Rock Out At These Top Williamsburg Music Venues

Welcome to the heart of music in Brooklyn! If you’re a music-loving Brooklynite, you know that Williamsburg is the place to be for the best live music experiences in New York. Whether you’re looking to get lost in a mosh pit or relax in a more intimate setting, the right music venue can make or break your night. That’s why we’ve put together this exclusive guide, to help you navigate the diverse world of Williamsburg music venues and find your perfect spot.

By reading this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the best Williamsburg music venues, including their unique vibes, special features, and upcoming events. We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to! From indie rock to jazz, from punk to electronic, we’ve got you covered. So, whether you’re a seasoned music aficionado or just looking for a new place to hang out, you’ll find something to love in our comprehensive guide.

Don’t miss out on the best music experiences in Brooklyn! Our guide will give you insider information on the top Williamsburg music venues, so you can plan your perfect night out. Our writers have visited each venue and have firsthand experience of how each venue creates a unique music experience. We’re confident that you’ll come away with newfound knowledge and a long list of new favorite spots to check out. So, let’s dive into the world of Williamsburg music venues together.

Top-rated Williamsburg music venues

Music lovers visiting Williamsburg, Brooklyn are spoilt for choice with an abundance of diverse music venues to choose from. From intimate locations to larger venues, there is no shortage of options. These venues provide a unique platform for local, national, and international artists to showcase their skills to an enthusiastic crowd.

Knitting Factory

Knitting Factory is one of the most popular Williamsburg music venues known for its exceptional live music experience, making it an ideal spot for music enthusiasts. This venue embodies a cozy atmosphere, with plenty of cozy booths and two bars to keep the crowd’s spirits high.

Knitting Factory is renowned for its diverse and exceptional programming, showcasing both established and emerging artists. With everything from indie rock, pop, hip-hop, soul, blues, and electronic-music performances, there is something for everyone.

Some interesting facts about Knitting Factory include:

  • The venue originally began on a shoestring budget in downtown New York in the late 1980s.
  • In the early 1990s, the venue became an essential place for up-and-coming alternative bands.
  • In 2009, the Knitting Factory moved to Williamsburg.

If you are visiting Knitting Factory, here are some things you should know:

  1. The venue has a varied timetable of music performances, including specials nights such as Spaced Out Jazz.
  2. There’s a VIP balcony overlooking the stage, featuring luxurious and comfortable seating—perfect for an intimate occasion.
  3. You can dine before a scheduled showtime, with a variety of grub ranging from Mexican to Asian-style delicacies available at the in-house restaurant.

If you’re interested in planning your night out at Knitting Factory, here’s a comparison of the pros and cons:

Pros Cons
Proximity to the subway station. Great and diverse lineup of artists and musicians. Get ready to stand on your feet throughout the shows.
Comfortable balcony seating. Offers a chance to dine-in for food and drinks. Seating policy can be confusing, especially when events are in-demand.
A well-stocked bar to enjoy drinks. Sound quality can be disappointing for some events. Pre-show seating is limited and typically insufficient.

Planning your night out at Knitting Factory just got easier with these detailed explanations on everything you need to know. Now, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the amazing live-music experience it offers.

History of Live Music in Williamsburg

Williamsburg, located in Brooklyn, NY, has become a hub for live music venues over the past few decades. The area has been shaped by the arrival of new residents searching for an alternative lifestyle and artistic expression. The result has been a diverse collection of venues ranging from small bars to large multi-functional spaces. This article explores the history of live music in Williamsburg through various subtopics.

The Rise of DIY Venues

In the 1990s, Williamsburg began to attract artists looking for affordable housing and studio space. With them came the music scene. As the number of artists grew, so did the demand for live music venues. However, traditional venues were costly to rent and not always accommodating for smaller acts. As a result, DIY venues began to emerge. These were underground and unconventional spaces like loft apartments or warehouses, where artists could perform to smaller audiences without being shut down by the authorities.

Interesting Fact: In 2013, a documentary called “Goodnight Brooklyn” was released. It was about the famous DIY venue called “Death By Audio” and how its closing marked the end of an era for Williamsburg’s DIY music scene.

Real World Example: Some of the most famous DIY venues from that era included “Death By Audio,” “Glasslands,” and “285 Kent.” These unique spaces are credited with shaping the music scene in Williamsburg and the wider Brooklyn area.

The Effect of Music on Gentrification

As the music scene grew and DIY venues became more popular, there was an almost immediate effect on the neighborhood’s demographics. The influx of artists and musicians made Williamsburg a more desirable place to live, causing rents to increase, and gentrification to occur.

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Case Study: In 2015, “Baby’s All Right,” a popular music venue in Williamsburg, was sued by its neighbors, who claimed that the noise from the venue was disrupting their quality of life. This case highlights the impact of live music venues on the surrounding community and how it can lead to tension between residents and businesses.

Pros and Cons of Gentrification:

Pros Cons
Improved infrastructure and amenities Displacement of long-time residents
Increased safety and reduced crime rates Price hikes in housing and goods
Economic growth and job creation Risk of losing the community’s character and history

The Future of Live Music Venues

Today, Williamsburg’s live music venues continue to be a major draw for audiences and artists alike. However, the neighborhood’s changing demographics have shifted the focus to more upscale venues that cater to a different crowd. The result has been a rise in more commercialized music spaces that can secure more significant financial backing, making it harder for smaller and independent venues to compete.

Bullet Points:

  • Commercialization of music spaces
  • Crowdfunding as a way for independent venues to survive
  • The rise of music festivals
  • Community involvement in preserving local venues

Despite the challenges faced by small venues in the competitive music industry, Williamsburg’s reputation as a hub for innovation and creativity remains. Its diverse and ever-evolving music scene continues to attract musicians and audiences from all over the world.

Best live music spots in Williamsburg

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a hub of live music with numerous music scenes and concert venues. It’s no surprise that visitors from all over the world flock to Williamsburg for its vibrant music scene. Here are some of the best live music spots in Williamsburg that offers diverse live gigs, high energy concerts, and an unforgettable musical experience.

National Sawdust

National Sawdust, located on N 6th St, is a cutting-edge, acoustically optimum venue that offers an unforgettable musical experience. This music venue is one of the city’s most luxurious places to enjoy music, complete with an excellent front-of-house team and a state-of-the-art sound system.

  • The Venue
  • National Sawdust is an intimate, high-tech venue, featuring cutting-edge technology, with a seating capacity of 160. The venue’s flexible floor plan and advanced acoustics allow performers to connect with their audience—creating a more rewarding performance experience.

  • The Artist
  • The venue is committed to promoting original artists, who they provide space for recording, rehearsals and performances. They foster originality and ingenuity in music, from producing new sounds to composing innovative music, National Sawdust exists to promote great creative music.

  • The Concerts
  • The concert events feature many up-and-coming and established artists. National Sawdust features everything from classical, avant-garde, jazz, electronic genres and rock. They also have series such as Untitled which are spur of the moment concerts that only features newly composed music, created within a week of the event.

    Pros Cons
    -Cutting-edge technology -Limited seating capacity
    -Flexible floor plan and advanced acoustics -High ticket prices
    -Great front-of-house team


Baby’s all right is a Williamsburg music venue unlike any other, known for great musical performances and exciting events. This venue prides itself on providing an energetic and vibrant atmosphere that will keep you on your feet well in the early hours of the morning.

  • The Venue
  • Baby’s All Right is a space that has been designed to host great events and concerts in a friendly, artistic and joyful atmosphere. The venue is intimate, featuring two floors with a second-floor balcony, and has a standing capacity of 250.

  • The Artist
  • Baby’s All Right features local and international bands with upcoming talent and established bands, ensuring a great mix to provide a memorable experience for everyone.

  • Concerts
  • At Baby’s All Right, customers can always count on the venue’s dynamic and ever-changing lineup of live performances, featuring everything from alternative indie-rock and dance-pop to alt-country and everything in between. They are always pushing the envelope, bringing emerging artists to the forefront, as well as long-established music icons.

    Pros Cons
    -Intimate venue -Limited seating capacity
    -Friendly, artistic and joyful atmosphere -Drinks can be overpriced
    -Current and upcoming talent mix


The Music Hall of Williamsburg is a go-to venue for experiencing some of the best live music in Williamsburg. The place is full of character, and the space is always buzzing with energy from lively crowds.

  • The Venue
  • Music Hall of Williamsburg the perfect spot for music lovers seeking to discover emerging bands, DJs and artists. The venue has been designed with retro decor, features a unique atmosphere, and can accommodate up to 600 people standing or 250 seated audience members.

  • The Artist
  • Music Hall of Williamsburg is known for featuring a wide mix of indie and hip-hop artists, from up-and-coming talents to established favorites. They welcome music rarities from near and far, from veteran icons to unknown performers.

  • Concerts
  • The venue is booked with many different show and concert genres, with something for every kind of music lover. You can always expect the unexpected; the space hosts a variety of live gigs and events every week.

    Pros Cons
    -A wide mix of indie and hip-hop artists -May feel crowded at times
    -Retro decor and unique atmosphere -Drinks can be overpriced
    -Variety in concert genres

In conclusion, there are great musical venues in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for a true music lover to explore. These venues are unique in their own way, offering different atmospheres and features. Indulge in some great music, and be confident that whichever Williamsburg music venue you choose, it will be an unforgettable night.

Williamsburg’s up-and-coming music scene

Williamsburg, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, is a breeding ground for the next big thing in the music industry. With its trendy vibe, laid-back atmosphere, and a mix of cultures, Williamsburg has been attracting artists from different genres and promoting their music to a wider audience. In this article, we will explore Williamsburg’s up-and-coming music scene, its venues, and its contribution to the music industry.

The Venues

Williamsburg’s music venues are unique spaces that cater to various music genres, giving musicians and music lovers alike an opportunity to explore new sounds and have a good time. The following are some of the most popular music venues in Williamsburg.

  • Brooklyn Steel
  • Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • The Brooklyn Bowl
  • Rough Trade NYC
  • National Sawdust

Brooklyn Steel is a music venue that opened its doors in 2017. It boasts an outstanding sound system, concert lighting, and a capacity of 1,800 guests. It has hosted popular musicians such as Arcade Fire, Janelle Monáe, and LCD Soundsystem.

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The Music Hall of Williamsburg is a smaller venue with a capacity of 600 guests, making for a more intimate concert-going experience. It has hosted concerts by artists such as Adele, Billie Eilish, and Vampire Weekend.

The Brooklyn Bowl is a music venue with a capacity of 1,000 people. The venue offers a unique experience by combining live music, bowling, and gourmet food. It has hosted concerts by the likes of The Roots and The Flaming Lips.

Rough Trade NYC is a music venue and record shop with a capacity of 250 guests. It has been named one of the best record stores in the country by Rolling Stone magazine. The venue has hosted performances by artists such as Lana Del Rey, St. Vincent, and The Strokes.

National Sawdust is a non-profit music venue with a capacity of 189 guests. It provides a creative space for musicians and artists to experiment and collaborate. The venue has hosted a variety of genres, including classical, jazz, and electronic music.

The Contribution of Williamsburg’s Music Scene to the Industry

Williamsburg’s music scene has contributed to the music industry by producing new and emerging artists, creates jobs in the music industry, and attracts music lovers from various locations. The following are a few ways in which Williamsburg’s music scene has made a significant contribution to the industry:

  1. Birthplace of Emerging Artists
  2. Williamsburg continues to be a popular destination for musicians who want to launch their careers. Emerging artists have used the neighborhood’s creative energy as fuel to make music and showcase their talents. Artists such as SZA, Solange Knowles, and Mitski have used Williamsburg as a platform to launch their music careers.

  3. Creates Jobs in the Music Industry
  4. Music venues in Williamsburg create jobs ranging from sound technicians, concert production managers, bartenders, security personnel and more. Besides, music venues hire graphic designers, promotional staff, and booking agents, among others. The industry provides stable salary opportunities for many people.

  5. Magnet for Touring Acts
  6. Williamsburg’s music venues have put the neighborhood on the map for touring artists. With venues that cater to various genres, Williamsburg’s music scene has attracted some of the best touring acts in the country, such as The National and Vampire Weekend. The thriving music scene has become a stop on the tour circuit, increasing visitors to Williamsburg and generating revenue for local businesses.

Pros and Cons of William’s Music Scene

Williamsburg’s music scene has its advantages and drawbacks. The following list highlights the benefits and the downsides:

Pros Cons
– Creates job opportunities in the music industry – Some venues can be expensive
– Diverse range of music genres and artists – Noise issues from loud performances
– Boosts tourism and revenue in the neighborhood – Can lead to gentrification and rising living costs
– Provides a platform for emerging artists to launch their careers

In conclusion, Williamsburg’s up-and-coming music scene offers an opportunity for music lovers to explore new music and venues. The neighborhood has become a hot spot for emerging artists, and its music venues have hosted some of the best touring acts in the country. Overall, Williamsburg’s music scene has made valuable contributions to the music industry, created jobs, and boosted tourism and revenue in the neighborhood.

Williamsburg Music Festivals and Events

Williamsburg, Brooklyn has established itself as a hub for live music in New York City. The area is home to a multitude of venues that cater to a diverse range of musical genres, from indie rock to electronic dance music. In addition to the year-round gigs and concerts, Williamsburg also hosts several music festivals and events throughout the year. Here is a rundown of the top Williamsburg music festivals and events that you shouldn’t miss.

1. Northside Festival

Northside Festival is a week-long celebration of music, film, and innovation that takes place in North Brooklyn. Since its inception in 2009, the festival has grown in popularity and now attracts more than 100,000 attendees every year. The music section of the festival features over 300 acts, ranging from established artists to up-and-coming bands. In addition to music, there are also film screenings, art shows, and tech conferences during the week-long festival.

  • Started in 2009
  • Over 100,000 attendees every year
  • 300 acts performing
  • Includes film screenings, art shows, and tech conferences

Northside Festival is the perfect event for music enthusiasts who want to discover new artists and immerse themselves in a diverse range of creative experiences. The festival has been known to launch the careers of several prominent musicians, such as Grimes and Mac DeMarco.

2. Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival

The Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (BEMF) is a multi-day event that celebrates electronic dance music (EDM) in all its forms. The festival showcases established DJs and producers, as well as up-and-coming artists from around the world. BEMF takes place at multiple venues throughout Williamsburg, giving attendees the opportunity to experience a variety of club environments.

  • Multi-day event
  • Celebrates electronic dance music
  • Features established and up-and-coming artists
  • Multiple venues throughout Williamsburg

BEMF is an essential event for fans of EDM who want to see some of the biggest names in electronic music perform in an intimate setting. Previous headliners have included acts like Carl Craig, Jlin, and DJ Harvey.

3. Williamsburg Live Festival

Williamsburg Live Festival is a free outdoor music event that takes place every summer in East River State Park. The festival showcases a variety of musical acts, from indie rock to world music. In addition to live music, there is also food and drinks available from local vendors.

  • Free outdoor music event
  • Takes place in East River State Park
  • Showcases variety of musical acts
  • Food and drinks available from local vendors

The Williamsburg Live Festival is a great way to experience live music in a beautiful outdoor setting. The festival always attracts a diverse crowd, and previous performers have included acts like Iron & Wine, Angel Olsen, and Courtney Barnett.

4. Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival is an annual celebration of hip hop culture that takes place in various locations throughout Brooklyn. The festival features performances, film screenings, art exhibits, and panel discussions. The music lineup includes well-known hip hop artists as well as up-and-coming rappers.

  • Annual celebration of hip hop culture
  • Takes place in various locations throughout Brooklyn
  • Features performances, film screenings, art exhibits, and panel discussions
  • Includes well-known hip hop artists and up-and-coming rappers

The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival is a must-attend event for fans of hip hop culture. Previous performers include legends like Nas and De La Soul, as well as rising stars like Rapsody and Skyzoo.

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5. SummerStage

SummerStage is a city-wide festival that takes place in parks throughout New York City, including McCarren Park in Williamsburg. The festival features a variety of musical genres, as well as theater and dance performances. SummerStage is free to attend, and all of the events are family-friendly.

  • City-wide festival
  • Takes place in parks throughout New York City
  • Features a variety of musical genres, theater, and dance performances
  • Free to attend and family-friendly

SummerStage is one of New York City’s longest-running outdoor music festivals. The festival has presented more than 1,800 artists over the years, including legends like Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, as well as contemporary stars like Janelle Monae and Chance the Rapper.

Music Festivals and Events Key Features Pros Cons
Northside Festival Music, film, and innovation with over 300 acts Great for discovering new artists and experiencing diverse range of creative experiences Can be overwhelming for those who prefer smaller events
Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival Multi-day event showcasing electronic dance music from around the world Gives attendees the opportunity to experience a variety of club environments May not be suitable for those who do not enjoy electronic music
Williamsburg Live Festival Free outdoor music event with food and drinks available from local vendors Great way to experience live music in a beautiful outdoor setting Can be crowded and difficult to find a spot to sit
Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Annual celebration of hip hop culture with performances, film screenings, art exhibits, and panel discussions Must-attend event for fans of hip hop culture May not be suitable for those who do not enjoy hip hop music
SummerStage City-wide festival in parks throughout New York City featuring a variety of musical genres, theater, and dance performances Free to attend and family-friendly May be crowded and difficult to find a spot to sit

In conclusion, Williamsburg offers a plethora of music festivals and events throughout the year, catering to a diverse range of musical tastes. Whether you’re a fan of indie rock, electronic dance music, or hip hop, there’s something for everyone in Williamsburg’s vibrant music scene. From small club gigs to large-scale festivals, Williamsburg has it all.

FAQs About Williamsburg Music Venues

What Williamsburg music venues are there?

There are several music venues in Williamsburg, including Brooklyn Steel, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Rough Trade NYC, Baby’s All Right, and National Sawdust.

What kind of music can I expect at Williamsburg music venues?

Williamsburg music venues offer a variety of music genres, from indie and alternative rock to hip-hop and electronic music. Some venues also host jazz and classical music performances.

What is the capacity of Williamsburg music venues?

The capacity of Williamsburg music venues varies. Brooklyn Steel, for example, can hold up to 1,800 people, while Baby’s All Right has a capacity of around 280 people.

Do Williamsburg music venues have bars?

Yes, Williamsburg music venues typically have bars where you can purchase alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Can I purchase tickets for Williamsburg music venues online?

Yes, most Williamsburg music venues sell tickets online through their websites or through third-party ticketing platforms like Ticketmaster.

Are Williamsburg music venues all-ages?

Not all Williamsburg music venues are all-ages. Some venues, like Brooklyn Steel and Music Hall of Williamsburg, are 18+ or 21+. Check the venue’s website or call ahead to confirm their age restrictions.

Are Williamsburg music venues wheelchair accessible?

Most Williamsburg music venues are wheelchair accessible or have accommodations for people with disabilities. Check the venue’s website or call ahead to confirm their accessibility options.

What is the dress code for Williamsburg music venues?

There is no strict dress code for Williamsburg music venues, but casual attire is typically acceptable. Dress comfortably and according to the weather, as some venues may not have air conditioning or may get crowded.

What is the parking situation like at Williamsburg music venues?

Parking in Williamsburg can be challenging, especially on busy nights or weekends. Some venues offer valet parking or have nearby paid parking lots. Consider taking public transportation or using ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft.

What are some upcoming shows at Williamsburg music venues?

Check the websites of Williamsburg music venues to see their upcoming shows and events. Many venues also have a newsletter or email list you can sign up for to stay up-to-date on their schedules.


If you’re a music lover looking for great places to catch a show, Williamsburg has plenty of options. From Brooklyn Steel to National Sawdust, there’s something for everyone. Make sure to check out the venue’s website or call ahead to confirm their age restrictions and accessibility options. When it comes to parking, taking public transportation or using ride-sharing services may be the best bet. And don’t forget to sign up for the venues’ newsletters to stay up-to-date on upcoming shows and events. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out our other articles for more interesting topics!