The Great British pub; where would we be without it? Like an old friend, the pub is welcoming and friendly place at best and worst of times, offering a comfortable environment and a glass of what you fancy whether you’ve just been promoted or lost your job.

Unfortunately, the days of independent British pub seem to be numbered, especially in cities. Research conducted last year by CAMRA suggested that a staggering 18 pubs were closing every week in the UK, often replaced with chain pubs offering cheap food and cheaper beer.

It’s fair to say that with chain pubs and a tough economy, running a pub can be difficult. However, independent pubs have one distinct advantage over their chain equivalents; they can make themselves unique.

One of the ways to do this is to offer entertainment and have your pub double up as a performance space. Across the country, pubs are installing stage lighting, stage sound systems and even theatre drapes in an effort to make their establishments a place for entertainment  as well as drinking.

Here are some of the novel ideas we’ve noticed pubs adopting across the country:

Live Music

Okay, so the pub gig is as old as time itself and isn’t exactly a new concept, but never underestimate the power of live music in bringing in an audience. Most great bands started off in pubs and built their reputation on the pub circuit; imagine if you granted the next Arctic Monkeys their first gig?

For live music, sound is absolutely essential so make sure you’ve got a decent sound system and mixing desk. A good sound system will build your reputation amongst audiences and bands, and have the cream of the local music crop practically banging on your door to play at your venue.

It also helps to set a theme or a specific genre your pub specialises in; you could play it safe with a general rock and pop theme or go completely out-there and have a ‘freeform Latin jazz and Scandinavian death metal’ night – the choice is yours!


Comedy is the new rock n’ roll apparently, with comedians selling out consecutive dates in huge arenas within minutes. But beyond the McIntyre’s and Bishop’s of this world, there’s a glut of budding funny men (and women!) dying to get their material out there. Why not give them a platform?

Hosting a weekly or monthly comedy night is relatively cheap and easy to do; most comedians won’t command a huge fee to perform and the stage requirements are minimal; just a PA and maybe a few stage lamps!


Everyone loves a good conference; it’s a good excuse to get out of the office and mingle – oh, and maybe learn something too. Conference venues, however, often leave a lot to be desired.

Offer the business brains of the world an escape route from drab coffee by advertising your pub as a conference venue! Again, this doesn’t take much to do – a PA, a projector and projection screens should do the trick. Plus, you’ll have a major competitive advantage – beer!

Movie Night

As we’ve established in a previous post, a night at the pictures is expensive. Especially when you consider that a good majority of the movies which have come out over the past five years haven’t exactly been great.

But imagine if your local cinema showed classic movies instead of the latest Adam Sandler travesty? And served beer rather than overpriced buckets of pop? And happened to also be your local pub? With the right stage audio/visual equipment, it can be!

In short, investing in stage lighting, a good sound system and some top-notch projection equipment can transform your establishment from a local watering hole to a fully-fledged entertainment venue! If you’re ready to start entertaining, get in touch with PG Stage and we can size up your venue and let you know exactly what you need! Call 0161 830 0303 now!

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