Union Chapel

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12 Love It
© 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

  • Pop and rock Saturday October 10 2015 - Saturday November 14 2015 Free
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  • Folk, country and blues Monday October 12 2015
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  • Jazz Thursday October 15 2015
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  • Stand-up Saturday October 17 2015
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  • Pop Tuesday October 27 2015
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  • Jazz Thursday October 29 2015
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  • Film events Friday October 30 2015 - Saturday October 31 2015
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  • Monday November 2 2015
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  • Pop Friday November 6 2015
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  • Pop Monday November 23 2015 - Tuesday November 24 2015
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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening
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.