close up of dj and music equipment

Hidden Gems: Guide to Live music in Edinburgh for the Curious Explorer

Edinburgh may be small, but it boasts an incredible talent pool of musicians from all parts of the world as well as top venues hosting live music in Edinburgh ranging from folk music to electro-pop. There’s truly something here for everyone in this creative city!

If you are looking to tour Scotland then Edinburgh is a must visit, Scotland’s historic and culturally rich capital, is renowned for its festivals, architecture, and literary heritage. But for those with a penchant for music, the city offers a plethora of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, if you’re keen to dive deep into the heart of Edinburgh’s music scene, this guide is for you.

dj music mix table sound equipment

Freddy’s Edin:

If you’re looking to experience live music in Edinburgh, Freddy’s Edin is the place to be. More than just a venue, it’s a pulsating live music party that promises an unforgettable night. With its state-of-the-art sound system and vibrant atmosphere, Freddy’s Edin has quickly become a favourite among both artists and music lovers. With “music you have to legally dance to”, Freddy’s Edin ensures a night of non-stop musical euphoria. Plus, its central location makes it easily accessible, making it a top pick for those looking to explore Edinburgh’s music scene.

The Wee Red Bar

Tucked within the Edinburgh College of Art, The Wee Red Bar is a sanctuary for indie, rock, and electronic music enthusiasts. Its intimate setting makes it a perfect spot to discover emerging talent and enjoy live performances up close. The venue’s eclectic mix of events ensures there’s something for everyone, from indie rock gigs to dance nights.

Sneaky Pete’s

Situated on the bustling Cowgate, Sneaky Pete’s is a compact venue with a massive reputation. Hosting gigs almost every night, it’s a hub for both local and touring bands. The venue’s intimate size guarantees an immersive experience, making it a must-visit for live music aficionados.

Leith Depot

A short journey from the city centre takes you to Leith, a vibrant area with its own distinct character. Leith Depot stands out as a favourite among locals, not just for its live music but also for its community spirit. With a mix of genres and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, it’s a place where music and community intertwine.

Henry’s Cellar Bar

A cornerstone of the Edinburgh music scene, Henry’s Cellar Bar offers a diverse range of live music events. From local bands to touring acts, the venue is known for its commitment to showcasing the best of what the music world has to offer.

Events and Festivals:

1. Hidden Door:

This unique arts festival is not just about music, but it’s an integral part of it. Hidden Door repurposes abandoned or underused spaces in the city, transforming them into hubs of creativity. From indie bands to electronic DJs, the festival offers a diverse musical lineup set against the backdrop of Edinburgh’s historic architecture.

2. Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival:

While it’s a well-established event, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is worth mentioning for its sheer variety. From traditional jazz to contemporary blues, the festival showcases artists from across the globe in venues scattered throughout the city.

3. Wide Days:

A convention by day and a showcase by night, Wide Days is a celebration of Scottish talent. It’s an opportunity to discover emerging artists and network with industry professionals, making it a must-attend for anyone serious about music.

Local Talent to Watch:

1. Young Fathers:

This award-winning trio, known for their unique blend of hip-hop, electronica, and pop, is a testament to Edinburgh’s diverse music scene.

2. The Spook School:

With catchy tunes and poignant LGBTQ+ themes, this indie pop band is making waves both locally and internationally.

3. Stanley Odd:

Merging rap with live instrumentation, Stanley Odd offers a fresh take on hip-hop that’s distinctly Scottish.

4. Broken Records:

This indie folk band seamlessly blends rock and orchestral elements, creating a sound that’s both haunting and uplifting.

5. BABE:

Experimental, electronic, and endlessly intriguing, BABE is a band that defies categorization.

In conclusion, Edinburgh’s music scene is a treasure trove of hidden gems. From historic venues to modern party hubs like Freddy’s Edin, the city offers a musical journey that’s as diverse as it is captivating. So, whether you’re a seasoned music lover or a curious explorer, Edinburgh promises a symphony of experiences that will leave you enchanted.