Rapper Krept, University of Portsmouth graduate, performing

Live music, festivals and music societies

Passionate about music? Find out how to get involved in Portsmouth's music scene

If you're looking for live music at university, Portsmouth hosts events and festivals throughout the year. If you want to perform, you can join one of our music societies or bands.

Portsmouth has a long history of hosting famous bands such as Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, and a growing local music scene supported by dedicated venues.

You can easily find yourself at gigs multiple times a week, rehearsing your own music at open mic nights, or playing at one of the music festivals for upcoming bands.

Music festivals in Portsmouth

The biggest music festivals in or near Portsmouth are the Victorious Festival and the Isle of Wight Festival. If you're looking for local bands and a cheaper ticket price, check out Icebreaker or Dials.

Music venues in Portsmouth

You'll find gigs all across Portsmouth. To get you started, these are some of the city's best known and most active local venues – including Portsmouth's famous Wedgewood Rooms.

Recording studios and rehearsal space

If you're looking for somewhere for your band to practice, or you want to make a recording, these local companies provide recording services and/or rehearsal space.

Something different

Visit Portsmouth's one-of-a-kind food and music venue, Pie & Vinyl, where you can enjoy unbelievably good pies while listening to vinyl records.

Explore Pie and Vinyl
Portsmouth's unique music café

Hear from Café owner, Steve Courtnell and students on why they love Pie and Vinyl and Portsmouth.

Music opportunities at the University

When you study with us, you'll have access to specialist music facilities and you can listen to or perform with many ensembles. You can take part in various music activities, whichever course you study. You can also hire instruments or arrange private tuition from the Music Department.

Find out how to get involved in music at Portsmouth.

Actors in Cinderella dancing on stage with arms up
Person marking sheet music with light blue pencil

Classical music

Many events take place at the Guildhall, while orchestras, choirs and amateur dramatic (AmDram) societies perform in theatres, cathedrals and churches around the city and surrounding areas.

The website Music in Portsmouth lists classical concerts in and around Portsmouth. The Portsmouth Chamber Music Series runs from October to May. And you can buy tickets for classical music events on our online store.

Organ scholarship

If you're a talented organ player, you can apply for a Foundation Organ Scholarship at St Mary's Church, a large inner-city parish church. The year-long scholarship is for organists aged 16–25. You don't have to be part of the Anglican Church to apply, but you should be prepared to take part in their traditions.

Music charities

If you love music and want to be involved in using music to benefit disadvantaged communities, you can support several music charities in and around Portsmouth.

Tonic: Music for Mental Health

Tonic: Music for Mental Health funds music workshops, gigs, art groups and community projects to help people recover from mental health problems. Tonic has celebrity support from artists including Terry Hall from The Specials and Kevin Cummins, a legendary rock photographer.

Music Fusion

Music Fusion is a charity based in Havant that encourages young people to make music. Their East Street recording studio is a safe, friendly and creative space for young people to connect, socialise and make music. They also encourage young artists to use music as a platform for positive social action.

The CEO and Founder of Music Fusion, Jinx Prowse, is one of our alumni. Jinx supports future entrepreneurs for social change through our Entrepreneurs in Residence programme.

Find out more about life in Portsmouth

Take a closer look at more of the exciting things on offer in our amazing city.