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.
Isle of Wight Festival
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.
The 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.
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.
The passion was born through the love of music, but of course, 10 years ago, perhaps a physical format didn't have a life.
I wanted to create an experience.
The vinyl record, I think, is an experience.
It forces you to listen to it.
And then I thought of incorporating a food element.
So like a kind of a café culture where you sold music and we also played good music in the shop.
I think it's a really cool concept.
I don't know anywhere else that does pies and vinyl together, and I just think it's really cool and creative.
I'm really proud.
I'm Portsmouth through and through.
I love Portsmouth because it is one of the only island cities in the UK.
I'm originally from Cornwall and being by the sea was really important for me and the whole island is surrounded by it.
So whenever I miss home, it's so quick to go to the beach and I love that.
When we go out and we get invited to things like the 6 Music Festival, we do end up being more kind of TripAdvisor's than anything else.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Places to eat in Portsmouth
Hungry for adventure? Here's a taster of the great food and drink you can savour in the city.
Beaches, piers and parks
Portsmouth is a bustling city with the sea on our doorstep and green spaces all around.
Shopping in Portsmouth
We're home to great independent businesses, so shopping in the city is a real treat.
Sport in Portsmouth
From water sports to football and quidditch - few cities can compete with Portsmouth's sports opportunities.