A guide to… London’s Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith
The Eventim Apollo – previously known as Hammersmith Apollo – is one of West London’s most aesthetically impressive venues. A Grade II listed building, the Apollo is as beautiful today as it was when it opened in 1932, and it is every bit the epitome of inter-war architecture.
Attracting some of the world’s most popular stars, the Eventim Apollo has seen the likes of Iron Maiden, Elton John and Prince take to the stage. Kate Bush performed her first shows in nearly 35 years at the venue, while artists such as Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, and Kings of Leon have recorded live sets there.
Newer artists creating a buzz include James Bay, Will Young and The 1975 and let’s not forget the comedy – from tours to the popular Live At The Apollo. It’s safe to say the Eventim Apollo is a one of London’s most history rich venues.
How do you get to the Eventim Apollo?
Getting there is a breeze. The venue is directly across the road from Hammersmith station, which is connected on the Piccadilly, District and Hammersmith & City lines, meaning it’s never a struggle getting there from anywhere in London (though admittedly the Piccadilly line is probably the preferential option, considering the often confusing nature of the District and Hammersmith & City lines).
Alternatively, as befitting a major station in central London, a whole host of bus routes goes straight past the venue – the 9 and 10 are the quickest routes into and out of central London, but there’s at least one bus that goes to pretty much any area of London.
As expected, black cabs are another option, albeit a more expensive one – just don’t plan on driving yourself there, since parking spaces are few and far between.
The venue’s full address is: Eventim Apollo, Queen Caroline Street, Fulham, London, W6 9QH.
Where to stay in London?
In terms of accommodation, Hammersmith is central enough that you can probably get away with booking any hotel in the middle of London. If you fancy direct access to the venue, there’s a Novotel just down the road, and the Hammersmith Rooms does accommodation on a budget with rooms going from only £18 a night.
What is there to do before a gig?
If you are coming via tube, you’ll likely exit the station in the Broadway Shopping Centre, so take advantage of it. Beyond all the normal stuff (Starbucks, Pret, Subway, etcetera), there are also a host of great quality, cheap restaurants – Pinch does great coffee and pizzas for less than a tenner, whilst Real China Metro does takeaway food for less than a fiver.
If you’re after a pre-gig drink, the Trout does burgers, fries and a drink for £7.29 and there are a whole host of other pubs within a five minute walk of the Apollo itself.
Settle into those pubs, too – the Apollo’s queues are a nightmare before doors for a gig and even up to half an hour after, they can still stretch right down the street.
Inside the Eventim Apollo
Once you’re through the doors, spend some time in the downstairs lobby or Circle Bar upstairs and enjoy that great aesthetic style we mentioned earlier. The merch stall is right by the entrance and there are three well-staffed bars downstairs and more upstairs.
A pint should set you back around £4.50 to £5, and all the usual spirits and snacks are on offer too. There are more bars in the actual inner venue, too, if you’re intent on heading straight inside.
Be aware, the inner venue does fill up fast, and can get incredibly busy – especially around the choke points on the way in – only a few entrances mean that congestion builds up quickly.
Luckily, if you are a bit late, the venue has a sloped floor, so seeing from far back isn’t as much of a difficulty as it can be in some other venues. Sound quality is pretty top notch all around the venue, too, so don’t fret if you’re not in the best spot.
Top tips if you’re heading to the Eventim Apollo
On your way out, be even more careful of those choke points at the exits – they’re seriously tight, and leaving can be a real strain. As with any other venue, just hang back a bit and wait for the crowds to dissipate before you go.
Shows at the Apollo end well before the last tube and night buses run constantly, so there’s no rush. Cabs do go from outside the venue, but there aren’t many – if you are travelling by taxi it might be worth hiring a minicab or an Uber on your way out.
If you’re looking for something to do or somewhere to go out in Hammersmith after the gig, take our advice – don’t. Hammersmith isn’t exactly famed for its incredible nightlife. It is, however, well-connected, so get on a bus or a tube and head somewhere better.
Central London is only a few minutes by train if you’ve got a bit of cash to hand, and Chelsea and Mayfair are just to the south if you’ve got a lot of cash to hand. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a good party it might be worth heading further eastwards, even if it’s a bit more out of the way – it’s worth it.
After hours stuff aside, the Apollo is a perfectly-placed venue to keep yourself busy before (and during, once you’re inside) a gig. It really is one of London’s prettiest venues – make the most of it.