7 great places to hear live music in Cambridgeshire

An acoustic guitar being played.

We've put together a list of the best places to hear live music in Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Attending live music events is an action that has been sorely missed over the past few years.

Lockdowns and coronavirus restrictions have made it impossible for music fans to see their favourite bands, or even enjoy a singer at their local pub.

Now though - with the World returning to normal - music is back, and there are plenty of places to enjoy it in Cambridgeshire.

To help you decide, we've put together a list of some great places to enjoy live music across the county.

1. Corn Exchange, Cambridge

A sign reading Corn Exchange above a historic door.

The Corn Exchange is "Cambridge's biggest venue for music, comedy and entertainment." - Credit: Dullhunk on Creative Commons

The Corn Exchange describes itself as "Cambridge's biggest venue for music, comedy and entertainment".

The venue's history began in 1842, when farmers and merchants would trade grains.

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The corn exchange moved to its current location in 1868, formerly the site of the Black Bear Inn.

Despite concerts and events having been held in the location previously, it was fully converted into a concert hall in 1982. 

2. The Secret Garden, Wisbech

Google Maps image of the Secret Garden's drive, with greenery around it.

Within the Secret Garden campsite is a music venue known as the Secret Beer Garden. - Credit: Google Maps

The Secret Garden in Wisbech is an 11-acre touring park for camping and glamping.

Within the Secret Garden is a venue known as the Secret Beer Garden, an undercover heated events space.

A number of music, comedy and theatre plays are held in this area, with events throughout the year.

Upcoming events include The Police tribute act 'The CoPolice' and singer-songwriter Lexie Green with her band Indigo Blue. 

3. Ely Folk Club, Ely

Exterior of Arkenstall Centre, with white walls and a large car park.

Ely Folk Club relocated to the Arkenstall Centre in October 2021. - Credit: Google Maps

Ely Folk Club run concerts from the Arkenstall Centre on a monthly basis.

Upcoming events include a performance from Glasgow-born artist Ian Bruce, and flute-based songwriter Ellie Rees.

There is no bar at the venue, but visitors are invited to bring their own drinks to performances.

A large car park is present for concert-goers to utilise.

4. The Three Tuns, Doddington

Exterior of the Three Tuns, with picnic tables on a grassy area.

The Three Tuns in Doddington holds gigs and events inside the pub itself. - Credit: Google Maps

The Three Tuns in Doddington holds gigs and events within the pub itself.

Most recently, singer and guitarist Graham Buxton treated pub-goers to a concert on March 29.

The pub itself has both a takeaway and eat-in menu for food.

A large beer garden is present at the front of the venue.

5. The Commemoration Hall, Huntingdon

Exterior of the Commemoration Hall, with grand white columns and windows.

n 1959, the building was refurbished and reopened as The Commemoration Hall. - Credit: Google - By Owner

The Commemoration Hall in Huntingdon first opened in 1842 as the Huntingdon Literary and Scientific Institution.

Throughout the Victorian era the building's function evolved, eventually holding events and entertainment gatherings.

In 1959, the building was refurbished and reopened as The Commemoration Hall, which now holds gigs and other entertainment events.

Upcoming shows include 'Acoustic Night with Karen Macwhinnie and Friends' and 'Fleetwood Machine' (a celebration of Fleetwood Mac).

6. The Portland Arms, Cambridge

The Portland Arms, with green signs and brick walls.

The 200-capacity concert room hosts local, national and international artists. - Credit: Google Maps

The Portland Arms in Cambridge is both a pub and music venue.

The venue's website describes itself as "the city's home of live music".

The 200-capacity concert room hosts local, national and international artists.

The pub itself is a "traditional English pub" serving real ales and offering a "cosy, friendly setting".

7. The Corn Exchange, St Ives

Exterior of the Corn Exchange, with banners and light-coloured bricks.

Events such as quiz nights, cinema screenings, stage shows and music concerts are the norm in the building. - Credit: Google Maps

Opened in 1864, the Corn Exchange was mostly used by local corn merchants, but even then the area was used for concerts and entertainment purposes from time to time.

Now, events such as quiz nights, cinema screenings and stage shows are the norm in the building, along with frequent live music performances.

Upcoming events include Dolly Parton and Shania Twain tribute acts, and the 'charity party night with the What's That band'.

In recent times, the venue has hosted tribute acts for Rod Stewart and Meatloaf, and a free 'Sunday Sessions' music event.