OUR HISTORY

Rocking Since 1980

Check out our interactive timeline, with some of our favourite highlights since we first opened in 1980. Complete with videos, photos, ticket stubs and fun facts!

2019

Sadly The Prodigy’s Keith Flint passed away this year. Papa Roach were here to rock in April and covered Firestarter in his honour!! Check it out below.

Death Grips came to play their first ever Nottingham show, and they did not disappoint!! Check out this clip from the intense show:

2017

HIM appeared as part of their last ever tour 🙁 See their performance of ‘Funeral Of Hearts’ here:

2016

Frank Turner chose Rock City as his favourite venue in the UK and marked his 2000th concert with a special show here at Rock City! The concert was filmed and Frank made a special anniversary DVD and documentary, check out a bit of the show below!

See his announcement video for the special show here: https://www.facebook.com/frankturnermusic/videos/10154597658689138/

Check out ‘Long Live The Queen’ live at Rock City below.

Yellowcard performed here as part of their final ever tour! They closed their last ever show at Rock City with the absolute classic ‘Ocean Avenue’, see it from a fan’s point of view below:

And we’re pleased to say that the NG83 B-Boys documentary won Best Documentary at the NYC Hip-Hop Festival 2016! Check out the trailer below featuring lots of RC:

2015

A huge year in which we celebrated our 35th Anniversary with many special guests, including the Fratellis, The Happy Mondays, The Darkness, Reverend And The Makers, The Charlatans, Maximo Park and a two-night run for Frank Turner! We also had HIM on their only UK date as part of our Anniversary, and Foals played a monster show where Yannis climbed on the balcony!

Amber Run also returned to support Saint Raymond and made this excellent video of the experience, praising Nottingham’s music scene which raised them:

2013

A year where we welcomed back some rock powerhouses like Skid Row and Deftones, at the same time as giving newcomers their much appreciated first appearance on our stage, including The 1975 and Alt-J!

2012

We welcomed the iconic B Boys back for a Re-Union Jam in the lead up to their award-winning documentary ‘NG83: When We Were B-Boys’. Check out this epic video of them dancing in RC!

 

2011

A massive year featuring Ed Sheeran, Enter Shikari and the Wombats!!

Nottingham Caves Survey came to visit our labyrinth of caves beneath Rock City and our car park! You can see an awesome video render with a rocky soundtrack (of course!) here:

2010

The mighty Madness performing Baggy Trousers on the Rock City Stage:

2007

Amy winehouse perforned here the year that she won the Brit Award for Best British Female Artist!

2006

 

Indie heroes Arctic Monkeys were here at Rock City for the Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not tour!!

2003

Linkin Park performed to an insane crowd and the whole show was recorded for BBC Radio 1. The whole show is available to listen on YouTube below.

Here’s a message from Chester himself recorded at the gig:

2004

Kings Of Leon stopped off at Rock City as part of their Aha Shake Heartbreak tour, performing their new hits ‘The Bucket’ and ‘Four Kicks’.

 

2002

Doves played and the BBC recorded the show as part of their BBC In Concert series, listen to the show here:

1998

Listen to Supergrass’ whole Rock City show:

1997

A big year!!

The man himself David Bowie came to Rock City!! Fun fact: he requested that all of backstage was decked out with rugs. Watch his performance of Under Pressure below. 

We had rock monsters Marilyn Manson and Korn here as well! Korn’s show was actually filmed by MTV for their headbangers ball.

Foo Fighters released their epic album ‘The Colour And The Shape’ on May 20th 1997, and the next day they played here at Rock City!

1996

Iron Maiden finally made it to play Rock City (after missing out on our opening!)

1995

Californian rockers The Offspring came to Rock City after their massive album Smash was released the year before. The whole show was recorded, check it out:

1994

Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ had just come out, and we had them play here at Rock City in August of the same year. Here’s the dressing room sign!

The music show Noise Mothers show that ran on ITV from 1994-1995 visited us and showed what a typical Friday night at Rock City was like in 1994:

1993

A stellar year that included Anthrax, Rage Against The Machine and a secret Megadeth show where they appeared under the name ‘Vic And The Rattleheads’!

See below videos of Rage Against The Machine & Megadeth.

1992

Goth icons The Cure played the Rock City stage as part of their Wish tour!

1991

With Smells Like Teen Spirit at Number 7 in the charts, and their tour sold out all over, Kurt Cobain makes his debut on the rock city stage with Nirvana at one of our sweatiest, grungiest gigs ever!! Check out this amazing video with live footage and interview from the show, a great insight into Rock City in 1991! Love those haircuts.

1990

The Red Hot Chili Peppers at Rock City! Just imagine it! Their initial tour sold out and extra dates were added due to demand, including a highly sought after Rock City show. 

Check out the flyer below, with the guys listed along with Grace Jones, Inspiral Carpets, Saxon and Faith No More!

Rock City fan Martin Nicholls also shared a signed drum skin from the gig with us!!

We also had Janes Addiction here as part of the U.K Ritual De Lo Habitual tour, check out some ultra-rare footage from the show below:

1989

Napalm Death played as part of the Grindcrusher Tour along with Carcass, Bolt Thrower & Morbid Angel, and we’ve found the full show on Youtube:

1987

The mighty Guns N Roses took their turn to play at Rock City, with support from Faster Pussycat, as part of their Appetite For Destruction Tour!! Live recordings were made of the show, and released on CD!

1986

The one and only Ramones played here at Rock City and the whole show was recorded, listen here:

1984

REM were just emerging as one of the most exciting alternative bands to come out of the USA, and their show here at Rock City was recorded by the BBC to be broadcast on Radio 1 a few days later. Recordings of the show have only recently been released as part of a new retrospective, you can hear ‘Radio Free Europe’ below!

 

1983

The year of the B-Boys! Every Saturday throughout the 1980s we hosted a breakdance jam in our main hall for the Rock City Crew, where dancers from Nottingham would take on crews from all over the UK. They were re-united in 2012 for a documentary.

1982

Legendary dark rockers Bauhaus performed in the same year that their third album ‘The Sky’s Gone Out’ was released:

1981

Below is the earliest recording we’ve found, the much-loved New Wave band Japan performing The Art Of Parties at Rock City in 1981!! 

The epic Slade also stopped off at Rock City, listen to them performing the album track Til Deaf Do Us:

1980

Our official opening!
The first band scheduled to play at Rock City were Iron Maiden, who were on their way to becoming the biggest metal act on the planet. Sadly the gig had to be postponed as the electrics were not finished. So instead The Undertones, led by Feargal Sharkey, stepped up and finished the first ever Rock City gig with a rendition of Teenage Kicks – officially the best song ever according to a certain Mr John Peel (RIP).

Below shows our first-ever poster!

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