Union Chapel

Music , Music venues Canonbury
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(30 user reviews)
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Union Chapel
© Andrew Firth
Union Chapel

The devil might have all the best tunes, but the Union Chapel is proof that him downstairs knows nothing about architecture.

The Grade I-listed gothic masterpiece, completed in 1877, is still used as a working church and help centre for London's homeless. Noble purposes, to be sure, but equally uplifting is the effect the environment has on performances – and performers. Put simply, bands raise their game when they're playing the Union Chapel – it'd be sacrilege not to – and the spellbinding surroundings and acoustics mean it still beats the crap out of the most modern, purpose-built venue the twenty-first century has to offer.

While itmade its name hosting acoustic nights and occasional jazz shows, the Union Chapel has since become a magnet for the thinking bands and their fans, particularly as part of the rightly lauded Little Noise Sessions for Mencap.

Venue name: Union Chapel
Address: Compton Terrace
N1 2UN
Transport: Tube: Highbury & Islington
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Pick a date

  • Rock and indie Friday October 28 2016
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  • Drama Sunday October 30 2016
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  • Folk, country and blues Monday October 31 2016
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  • Rock and indie Tuesday November 1 2016
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  • Rock and indie Thursday November 3 2016
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  • Pop Friday November 4 2016
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  • Pop and rock Saturday November 5 2016 - Saturday December 17 2016 Free
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  • Rock and indie Saturday November 5 2016
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  • Folk, country and blues Saturday November 5 2016
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  • Folk, country and blues Sunday November 6 2016
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:25
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening
Sieglinde H

The UC attracts premier performers to a more intimate venue. The food is great and the bar also. Friendly welcome and service from all who work/volunteer there.

Alan S

A unique and atmospheric venue to see a broad spectrum of performance. There is nowhere else quite like the Union Chapel.

June B

Excellent venue with great artists. Tasty inexpensive food, supports the homeless

Éimear D

Union Chapel is like no where else in London. Where else can you drink a hot chocolate and enjoy live comedy? Drink G&T in the attic of a chapel during the interval of a live concert or watch a Christmas Movie Classic by candle light?

Carl W

Great venue and atmosphere, a great place to get up close and personal with the stars that come to perform

Ian M

Just love this venue. Have been a member for a number of years to support them. Great venue, lovely staff and atmosphere. Thank you.

Maria Nicolette

I sang as part of a youth choir that brought together all the schools of London at the Union Chapel to celebrate multiculturalism. A small select few kids from each school were chosen. Many years passed and I thought it was in danger to close down... but luckily with lots of amazing musical events the Union Chapel is the go to place for an atmospheric experience in music but also theatre. I went to see Anathema there but also Greek singers and classical music. You get to sit comfortably and the lighting and gothic surroundings are amazing. You also have volunteers offering coffee and tea and snacks for good prices. I love this place event over 20 years later... nostalgia.

Anna E

Amazing music venue, only downside is you can't bring drinks into the music hall but the bar is big and has a lot to offer during intervals or before a show.

Caroline K

amazing place, perfect sound, great vibes,intimacy and emotion each time.
Very cool hidden bar as well


I went to the Union Chapel for a comedy show. The venue is standing! What an unusual place for a show venue.

Of course, a chapel is not renowned for its comfortable benches, so maybe think of bringing a chair cushion to avoid the bottom hurt at the end of the night.

Most of the time, you can listen to music there, so no wonder there was a jazz live band to entertain us before the show and during the break.

Of course the Union Chapel is known for its lives, but what it is even more known for is its hot chocolate! Make sure you have your hot chocolate cup, topped with cream while you enjoy the live!

Vishaal V

Beautiful venue - enhances the music! The stained glass windows are particularly nice. Best to avoid sitting on the side pews, as there is a slightly restricted view here. Gigs are only hosted intermittently, so keep an eye out and go even if it is not your favourite artist - just to experience a gig in such a venue!


I went to union chapel last Wednesday to see Laura Cantrell! The acoustics here are amazing! I can't remember this venue more! Do bring a cardigan though as it can get cold in the chapel!!

Tiago Almeida

This is not just a stunning venue/church it's so much more but mainly is a magical place.

Went for a gig tonight and I dare to say that there's no better venue in London for acoustic concerts.

It has to be said that everything is perfect. From the staff that take care of the venue as if it's their home and that takes care of all of us to the charity it runs in parallel.

One of the best things London has to offer!


Absolutely LOVE the Union Chapel. I have seen comedians, musicians and even sang here myself a few times! 

It is stunning, the acoustics are just perfect and most seats offer a great view. As it is a chapel, you're not allowed alcoholic drinks inside during performances, and whilst this isn't a big deal, be warned that before shows and during intervals,the bar gets very busy! It also happens to be in one of the best locations in London, only minutes away from the vibrant and diverse upper street. What more could you ask for from a venue?

mary r

Great venue, good acoustics, good selection of music and other events, nice bar and restaurant and important support provided to homeless and vulnerable people

karen f

Absolutely LOVE this venue, seen so many amazing things here including Stewart Lee and despite losing feeling in your bum on those pews up the back of the venue, the intimacy of this place makes any event in there feel really special. Plus they don't make a bad veggie curry in the bar. Surprised!

Chelsey C

I've partied in airplane hangars, shops, rooftops, forests but I think the Union Chapel is the most memorable.

The fact that the main chapel is still decked out with rows and rows of pews does not put you off dancing.

The acoustics are amazing wherever you stand and it's quite hypnotic to watch people below you from the balcony dance away like some sort of musical cult.

Staff are very friendly, including the people on the door and where else can you listen to Nightmares on Wax jamming whilst eating cake and drinking tea. Thankfully if that's not what you're after, there is also a reasonably priced bar. Drinks aren't allowed into the chapel but no one said anything about my gin and tonic in the water bottle. Ahem.

Ashleigh A
moderatorStaff Writer

I can't even count the number of wonderful events I've been to at the Union Chapel. It is, of course, incredibly beautiful, but it also benefits from excellent programming and staff who truly care. There are often excellent free performances on Saturday daytimes (look for Daylight Music on Facebook) and the excellent food they serve in intervals is produced by Margins, a charity which helps people who used to be homeless to learn new skills and find their way into employment. The only downside is that you have to sit on pews, which must be the least ergonomic furniture ever to be produced.


My favourite venue..its beautiful…Saw goldfraap here first. I love the carols by candlelight free christmas event the best….arrive well in time as they closed the doors on the late comers last year…. Lovely surroundings to see your fav artist in.


The most beautiful venue in London and where I've seen the most memorable gigs. Magic place.