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Live music in London: The gig venues with confirmed reopening dates in April and May

If everything goes to plan, then music festivals should return from June 21 — and the calendar is already heaving with events for the summer, in London and beyond.

But that doesn’t mean we should have to wait that long for live music. According to the Government’s roadmap, indoor, socially distanced gigs with limited capacities can return from May 17, while some outdoor venues can start hosting events with music from April 12.

After so long without IRL gigs, it’s certainly a tantalising prospect, and here we’ve rounded up the capital’s venues that have confirmed their reopening dates for the coming weeks. We’ll add more as the news arrives.

It’s also worth remembering that some venues still need financial support to get them through what we hope will be the final few weeks of lockdown. Head here to see how you can lend a helping hand.

First opened in the warmer months following Lockdown 1.0 last year, this new outdoor space launched by Brixton Jamm returns for 2021, offering the same mix of DJ events, food and drink. Tickets for many of the early events have already flown out the door, but beyond that it’s free entry on lots of days, while the likes of Joe Goddard (April 25) and Tristan da Cunha B2B Voigtmann (May 7) are on the horizon.

The Jazz Cafe — May 17
As soon as they can, the Jazz Cafe in Camden will be back in action. The reopening gig is set to be a night of neo-soul classics, and there’s a stellar schedule planned for the weeks ahead, including Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra (May 19, 20), House Gospel Choir (May 28), Camilla George (June 2), Zara McFarlane (June 5) and more.

Windmill Brixton — May 18
This famous little venue down in south London, renowned for all the promising young bands it puts on, was a champion of live music between lockdowns, hosting more than 90 socially distanced shows. People are clearly raring to get back inside as its first few gigs have all sold out. Act quick to get your tickets for the likes of The Mantis Opera (June 2), Tenderhost (June 4) and The Rebel (June 22, 29).

SW2, windmillbrixton.co.uk

Ronnie Scott’s — May 20
The new Covid-secure rules haven’t done too much to get in the way of the laid back, welcoming vibe at Ronnie Scott’s (a few perspex screens between booths, and the like) and it’ll return with its usual spread of jazz favourites. Reuben James (May 20), Vanessa Haynes celebrating Aretha Franklin (May 22) and Eliane Correa with La Evolución Septet (May 23) are among the first acts to get back on stage.

Kings Place — May 20
This King’s Cross venue has been running livestreams during the pandemic, but will get back into the live swing of things with a typically eclectic gig schedule, covering everything from Afghan folk-inspired sounds to UK jazz. Things kick off with the Songlines Encounters Festival, featuring the likes of London Bulgarian Choir (May 20), Electric Jalaba (May 20) and Sarathy Korwar (May 22).

The Shacklewell Arms — May 22
Things might not be able to get quite as raucous at these socially distanced shows as they used to at the Shacklewell Arms, but it’ll still be a great atmosphere when the musical boozer reopens. London-based rockers Cassels do the inaugural honours with two shows in one day (May 22), with White Flowers (June 11) and Chemtrails (July 24) also in the pipeline.

E8, shacklewellarms.com

Islington Assembly Hall — May 22
Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals fame will get this north London venue back into the gigging swing of things with an early and late show on May 22. Don Letts is also set for a double-header (May 27), with Nubiyan Twist (May 27), The Loveless (May 29) and Black Country, New Road (June 27-29) all on the bill for the coming weeks.

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