch

The Norwich Arts Centre’s uniqueness lies in its capabilities of promoting and showcasing new and emerging talent alongside the already established, making for varying musical genres and styles. Musicians and music lovers who attend an event in this iconic venue testify about their memorable experience. With affordable prices and great performance quality, this venue is a must-visit for music enthusiasts visiting Norfolk.

Top Local Bands to Hear Live in Norfolk

Norfolk is a vibrant county full of music enthusiasts and talented musicians. From blues to punk and everything in between, there is something for every music lover in Norfolk. Here are some of the top local bands to hear live in Norfolk:

The Thinking Men

The Thinking Men are a four-piece band who have been writing and performing their own unique blend of soul, rock, and blues since 2013. Their sound has been likened to the Black Keys, but they have their own unique flair. They are known for their high-energy live performances and their ability to get audiences dancing. The Thinking Men have played at many venues across Norfolk, including The Waterfront in Norwich and The Owl Sanctuary.

  • Their music has been featured on BBC Radio Norfolk
  • The band’s lead singer, Aaron Bolton, was a finalist in the 2017 Future Radio Big Boom competition in Norwich
  • The Thinking Men released their debut album, “Vicious Seeds,” in 2017

If you’re a fan of blues and rock, The Thinking Men are a must-see band. Their infectious energy and catchy tunes will have you dancing all night long.

Lost Lungs

Lost Lungs are a three-piece punk band from Norwich. They formed in early 2016 and have been making waves in the local music scene ever since. Their music is fast, loud, and raw, with lyrics that tackle political and social issues. They cite influences such as Fugazi and At the Drive-In, but their music is entirely their own. Lost Lungs have played at venues across Norfolk, from the Doghouse in Norwich to the Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds.

  • Lost Lungs won the 2016 Battle of the Bands competition at Norwich Arts Centre
  • Their debut EP, “Plague,” was released in 2017
  • The band have been featured on BBC Norfolk Introducing
See also  Unlock The Secrets How To Get A Music Manager And Take Your Career To The Next Level

Lost Lungs are a band that must be experienced live. Their high-energy performances and politically charged lyrics will leave you feeling energized and motivated.

The Vagaband

The Vagaband are a seven-piece folk-rock band from Norwich. They have been making music together since 2010 and have built up a loyal following in Norfolk and beyond. Their music is a blend of folk, rock, and Americana, with a soulful, storytelling vibe. The Vagaband have played at venues across Norfolk, from the Norwich Arts Centre to St. George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth.

  • The Vagaband have supported acts such as Richard Hawley, Bellowhead, and The Magic Numbers
  • Their second album, “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” was released in 2018
  • The band’s frontman, José McGill, was the winner of the 2016 Future Radio Big Boom competition in Norwich

If you’re a fan of folk or Americana music, The Vagaband are a band you won’t want to miss. Their captivating live performances and soulful lyrics will transport you to another world.

Comparison Table

Band Genre Influences Achievements
The Thinking Men Soul/Rock/Blues The Black Keys Debut album “Vicious Seeds” (2017)
Lost Lungs Punk Fugazi, At the Drive-In Winner of 2016 Battle of the Bands at Norwich Arts Centre
The Vagaband Folk-Rock/Americana Unknown Supported acts such as Richard Hawley, Bellowhead, and The Magic Numbers

Overall, Norfolk is a great place to experience live music. Whether you’re a fan of blues, punk, or folk, there is a band out there for you. So put on your dancing shoes and head to one of Norfolk’s many live music venues to discover your new favorite band.

Why Norfolk is the Best City for Live Music

Norfolk city in Virginia is an underrated gem of live music in the United States. The city is a melting pot of cultures and has some of the most unique venues, singers, and genres of live music. With an exciting atmosphere, plenty of musical events, and so much to see and do, it’s no wonder why Norfolk is the best city for live music.

The Rich and Diverse Music Scene

Norfolk has a rich and diverse musical scene that offers an array of genres, from jazz to hip hop, reggae to rock, and everything in between. This richness is due to the fact that the city is home to various groups of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities that reflect in the music scene.

A Home to Musicians and Venues

The city of Norfolk is a haven for local musicians and bands, and it provides some excellent live music venues, such as The NorVa, Attucks Theatre, Chrysler Hall, and The Attic at the Granby Theater, to name a few.

  • The NorVa is an intimate yet spacious venue that has hosted some of the biggest musicians of our time, including Dave Matthews, Lady Gaga, and The Black Eyed Peas.
  • The Attucks Theatre is a historical venue that hosts world-class artists, and it has hosted jazz and blues icons like Billie Holiday and B.B. King.
  • Chrysler Hall is Norfolk’s premier performing arts venue, and it has hosted iconic musicians such as Queen, AC/DC, and The Beach Boys.
  • The Attic at the Granby Theater is a cozy spot that hosts up-and-coming performers and local artists, and it’s a perfect spot for indie gigs and intimate acoustic sets.

These venues understand the importance of live music, and they bring a unique atmosphere to the city that you can’t find anywhere else.

The Realization of the Local Music Community

In Norfolk, the local music community supports local musicians and bands by providing opportunities to perform and build their careers. This support helped various Norfolk-based bands, such as Mae, The Last Bison, and Jacob Vanko, establish national and international reputation and permission to move forward with their musical careers.

Moreover, the city has various music festivals, such as the Bayou Boogaloo, the Norfolk Jazz Festival, and the Virginia Symphony’s Symphony by the Sea that celebrate and support the local music community.

A Comparison amongst Other Cities

When compared to other cities, such as Nashville or Austin, Norfolk might seem like an underdog. However, on the contrary, it has one of the most robust live music scenes in America. What sets Norfolk apart is its diversity, affordability, intimate venues, and cultural acceptance of different styles of music. In contrast, cities like Nashville and Austin are well-known for only one particular genre, such as country or rock music.

Let’s compare Norfolk to Austin:

Norfolk Austin
Multiple music venues of varying sizes and styles Most music venues are huge and expensive
Supports multiple genres of music Country and rock music
More affordable to enjoy music Expensive to enjoy music

As shown in the table, Norfolk is a more welcoming and diverse for both musicians and fans than Austin is.

In conclusion, the city of Norfolk is a hidden gem for music lovers. Its diverse community and rich cultural background nurture a range of genres, and fans at every level can enjoy live performances while being supported by a dedicated and inclusive music community. Norfolk is more than the sum of its parts and should definitely grace any music lover’s bucket list.

The History of Live Music in Norfolk

Music has always been an important part of human culture and its history can be traced back to the earliest civilizations. Norfolk, located in the east of England, has a rich and vibrant history when it comes to live music. From local pubs to large-scale festivals, the county is home to a wide range of venues that have hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry. Let’s take a closer look at the history of live music in Norfolk and how it has evolved over the years.

See also  Rock Your Night Out Discover The Best Live Music Bars San Diego Has To Offer

1. The Early Days of Live Music in Norfolk

The history of live music in Norfolk can be traced back to the early 20th century when music halls were the main venue for entertainment. These halls played a vital role in providing entertainment to the working-class population. The Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth was one of the most popular music halls in the county and hosted live performances by some of the biggest names in the music industry including Charlie Chaplin and Harry Houdini.

Live music also found its way into local pubs and clubs during this period. Folk music was particularly popular during this time and many pubs organised regular folk music sessions that attracted large crowds. The Birdcage in Norwich is one such pub that has been hosting live music sessions since the early 1900s.

2. The Rise of Rock and Roll

The 1950s saw the emergence of rock and roll, a genre that would go on to define the sound of popular music for decades to come. Norfolk played a vital role in the development and popularization of this genre. The arrival of American servicemen during the Second World War brought with them their love for rock and roll. This love for the genre inspired many local bands to form and start playing live music in venues across the county.

The 1960s saw a surge in the popularity of live music in Norfolk. Many local bands starting playing at venues such as The Ambassador or The Samson and Hercules. The Beatles famously performed at the Grosvenor Rooms in Norwich in 1963, which was one of their first gigs outside of Liverpool.

3. The Birth of Festivals

The 1970s and 1980s saw the birth of music festivals in Norfolk. These festivals provided a platform for local musicians to showcase their talent and also attracted some of the biggest names in the music industry. The Norwich Folk Festival was started in 1977 and is today one of the most popular music festivals in the county. Other festivals such as the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and the Wymondham Music Festival have also become incredibly popular over the years.

The 1990s saw a revival of interest in live music, with many local bands achieving commercial success. Venues such as The Waterfront in Norwich played an important role in the development of these bands, providing them with a platform to perform and reach a wider audience.

4. Live Music in Norfolk Today

Today, Norfolk continues to be a vibrant hub of live music. The county has a wide range of venues that cater to all kinds of music lovers. From local pubs and clubs to large-scale festivals, there is something here for everyone. The following are some of the key features of live music in Norfolk today:

  • Pub gigs: Many local pubs continue to host live music events. These gigs are often free and attract a diverse range of talent.
  • Music festivals: Norfolk is home to some of the best music festivals in the UK. These festivals attract some of the biggest names in the music industry and provide a platform for local musicians to showcase their talent.
  • Large-scale venues: The county also has a number of large-scale venues such as the Norwich UEA and the Open, which attract some of the biggest names in the music industry.
  • Local talent: Norfolk has a rich and diverse music scene, with many local artists achieving national and international success. Venues such as The Waterfront and The Brickmakers continue to play an important role in the development of local talent.

Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, music venues in Norfolk have continued to innovate. Many have started hosting virtual gigs and events to keep the music alive and continue to engage with audiences during these difficult times.

Pros Cons
Provides a platform for local talent to showcase their music. Difficult to sustain during economic downturns.
Attracts tourism to the county. Greater competition for audiences and performers.
Cultural significance and importance as an art form. Challenges brought on by COVID-19 pandemic.

In conclusion, live music has played an important role in the cultural history of Norfolk. From music halls to music festivals, the county has provided a platform for local and international talent to showcase their music. Today, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the music scene in Norfolk continues to thrive, with venues and musicians working together to keep the music alive.

Finding Free Live Music Events in Norfolk

When it comes to finding free live music events in Norfolk, your options are endless. From summer festivals to intimate concerts, there is something for everyone. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect free live music event in Norfolk:

Search Online

The best place to start your search for free live music events in Norfolk is online. Here are some websites you should check out:

These websites will give you a comprehensive list of all the free live music events happening in Norfolk.

Check Local Listings

Local newspapers and publications often have a comprehensive list of free live music events in their area. Check out the listings in the following publications:

These publications will provide you with all the information you need about upcoming free live music events, including dates, times, and venues.

Attend Street Festivals

Norfolk is known for its street festivals, many of which feature free live music events. Make sure to attend these festivals, as they often offer a wide variety of musical acts. Here are some festivals you should check out:

Festival Date Description
Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival September 4-5, 2021 A celebration of Great Yarmouth’s maritime history with live music performances.
Kings Lynn Festival July 18-31, 2021 A popular arts festival featuring a range of performances, including free live music events.
Norwich Lanes Summer Fayre TBD A popular summer street festival with live music performances.

Attending these festivals will not only give you the opportunity to listen to great live music, but also to experience the culture and history of Norfolk.

See also  How To Arrange Music Tips And Tricks For Making Your Tunes Stand Out

Visit Local Venues

There are many local venues in Norfolk that offer free live music events on a regular basis. Here are some of the top venues to check out:

Visiting these venues will not only give you the chance to enjoy some great live music, but also to meet other music enthusiasts in the area.

Ask Local Musicians

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask local musicians for recommendations on free live music events in Norfolk. Many local musicians are avid supporters of the music scene in Norfolk and can point you in the right direction.

In conclusion, finding free live music events in Norfolk is easy when you know where to look. From online listings to street festivals and local venues, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some great live music in the area. So get out there and start exploring what Norfolk has to offer!

FAQs: Live Music Norfolk

What live music venues are in Norfolk?

Norfolk has a variety of live music venues including the NorVa, The Attucks Theatre, The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery, and several restaurants and bars such as Zeke’s Beans & Bowls and The Taphouse on Granby.

What type of live music can be found in Norfolk?

Norfolk offers a diverse range of live music, including rock, jazz, blues, country, hip hop, and R&B. There are also opportunities for classical, opera, and symphony performances.

How can I find out about upcoming live music events in Norfolk?

You can check out local event calendars such as VisitNorfolk or AltDaily for information on upcoming live music events in Norfolk. You can also follow local music venues and bands on social media for updates.

Are there any free live music events in Norfolk?

Yes, there are often free live music events in Norfolk, especially during the summer months. Check out events such as Tides Baseball Game Concerts, Harborfest in Town Point Park, and First Fridays Downtown.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to a live music event in Norfolk?

It depends on the specific event and venue. Some events and venues allow outside food and drinks, while others have their own food and drink offerings available for purchase.

Is there live music in Norfolk during the winter months?

Yes, there are plenty of live music events in Norfolk during the winter months. Be sure to check out holiday concerts, winter festivals, and local bars and restaurants that offer live music year-round.

What is the dress code for live music events in Norfolk?

The dress code for live music events in Norfolk varies depending on the venue and type of event. Most events are casual, but some may have a specific dress code or theme. It’s always a good idea to check the event details beforehand.

Are there any all-ages live music events in Norfolk?

Yes, there are several all-ages live music events in Norfolk. Check out events at venues such as The NorVa and The Attucks Theatre, as well as outdoor festivals and events such as the Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Food Festival.

What is the best time to arrive at a live music event in Norfolk?

The best time to arrive at a live music event in Norfolk depends on the event and venue. It’s always a good idea to arrive early to avoid crowds and ensure a good spot to enjoy the music. Some events may also have specific admission times or require early arrival for certain activities or performances.

What should I bring to a live music event in Norfolk?

It’s a good idea to bring comfortable clothing and shoes, as well as any necessary items such as sunscreen or rain gear depending on the weather. You may also want to bring a portable chair or blanket to sit on and any items you need for personal use, such as medication or snacks.


Live music in Norfolk offers a diverse range of genres and venues. From outdoor festivals to indoor concerts, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant coastal city. Be sure to check out local event calendars and follow venues and bands on social media for updates. Don’t forget to bring comfortable clothing and any necessary items, and arrive early to ensure a good spot to enjoy the music.

After reading this article, you may want to explore other articles about things to do in Norfolk, such as visiting the Virginia Zoo or exploring the art galleries in the NEON District. Whatever your interests, Norfolk has plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy your time exploring the live music scene in Norfolk!