Ready to make your big break in the music business? It might be time to pack up your band and head to a brand new city. Get inspiration from this list of the top 5 musical cities in the country.
The Rose City’s musical offerings are almost as diverse as the city itself, and there’s something for almost every type of musician here. From festivals, such as the annual Waterfront Blues Festival and the Portland Jazz Festival, to a wide array of dedicated institutions, vinyl shops and unique local venues and theaters, Portland offers a diverse musical culture for the aspiring musician.
Not to mention they have an impossible bar scene with no shortage of spots to grab a drink after a weekend gig.
Portland’s neighbor to the north, Seattle, is also regarded as one of the most musical cities in the country.
Today the city draws in a musically inclined crowd with an output of talent from a wide range of genres — Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Blue Scholars and The Foo Fighters — plus musical festivals and music-driven museums.
And, remember, you have Seattle to thank for the 90s grunge era.
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles isn’t just a Southern California hotspot for Hollywood star sightings. It’s a mecca for aspiring musicians, who come from all over the country to work and live in Los Angeles.
Just like the city, the live music venues of L.A. are expansive — the Satellite, the neon-clad El Rey Theater, Hotel Cafe, the informal Largo at the Coronet or the super-glam Hollywood Palladium — and there’s an abundance of places to perform or catch a show. There are also plenty places to rent in and around L.A.
Called “Music City,” Nashville is home to more than 150 music venues, live events, musical museums, tours, record shops and other important sites including the Country Music Hall of Fame and The Grand Ole Opry. The city provides a culture that nurtures aspiring artists from all different types of genres, from pop, rock and country to classical, jazz, soul, gospel and bluegrass.
The city is also home to plenty of live music clubs such as The 5 Spot, Bluebird Cafe, Rocketown, The Second Fiddle, The Station Inn, Marathon Music Works, Barline and many, many more.
Artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Janis Joplin and Willie Nelson all have Austin ties. Dubbed “the Live Music Capital of the World,” each month Austin hosts music festivals for both aspiring musicians and music lovers alike.
Each year the city hosts South by Southwest, a giant tech festival that takes over the city. During this festival dedicated to new and rising technology and innovative startups, the city comes alive with the sound of music, and it’s not uncommon to find live performances in nearly every corner of the city.
Austin also puts on a few other big shows like Austin City Limits, which draws in big names from across the country and thousands of fans in addition to November’s Fun Fun Fun Fest.
But Austin isn’t just for the big timers. The little guys have ample opportunity to launch a big music career in more than 250 live venues across town.