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Answers to all those burning questions about the pub and hiring the venue.



The Portland does not have it’s own car park.

Load-in for performers is via the driveway and rear courtyard *NOT THROUGH THE PUB!* Vehicles can park on the driveway or at the front of the pub to unload but must be moved straight after.

Pay and display parking is available on the street opposite, usually free after 5pm or at the Boathouse pub pay and display or on adjacent side streets.

Alternatively some private spaces are available to hire locally by booking at the JustPark website. Use discount code PORTLAND20 to get 20% off your booking.

Box Office

We have a small box office hut that can be used on the night to sell tickets and to act as a cloak room.

We can also supply wrist bands, cash tin and float.

We do not supply box office staff as part of the hire fee. If you are stuck we may be able to recommend some trustworthy people if given enough notice.  They generally charge around the £50 per night depending on how long you need them.

Due to the number of shows we have booked in we don’t sell physical tickets over the bar but can sell tickets on your behalf through our website. See ‘Selling tickets through the Portland website‘ for details

What does it cost to hire the venue?

We charge a hire fee on a scale depending on the day of the week with a Technician paid separately if required (though if you do need a sound technician we require them to be someone who is on our approved list).

Rates for local promoters start at £120 Sun-Thu, £150 Fri, Sat including sound technician and PA.

If you need a sound technician earlier than usual (before 5pm) then a fee of £10 an hour extra will be charged.

Our day rate (11am – 5pm) is £10 an hour not including sound technician or PA.
A 50% deposit is required to secure bookings, non-refundable if the event is cancelled less than 14 days before.

Please use the Venue-How to Hire form for any inquiry.

How big is the stage?

The venue stage is approximately:

5.8 metres across by 2.7 metres deep.

The ceiling height clearance above the stage is 2.4 metres.

Selling Merch

We can supply a table, chair and lighting for you to sell you band merch at the back of the venue or on busy nights in one of the pubs bars.

You just need to supply the merch and someone to run it

We do not charge a commission.

Green Room / Dressing Room

We have a single green room available for bands to share that has sofas, tables, mirrors and tea/coffee facilities.

The room does not have shower facilities but the pub does have 3 letting rooms available to hire at additional cost with a shared bathroom. See Letting rooms for details.

How do I pay for the hire?

We require a 50% deposit of the venue hire to secure the booking, non-refundable if cancelled within 2 weeks before the event.

Payment can be made in person at the bar or by card over the phone with the remaining balance on the night.  Call 01223 357268.

If selling tickets through us we can take the room hire from ticket sales.  See ‘Selling tickets through the Portland website’

I have the best band in the world, how do I get a gig at the Portland?

We mainly use promoters to organise our nights, they get bands together, organise advertising, ticketing, man the door and try to make sure everyone is paid!
We hire the venue to them and supply a sound tec as needed plus advertise the gig on this site, social media sites, through news feeds to many other sites, and our Gig Guide program distributed around the city.

The first thing you should do is check out our links section for contact details of our regular promoters as well as our Upcoming Events calendar for possible dates needing a support band.
You may also like to check out and WereAllNeighbours for useful leads and resources.

Fancy running your own night?  Check out the What does it cost, age policy and the other FAQ’s in this section, look for a free date in the calendar then contact us on 01223 357268
Please don’t send demo’s to the pub as we simply do not have the time to listen to them.

I’m a promoter, how do I run my own night?

We work on a room hire basis where we supply the venue, bar, PA and sound technician for you to run your own night.

You will need to supply your own cashier/door person, band rep and someone for the merch stand if you are having one
(if you are struggling though, and with enough notice we may be able to recommend some experienced locals)

If you have some bands in mind, and you have read the rest of this FAQ, check our online calendar for availability.

Then contact the pub direct on 01223 357268, or use the online form HERE but be prepared to answer as many of these questions as possible:

Your name, contact details.
Have you gigged at the Portland before?
Band(s) names.
Average age of band members and fanbase age range.
Style of music.
Do you need a sound technician?

Also if there is any websites or additional information/reviews then let us know!
We send out a monthly mail to over 1000 registered members of the website as well as our Facebook page and Twitter followers billboard posters and listings to local papers.

We also produce a free in-house gig guide that is distributed to over 200 locations around the city so as much info about the bands as possible please.

Prices vary depending on what night you need and if you need a sound tec or not.
See: What does it cost to hire the venue? for more info

What are the age limits?

The Portland is an over 18’s venue and all band members and gig-goers must be 18 or over.
Under 18’s are permitted entry to gigs only when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

What is the room capacity?

The venue has a capacity of 200 standing, 80 seated (due to the layout of the room and fire escape access)

Please not that this includes band members, guest list etc.

What time is music curfew?

Live amplified music must stop by 11pm
The pub itself serves until 11.30pm weekdays, 12.30am Friday and Saturdays and 11pm Sunday.

What are the PA system specs?

Follow the link below for a detailed spec. (PDF format)

Please note we do not have a backline.

Where and what time can we load in?

Load in is usually around 4-5pm with sound-check around 5-6pm and show around 8pm.
The pub is open all day so load in at an earlier time to drop off equipment is possible but check with us beforehand.

Load in MUST be down the driveway and through the courtyard and rear fire escape, NOT through the bars. See picture below.

Note: due to a major development around us there is now NO parking available on site

After load-in ALL vehicles will need to move to pay and display spaces opposite (free after 5pm) or side streets. For additional advice on parking see the Parking FAQ entry
Loading in

Band Riders

We allow promoters to supply their own riders (ie food and drink) FOR BAND USE ONLY with a few restrictions:

  • That there is not an excessive amount of alcohol.
  • That it is kept in the green room
  • Ideally it’s something we already sell, if not that it is decanted into plastics -NO CANS OR BOTTLES TO LEAVE THE GREEN ROOM.
  • Food and snacks* should be kept in the green room and leftovers/rubbish disposed of properly.
  • That the green room is left tidy and ready for use by the next group.  EXCESSIVE MESS WILL RESULT IN CLEAN UP CHARGES

* we can supply band food by prior arrangement either vegetarian or meat at £4 per head.

Selling tickets through the Portland website

We can sell tickets for your event on your behalf through the Portland online store:

We only charge 50p booking fee per ticket, payable by the buyer which covers the payment processing.

Any surplus goes back into maintaining the venue.  Contact Us to set this up for you.

Can I use my own ticketing supplier?

Sure you can, and we can provide a link on our website listings.

But if you use our in-house ticketing we only charge the customer 50p booking fee (usually much less than other providers) and that goes back into supporting the venue, not off to a third party.

Flyposting and Advertising

As the promoter or organiser of the night it is down to you to advertise your event.

We will add your gig straight onto our website at the time of booking and from there an RSS feed is available for many online and print mags including the fly,, cambridge evening news and many national publications. We also produce an in-house gig guide each month that is widely distributed by the council throughout the city.

When promoting your event take note of the following:

# It is council policy to remove all flyposters from ‘street furniture’ and threaten venues whose events are publicised this way with fines of £1000 and possibly with the loss of their entertainment licence.” (Source: what do U think; The Junction)

# “Fly-posting is illegal and can be prosecuted through the Magistrates Courts.” (Source: Flyposting Strategy; Cambridge City Council)


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