The Best Concert and Music Festival Venues

While the most important part of any concert or music festival is obviously the performer, the venue itself is also hugely important. Some venues have better acoustics, a fun feel, or other interesting characteristics that make them a superior place to see a performance. Along with that, some venues just seem to attract the most popular stars, year after year. With that in mind, we’ve decided to put together a list of the top concert and music festival venues from the past year, as sorted by average ticket price. In the past, we’ve also written about the best summer venues, top outdoor summer venues, and top New York City venues, so be sure to check out all of those posts as well. The chart of the top 50 venues is just below, and after the jump we’ll take a quick look at the list as a whole before discussing the top three venues. Just click on any of the venue links and you’ll be taken straight to the venue homepage, where you’ll find tickets to all the upcoming events.

Top Concert Venues

Venue City State Average Price
MGM Grand Garden Arena Las Vegas NV 406.25826
LP Field Nashville TN 388.165747
Bayfront Park Amphitheater Miami FL 368.38649
Empire Polo Field Indio CA 366.056341
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas NV 341.430404
Gorge Amphitheatre George WA 291.544034
Jay Pritzker Pavilion Chicago IL 282.011302
Radio City Music Hall New York NY 233.577586
Manchester Farm Manchester TN 204.156814
Yankee Stadium Bronx NY 192.19101
Beacon Theatre New York NY 187.955774
Madison Square Garden New York NY 187.213722
Gibson Amphitheatre Universal City CA 182.389312
Wrigley Field Chicago IL 182.157964
Staples Center Los Angeles CA 169.664545
MetLife Stadium East Rutherford NJ 164.841713
BankAtlantic Center Sunrise FL 161.07226
Air Canada Centre Toronto ON 156.837831
United Center Chicago IL 156.623612
Izod Center East Rutherford NJ 154.649584
Verizon Center Washington DC 154.030925
Prudential Center Newark NJ 153.114449
Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia PA 152.206559
Gillette Stadium Foxborough MA 152.101947
American Airlines Arena Miami FL 151.29923
Mohegan Sun Arena Uncasville CT 149.28269
Philips Arena Atlanta GA 148.32772
TD Garden Boston MA 147.90969
Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles CA 147.802072
Nokia Theatre LA Live Los Angeles CA 146.46767
Columbus Crew Stadium Columbus OH 145.206219
American Airlines Center Dallas TX 143.712919
HP Pavilion San Jose CA 143.634362
Heinz Field Pittsburgh PA 136.322805
Tampa Bay Times Forum Tampa FL 135.538001
Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia PA 131.224624
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Irvine CA 130.987592
Nassau Coliseum Uniondale NY 130.70208
Amway Center Orlando FL 129.976041
Bridgestone Arena Nashville TN 127.100094
Allstate Arena Rosemont IL 123.842198
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Wantagh NY 119.580193
Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View CA 115.9847
Sprint Center Kansas City MO 110.960386
Key Arena Seattle WA 109.319027
Oracle Arena Oakland CA 107.172427
Gexa Energy Pavilion Dallas TX 102.729109
PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel NJ 101.224528
1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre Tampa FL 99.29871
Aarons Amphitheatre at Lakewood Atlanta GA 98.598091

Top Music Venues

So there you have it; the top 50 venues from the past calendar year. Before we take a look at the top three individually, there are a few interesting trends among the top 50. To start, the top cities are, not surprisingly, New York (with 4 of the top 50), Chicago (3), and Los Angeles (also 3). However, though Las Vegas places only two venues among the top 50, both of those, the MGM Grand Garden Arena and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, are in the top five. As for the top states, California laps the field with a whopping 9 of the top 50, followed by New York (6) and Florida (5). One final interesting thing to look at is how many of these top venues are not designed for concerts. Indeed, baseball stadiums (such as Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field), football stadiums (such as MetLife Stadium and LP Field), and other nontraditional venues are mixed in with the more standard concert stages.

The MGM Grand Garden Arena

Located inside the MGM Grand, a casino-resort that is the third largest hotel in the world (over 6,800 rooms!), the MGM Grand Garden Arena was the top concert venue over the past twelve months. The Grand Garden Arena has nearly 17,000 seats, but ticket prices were sky-high despite the huge capacity. In fact, there were four concerts with an average ticket price over $400 with the iHeartRadio Music Festival leading the way. For more on this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival, check out this post. The Grand Garden Arena has some exciting concerts coming up in the near future, including the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival, a Justin Bieber performance, and two Madonna concerts. For all the MGM Grand Garden Arena tickets, go to its homepage .

MGM Grand Garden Arena Tickets 2012

Thursday 8:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $96
Saturday 7:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $250
Saturday 8:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $78
Sunday 7:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $99
Friday 7:30 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $753
Saturday 7:30 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $753
Sunday 7:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $125
Saturday 8:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $253
Sunday 8:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $247
Saturday 8:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $121
Saturday 8:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $115
Saturday 8:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $114
Friday 8:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $98
Saturday 8:00 PM Las Vegas, NV tickets from $115

MGM Grand Garden Arena Ticket Prices

Event Date Average Price
iHeartRadio Music Festival with Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Kenny Chesney 9/24/2011 640.715107
iHeartRadio Music Festival with Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, Jay-Z 9/23/2011 571.631387
47th Academy Country Music Awards 4/1/2012 417.900183
Alejandro Fernandez Las Vegas 9/15/2011 406.071429
Eagles 11/5/2011 281.066732
Sade with John Legend 9/3/2011 255.744207
George Strait with Martina McBride 2/4/2012 242.95442
47th Academy Country Music Awards All Star Jam 4/1/2012 224.772277
ACM Presents Lionel Richie and Friends – A Lifetime of Hits 4/2/2012 206.68254
Jimmy Buffett 10/15/2011 199.593643
Josh Groban 8/20/2011 197.808284
Watch the Throne Tour with Jay-Z and Kanye West 12/9/2011 189.766355
Def Leppard 9/4/2011 170.007619
Journey with Foreigner and Night Ranger 10/8/2011 164.632184
Drake: The Club Paradise Tour with J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame and more 5/11/2012 152.833844
Van Halen 5/27/2012 152.498728
Lenny Kravitz 2/19/2012 151.646
American Country Awards 12/5/2011 148.142857
311 Day 2012 – 2 Day Pass (Saturday and Sunday Shows) 3/10/2012 144.470303
Nickelback with Bush, Seether and My Darkest Days 6/16/2012 138.868756
2011 Billboard K Pop Masters Day 1 11/25/2011 99.552632
311 – Sunday Only 3/11/2012 88.846154
The Voice Live on Tour Las Vegas 7/30/2011 53.028169

Lady Gaga at MGM Grand Garden Arena

LP Field

If there’s one place to see country music, it’s LP Field, the home of the Tennessee Titans. Indeed, the venue hosted only 6 major concerts in the past year, all of which were country music festivals, and all of which had pricey tickets. The top ticket was easily the 4 day pass to the Country Music Award Festival, which had an average ticket price of over $427. The stadium will only be hosting football games for the near future, but it’s already been announced that the 2013 CMA Festival will be at LP Field.
See all LP Field Tickets.

LP Field Tickets 2012

Thursday 1:00 PM Nashville, TN tickets from $158

LP Field Ticket Prices

Event Date Average Price
CMA Music Festival 4 Day Pass 6/7/2012 427.413021
CMA Music Festival Day 1 – Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band 6/7/2012 221.785714
CMA Music Festival Day 4 – Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson 6/10/2012 179.945946
CMA Music Festival Day 3 – Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Hunter Hayes, Faith Hill 6/9/2012 167.25
Brothers of the Sun Tour featuring Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw 6/23/2012 131.601125
CMA Music Festival Day 2 – The Band Perry, Jake Owen, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Brantley Gilbert 6/8/2012 118.409483

Bayfront Park Amphitheater

Located in Miami, Florida, the Bayfront Park Amphitheater was the third hottest concert venue in the past year. By far the most popular event was the Ultra Music Festival, which featured Avicii, David Guetta, and Tiesto, among others. In the coming months, the amphitheater will host the Miami Jazz Fest.
See all Bayfront Park Amphitheater Tickets

Bayfront Park Tickets 2012

Saturday 6:30 PM Miami, FL tickets from $76
Saturday 2:00 PM Miami, FL
Saturday 2:00 PM Miami, FL tickets from $29
Sunday 7:00 PM Miami, FL tickets from $59
Saturday 5:55 PM Miami, FL tickets from $243
Saturday 6:00 PM Miami, FL tickets from $114
Sunday 2:00 PM Miami, FL tickets from $155
Sunday 6:00 PM Miami, FL tickets from $125

Bayfront Park Ampitheater Ticket Prices

Event Date Average Price
Ultra Music Festival 3 Day Pass (featuring Tiesto, Avicii, David Guetta and more) 3/23/2012 393.060536
Incubus 9/20/2011 130.218
Judas Priest 12/1/2011 112.943182
Kesha 8/7/2011 92.224576
Manu Chao 9/9/2011 76.484375
Afrojack 6/16/2012 59.294118
Above and Beyond 3/22/2012 57.754386
Identity Festival (Kaskade, Pretty Lights, Disco Biscuits, Rusko, Avicii and more) 8/25/2011 56.228571
Can You Feel It The UMF Experience 3/21/2012 15.125

Tiesto at Bayfront Park Amphitheater

Other Concert Tickets

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