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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

One of the most memorable times I’ve had in Nottingham was going to see Modernlove at Rough Trade. It was such a wonderful experience filled with lots of fun and laughter. My friend and I found out about it through advertisements on Instagram and decided to be spontaneous and go. Even better, the tickets were only £15 per person!

One thing I loved about the concert was how personal it felt. If you are a person who doesn’t like big crowds or massive mosh pits, these smaller venues are definitely for you! The environment was chill, there were seats to relax on if anyone ever felt too overwhelmed. There also wasn’t a massive queue at the bar, which I always find an issue when going to bigger venues as the last thing you want to do is wait at the bar for 20 minutes. When seeing Modernlove the crowd didn’t feel too claustrophobic and you could see the band so clearly- always a plus! 

Another thing that makes seeing a small band so special is that afterwards, you often get the opportunity to meet the band and have pictures with them. We had this opportunity when seeing Modernlove. I loved the fact we were able to do this at Rough Trade, as we got to speak to them personally and have pictures to save as a memory of the day. 

If you decide to do something like this, I advise making a day out of it! Whether it’s going to Bodega after the concert or just going out for a few drinks. I specifically enjoy Bodegas Indie Wednesday, so if you love indie music, I would definitely recommend it! Other bar recommendations for afterwards include The Walrus, to try their delicious Kinder Bueno cocktails or Pepper Rocks which has the most beautiful decor! From plants to nice lighting to take photos- it has a bit of everything! 

Where are the best places to look for these smaller concerts? 

Before my friend found out about Modernlove’s concert, I’d never thought about going to a small performance before. So, I never had an idea of where to look for these events. Like I said before, we saw this through an advertisement on Instagram, however, there are plenty of other places you can look at to find more small concerts to enjoy. 

Some of the best places to look at are Stealth and Rough Trade, which tend to have smaller crowds but lots of concerts. Looking at Stealth right now, there seems to be one every couple of days

However, if you are someone who prefers mosh pits and slightly bigger crowds. I’d advise looking into Rock City, where both well-known and lesser-known artists perform. For example, artists such as Aitch, Charli XCX and the Wombats have all performed there. It’s also a more spacious venue so you have the option to stand near the band with a bigger audience or stand further back.  

Seeing a small band is a lovely way to go on a relatively cheap night out, where you have the option to drink but still can have lots of fun going sober too. Doing this is also a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the Nottingham culture. And who knows? One day that small band you saw could become a famous band that you can brag about seeing to your friends!

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Cara Meikle

Nottingham '24

My names Cara, I am in third year and studying English with Creative Writing.