Spanning music, theatre, rugby, football and comedy, Newport is a lively city with plenty going on throughout the year. Read our guide to discover the best entertainment in Newport.
Entertainment in Newport
Newport might be the home to legendary joke rappers Goldie Lookin’ Chain who made a brief impact at the start of the millennium, but thankfully the live music scene is now a lot stronger.
The Neon, just a stone’s throw away from Newport Castle, is a stunning converted Art Deco theatre that has been recently renovated and turned into an all-singing and all-dancing space that puts on live music, stage shows, comedy acts and musicals. Musically, it puts on a broad spectrum of events, including tribute acts, theme nights spanning rock, reggae and disco, as well as hosting the annual Newport Blues Festival every June.
Newport has a strong pub scene and one that supports live music. Le Pub on the High Street is part pub and part events space, putting on regular live music as well as film screenings, art exhibitions and comedy nights. With more than 20 years of experience behind them, they have a strong following and support a wide range of up-and-coming acts and talent.
Similarly, Potters near Friars Walk Shopping Centre is another popular pub that has bands every Friday and Saturday night. And with a newly built roof terrace overlooking the River Usk, it’s one of the best pubs in the city.
The largest theatre around, the Riverfront Arts Centre is the main player when it comes to staging plays, musicals, pantomimes and cabaret acts. Head to our dedicated page to read all about it.
Putting on nine plays a year, The Dolman Theatre in Kingsway Shopping Centre is a 400-capacity space that has a large stage and orchestra pit. Each show plays for a week, with previous productions including Wind in the Willows, Little Shop of Horrors and bespoke productions featuring brand new plays and scripts.
Originally a snooker hall for miners, Blackwood Miners’ Institute is now a vibrant arts centre in South Wales, putting on over 40 shows a year including touring productions and those performed by the local community. The centrepiece is the annual pantomime which pulls in nearly 15,000 people. The institute is 20 miles from our Newport Wales (M4, J24) hotel, but the scenic drive through the valleys is reason enough to make the journey.
Established in 1986, Ballet Cymru is based in Rogerstone, Newport and puts on an annual production with the Riverfronts Art Centre, showcasing the finest Welsh ballet talent as well as touring the UK with various productions.
The second oldest sports venue in the football league, Rodney Parade is home to Newport County Football Club, as well as to Welsh regional rugby club The Dragons and Newport Rugby Football Club. Just 15 minutes from the city centre, the stadium has a capacity of 11,000 for rugby and 8,000 for football.
Newport County was formed in 1912 and currently play in League Two, the fourth tier of the Football League. Peaking in 1981 when they reached the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup, they were relegated in 1988 from the Football League and then went out of business in 1989. Thankfully for Newport football fans, they’re back in the big time, having won promotion to League Two in 2013 and have successfully secured that status every season since.
Formed in 2003, Gwent Dragons are one of four provincial Welsh sides and play their home matches at Rodney Parade. The team have reached several semi-finals in European competitions and have given the Welsh national team several big-name players including Gavin Henson, Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau. The season runs from August until April, with Gwent Dragons playing in the Pro 14 league, which combines the best Scottish, Welsh, Italian and South African teams.
If you’re looking for a laugh in Newport, then you could do far worse than Google ‘Newport State of Mind,’ a satirical take on the Alicia Keys track ‘New York State of Mind.
The Neon is a large theatre in the centre of the city that puts on a wide roster of events, including regular stand-up shows by the Comedy Club. The Riverfront Arts Centre likewise puts on semi-regular comedy shows, including stand-up showcase The Comedy Shed as well as parody shows, guest comedy speakers and laugh-out-loud plays.