Cardiff has a long-standing reputation for its live music scene, with an array of venues, from basement rock clubs to vast modern arenas, putting on incredible shows throughout the year.

But the sheer wealth of talent heading to the Welsh capital in summer 2024 – including icons like Taylor Swift and New Order – means the city's musical offering has gone up an octave.

A birds eye view of the Principality Stadium and Cardiff Castle.
Cardiff Castle and the Principality Stadium from above.

Where will the artists be playing?

As the home of Welsh rugby, our largest venue in Wales, the Principality Stadium, is accustomed to witnessing major sporting clashes, but this summer the 73,000-capacity venue will be enjoying big hits of a very different kind. The stadium will host hotly-anticipated concerts by two rock and roll titans: “The Boss” himself, Bruce Springsteen and the iconic piano man, Billy Joel, with the latter performance serving as the artist’s only scheduled European show of 2024. Cardiff will also roll out the red carpet for pop royalty Taylor Swift, when the Wales leg of the singer’s acclaimed The Eras Tour rolls into the city in June – undoubtedly bringing a whole load of "Swiftie" fanfare along with it.

Smaller in size but equally impressive in stature, Cardiff Castle also boasts a star-studded roster of big names performing throughout the summer months. Enwrapped within the atmospheric site’s Roman-era walls, crowds will be treated to performances from acts such as the Smashing Pumpkins, Crowded House, Avril Lavigne, and The National, as well as homegrown heroes The Manic Street Preachers, with the Welsh band playing at the venue on two consecutive nights alongside special guests Suede.

A stone castle on a small hill surrounded by grass.
Cardiff Castle, South Wales

Not to be overshadowed, the 7,500-capacity Utilita Arena (formerly the Motorpoint Arena), on the other side of the city, will also be drawing its fair share of music fans, with concerts by Girls Aloud, Bryan Adams and Liam Gallagher all scheduled. Meanwhile, in Cardiff Bay, the outdoor stage at Alexandra Head, serenely located on the area’s waterside barrage complex, will welcome revolutionary 80s outfit New Order and dance-pop powerhouse Becky Hill, with the open-air venue offering plenty of space for revellers to dance in the summer sunshine.

Of course, live music isn’t just about the big names, and many of Cardiff’s smaller music venues will be adding to the summer soiree with gigs by up-and-coming artists and concerts focused on alternative genres. Legendary Cardiff nightclub Clwb Ifor Bach is the spot for rock and indie bands, with Home Counties, Coach Party and Slow Pulp all lined up to perform, while the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama will be putting on spectacles that strike a more tranquil tone, with its Steinway International Piano Series bringing some of the best ivory ticklers from around the globe to Cardiff.

The full list of major artists coming to Cardiff in summer 2024:

Principality Stadium:

  • Bruce Springsteen (5 May)
  • Pink (11 June)
  • Taylor Swift (18 June)
  • Foo Fighters (25 June)
  • Billy Joel (9 August)

Utilita Arena:

  • Bryan Adams (19 May)
  • Girls Aloud (27 May)
  • Liam Gallagher (3 June)

Cardiff Castle:

  • Smashing Pumpkins (14 June)
  • Crowded House (20 June)
  • Avirl Lavigne (2 July)
  • The National (3 July)
  • Manic Street Preachers (with guest Suede) (5 and 6 July)
  • JLS (7 July)
  • Rick Astley (10 July)
  • Idles (12 July)
  • Noel Gallagher (17 July) 
  • Madness (18 July)
  • Tom Grennan (26 July)
  • Anne Marie (27 July)

Alexandra Head (Cardiff Bay):

  • New Order (22 August)
  • Becky Hill (24 August)

Other great things to do in Cardiff

But what about after the encore is over and the lights come back on? Have no fear, there's a huge scope of activities for visitors to enjoy before or after attending a concert in the city. 

History buffs will go all weak at the knees over the lavish Victorian-era interiors of Cardiff Castle, a visit to which can be paired with a pitstop at two – free-to-enter – world-class museums, St Fagans National Museum of History, located just outside the city and crowned Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2019, and National Museum Cardiff, which houses moon rocks, paintings by Monet, and a dinosaur exhibition that will be a sure-fire hit with younger visitors.

More contemporary curios can also be uncovered amidst the eclectic collection of stalls inside the beautiful Cardiff Market, which dates back to the 19th century. Equally enticing boutiques line the covered walkways of the city’s Victorian and Edwardian-era arcades, one of which, the Morgan Arcade, is home to Spillers Records, the oldest record store in the world – if you haven’t quite had enough music for one holiday.

Learn more about the many draws of a break in the Welsh capital, or uncover other epic Welsh music events happening throughout the year.

A crowd of people watching a band playing on a stage.
A crowd of people watching a band playing on a stage.
Other great music events happen throughout Wales, including at Green Man Festival in Powys and Caerphilly Castle in South Wales.

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