The Cultural Night Out

Maya Knierim
26th March 2024

If you prefer to enjoy a show, listen to live music or sit back and watch a dazzling spectacle on a night out, The Cultural Night Out is the guide for you.

There's always an event to tempt you into our medieval city. Canterbury is home to a world-class theatre and luxurious art cinemas, a multitude of festivals, as well as great venues hosting all manner of shows and performances, plus live music, open mic nights and sporting events. If you want to explore Canterbury's culture, here is how to do it on a great night out. 

Brand new Malthouse Theatre

An Evening At The Theatre

The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury is a hub to watch performances from local artists to West End sensations. From top-tier theatre productions to comedy and music, its diverse lineup offers something for everyone. Stop by the Green Room to enjoy a meal and a drink before the show, and take in the views of the River Stour! Whether you're a seasoned theatergoer or a first-timer, The Marlowe promises an unforgettable experience rich in creativity and culture. 

Overlooking the city at the University of Kent campus, The Gulbenkian Arts Centre is home to both a cinema, theatre and professional-grade performance space. Enjoy outstanding live music shows from a range of folk, rock and classical groups, thought-provoking new theatre, comedy nights, and children’s shows all year round. 

The Malthouse is a jaw-dropping space that provides opportunities for all to experience art, theatre and music. Showcasing local shows by amateur groups as well as renowned touring productions, there is always something on to pique your interest such as ballet performances, murder mystery productions and musical theatre.

Live music at Lady Luck

Live Music

If you are on the hunt for some live music in a pub, there is plenty of choice for all music lovers. The Penny Theatre is famous for once hosting the likes of Radiohead and Jamiroquai, and remains a hub for entertainment with great gigs and events for all tastes.

The Shakespeare hosts a variety of bands that attract an audience of both young and old, while The Black Griffin is another traditional pub offering up live performances. The Bishops Finger may be one of the oldest pubs in the city, but the Shepherd Neame venue is a magnet for up-and-coming bands each week. 

For those who fancy alternative music, head to Canterbury’s Rock’n’Roll bar The Lady Luck. Although the space is snug, music fans manage some serious headbanging to highly rated bands in their regular programme of events. 

Canterbury is also home to Captain Beardy's regular comedy night at No 35 Cafe featuring some of the hottest new comics on the circuit, so tickle your funny bones with a glass and a meal.

Drag Bingo at the Westgate Hall

Big Nights Every Season

Canterbury is home to so many festivals each year including:

Canterbury Wine Festival (May)
Pride Canterbury (June)
Medieval Pageant and Trail (July)
bOing! Family Festival (August)
Canterbury's Cooking Food Festival (September)
Green Hop Fortnight (September)
Oktoberfest (October)
Canterbury International Arts Festival (October)

Be sure to check our What's On pages for news of What's On every week, month and for special seasonal events, as we have plenty going on in the city and beyond its walls. 

Throughout the year, Westgate Hall is one of the most eclectic venues, a beautiful open space where you can watch a band, take a salsa class, attend a wine tasting, watch a wrestling match or test your skills at Drag Bingo!

And don't forget that Canterbury is home to Kent Cricket, which means fantastic summertime T20 matches running throughout the evening, as well as huge outdoor concerts at the Spitfire Ground, a short walk from the city walls. Keep an eye on the What's On pages to see what they have booked for this summer.