Did you know Folkestone is the world’s first music town? Crowned in 2019 as part of BBC Music Day, our seaside town has always had a thriving live music scene and is home to an eclectic mix of musicians, songwriters, music producers and DJs.
With a wide and varied selection of venues hosting bands and music nights regularly, you are certain to find a hotspot that dances to the beat of your drum.
Your first port of call should be the Folkestone Music Town website
which is both the official “home” of Folkestone Music Town CIC and a comprehensive gig guide for live music around the area. Search for gigs, music venues, specific bands, music shops, and rehearsal & recording spaces.
There is also a handy map and background information about how Folkestone Music Town was crowned.
If you want to head straight out for your night out, here are some great venues to start with…
As a designated Music Town, it should come as no surprise that Folkestone has plenty of brilliant pubs with live music nights to choose from.
Visit Jamjar or Skuba to sample excellent cocktails and dance the night away, or head to Kipps Alehouse for a world-beating selection of real ales, ciders and thumping live music. For a more eclectic artsy vibe, try the tunes at Folklore, and for a slice of the Caribbean, the Rum Clinic is Folkestone’s very own calypso hotspot.
This is just a drop in the ocean with a myriad of bars and pop ups that add to Folkestone’s musical identity. Find the latest listings here
Folkestone’s largest performance venue has hosted a myriad of top music acts from Pink Floyd and the Kinks in the 1960s to The Vaccines and Wolf Alice in recent years. Built into Folkestone’s striking cliff face and boasting beautiful views of the English Channel, this is the place to see the best touring performers.
For those who prefer alternative tunes, The Chambers independent coffee shop and bar has been a Folkestone music institution since 1998.
They offer regular live music in their atmospheric underground gig space and bar, hidden beneath the friendly café. Expect an eclectic mix of acts with everything covered from rock to blues to metal and jazz. In addition to live bands, check out the DJs every Saturday night.
Quarterhouse is a performing arts venue at the heart of Creative Folkestone. They present a regular programme of live music as well as theatre, film and comedy.
The beautifully-designed, flexible performance space accommodates both large scale acts and more intimate performances - touring bands, folk duos and lively club nights are all part of its cultural mix.
If you prefer live music in the great outdoors, the Leas Bandstand is the place for you every Saturday and Sunday from June to October.
Saturday afternoons are for live music, entertainment, workshops and plenty of dancing from local groups as part of the Stand By Your Bands project.
On Sundays from 2.30-4.30pm, the bandstand goes traditional with a mix of brass, silver, wind and concert bands. Relax in one of the deck chairs and soak up the summer season.
Folkestone’s restored harbour arm is one of the places to see and be seen. The beautiful promenade stretching into the sea is now a hub of independent retailers, big-screen events and, of course, great live music. Events are programmed throughout the seasons, so always check the weather and the website for the latest news on what’s on. The perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon.
The 300-seat Tower Theatre presents a vibrant programme to entertain, enrich and inspire audiences of all ages and backgrounds. This not-for-profit charity venue collaborates with local artists and community groups, schools and charities to ensure all their creative experiences have wide-reaching positive impact.