Rock On Discovering The Best Music Venues In Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city of music lovers with a rich history of musical culture, and it’s easy to see why. From legendary venues that have been around for decades to newer, up-and-coming spaces, there is no shortage of places to experience the best live music. Whether you’re a seasoned music aficionado or a newcomer to the scene, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll be exploring the best music venues in Los Angeles, showing you the most memorable spots to catch your favorite artist or discover new music.

Are you excited to discover some of the best music venues in Los Angeles? Then you’re in for a treat! By reading this article, you’re about to embark on a journey that will take you to some of the most iconic and intimate performances spaces in the city. You will learn about some of the most significant places to experience the music scene in LA and the kind of vibe you can expect from each venue. From intimate to grandiose, we’ll explore the best of the best, guaranteeing unforgettable experiences.

If you’re searching for the perfect place to enjoy live music in Los Angeles, you don’t need to look any further. In this article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to find the best music venues in the city. We’ve researched and visited venues across the city, so you can be sure that what we recommend is tried, tested, and beloved by locals and tourists alike. With our guide, you’ll have all the tools you need to explore some of LA’s most iconic musical spaces, discover new sounds, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

The History of Music Venues in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has always been known internationally as the entertainment capital of the world. The city’s rich and diverse music culture has been celebrated for over a century with world-renowned music venues. In this section, we will go through the history of the music venues in Los Angeles.

Early Days of Music Venues in Los Angeles

The earliest forms of music venues in Los Angeles were small gathering areas such as town halls, churches, and dance halls. During the 1920s, jazz music was gaining popularity, and nightclubs became prominent in the city’s social life. The Cotton Club in Culver City was one of the first African-American clubs in Los Angeles and was where Duke Ellington had his first debut on the West Coast in 1933.

The 1930s to 1950s were considered the golden era of nightclubs such as the Trocadero, Coconut Grove, and Ciro’s. These venues were where the legends such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Dean Martin performed to packed audiences.

1960s – A Time of Change

The 1960s was a major time of change in the music industry, as different genres emerged, and the youth culture became more rebellious. This era saw the rise of psychedelic music that was experimenting with new sounds and ideas.

The Sunset Strip became famous for its music scene during this time. Whiskey A Go Go, one of the most significant clubs, was where artists such as The Doors and The Turtles launched their careers. The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 brought together influential musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Janis Joplin.

The 1970s to 2000s: A Diverse Music Scene Emerges

During this period, punk, metal, rap, and alternative music genres came to prominence, and music venues in Los Angeles welcomed them with open arms. Legendary punk club The Masque in Hollywood was where bands like The Germs, X, and The Go-Go’s performed, while The Roxy on the Sunset Strip launched the careers of acts such as Van Halen and Guns N’ Roses.

In the 1990s, alternative rock exploded with bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, and club venues such as The Troubadour and The Viper Room became the go-to places for them to perform.

Recent Years: A New Era of Music Venues

Los Angeles’s music scene continues to thrive, and newer venues such as The Fonda Theatre or the Greek Theatre attract modern music artists. The Staples Center, a multi-purpose arena, has become a staple for musicians, including Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Justin Timberlake.

Notably, The Hollywood Bowl remains one of the most iconic outdoor venues in the world, attracting up to 17,00 people to see performances There have also been new additions to the city’s music scene, such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a modernist building designed by architect Frank Gehry that hosts classical music performances.

Historic Music Venues in Los Angeles Key Characteristics Key Pros Key Cons
The Cotton Club African-American club First African-American-owned club in the city Operated during a time of segregation
The Whiskey A Go Go Prominent Sunset Strip club in the 1960s Launched the careers of influential musicians May not be suited to some genres of music
The Roxy Home to the LA music scene in the 1970s Iconic venue for rock bands Sound system not known for its quality
Staples Center Multi-purpose arena One of the most significant venues for modern music artists Can be expensive to attend concerts
The Hollywood Bowl Outdoor amphitheater One of the most iconic venues in the world Outdoor setting can be subject to weather interference
  • The early music venues in Los Angeles were small gathering areas such as town halls, dance halls, and churches.
  • 1920 to 1950 saw the rise in popularity of nightclubs such as the Trocadero, Ciro’s and Coconut Grove.
  • 1960s was a major turning point in the music industry, with the emergence of psychedelic music and rebellion against the establishment.
  • The Sunset Strip became famous as a music scene in the 1960s, with venues such as The Whiskey A Go Go and the Monterey Pop Festival.
  • Punk, metal, rap, and alternative genres became famous during the 70s to 2000s with venues such as The Troubadour and The Roxy launching their careers.
  • Recent years have seen the opening of new music venues such as The Fonda Theatre and the Greek Theatre.
  • The Hollywood Bowl remains one of the most renowned and iconic music venues in the world.

In conclusion, Los Angeles’s music venues have played an essential part in the city’s rich and diverse music culture. From small gathering areas to grand outdoor amphitheaters, these venues have become world-renowned stages for artists who have both performed and begun their careers. With new music genres and trends emerging constantly, it is expected that Los Angeles will only continue to maintain its status as an entertainment capital of the world through the evolution of music venues.

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Top Small Music Venues in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a mecca for the music lover with stages that have housed some of the most legendary musicians, from rock ‘n’ roll to hip hop. Whether you’re looking for a hole-in-the-wall hangout or an intimate setting to catch your favorite band, the city of Los Angeles has a music venue perfect for your tastes. For those who prefer smaller, more intimate music venues, we have compiled a list of five venues that you will want to check out.

The Troubadour

The Troubadour is a legendary venue in West Hollywood, California. It has hosted many popular and legendary musicians throughout its history, including Elton John, James Taylor, and Janis Joplin. The club is small, but its acoustics are incredible, making it the perfect spot to catch a live performance. With a capacity of only 400, it’s easy to feel like you’re part of the show. The stage area is not huge, but it has been graced by amazing acts, including legendary Nirvana. The club also has a full bar, and you can catch shows almost every night of the week.

  • Pros:
    • The intimate setting makes for an up-close-and-personal concert experience.
    • The bar is fully stocked with premium liquors and creative cocktails.
  • Cons:
    • The parking in the area is horrendous, so be prepared to walk a bit to get to the venue.
    • Ticket prices are steep for some performances.

The Echo

If you like indie rock or dance music, you’ll want to check out The Echo in Echo Park. The Echo is a small, intimate venue with a capacity of only 350 people. The club has two stages, an outdoor patio, a smoking lounge, and a photo booth. The vibe is chill, and the drinks are well-made. At The Echo, you can catch bands and DJs from all over the world. You might just see some future chart-toppers before they make it big.

  • Pros:
    • The outdoor patio is a great place to relax and have a drink before or after the show.
    • The smaller stage is perfect for up-and-coming acts looking to build a fan base.
  • Cons:
    • The Echo can get very crowded, and you may have to jostle to see the performance.
    • The sound system can sometimes be a bit too loud.

Hotel Cafe

The Hotel Cafe is an intimate venue hidden in the middle of Hollywood. It has a capacity of only 200, but the sound quality is top-notch. The stage has been graced by artists like Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles, and Ingrid Michaelson. The seating is limited, but it’s not unusual to find big-name acts performing in front of a small crowd. The vibe is relaxed and trendy with a candlelit ambiance.

  • Pros:
    • The sound quality is fantastic, making for a memorable concert experience.
    • The venue has a very cozy ambiance, and you’re almost guaranteed to get a good view of the stage from any seat.
  • Cons:
    • Since the venue is so small, it can get crowded quickly.
    • The drink prices can be quite high.

The Satellite

The Satellite, formerly known as Spaceland, has been a staple in the Los Angeles music scene since the 1990s. The venue is located in Silverlake and has a capacity of 300. The Satellite books indie acts, as well as established performers, from all around the world. The club has drink specials almost every night, and the sound quality is impressive, making it a great place to see a band or two.

  • Pros:
    • The drink specials are hard to resist, making it one of the cheapest venues on this list.
    • The venue has a fun, laid-back vibe, which makes it a great space to hang out with friends before or after a show.
  • Cons:
    • The venue is quite small, so it can get crowded quickly.
    • The parking in the area is limited, so you might have to park several blocks away.

The Mint

The Mint is a classic Los Angeles music venue that has been entertaining people for over 80 years. The club is located in Mid-City and has a capacity of 250. The Mint specializes in all kinds of music, including blues, jazz, and hip hop. The smaller size of the club makes it a great place to catch a band or have a drink with friends. The downstairs area has a trendy bar with well-crafted cocktails, and the upstairs area is where the main stage is located.

  • Pros:
    • The intimate setting makes it feel like you’re part of the show.
    • The club has a rich history and has hosted a variety of iconic musicians.
  • Cons:
    • It can get quite crowded, and seating is limited.
    • The location can be tricky, and parking can be challenging.
Venue Capacity Location
The Troubadour 400 West Hollywood
The Echo 350 Echo Park
Hotel Cafe 200 Hollywood
The Satellite 300 Silverlake
The Mint 250 Mid-City

In conclusion, Los Angeles has a small music venue for every music fan. Whether you prefer rock, jazz, or hip hop, there’s a venue that will suit your tastes. With our list of the Top Small Music Venues in Los Angeles, you will never have to worry about missing an incredible live performance again.

Best Outdoor Music Venues in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to many outdoor music venues that offer a unique concert experience. Whether you are looking for a romantic night out or a rocking party, LA’s diverse landscape has something to offer to everyone. In this article, we will explore the best outdoor music venues in Los Angeles.

1. Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is a world-renowned amphitheater located in the beautiful hills of Hollywood. It is famous for its incredible acoustics and panoramic views of the city. The venue has a seating capacity of 17,500 and hosts a variety of musical performances, including classical, jazz, rock, and pop concerts.

  • The Hollywood Bowl has been the choice of many famous artists, including The Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra.
  • The venue is the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • The Hollywood Bowl is also famous for its annual July 4th Fireworks Spectacular, which features a dazzling display of fireworks set to live music.
  • Patrons can bring their own food and drinks or choose from a wide variety of food options available on-site.
  • The venue has a shuttle service that runs from various locations in the city.

2. Greek Theatre

The Greek Theatre is an iconic outdoor amphitheater located in Griffith Park. It is known for its stunning architecture and beautiful natural surroundings. The venue has a capacity of 5,900 and hosts a variety of musical performances, including rock, pop, and country music.

  • The Greek Theatre has hosted many famous artists, including Bob Dylan, Elton John, and Coldplay.
  • The venue has a unique design that allows for excellent views and acoustics.
  • Concertgoers can also enjoy a pre-show picnic in the park, which is a popular tradition among locals.
  • The venue has a comprehensive hospitality program that includes VIP experiences and catering services.
  • There is ample parking available on-site, and shuttle services are available from various locations in the city.

3. The Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is a historic landmark located on the beautiful beachfront in Santa Monica. It is famous for its carnival-like atmosphere and the iconic Ferris wheel that dominates the skyline. The Pier hosts a variety of outdoor concerts throughout the year, including the Twilight Concert Series, which features a diverse lineup of musical performances.

  • The Twilight Concert Series is a free event that runs every Thursday from July to September.
  • The series features a wide range of musical genres, including indie, pop, rock, and jazz.
  • The Pier also hosts a variety of other events, including movie screenings, dance parties, and art exhibitions.
  • Concertgoers can enjoy a wide range of food and drink options from the vendors at the Pier.
  • Parking can be challenging in the area, but shuttle services are available from various locations in the city.
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Venue Capacity Location
Hollywood Bowl 17,500 Hollywood Hills
Greek Theatre 5,900 Griffith Park
Santa Monica Pier N/A Santa Monica Beach

In conclusion, the outdoor music venues in Los Angeles offer a fantastic concert experience that is hard to find elsewhere. From the Hollywood Bowl’s world-renowned acoustics and panoramic views to the Greek Theatre’s stunning architecture, to Santa Monica Pier’s iconic Ferris wheel, there is something for everyone. These venues are more than just concert halls; they are significant landmarks that celebrate the city’s rich cultural history.

The Best Music Festivals in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is known as the entertainment capital of the world, and the city’s music festival scene is no exception. From urban pop to indie rock, you can find any genre of music in the music festival circuit. Music festivals are not only a way to enjoy music but also a place where people come together to celebrate art, culture, and community. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top music festivals that everyone should attend in Los Angeles.

1. Coachella Music and Arts Festival

Coachella is one of the largest and most famous music festivals in the world. It is held annually over two weekends in April in Indio, California, which is approximately 126 miles east of Los Angeles. The festival was founded in 1999, and since then, it has become a cultural phenomenon that attracts music lovers, fashion enthusiasts, and celebrities from all over the world. Here are some interesting facts about Coachella music and arts festival:

  • Coachella generates approximately $700 million for the local economy.
  • The festival grounds span over 78 acres and include 9 stages.
  • 2019’s headliners included Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande.
  • Attendees consume over 100,000 In-N-Out burgers during Coachella weekend.
  • Weekend 1 is typically harder to get tickets for, and tickets for both weekends tend to sell out within hours of going on sale.

2. Hard Summer Music Festival

The Hard Summer Music Festival caters to electronic and dance music fans. It takes place annually over two days in August at the Fontana Speedway in Fontana, California, which is approximately 50 miles east of Los Angeles. The festival prides itself on its high-energy lineups, with some of the biggest names in electronic music performing. Here are some interesting facts about Hard Summer Music Festival:

  • Hard Summer Music Festival was founded in 2007 and has grown in popularity ever since.
  • The festival’s name is a nod to “hard” dance music, which is characterized by heavy basslines and high tempo.
  • Hard Summer Music Festival was held at the Los Angeles State Historic Park before moving to its current location in Fontana.
  • The 2019 headliners included Kid Cudi, Major Lazer, and Dillon Francis.
  • Hard Summer Music Festival draws a young crowd, with over 70% of attendees between the ages of 18-24.

3. FYF Fest

FYF stands for “Fuck Yeah Fest,” and it’s a music festival that features alternative and indie rock bands. The festival takes place annually over two days in July at Exposition Park in downtown Los Angeles. FYF Fest was founded in 2004 by Sean Carlson, who aimed to create an affordable, community-driven music festival. Here are some interesting facts about FYF Fest:

  • FYF Fest was founded in 2004 and has since grown in popularity.
  • The festival was originally held at the Echo nightclub before moving to the Los Angeles State Historic Park and then to Exposition Park.
  • The 2017 headliners included Missy Elliott, Nine Inch Nails, and Bjork.
  • FYF Fest has gone through some controversies, such as canceling the 2018 edition due to poor ticket sales and accusations of harassment by Carlson, who resigned as founder and producer.
  • FYF Fest is known to attract a diverse crowd, with hipsters, punk rockers, and indie music lovers attending the festival.

4. Sunset Strip Music Festival

The Sunset Strip Music Festival (SSMF) is an annual event that celebrates the rich history of West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. The festival features rock bands and spans over three days in August. SSMF’s main stage is located on the Sunset Strip itself. Here are some interesting facts about the Sunset Strip Music Festival:

  • The festival was founded in 2008 and has since become a staple event in the Sunset Strip community.
  • SSMF honors a different iconic music artist each year. Past honorees include Motley Crue, Joan Jett, and Guns N’ Roses.
  • The festival includes a music conference panel, which features industry professionals sharing their insights on the music business.
  • SSMF’s main stage is closed to traffic during the festival, showcasing the festival’s commitment to the Sunset Strip community.
  • SSMF features a wide range of music genres, including rock, metal, and punk rock.
Festival Location Genre Headliners Attendance
Coachella Indio, CA Various Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Ariana Grande 99,000 per day
Hard Summer Fontana, CA Electronic Dance Music Kid Cudi, Major Lazer, Dillon Francis 80,000 per day
FYF Fest Los Angeles, CA Alternative Rock Missy Elliott, Nine Inch Nails, Bjork 40,000
Sunset Strip Music Festival West Hollywood, CA Rock Varies by yearly honoree 20,000

In conclusion, Los Angeles hosts some of the best music festivals in the world. Each festival has its unique vibe and genre, catering to music enthusiasts from all walks of life. Whether you’re into electronic dance music or indie rock, Los Angeles has got you covered. Attending a music festival is more than just listening to music; it’s about coming together with the community and celebrating the power of music.

Hidden Gems: Underrated Music Venues in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is known for its famous music venues like The Forum, The Greek Theater, and The Hollywood Bowl, but the city is also home to some hidden gems that deserve recognition. These underrated music venues offer unique experiences and intimate settings for music lovers. Here are the top 5 hidden gems for music venues in Los Angeles.

The Moroccan Lounge

Located in the Arts District, The Moroccan Lounge is an intimate space for music lovers. The venue can hold up to 250 people and features a unique aesthetic inspired by Morocco’s architecture. The Moroccan Lounge has an extensive lineup of noteworthy artists, including local up-and-comers and established musicians like Kacey Musgraves, Billie Eilish, and Leon Bridges.

The venue has a cozy and intimate setting. Its quaint atmosphere, excellent sound quality, and top-notch lighting system make for a perfect venue to watch live music. The venue has a fully stocked bar and delicious food options, including vegan and vegetarian options. Prices vary depending on the artist, but generally, the tickets range from $15 to $25.

The Hi Hat

Nestled in the heart of Highland Park, The Hi Hat is an all-inclusive venue that caters to every type of music lover. The venue boasts a well-curated lineup, with local and touring musicians playing Punk, Indie Rock, and Hip-Hop. The space is intimate and cozy, allowing for a more immersive concert experience.

The Hi Hat has a great sound system, decent-sized bar and its own taco stand that serves some of the tastiest tacos in Los Angeles. The venue has a capacity of 200 people which makes the atmosphere when in full capacity more electrifying. The Hi Hat also hosts comedy shows and bingo nights, making it the perfect spot for a night out. Tickets to shows at the Hi-Hat range from $5 – $30.

The Bootleg Theater

The Bootleg Theater is located in the Rampart District, an up-and-coming neighborhood with a thriving artistic scene. The theater has two stages, one indoor and one outdoor, making it a versatile venue for different types of shows. The indoor stage is a rustic and intimate space for live music experiences.

The Bootleg Theater has hosted world-renowned artists like Hozier, Father John Misty, and many more. They also host comedy shows, theater performances and movie screenings – making it a perfect entertainment choice for an evening out. The Bootleg Theater has a capacity of 250 persons, with ticket prices ranging from $10 to $30 depending on the artist.

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The Satellite

The Satellite is the perfect venue for fans of alternative and indie rock music. Located in Silver Lake, The Satellite is a legendary music venue that has been hosting shows since 2006. The venue has a capacity of 350 people, which makes for an immersive and intimate experience for the attendees.

The Satellite has hosted many famous names such as Queens of the Stone Age, Cold War Kids and Foster the People. It also has a large bar that serves delicious cocktails, a well-curated art display, and a spacious outdoor smoking area. Ticket prices vary, but generally, they range from $10 to $20 per person.

The Troubadour

The Troubadour has been a part of Los Angeles’s music scene for over 60 years. Located in West Hollywood, The Troubadour has hosted some of the most influential artists of all time, including Elton John, Joni Mitchell, and The Eagles.

The Troubadour isn’t necessarily underrated among music venues in LA, but it’s a hidden gem due to its rich history and intimate setting. The venue’s maximum capacity is 400 people, which makes for an unforgettable and intimate concert experience. Tickets for shows at The Troubadour typically sell out quickly and are often over $50.

Venue Location Capacity Price Range
The Moroccan Lounge Arts District 250 people $15 – $25
The Hi Hat Highland Park 200 people $5 – $30
The Bootleg Theater Rampart District 250 people $10 – $30
The Satellite Silver Lake 350 people $10 – $20
The Troubadour West Hollywood 400 people Over $50

In conclusion, Los Angeles has a plethora of beautiful music venues that are worth checking out, but don’t forget the underrated ones mentioned above. These hidden gems offer a charm and intimacy that can’t be found in larger venues. From the charming atmosphere of The Moroccan Lounge to the legendary Troubadour, the city contains music spaces for every genre and taste.

FAQs: Best Music Venues in Los Angeles

What are some of the best music venues in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles has a variety of fantastic music venues, ranging from intimate clubs to large concert halls. Some of the top venues include The Troubadour, The Hollywood Bowl, The Greek Theater, The Roxy Theatre, The Whisky a Go Go, The Wiltern, and The Staples Center.

What is the most famous music venue in Los Angeles?

The most famous music venue in Los Angeles is likely The Hollywood Bowl. This outdoor amphitheater has been hosting concerts for over 100 years and is known for its stunning setting, excellent sound quality, and diverse lineup of performers.

What kind of music can you find at Los Angeles music venues?

You can find all kinds of music at Los Angeles music venues, from indie rock to hip hop, jazz to country, and everything in between. Many venues specialize in certain genres, so it’s worth doing some research to find a venue that fits your musical tastes.

What is the capacity of the largest music venue in Los Angeles?

The Staples Center is the largest music venue in Los Angeles, with a capacity of up to 19,000 people. It is primarily used for major concerts by big-name artists, as well as sporting events and other large-scale productions.

What is the oldest music venue in Los Angeles?

The oldest music venue in Los Angeles is The Troubadour, which opened its doors in 1957. Over the years, it has hosted countless iconic performers, including Joni Mitchell, Elton John, and Van Morrison.

What is the best time of year to attend concerts in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is a great place to attend concerts year-round, thanks to the warm, sunny climate. That said, the summer months tend to be the busiest, with many outdoor venues hosting concerts and other events.

Are there any free music venues in Los Angeles?

Yes, there are several free music venues in Los Angeles. For example, the Grand Performances series hosts free concerts and other events in downtown Los Angeles, while the Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park offers free outdoor concerts throughout the summer.

What is the dress code for Los Angeles music venues?

The dress code for Los Angeles music venues varies depending on the venue and the event. Some venues, such as The Troubadour, are fairly casual, while others, such as The Hollywood Bowl, are more formal. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to dress up a little bit for concerts at higher-end venues, but you can get away with more casual attire at smaller clubs and bars.

Can you bring your own alcohol to music venues in Los Angeles?

No, you generally cannot bring your own alcohol to music venues in Los Angeles. Most venues have a bar or concession stand where you can purchase drinks, and some allow you to bring drinks back to your seat. However, outside alcohol is not permitted.

Do Los Angeles music venues have seating?

It depends on the venue. Some venues, such as The Troubadour and The Roxy Theatre, are standing-room-only clubs. Others, such as The Hollywood Bowl and The Greek Theater, have assigned seating areas. Check the venue’s website or ticketing page for more information about seating arrangements.


Los Angeles is home to some of the best music venues in the world, offering a diverse range of musical styles and settings. Whether you’re looking for an intimate club show or a large-scale arena concert, you’re sure to find something that fits your taste. Be sure to check out some of these top venues, such as The Troubadour, The Hollywood Bowl, and The Greek Theater, and consider attending free concerts at venues like Grand Performances and the Levitt Pavilion. And remember, dress appropriately, purchase drinks from the venue, and enjoy the show!

Now that you know where to find the best music in Los Angeles, why not explore some of the city’s other attractions? From world-class museums to stunning natural beauty, there’s always something to see and do in this vibrant city. Check out our other articles for more recommendations!

Goodbye and happy exploring!