About the venue
Watford Colosseum is a 1,268 seat venue in the heart of Watford and is home to the best live music and entertainment outside London.
Watford Colosseum was built in 1938 as the Watford Town Hall Assembly Rooms to the design of architect Charles Cowles-Voysey and acoustician Hope Bagenal. Bagenal’s other acoustic projects include the refurbishment of the Royal Albert Hall and the construction of the Royal Festival Hall.
Watford’s premier concert venue is world renowned for its acoustic qualities. Julian Lloyd Webber described Watford Colosseum as “The finest recording venue in the world” and it has been used to record the soundtracks of The Lord of the Rings, The Sound of Music and Star Wars. In 1995, Pavarotti came to Watford Colosseum to record Verdi’s Inno delle Nazioni with the Philharmonia Chorus. More recently, recordings from BBC Concert Orchestra
have taken place in the auditorium.
The acoustics were analysed by an acoustics company in 2009, who reported that the size and "shoebox" shape of the hall, the flat floor, and the materials used in construction, allow for pleasant reverberation and good sound quality and clarity, such to make the hall among the best in Europe.
The stage at Watford Colosseum has seen performances from Elton John, The Faces (including Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart), Genesis (with drummer Phil Collins), Marc Bolan, Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra, One Direction, Robbie Williams, Jools Holland, Melanie C, Oasis and many, many more.
Watford Colosseum is also home to its famous Compton organ which was fully refurbished by Watford Borough Council during the refurbishment of the building.
Watford Colosseum is owned by Watford Borough Council and managed by HQ Theatres
& Hospitality, the UK’s second largest theatre operator. HQ Theatres parent company is Qdos Entertainment one of the UK’s biggest, broad-based entertainment groups in the UK.
In July 2017, Watford Colosseum received a Blue Plaque as part of BBC Music Day celebrations, recognising the historic music venue’s outstanding acoustics and ongoing contribution to our musical heritage.