Betway’s new study reveals the world’s most popular music venues around the world and in the UK.
Play That Funky Music: The World’s Most Popular Music Venues
You can’t beat live music. Whether you’re in a grungy basement watching an undiscovered young talent, or a centuries-old concert hall listening to a symphony orchestra, there are thousands of epic music venues all over the world. But, which of the world’s iconic music spaces are the most popular of all?
To find out, site Betway has analysed over 120 music venues from around the globe, looking at Google ratings, TikTok and Instagram hashtags, and Google search volumes for each location. They have also looked specifically at the most popular venues in London, as well as across the rest of the UK.
Most popular music venues in the world
From radical underground nightclubs, to an art-deco theatre, these are the most popular music venues in the world.
Taking the crown as the most popular music venue in the world is Berlin’s Berghain. There are around 5.4 million searches on Google every year for the German nightclub, and it has 508.2 million hashtag views on TikTok, the most of any other venue on the list. The club also has the third highest number of hashtags on Instagram, with 326,341 posts tagged with ‘#Berghain’ on the platform.
Berghain is open every weekend from Saturday night through to late Monday morning, with big name techno DJs frequently on the schedule. Famed for its exclusivity, the club runs a strict ‘no-phones’ policy with patrons required to cover their phone cameras with a sticker – though given the number of social media posts tagged at the venue, perhaps a few people are choosing to ignore this rule.
2. Sydney Opera House
In second place is the Sydney Opera House, with a Google rating of 4.7 out of five. Widely regarded as one of the most distinctive buildings in the world, the multi-room performing arts centre is very popular on Instagram, with 1 million hashtags on the platform – the highest of all venues. This could have something to do with it being one of the most popular and recognisable tourist spots in the world, however.
With 67.7 million hashtag views on TikTok, the Sydney Opera House has seven times less views than Berghain, however it see a lot of Google searches at 3.6 million per year, the second highest number of all locations on the list.
Made up of over 10 different performance spaces, the Sydney Opera House hosts over 1,500 performances annually, and these are attended by more than 1.2 million people. Many famous faces have performed at the iconic venue, including the likes of Prince and Bob Dylan.
3. Royal Albert Hall
With a Google rating of 4.8, London’s the Royal Albert Hall comes in third place. Although it doesn’t see as much traction on TikTok as the Berghain, the venue is still very popular on the platform, with over 252 million hashtag views. It also has the second highest number of tagged Instagram posts of all venues on the list, with 379,679 hashtags.
Having opened in 1871, the venue is over 150 years old and hosts around 390 shows each year. Performances span a huge range of genres, from ballet and opera, to pop concerts and sports events. Some of the world’s biggest stars have graced the main stage, including Adele, Jimi Hendrix, and The Rolling Stones.
4. Radio City Music Hall
New York’s Radio City Music Hall has come in fourth place. The venue has the same Google rating as the Royal Albert Hall (4.8) and sees 1.6 million Google searches each year. When it comes to social media, the theatre does has 64.2 million hashtag views on TikTok, the lowest in the top five, however it has the fourth highest number of Instagram hashtags of all locations analysed at 284,921.
Built in the 1930s, Radio City Music Hall is a music venue and theatre located within the Rockefeller Centre in Manhattan. Nicknamed ‘The Showplace of the Nation’ it’s the home of famous dance company The Rockettes, and the likes of Frank Sinatra, Madonna, David Bowie, and Pink Floyd have all graced its stage.
5. Sphere Vegas
Rounding off the top five is Las Vegas’ Sphere. Located in Paradise, Nevada, just east of the Las Vegas Strip, the venue has a Google rating of 4.6 and sees 3.6 million Google searches per year on average, up 8,213% year-on-year. It also has 79.4 million views on TikTok, the fourth highest number of any venue on the list.
Sphere only opened in September 2023, with U2 as its very first performer, however it’s already caused a storm on social media. The nine-level venue is the largest spherical building on earth, and is also home to the largest and highest-resolution LED screen ever built, providing an immersive experience for concert-goers.
Most popular music venues in the UK
From The Rolling Stones and David Bowie, to the Spice Girls and Adele, London is the birthplace of many famous musicians, and home to plenty of iconic music venues. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to the list of most popular music venues in the UK, the entire top five is made up of places in London. With this in mind, we’ve taken a closer look at the most popular music spots in the capital city.
1. Royal Albert Hall
Given that it ranks as the third most popular music venue in the world, it’s no surprise that South Kensington’s Royal Albert Hall is the most popular place in the UK. In particular, the venue is very popular on TikTok, with 252.1 million hashtag views on the platform – the highest of any UK music venue on the list.
2. Alexandra Palace
In second place is Alexandra Palace. Nicknamed ‘Ally Pally’ the music venue has a Google rating of 4.6 out of five, and sees 1.6 million Google searches every year. It’s a little less popular on social media than the Royal Albert Hall though, with 44.2 million TikTok hashtag views, and 176,802 Instagram hashtags.
Having opened in 1875, Alexandra Palace became a listed building in 1996, and its Great Hall has hosted all sorts of big artists, from The Rolling Stones in 1964, to Jay-Z in 2009, to Carly Rae Jepson in 2023.
3. Ronnie Scott’s
One of London’s most famous jazz clubs, Ronnie Scott’s, comes in third place. The venue has a 4.7 rating on Google, and has seen 1.3 million Google searches worldwide in the past 12 months.
Set up by British saxophonist Ronnie Scott in 1959, the venue has become a legendary institution in Soho, and has played host to some of the most famous names in jazz, including Chick Corea and Sonny Rollins. The club does have the lowest number of TikTok hashtag views (1.9 million) and Instagram hashtags (42,338) of any of London’s top five venues, but this is likely down to the fact that you’re not allowed to use your phone or recording equipment inside the main room.
4. Barbican Centre
With a 4.6 rating on Google, the Barbican Centre has come in fourth place. The performing arts space has received 5.3 million TikTok hashtag views and 105,195 Instagram hashtags, as well as a significant number of global Google searches for the venue in the past year at 1 million.
Made up of various different event spaces, the Barbican Hall is home to the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, while the Barbican Theatre was designed exclusively for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Alongside the resident ensembles, the Barbican Centre welcomes artists from all types of genres to its stages, from opera to electronic.
5. Wigmore Hall
Rounding off the top five most popular music venues in London is Wigmore Hall. Although less popular on social media than other venues in the top five, it has a near perfect Google rating of 4.8 out of 5. The concert hall also sees around 397,200 Google searches per year.
Built in 1901 and known as one of the world’s greatest concert halls, Wigmore Hall specialises in chamber and instrumental music, and song, and hosts over five hundred concerts each year, as well as a weekly concert broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Most popular UK music venues outside of London
London spots might make up the majority of the top 10 best UK music venues, but we can’t forget some of the epic venues from across the rest of the UK.
1. The Cavern Club
The birthplace of The Beatles, it will come as no surprise that The Cavern Club has ranked as the most popular venue outside of London, coming in at sixth place overall in the UK.
Liverpool’s most iconic gig venue is pretty popular on TikTok compared to other non-London based UK spots, with 4 million TikTok hashtag views, and it also has 82,996 Instagram hashtags. With 217,200 Google searches in the past year The Cavern Club has seen inquiries increase by 22% year-on-year.
In second place is Glasgow’s Barrowland, which also ranks seventh on the overall UK list. Also known as ‘The Barrowland Ballroom,’ the venue has seen 325,200 searches on Google in the past year, an increase of 23% year-on-year. Barrowland is ever so slightly more popular than The Cavern Club on TikTok, with 4.1 million hashtag views, though it has around half the amount of tagged posts on Instagram (47,600).
Known for its sprung dance floor, the allroom has become a major concert venue, welcoming the likes of David Bowie, Biffy Clyro, Muse, and Texas to its stage.
3. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Also hailing from Glasgow, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has come in third place, ranking ninth on the overall list of most popular UK music venues. Founded in 1847, it has become the busiest performing arts venue in Scotland, with over 500 public performances each year.
The venue has a very high 4.8 rating on Google, though it sees around half the yearly Google searches of Barrowland. It also has just 237,000 TikTok hashtag views, and a mere 8,138 Instagram hashtags. Formerly known as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, internationally, the school ranks fifth in the world for Performing Arts Education.
Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall round off the top five most popular UK music venues outside of London.
The music venues in the UK that are growing in popularity
Analysing average increase in monthly Google search volume across the globe for popular music venues, the study has also revealed up and coming locations for music lovers to explore, as well as which iconic venues are increasing in popularity.
1. Electric Ballroom
With monthly Google searches increasing by 173% year-on-year (325,200 global yearly searches in the past 12 months), Electric Ballroom comes in first place as the music venue which has seen the biggest increase in interest year-on-year.
Located on Camden High Street, Electric Ballroom is an established independent music venue, hosting plenty of indie and rock artists over the years such as The Vaccines and Snow Patrol, as well as music icons Sir Paul McCartney and Prince. Electric Ballroom is also the home of Stand Up Central, a comedy show for stand up comics, filmed in front of a live audience at the venue.
2. Servant Jazz Quarters
In second place is Servant Jazz Quarters in the heart of Dalston, with searches increasing by 140% year-on-year, and has seen 28,800 yearly searches in the past year.
A boutique music venue and cocktail bar, Servant Jazz Quarters is an intimate music venue with a capacity of just 100. The venue hosts a range of acts from different genres including indie, jazz and soul.
3. The Shacklewell Arms
A 10 minute walk away Servant Jazz Quarters, The Shacklewell Arms comes in third place with monthly searches increasing by 125% year-on-year, seeing 34,800 global searches on average in the past year.
Not only featuring a cosy heated courtyard, there is also a stage in this small pub for live music acts, with DJs performing regularly on weekends. The genre of music you’ll find here can range from rock to house music, as well as electric and acoustic.
4. Evolutionary Arts Hackney
Evolutionary Arts Hackney comes in fourth place with searches increasing by 88% year-on-year despite global yearly searches only amounting to 3,840 in the past year.
Launching in September 2018, this music venue has two event spaces, a 750 seated theatre and standing concert hall with a capacity of 1,200. Since opening, it’s already played host to a range of events from album launches to indie music concerts.
With searches increasing by 83% year-on-year, the iconic KOKO comes in fifth. KOKO sees the biggest yearly search volume in the top 5 up and coming locations with 726,000 global searches.
Despite having a fairly small capacity of just 1,500, KOKO is one of London’s most iconic venues, having been around for over 120 years. Many famous artists have taken to its stage, from Amy Winehouse to The Clash, and it continues to host big and new stars since its restoration following a fire in 2020.
So, now you know the world’s most popular music venues, where will you be heading for your next gig?
Methodology & Sources
We pulled together a seedlist of 120 music venues around the world, from various lists.
These venues were then ranked according to the following metrics:
Google ratings – each location was searched in Google maps and the number of reviews and average rating out of five was taken
Google search volume – Google Analytics Keyword Planner was used to determine average yearly search volume
TikTok hashtag count – each venue was searched on TikTok using ‘#[nameofvenue]’
Instagram hashtags – each venue was searched on Instagram using ‘#[nameofvenue]’
Google search volume – Google Analytics Keyword Planner used to find monthly search volume for each location. ‘All locations’ selected to find global search volume. The figure was then multiplied by 12 to find the average yearly search volume around the world. Percentage increase of decrease of monthly search volume was also taken to determine up and coming venues, however this metric was not included in the final weighting.