It’s no secret that NYC’s music scene is massive, and there’s tons of concerts rolling through the city every night! From the city’s largest stages to hole in the wall venues in Brooklyn, there’s no shortage of live music to be had.
In this list, we’ve gathered all of our favorite music venues that we feel make for the perfect concert experience. From the space to the amenities to even the lineups. Check out the music venues in NYC that make our must-visit list below!
1. Forest Hills Stadium
Forest Hills Stadium in Queens is a former U.S Open tennis stadium-turned concert venue, and welcomes A-list acts throughout the summer! It resides in the charming tennis neighborhood of Forest Hills, and holds about 13,000 people between the floor and its bowl seating. The artists they book range in genre, from rock and pop, to indie and electronic…and they’ve welcomed the likes of The Beatles and Bob Dylan over the years. Concerts here typically run in full general admission, meaning the floor is first come first serve! Check out this summer’s lineup here!
Where: 1 Tennis Pl, Queens
2. Radio City Music Hall
Many consider Radio City Music Hall as one of NYC’s most iconic venues, since its stunning space has been entertaining the masses since the 1930s. Of course it’s home to The Rockettes during the holiday season, but this venue continues to bring in top-notch artists, orchestras, and theatrical productions all year round. Their state-of-the-art sound system and balcony-style seating arrangement makes for no bad seats, and it’s truly an NYC staple you must see to believe. Check out their upcoming calendar here.
Where: 1260 6th Ave
3. The Brooklyn Mirage & Avant Gardner
Avant Gardner in East Williamsburg is an electronic music fan’s heaven, thanks to their 3 different spaces that pump out DJ sets until the wee hours of the morning! Bringing the energy of Ibiza to the Big Apple, this venue books the world’s most famous EDM acts and places them on state-of-the-art stages surrounded by cutting-edge lighting and sound, and of course, a massive stretching LED board. In the summer, their outdoor haven The Brooklyn Mirage opens up as a dance floor, and during the colder months The Great Hall and the even smaller Kings Hall bring the same amount of energy. Check out all of their upcoming shows here!
Where: 140 Stewart Ave, Brooklyn
4. Beacon Theatre
The stunning Beacon Theatre will catch your eye quickly, thanks to the sparkle of its Art-Deco interior and elegant stage. What’s now become a landmark amongst the NYC entertainment venue scene, this spot has been welcoming legendary artists across genres, from rock ‘n’ roll icons to jazz legends since 1929. This three-tiered theater is perfect for a concert, comedy show, or theatrical production. See what’s happening here.
Where: 2124 Broadway
5. The Bowery Ballroom
Bowery Ballroom is one of the more intimate NYC venues in the city, offering up close and personal experiences with fan’s favorite artists. It’s nestled away in the Lower East Side, and often serves as a tour stop for many emerging artists before they make it big! Their cool and gritty charm (brick walls, vintage decor) perfectly complements its diverse lineup of talented artists too. Check out what’s coming up here.
Where: 6 Delancey St
6. Brooklyn Steel
Think former steel fabrication warehouse turned music venue and you have Brooklyn Steel. Complete with an industrial-chic aesthetic, this spot holds about 1,800 and was even named one of the best venues in the country by Rolling Stone. It attracts a diverse lineup of artists across genres, mainly indie bandies and rising stars. Imagine a graduation from Bowery Ballroom to Brooklyn Steel!
Where: 319 Frost St, Brooklyn
Elsewhere is one of our favorite venues and NYC nightclubs, thanks to the diverse space and musical lineup it offers. Between its main hall, rooftop, and other rooms, this spot’s three stories of dance floors and stages are groundbreaking in the Bushwick neighborhood. We suggest checking this spot out in the summer for a rooftop party at sunset, but events are going on all year long in their indoor rooms…plus they attract top talent. Check out what’s on their schedule here.
Where: 599 Johnson Ave, Brooklyn
8. Kings Theatre
Kings Theatre might just be one of the more visually stunning performance centers we have in all of NYC. After reopening back up in 2015 after restorations, its absolutely gorgeous space welcomes an array of artists that provide an incredible show. It features a dazzling chandelier, plush velvet seating, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. Not only do they do concerts, but they also welcome comedy, film screenings, fashion shows, and more! See what’s happening at Kings Theatre here.
Where: 1027 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn
During the summer, The Rooftop at Pier 17 is one of our favorite music venues in NYC. Considering it’s located right on the water of South Street Seaport in Manhattan, this open-air rooftop makes for a one-of-a-kind setting. What could be better than dancing to your favorite artist while you take in panoramic views of the city skyline and the East River? It feels like a fairytale…especially when your favorite band touches the stage. Check out their full summer lineup here!
Where: 89 South St
10. Irving Plaza
Irving Plaza is right in the heart of it all in Union Square. Its 1,200 person capacity makes it intimate but not too small, and their booked artists are always fantastic too. It’s a no frills spot that is great to see a show, no matter if it’s your favorite artist or someone you’ve never heard of.
Where: 17 Irving Pl
11. Carnegie Hall
For all of our classical music fans out there, Carnegie Hall is the Mecca. The world’s finest classical, jazz, and world music artists file through the historic doors of this venue, packing it out for one-of-a-kind symphony displays and solo virtuosos. Everything from the music to the ambiance is elegant here… from the plush red seats in Stern Auditorium to the balconies of Arthur Zankel Hall. See all of their events here.
Where: 881 7th Ave
12. Webster Hall
Webster Hall is another no-frills spot that has been around since 1886 (yes you read that right!). The iconic NYC venue is in East Village and offers a sizable dance floor, balcony standing space, and a great place to catch intimate performances. It’s been renovated a handful of times and now features a massive disco ball, lots of bars, and an award-winning production crew. Check out Webster Hall’s schedule here.
Where: 125 E 11th St
13. The Mercury Lounge
Mercury Lounge is truly a small room with a booming sound system and great small acts. You’ll never know what you may stumble upon here…whether it be local NYC artists trying to make it big or international artists on their first NYC tour date. The venue is small and only holds 250 people, so you know it’s intimate. It’s launched many careers here in NYC and holds a large tale in the city’s rock music history. Check out what’s going on here.
Where: 217 E Houston St
14. Madison Square Garden
Of course we have to mention one of NYC’s largest arenas as a great spot to see some live music. When they’re not hosting a sports game, you can catch music’s largest acts rocking out to crowds of over 19,000 people. Everything here is world class too, from the performances to the sound systems to even the luxurious suites. There’s nothing quite like seeing iconic superstars take on the Big Apple’s most sought after stage. Check out MSG’s upcoming shows here.
Where: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza
15. Music Hall of Williamsburg
This Williamsburg venue breathes the characteristics of its surrounding neighborhood with it’s gritty and rag-to-riches aura. The small space only can fit about 650 people, and the acts they get there are often emerging or very early on in their careers. Their lineup is diverse and can range in genre, but Music Hall of Williamsburg is a hotbed typically for indie rock and underground artists. They do shows nearly every night too. Check out their lineup here.
Where: 66 N 6th St, Brooklyn