The evolution of live music in London

If you’re looking for somewhere to experience some of the best live music in the world, London is definitely one of the best places to start. Steeped in music history, the capital is packed full of iconic music venues that have hosted some of the most famous acts and bands on the planet - from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to Oasis and Adele.

London’s music scene, and the way we experience live music and discover new acts has changed massively over the years. So, to explore the city’s music history, we’ve gone back in time to see how gigs, bands and fans have evolved since the legendary 60s.

Going to a gig in London?

Don’t leave early to get the last train home - we have hotels near all the capital’s music venues so you don’t have to miss the encore. 


You may think that in the age of social sharing, live music might not feel as intimate or have the same exciting appeal as previous decades. But, with technology making it easier to discover new talent, we’re now going to more gigs and festivals than ever.  




The 00s saw an explosion in social networking and new technology - Myspace arrived in 2003 and Facebook launched in 2004. 2007 saw the release of the first iPhone and in 2008, Spotify landed. This digital decade completely revolutionised how we would experience music forever. 




The 90s were all about grunge, Britpop and raving. Live music got sweaty and lo-fi, with plaid shirts and zip up tracksuit tops being the uniform for gig-goers. Without mobile phones, word of mouth was key for music lovers to discover new acts and clubs.




The 80s saw an evolution of live music, with bands inspired by the likes of Pink Floyd introducing impressive lighting and effects which transformed gigs into shows. In contrast to this innovation, tickets for gigs were secured by sending off a form in the post!




One word - punk! You could see bands like The Sex Pistols or The Undertones for just £3. With concert-goers donning battered Converse shoes, band badges and pogoing at the front of the crowd, the live gigs of the 70s felt more like a movement than a show.




Often seen as the golden era of music history - the live music scene of the 60s is remembered as the first decade of experimental sounds and fan hysteria. Want to meet your idols? You’d often find the band down the local pub after the gig!