You might think Nottingham’s claim to fame rests with Robin Hood, but this buzzing city has a lesser known side that it has been keeping hush-hush for too long. Nottingham has one of the country’s most creative music scenes. Its sheer diversity, the plethora of venues found on just about every street in the city, and its fresh, original sounds make it a must-stop destination for any music fan.

Jake Bugg is arguably Nottingham’s best known export, but there’s a stream of other talent waiting to be discovered.

With no iconic city sound and no musical legacy to live up to, Nottingham has had the freedom to start with a blank canvas, experimenting with every genre – and no style is off limits. Here, there seems to be a culture of fostering young talent, and a wildly eclectic pool of it at that. It’s for these reasons that Nottingham is emerging as a musical powerhouse.

And the music industry is taking notice. In November 2014, world famous record label Rough Trade opened a branch of their shop in Nottingham, pledging to give opportunities to local artists. Quite a big deal considering their only other branches are in London and New York.

What’s more, on the summer festival circuit, Nottingham artists are rapidly growing in popularity, receiving more and more stage time at big events each year. And there’s also the city’s own festival, Hockley Hustle, which annually showcases the best local talent on offer.

To help spread the word, we thought we’d find out more about the city’s music scene from those who live and breathe it.

So, we travelled to Nottingham to speak with two experts on the ground – Jared Wilson, the editor of premier arts listing, entertainment and culture magazine, LeftLion, and Mark Del, who heads up Nusic, a Nottingham community project that assists local musicians.

And from that, we’ve produced this mini feature to introduce you to the city’s beating heart.


Feeling inspired? Take a look at our hotels in Nottingham to start planning your trip.

Want to find out more about Nottingham music? You might be interested in these:

How Nottingham Music Broke into the Big Time

Nottingham’s Nine Best Music Venues


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