And that community isn’t limited to the bands or their fans. There are some incredible unique buildings to watch the next big thing, unsigned artists and genres you won’t hear on most radio stations.
From Durham to North Tyneside, these are some of our favourites across the region.
In the middle of Sunderland City Centre, Holmside’s Independent has been a staple of Wearside nightlife for years - but it is also a favourite for the city’s live music fans. The venue has already hosted a variety of events since Covid restrictions lifted this summer.
2. Little Buildings
With a capacity of just 60 gig goers, Little Buildings’ intimacy is something the venue are incredible proud of. A venue willing to promote all their own gigs, the Ouseburn site’s DIY ethos attracts local and touring bands alike.
3. The Old Cinema Laundrette
As its name suggests, Durham's Old Cinema Laundrette still offers washing and drying services during the day, but by night it transforms into a live music venue fit for the very best of the UK's underground touring musicians. Despite the daytime use of the building, the unique setup also includes a bar.
4. The Peacock
As well as being a stunning city centre pub, Sunderland's Peacock regularly hosts local artists thanks to the musical links of owners Barry Hyde of the Futureheads and Dan Donelly, who has a history of work with the Levellers, The Wonder Stuff and more.