The 15 Best Places In The World To Go To A Concert!

Published 2 years ago on December 14, 2017
By Vincent

Nashville, Tennesse has long championed itself as the concert capital of the world and has even garnered the nickname 'Music City, USA' for its many record labels, country music ties, festivals, music hall of fame and concert venues but in terms of going to gigs, can it really lay claim to such an illustrious title?

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Well, American travel company Expedia apparently crunched the numbers on where the best places to go to a concert were and looked at several major cities across the globe and how many gigs they were hosting. They then collated this data and ranked all the cities on how many they have held in the past year and Nashville failed to break into the top 15 coming in at a paltry 17 with 3,086 concerts (although it did have a better rate of gigs per 100k people at a respectable 1.65). So here are the top 15 who can truly lay a claim to the crown! 

To calculate the number of gigs per 1000 people, Expedia sourced each location's population data from the latest census, as it appeared on Wikipedia. They then refined the data by only including towns with a minimum population of 1,000.

15. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Sydney and Melbourne often battle it out for the cultural heart of Australia, but regarding the music scene, it is Melbourne that is miles ahead despite Sydney having the famed opera house. In fact, Melbourne has the only Australian city to make it anywhere near the top 15.

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With 3,127 gigs last year this meant it had a rather poor rate of just 0.662 gigs per 1000 people but that leaves it plenty of room for improvement in the coming year.

14. Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The largest city in Canada is the only one to make the top 15. A global city, Toronto is a center of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world so it shouldn't be too much of surprise it made it to the top 15 but perhaps it's a surprise it doesn't climb higher.


3,532concerts last year added up to about 1.29 of them per 1000 people which isn't bad going really.

13. Denver, Colorado, USA

With Appollo Hall and the city's first opera house opening soon after its founding, there has always been a strong tie to the arts in Denver and has continued to thrive. In fact, in 1988, voters in the Denver Metropolitan Area approved the Scientific and Cultural Facilities Tax (commonly known as SCFD), a 0.1% (1 cent per $10) sales tax that contributes money to various cultural and scientific facilities and organizations throughout the Metro area. The tax was renewed by voters in 1994 and 2004 and allows the SCFD to operate until 2018.

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As such, arts and culture facilities are readily available in the city, and that's probably why it hosted 3,590 concerts last year which amounts to a whopping 5.90 concerts per 1k of the population there.

12. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

The City of Sin is known for being a place for entertainment with its high-rise casinos, concert venues and many acts all bringing a massive amount of tourism each year and it is these people that the city mostly caters for.


As such, the 3,692 concerts it puts on, thanks to casino residencies by many big stars year round helping to contribute, far outstrips its need for locals as it is a rate of 6.32 gigs per 1k is the highest of anywhere else in the top 15.

11. Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle has long been a regional center for performing arts in the Pacific Northwest, but in the 1990s it became known for a slew of musicians coming from the city that played the eclectic and powerful genre of music that came to be known as 'grunge'.


Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden cemented the cities legacy and this long lives on as it remains the home of record company Sub Pop but its musical origins far pre-date that with the century-old Seattle Symphony Orchestra being amongst the world's most recorded and performs primarily at Benaroya Hall. As such tourism plays a part for many of its 3,706 concerts that average out to about 6.09 gigs per 1000 people.

10. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Texas has a longstanding musical history and tradition that encompasses predominantly country, rock and rap and Dallas-Fort Worth is not the only area from the state that manages to break into the top 10.


With 3,711 gigs last year it would seem rather impressive, however, due to the large population of the area, this only amounts to 0.725 gigs per 1k.

9. Austin, Texas, USA

Texas gets another representative in the form of Austin, the state capital and with its cultural heritage and growing populous, it hosts many cultural events. As Austin's official slogan is The Live Music Capital of the World, the city has a vibrant live music scene with more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city.

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That being said, it could only muster number 9 on this list with 3,716 gigs amounting to about a respectable 3.92 concerts per 1k of residents.

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Philadelphia is a city that promotes the arts heavily with more public art than any other U.S. city, and this crosses over to music with it being home to the famous Philadephia soul scene of the 70s.

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Jazz and Rock also owe a lot to the city, and the 4,233 concerts it held amounted to 2.77 per 1k of the population.

7. Berlin, Germany

The German capital is the first European city to make the top 15 and has a nightlife that has been celebrated as one of the most diverse and vibrant of its kind with a range of performing arts theaters and venues to match.


With seven symphony orchestras in the city and being at the heart of the European Union there is certainly a wealth of gigs to go to with 4,679 of them being hosted by the city but due to its big population this only amounts to 0.779 concerts per 1000 people.

6. Chicago, Illinois, USA

Heavily associated with jazz and other musical scenes, Chicago is the USA's third most populous city and so the 5,682 concerts it puts on doesn't really make a dent in terms of how many there are per capita as it averages out to a measly 0.60 per 1k.


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) performs at Symphony Center and is recognized as one of the best orchestras in the world, and Grant Park hosts many outdoor concerts in the summer.

5. Paris, France

The French Capital has long been lauded for its arts and culture and, in the late 12th century, a school of polyphony was established at Notre-Dame. Ever since then, the capital has had many famed music halls and has become the spiritual home of gypsy jazz.

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It's massive populous means that the 5,737 barely scratches the surface though as it is about 0.541 gigs per 1000 people living there.

4. San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA

Back stateside and the San Francisco Bay Area holds sway with how vast and highly populated it is taking in 6,373 concerts in the last year. Throughout its recent history, the Bay Area has been home to several musical movements that left lasting influences on the genres they affected. San Francisco, in particular, was the center of the counterculture movement in the 1960s, which directly led to the rise of several notable musical acts.

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Being a hub for musical creation though doesn't necessarily mean that it translates to the wider population though as it is just 0.8777 gigs that get put on for each 1k of residents.

3. Los Angeles, California, USA

Where the beautiful people of Hollywood and the rockstars live, LA was always bound to have a pretty strong musical presence and the city plays up to this with the Los Angeles Music Center being one of the three largest performing arts centers in the nation, with more than 1.3 million visitors per year and The Walt Disney Concert Hall, centerpiece of the Music Center, is home to the prestigious Los Angeles Philharmonic.


With nearly 5,000 more concerts than the next nearest competitor, the top three cities are streaks ahead of everybody else with LA holding 11,079 concerts last year making that about 1.13 concerts per 1000 of the population.

2. New York City, New York, USA

Just ten concerts separated LA from NYC, but New York snuck into 2nd with it being the home of hundreds of cultural institutions including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic and Jazz at the Lincoln Center.

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A massive tourism draw as well, the concerts and festivals it puts on are year round, and the city saw 11,089 gigs last year, the equivalent of 1.36 per 1000 people in the city.

1. London, United Kingdom

The British capital takes number one spot and has long been pushing itself as the cultural epicenter of the nation, Europe and now the world! The British musical culture has seen it produce some of the world's biggest artists and with a new mayor trying to open the city up to further entertainment and investment, it has seen it surge to the top of this list.

The Royal Albert Hall, O2 Dome and many, many other smaller and historical venues saw 11,923 concerts happen last year which was about 1.22 gigs per 1k of its staggeringly large population.

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