257 Mansfield Road City Centre, Nottingham NG1 3FT

Thank You and Good Night, From The Maze

It is with great sadness that we announce that the management and current owners will be leaving The Maze and therefore the venue will close this Summer.
This is a decision that has been made with a huge amount of thought and has not been an easy conclusion to come to.
We have been involved with The Maze for 15 years and have seen the venue grow from a well loved local pub with a part time music/function room to one of Nottingham’s most loved music venues with a national and international reputation. We have hosted a variety of events on a nightly basis and covered a wide range of genres, which has seen top bands, DJs and comedians perform here from around the globe.
However in recent years running a music venue and pub has become even more difficult and this combined with changes in personal circumstance, growing economic pressures and a need for new challenges has lead to us deciding now is the time for us to move on.

Those who know us, know our passion for music and that we pour every part of ourselves into the running of The Maze and we will continue to do this right until the last hurrah!
Sadly everything comes to an end and in an economy where over 60% of pubs have closed since we started, 70% of venues of this size have closed and we have seen a huge shift in drinking and going-out trends, we are extremely proud to have stayed afloat this long and to have brought many wonderful nights and events to Nottingham.

The Maze has been a life changing experience for all of us who have worked here as we know it has for many acts, promoters and customers and we will all sorely miss it. But, we desperately feel that we want to choose when we go and we want to give everyone a chance to say goodbye properly rather than see the place closed suddenly by other means.
This is why we are choosing now, to give you all a chance to celebrate with us and to commemorate what we, as a community, have done in this AMAZING little venue on the edge of town over the last 15 years.
Look out for some great events at The Maze in coming months, with some of our favourite acts back here as well as at lot of our most loved promoters to give everyone a chance to have some final parties and farewells.

We have many people to thank for helping make The Maze what is has been…
– Ben Brettell who came in and saved the venue in 2005 when it was already stripped out and about to go to re-developers. Without his tireless efforts and so much of his own money and energy, it wouldn’t have gotten back off the ground and continued into what it is today.
-Our wonderful staff over the years, that have so often gone above and beyond the call of duty.
-Some of the best promoters in the UK, who have risked their own cash to spent time and energy on bringing some amazing acts to The Maze.
-Our landlords Castle Rock Brewery, huge supporters of live music in Nottingham, they have kept our rent low and support high throughout the years.
-Every single one of the people that have performed in one way or another, reminding us of why we do it.
-And finally, our beautifully varied customers, many of whom have become dear friends. You have helped us to forge the environment and positive feel-good vibes that The Maze has held for so long.

We hope to continue to work with Castle Rock and a lot of the amazing people we have become associated with in the future to bring more music and of course all the brilliant bands (big and small) to Nottingham at other venues.

We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for helping us to create such a wonderful place to celebrate music, arts, culture and fun and we look forward to creating more of this with you in different ways in the future.
The team here has always believed in the music scene in Nottingham and we know ‘The Maze’ as an ethos and a vibe will continue even without the bricks and mortar.
The Maze is not just a building but an atmosphere and a love of music and good social vibes.

Viva la Maze!
Gaz, Steph and all The Maze team.

What’s That At The Top Of The Hill?

The Maze has in recent years become somewhat of a legendary venue. Mixing a host of underground club nights and alternative band nights as well as dabbling in theatre, comedy and poetry nights, it has become a linchpin in the ever growing music community of Nottingham city.

A strong supporter of local bands, The Maze hosts regular gigs for local musicians and has had some of the Midland’s finest talents grace it’s stage. Acts such as Jake Bugg, Dog Is Dead, Natalie Duncan and Liam Bailey were all regular guests to the Maze in their early days.

Standing to one side of the crowd is what the Maze has always been good at; looking to the leftfield and throwing a party have been our specialties since current owner Ben Brettell and his management team took over in 2007.

Currently The Maze hosts many regular nights, aiming to give people a different experience from anywhere else in the city. Nights such as Perdition vs Violated (metal/rock club night), Revolution Sounds (ska, reggae and punk), Smokescreen (house), Batronic (alt/goth), Cosmic American (Americana, country and folk) and many other nights showcasing genres such as gypsy jazz, funk, techno, house, Balkan, indie, rock and experimental happen on a monthly basis at the Maze.

If you are looking for a welcoming, safe, friendly place to party or hoping to discover the music scene in both Nottingham and the UK you would be well advised to visit The Maze and open your mind to the wonders of modern

The Forest Tavern

The entrance to The Maze is found on the famous Mansfield Road through the Forest Tavern pub, a friendly, traditionally British public house integrated with a European style relaxed Bavarian bar, the Forest Tavern is a great place to start a night out, meet people or hang out.

You will find a high standard of products in the Forest Tavern with a full range of award winning Castle Rock real ales, continental lagers, Guinness and Stowford Press cider on tap plus shooters, spirits, wines and an extensive range of bottled beers, ciders and soft drinks.

 Once you have your tipple of choice you can soak up the relaxing atmosphere around our standing tables or prop up the bar and let our friendly staff entertain you.

On weekends the atmosphere tends to liven up and on many nights acts and DJs from the Maze appear and perform for all to enjoy in the front bar too.

We have a quiz machine for those Trivial Pursuiters among you (plus you can win money on it if you’re clever enough) and we have decks of cards, dominoes, Jenga and sometimes even chess available to challenge your friends or the regulars to a ‘friendly’ game.

As of January 2013 you can find a internet Juke Box in the Forest Tavern with a HUGE range of music from varied genres and artists of all styles from down the ages! The Juke Box is FREE every Tuesday so why not come in and test it out!

You will find a piano in the corner which we are happy for people to have a play on (as long as you don’t just bash the keys!) or some nights you will find some of Nottingham’s best musicians jamming it out over a few pints.

We are very welcoming of stag, hen or birthday parties and run a comfortable, safe and friendly pub and venue.

The Maze

The Maze is a blank canvas in many ways and regularly gets transformed by different nights and promoters to suit their needs. The main room hosts up to 220 people as well as the Bendigo Lounge upstairs hosting a further 60. When including our smoking area and the Forest Tavern front bar the venue can host up to 300+ people on certain nights.

We are open minded to music and have a ‘try any genre’ policy. Promoters are welcome to decorate the venue and/or bring their own sound system, and we are happy to discuss most ideas. 

In the past the Maze has been transformed into a gypsy pirate cave, a sleazy burlesque circus, a psychedelic wonderland and even a 3 room surround sound system!

You can find details of hiring the venue and contact for both hiring and playing The Maze on our hire and contact pages.

Technical Specs

PA & Sound System

  • 32 Channel Allen and Heath Mixing Desk
  • 24 Channel Multicore
  • 4 Way Monitor Mix with up to 5 wedges.
  • 4K Sound System
  • Matrix Front Of House Amplification
  • 2 FX Units
  • Full sets of standard industry microphones (SM58/SM57)
  • Plenty of DI boxes, leads and mic stands
  • Gates and compressors
  • 32 band EQ and Graphic Equalisers for both Monitors and Front Of House
  • Double CD Mixer
  • Lighting Rig with chasers and spots
  • Custom Precision Device loaded Sub Speakers
  • Logic System Top Speakers

Stage Dimensions

13 foot deep by 15 foot wide

Capacity: 200 (main room)

The Maze is 100% disabled accessible we also have disabled toilet facilities.


The Forest Tavern and it’s back room, now known as The Maze,  has a long history dating back well over 100 years. Over the years the building has had many face lifts and in 1997 it was bought by Nottingham’s most renowned pub chain Tynemill (Castle Rock Brewery) who created space inside for a music venue called The Maze.

In 2004 however The Maze closed and looked doomed to be converted into student flats. Just when it looked like The Forest Tavern and The Maze had had its day, Tynemill director Chris Holmes got an unexpected offer for the business from infectious Yorkshire businessman Ben Brettell, and in November 2005 The Maze reopened its doors.

Since it’s re-launch The Maze has hosted such talent as Neville Staples (The Specials), Bonobo (Ninja Tunes), Bad Manners, Easy Star All Stars, Jim Jefferies (Comedian), Jake Bugg, The Move, Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls), Newton Faulkener, Finlay Quaye, Ian McLagan (The Faces),  Laura Veirs, Chas ‘n’ Dave, Chuck Prophet, Vula Malinga (Basement Jaxx), The Slackers, Slaid CleavesAndy Mckee, The Lurkers, Alvin Brothers,  The King Blues, Mark Watson (Comedian), Nick Harper, Dan Le Sac, Tommy Allsup (Buddy Holly’s Band), Sonic Boom 6, Laura Marling, Jace Everett, Rhod Gilbert (Comedian), Simone FeliceThe Skints, Spiers and Boden (Bellowhead), James McMurtry, Electric Swing Circus, 3 Daft MonkeysLeftover Crack, Sons Of Bill, 999, John Wheeler (Hayseed Dixie), The Insprial Carpets, Dead Meadow, Aba Shant-I, Slamboree, Lady Leshurr, Chris Murray,  Show Of Hands, PinkshinyultrablastCockney Rejects, Uk Subs, Sarah Millican (Comedian), Martha Tilston, Resonators, Jace Everett,  Willie Nile,  Allo Darlin, Dave Mcpherson (InMe), Electric Swing Circus, Curtis EllerThe Apples, Jaya The Cat, The Meteors, Ezio, Don Ross, Tippa IrieZion Train, Eddie & The Hotrods, Mark Morriss, Jenn Bostic and Random Hand to name but a few!

In 2011 the venue was voted by Nottingham musicians as their favourite venue to play in Nottingham’s top culture magazine, Leftlion.

Opening Times

Monday – Wednesday: 6pm – 12am

Thursday and Sunday:
6pm – 1am

Friday and Saturday: 6pm – 2am

Events normally start between 7pm and 9pm