Whether you are looking to catch a gig, theatre production, comedy show or sporting spectacle, Southampton has plenty on offer during your stay. From award-winning music venues such as The Joiners Arms to the top-flight football stadium at St. Mary’s stadium, there’s plenty to do and see here.
Entertainment in Southampton
Southampton has an abundance of great music venues that cater to everyone. A particular favourite of the city’s gig-goers is The O2 Guildhall on West Marlands Road. The Grade II listed former town hall plays host to an array of musical talent. With a capacity of 1,749, it is large enough to attract the biggest artists, without being too big and losing character. For those staying at our City Centre hotel, it is only a short walk to the venue.
If you’re looking to catch some more up-and-coming artists or perhaps a tribute band during your visit, head to The Brook on Portswood Road. It is one of Southampton’s most popular indie venues, and oozes character. Its wide stage, large dancefloor and wrap-around balcony make it a great place to take in a concert, and its diverse programme of live music and DJ nights ensures that it caters to a wide audience. Check what’s on during your stay; you might not see your favourite band there, but you’re likely to see the next best thing.
For a smaller venue in the heart of the city, check out The Joiners Arms. Named ‘Best Small Venue’ by NME in 2013, this 200-capacity joint on St. Mary Street has been bringing great live music to the city of Southampton for over 50 years. The best part is that, no matter when you visit, there will always be something on at The Joiners Arms, with live music every night.
If classical music is more to your taste, you can’t beat Turner Sims Concert Hall. Widely regarded as one of the UK’s finest chamber music venues, it has drawn in popular artists from all over the world, including Paul Lewis, Nicola Benedetti and Courtney Pine.
Our video guide to Southampton entertainment
The Southampton theatre scene is the best on the South Coast, and includes a legendary venue which features shows straight from the West End. You can read more about it in our guide to the Mayflower Theatre.
Nuffield Southampton Theatres are an innovative organisation with two venues – Campus and City – located in Southampton. Focusing on bringing fresh, new ideas to modern theatre, they were awarded ‘Regional Theatre of the Year’ at The Stage Awards in 2015. They also welcome performances from comedians and musicians and have performances nearly every day, so be sure to check what’s on during your stay.
If you are visiting Southampton as a family or have a particular interest in youth theatre, The Berry Theatre is for you. It is five miles away from our City Centre hotel, but is completely worth the trip to see aspiring young performers master their trade in a state-of-the-art creative environment.
Once a month, the famous Manford’s Comedy Club rolls into town at The Stage Door on West Marlands Road. Started in 2015 by comedy superstar Jason Manford in a bid to increase the national appeal of comedy shows, Manford’s Comedy Club brings the best comedians in the country to 57 venues around the UK. With performers such as John Bishop, Russell Kane and Michael McIntyre on the roster, it is well worth heading to The Stage Door if there is a show on during your visit. The venue itself is located right in the beating heart of Southampton’s Cultural Quarter and is described as ‘Southampton’s only fringe theatre and bar’.
Football fans will know The Saints, but there is much more to sport in this city than Southampton F.C. That said, we start our sporting guide at St. Mary’s Stadium, home to the city’s top-flight football team. The ground holds more than 32,000 fans and has been the home of The Saints since 2001. It is easily accessible from our City Centre hotel, which is just a three-minute drive or 15-minute walk away.
If you’re more of a cricket lover than a football fan, then head to the Ageas Bowl (Rose Bowl Cricket Ground) on Botley Road. Here you can watch Hampshire compete in the County Championship between April and September. If you are lucky, you may catch some international cricket at the Ageas Bowl, including One Day Internationals, Twenty20s and Test matches.
Southampton doesn’t have a top-flight rugby team, but you can watch some lower-league rugby in the form of Southampton R.F.C who play at Test Park, just off the M271. They play in Hampshire’s second division. Alternatively, you could visit Southampton Hockey Club at Southampton Sports Centre.