9 Bizarre Gig Venues

From a retirement home to Antarctica.

Ultimate Guitar
9 Bizarre Gig Venues

Old people's home / The Libertines

The Libertines were the undisputable masters of guerrilla gigs. One of such gigs took place in an old people’s home in Camden in 1999. Needless to say, the dwellers were not so happy about it.

The Cabinet War Rooms / Kasabian

The Cabinet War Rooms, one of the places, where Churchill forged victory for Britain and the Allies sixty years later became a venue for Kasabian. Would the Prime minister like the band? We'll never know.

Cave / Crystal Fighters

In 2013, Crystal Fighters decided to celebrate the release of their Cave Rave album with... you guessed it, an actual rave in a cave. When you call your album Cave Rave, you can’t very well book a tour of bog standard gig venues without disappointing a few over-active imaginations. So they threw a party in Zugarramundi cave in Northern Spain.

Plane / Jamiroquai

in 2007, Jamiroquai performed at 35,000 ft altitude to promote his hits compilations called 'High Times'. It also turned out to be the highest altitude gig ever so he got his Guinness World Records cerificate as well.

City Bus / The White Stripes

On tour in Winnipeg in 2007, The White Stripes delighted onlookers by hopping on a city bus and playing an impromptu set. Well, we say “delighted”. Most of them were probably commuters trying to read the paper in peace and might not have been too thrilled to have Jack White howling ‘Hotel Yorba’ in their faces. But still: a nice idea.

The Beatles' Rooftop Concert

The Beatles’ gig on the roof of Apple HQ on January 30, 1969, is the daddy of all unusual gigs. It was also their final public performance. In a 42-minute set, the Beatles were heard playing nine takes of five songs before the Metropolitan Police Service asked them to reduce the volume.

Antarctica / Metallica's Freeze 'em All

On December 8, 2013, the guys found themselves playing a gig for a couple dozen friends, fans, and penguins at Carlini Base in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. The gig capped off a year where they set foot and performed on all seven continents during a 12-month period.

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Trolltunga / Shining

Norwegian blackjazz outfit Shining played a gig on top of the 2300 ft Trolltunga cliff! As if that wasn’t epic enough, they did it on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, in a locale where the sun barely sets.

Floating Iceberg / The Defiled

The Defiled braved sub-zero temperatures and dangerous terrain to perform a 30-minute gig on a floating iceberg in the middle of the Greenland Sea as part of Jägermeister's Ice Cold Gig series.
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42 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I saw White Stripes geurilla gig a bowling alley in Saskatoon, that should be on the list. They didn't even announce it was them they just started playing. We thought it was some asshole kids until about the fourth or fifth bar when I went wtf.....
    Korn playing in that cornfield
    Aren't all outside gigs featuring Korn just Kornfields?
    They barely have enough fans for a korn stalk, much less a korn field.
    You obviously haven't seen korn recently. I saw them last year and it was almost sold out. The whole crowd was super hyped. I'm seeing them this year too.
    The joke -------------  0 you /-\  () But in all seriousness they are a pretty shitty band and because they can sell out small to moderate venues doesn't amount to much considering they're doing shows with multiple bands at the same time, and they have been around since like 92'.
    "And they have been around since like 92", how is that an insult. It's cool if you don't like them, but that statement shows that they are not a shitty band, but a successful one with tons of loyal fans.
    How about when the Grateful Dead played at the pyramids that was pretty unusual.
    right!  and it was during an eclipse!   Not a lot of love for the dead on UG i've noticed over the years though sadly. and the acid tests were all unusual gigs
    Rage Against the Machine at Wall Street - just cult performance!
    That first one isn't that weird at all. Hell, I'm playing TWO old folks' homes on June 11th. ...okay so it's with a symphonic wind ensemble and totally appropriate for the venue, but still!  
    How in the Christ-ing Shit is Pink Floyd in Pompeii not on here?!  They were in a ruin of a coliseum playing to ghosts!
    The plane is an old idea. A band from my country called Smak played a gig on the first plane from Belgrade to New York. It was in 1976, but the gig was acoustic.
    Neurosis' Scott Kelly gig in a natural flowingstone cave Dechenhöhle in Iserlohn, Germany - such an ideal place for this gig.
    That's awesome - all the Neurosis guys solo/projects are awesome. Would've been such a cool gig.
    Adding to the list: Every Dethklok concert ever. Do you folks like coffee?
    Props to anyone who can manage to play in freezing temperatures! 
    I turn into a beginner when my hands are even a little bit cold, never mind literally freezing temperatures! Gotta get those finger exercises in!
    First off Jamiroquai is the band name not a person's name - 'his' name is Jay Kay. But more to the point - no Pink Floyd in Pompeii??
    U2 playing on a flat bed trailer in New York:
    Jefferson Airplane doing a rooftop concert in New York: