Live music at the Union

Benjamin Cullen submitted on

Monday 14th November 2016



I'm a third year humanities student and I'm looking at a career in the music industry for when I graduate. This has got me thinking about the live music that the Union puts on for Southampton students - Why do no bands play at the Unversity?

Apart from novelty DJs in Freshers/Refreshers week, the Union does not put on live music. That's not always been the case, in the past bands like The Maccabees and Mumford & Sons have played in their early days. But since I've been at the University this hasn't happened.

The Union bills the Cube as a 1700 capacity venue. That's a decent size and could hold bands that are well known enough to draw a crowd. It obviously requires money and effort to do this, I understand that - however if the right names were playing then a capacity crowd paying hypothetically £20 a ticket would be an ideal oppertinuty for the Union to raise money to put back in to putting on more music for students, and perhaps enough to go towards other areas of the Union. 

I know I'm not alone in wanting live music at Southampton. Cardiff, Norwich, Sheffield and plenty more Universities all do this, and its popularity extents to more than just its students. I honestly think this could be exciting, and I want to help make it happen.

I hope to at least hear back from someone soon.


Benjamin Cullen


Here, you can view the complete set of official responses from the sabbatical officers regarding this submission.

Students' Union replied on

Thursday 27th Apr 2017 10:16am

Hi Benjamin,

As I previously mentioned, this was taken to Creative Industries Zone and Operations and Services Advisory Forum in order to discuss this further. The committees noted that Southampton has a variety of music venues external to the University such as the Joiners, Engine Rooms, and the Talking Heads to name a few. The Union has previously hosted gigs in Garden Court, most recently Lethal Bizzle in 2015, however it was noted that attendance was poor with the venue only being half full. We have also hosted live sessions in the Bridge previously however these too were not tremendously well attended.

The Stag's used to play host to live music on Friday's, and this is something that over the past term we have been looking into bringing back. It was noted that due to layout of The Stag's, it isn't the most ideal live music venue however with the right promotion we could make it work!

Unfortunately it doesn't look like the Union can dive in head-first and book big name acts straight away; in Southampton there are already many venues closer to the city centre with a good reputation, and the city's proximity to Portsmouth and Bournemouth means that we are also competing with them to book acts too.

We will keep working on The Stag's project and hopefully something will come to fruition in future.

Many thanks,

Cameron Meldrum
Vice-President Democracy and Creative Industries

Students' Union replied on

Wednesday 8th Feb 2017 2:19pm

Hey Benjamin,


Sorry for the long gap in updating you. Your idea was recently taken to Creative Industries Zone and Operations and Services Advisory Forum and it was decided that we're going to do a little bit more research and look into the feasability of having more live music in the Union. I'll keep you updated when I have more to tell you!

Cameron Meldrum
Vice-President Democracy and Creative Industries

Students' Union replied on

Thursday 24th Nov 2016 1:10pm

Hey Benjamin,

Thanks for your idea submission. This is a really good question and actually something I was thinking about recently. You're right that the Union doesn't have that many live acts in the Cube; the last one I can remember was We Are Scientists and that was about two years ago! There are a lot of factors that have to be taken into account though, one being that live events companies tend to come to us first and not the other way around. Southampton has a lot of music venues that we would have to compete with, and almost all of them are down in the city centre which makes it difficult for the Union as we are relatively far away from there. Then you've also got other coastal cities like Portsmouth and Bournemouth to contend with; a band that goes on tour is likely to only go to one of the one of these cities as they are so close to each other. I often find it annoying that a lot of bands go to either Portsmouth or Bournemouth and yet they never seem to come to Southampton!

Union societies also put on a lot of live music; RockSoc and LiveSoc are the two societies that spring most to mind. RAG are also hosting 'Breastival' in the Cube on the 3rd December which is raising money for breast cancer awareness.

That said, this is something I can definitely look into for you! I can take this to the next Operations and Services Advisory Forum, as it might just be a case of better advertising of the Cube as a live music venue to artists, agents and live music companies. I can update you afterwards as to how that goes.

Cameron Meldrum
Vice-President Democracy and Creative Industries


  • Forwarded to Vice President Democracy and Creative Industries

    Friday 18th Nov 2016 1:52pm


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