For many years, music fans in Edinburgh have been crying out for a purpose-built top-class arena to host concerts by big names who tend to ignore Scotland’s Capital to play in Glasgow at venues including the 14,300 capacity Hydro, 5,200 Braehead Arena or 10,000 capacity SECC. While, more and more chart toppers are taking their tours to Aberdeen to play the 15,000 capacity P&J Live arena.
Although there are some great permanent music venues in Edinburgh such as the Playhouse and the Usher Hall, they can accommodate a lot less fans than the proposed arena at Edinburgh Park. However, the Capital does have temporary venues for hosting concerts on a larger scale such as the Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle, The Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens and The Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston. And of course, the city’s sport grounds at Tynecastle, Easter Road and Murrayfield have also held concerts on a much larger scale.
1. Ross Bandstand
The decaying Ross Bandstand in Edinburgh still hosts big concerts every year, despite many redevelopment plans over the years failing to come to fruition. The venue in Princes Street Gardens has a seating capacity of 2,500 and a maximum capacity of up to 10,000 for events such as the Hogmanay party and concerts by the likes of Travis, pictured above, with the bowl used for standing customers. Photo: Kevin Quinn
2. Edinburgh Playhouse
Edinburgh Playhouse is the city's largest permanent concert hall venue, with a capacity for 3,059 music fans, making it the largest theatre in Scotland and second largest in the UK. The venue has seen some memorable performances over the years from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Queen and Elton John. Photo: Andrew O'Brien
3. O2 Academy Edinburgh
The former Chesser Corn Exchange has a capacity of 3,000, with the former slaughterhouse seeing performances from the likes of Oasis and Blur over the years. The venue's name change came about in 2021 and has since seen more concerts held there, with The View due to perform there next month. Pictured above is Justin Hawkins of 'The Darkness' performing at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh in December 2003. Photo: Cate Gillon
4. Usher Hall
The Usher Hall at Lothian Road was built in 1914 and has seen big names perform at the venue, which has a seating capacity of 2,200 and 2,900 with standing, including The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash and Oasis. Photo: Andrew O'Brien