Last Updated on February 2, 2023
As a concert photographer, you’re always looking for your next gig, your next chance to capture the energy and excitement of a live performance. But not all cities are created equal when it comes to opportunities for concert photographers. Some cities boast thriving music scenes, with venues and promoters eager to work with talented photographers. Others may be more challenging, with fewer gigs or more competition for photographers.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the top cities for concert photographers. From coast to coast, we’ll highlight the cities that offer the best opportunities for concert photographers to hone their craft and build their portfolios. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this guide will help you find the cities that are right for you. So let’s rock on!
Here’s our list of the top cities for concert photographers.
Great Cities For Concert Photography
The following are arguably some of the most attractive places to shoot concerts because they have robust music scenes and are also large enough cities with plenty of concert venues.
1. Los Angeles, CA
One of the world’s top music scenes is in Los Angeles, CA. The LA music scene attracts music fanatics from all over the world. This makes it an ideal city for concert photographers to be based. There are plenty of venues here and most of them have decent lighting on stage for good photos. Some of the best venues to shoot at include The Wiltern, The Whisky A Go Go, Troubadour, Fonda Theatre and The Roxy.
Fun Fact: The Whisky A Go Go is a legendary concert venue where some of the most iconic rock performers have played such as The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd have played there.
2. New York City, NY
New York City is home to some of the top musical artists in history. New York City is filled with fans of those artists who flock to the city from all over the world to catch a glimpse of their favorite band. This means that there will be plenty of new talents eager to make it big and play in New York. There are quite a few good venues to shoot at here. Some notable ones include The Beacon Theatre, Hammerstein Ballroom, PlayStation Theater and Irving Plaza.
Fun Fact: Hammerstein Ballroom has hosted several live performances, including The Who’s final concert for the group’s original lineup in 1982
3. Chicago, IL
Chicago is one of America’s biggest cities and that’s why it attracts so many good concert acts to its lively music scene. The fans in Chicago are some of the most enthusiastic fans in the country and they will go out of their way to catch their favorite band. Some notable venues include The Riviera Theatre, House Of Blues, Aragon Ballroom and The Vic Theater.
Fun Fact: The House of Blues in Chicago has hosted performances by some of the top musical acts in the world including Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, The Rolling Stones, U2 and Billy Joel
4. London, England
London is home to some of the top musical festivals in all of Europe. The fans in London are extremely passionate about the music scene and their support for it just keeps getting stronger. From Glastonbury to Lovebox, there’s always a huge line-up of amazing live music coming through London and there’s plenty of local talent as well. Some notable venues to shoot at include Alexandra Palace, O2 Academy Brixton, Astoria and The Forum.
Fun Fact: Alexandra Palace is a famous London music venue that played host to performances by Status Quo in 1980 and The Who
5. Berlin, Germany
Despite its small size, Berlin has a lively music scene with lots of artists coming through from all over the world to perform in this city. The fans in Berlin are very enthusiastic and they will cheer on their favorite bands just as hard from the front rows as they would at a concert in the United States. Some notable venues include The Festhalle, Columbia Theatre, The Huxleys and Kaiserkeller.
Fun Fact: The Festhalle in Berlin is an iconic music venue that hosted performances by The Scorpions, Simple Minds and Deep Purple in the 1970s and 1980s
6. Sydney, Australia
Sydney is the home of some of the most popular Australian artists including AC/DC and Bon Jovi. The fans in Australia are passionate about their home country’s music scene and they will do anything to catch their favorite performers live. Some notable venues include The Sydney Opera House, Capitol Theatre, Metro Theatre and Hoyts Cinema.
Fun Fact: The Capitol Theatre is a famous music venue that has hosted performances by The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, U2 and Foo Fighters.
7. Manchester, England
Manchester has a very active music scene and there’s always plenty of great shows going on in this city. The fans in Manchester are passionate about their music and they will show their love for it at many different venues in the area. Some notable venues include The Manchester Academy, O2 Ritz, The Manchester Apollo and The Night and Day Cafe.
Fun Fact: The Manchester Apollo is a legendary music venue where a number of famous musical acts have performed including The Beatles, Elton John and Oasis.
8. Seattle, WA
The Seattle music scene has always been a haven for rock star wannabes (and many who make it) who are looking to get discovered. The city has several new music festivals every year and many of the busiest clubs and venues in town. Some notable venues to shoot at here are The Moore Theatre, Showbox SoDo, Triple Door and Neumos.
Fun Fact: Alice in Chains performance at The Moore Theatre was one of the most iconic concerts in the history of Seattle
9. Nashville, TN
Nashville has always been a mecca for country music and fans of the genre will travel from all over the country to catch their favorite performers. The fans in Nashville are passionate about country music and they will do anything to see their favorite acts live. Some notable venues include Bridgestone Arena, Ryman Auditorium, Marathon Music Works, The Bluebird Cafe and Americana Music Fest.
Fun Fact: The Ryman Auditorium has been home to a number of legendary acts over the years including Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks and Johnny Cash
The world is filled with great cities that have incredible music scenes. Some of the best venues in the world are found in many of these cities and they always attract some of the biggest names in the industry. If you’re an aspiring music photographer, then these are some places to consider traveling to next. These cities have a lot to offer and they will put you right at the heart of the action.