Guildfordians are a lucky bunch. The town boasts a wealth of culture including a number of fantastic live music venues. But another of the biggest perks of living in Guildford is its location – there are so many great towns within half-an-hour’s drive, some of which have got their own enviable live music scenes. This year, why not make a plan to stray a little further afield and discover a new favourite live music venue to add to your collection?
The Shed, Prince Philip Park, Whitehill & Bordon
Prince Philip Park, in the newly-regenerated former military town of Whitehill & Bordon, is a bustling new development of homes, restaurants, shops, and leisure facilities. But best of all, the town is home to a thriving arts and culture scene which is getting bigger by the day.
Right at the heart of it all is The Shed, an extravagant food and retail venue in the town square which also happens to host an abundance of live music, cinema, comedy, and theatre almost every night of the week.
Throughout 2023, there’s free live music every Saturday night at The Tap – The Shed’s very own craft beer pub – with a great mix of local talent and professional acts performing music of every genre – from jazz and reggae to pop and rock. Did I mention that it’s completely free?
The Shed is also in the process of forming its own in-house band made up of the most talented local musicians. If you think you’ve got what it takes, get yourself down to The Shed and show them what you’ve got. The house band will also make a prominent appearance on stage at the music festival The Shed is hosting in August 2023.
More music offerings are scheduled for The Shed’s theatre space, The Cube, and while you’re in town, you can also catch award-winning performances from top touring stand-ups theatre groups.
Check out everything on offer at The Shed.
Haslemere Hall, Haslemere
It’s rare that such a small town can boast such a fabulous venue as Haslemere Hall, a stunning theatre and performance space which opened way back in 1914.
Today, it’s a bustling arts venue for sound, screen, and stage. The fact that it’s a real theatre – complete with balconies, circle, and stalls – means that many of the live music performances have a seated audience, but since when has that stopped you getting up dancing away?
And dance you will because Haslemere Hall boasts an upcoming schedule of some of the best tribute bands around, the closest thing you’ll get this side of the M25 to The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
And it’s not just cover acts, the hall also attracts some of the biggest bands of yesteryear including Focus and China Crisis.
See full listings
Watermill Jazz, Dorking
Down in Dorking, there’s a golf club called Beechwood Park. Make your way there on a Tuesday night and you’ll find Watermill Jazz, one of the South East’s very finest jazz nights.
It’s been running since 1994 when founders, Ann Odell and late Steve Spurling, hosted their first night in the original venue of the Watermill on the town’s Reigate Road. Jazz clubs are few and far between nowadays which, for many of the genre’s appreciators, is very sad indeed.
That’s why it’s thrilling to find such a reliable and high quality club so close to Guildford. Performances take place every Tuesday between 20:30-22:30 and it’s a fully licensed venue, so get ready to kick back with a tall drink and enjoy some of the finest live music around.
Check out the full lineup of performers and book tickets.
The West End Centre, Aldershot
A major part of Aldershot’s cultural output for almost half a decade, The West End Centre has an impressive history of showcasing breakout musical talent. Both Blur and Primal Scream played here on their way to the top of the charts.
Today, it offers a mighty slate of comedy, theatre, workshops and, best of all, live music. It plays a vital role in supporting and nurturing local talent and as such boasts a constant lineup of the freshest new acts. From folk to death metal, you’ll find it all on offer here.
If you fancy being on the stage instead of the audience but haven’t yet found time to hone your craft, there are also music classes and workshops on offer at the centre.
A full list of coming performances.
Farnham Maltings, Farnham
Farnham Maltings is an art organisation that operates out of the building from which it takes its name. It has been central to the area’s cultural and historical legacy for over 50 years.
The lineup of live music is both eclectic and generous. Whether you want to watch weekly jazz, classic bands such as Fairport Convention, or enjoy a performance from the Grenadier Guards, this is the venue for you.
More high brow than most of the venues on this list, Farnham Maltings is a vital outlet for classical music lovers as much as anyone else, but that’s not to say you can’t catch a performance from some of the most popular kids performers, or some stand-up comedy from the UK’s finest touring talent.
Farnham Maltings leads a network of nearly 200 regional arts and culture centres in the South East, ensuring that the region is exposed to all of the things that make life worth living. Get down and show them your support today.
Here’s the full list of upcoming live music.