Best Cities for Musicians to Move To
Music is the soundtrack to our lives, and for some, it is their life.
Surprisingly, there are more musicians per 1,000 inhabitants in Beverly Hills, than in any other city in the U.S., followed by San Francisco and Nashville. But are those really the best cities to showcase your art? If you’re a musician who is looking for the best city to showcase your talents, these destinations offer everything you’re looking for and then some.
The Emerald City as Seattle is sometimes called, is considered the birthplace of the grunge scene, spawned in the early 1990s. While it still embraces that music today, no matter what genre you play, you’ll find a venue for it. Hip-hop artist Macklemore is one of the city’s more recent music innovations, and the famed record label, Sub Pop continues to birth fantastic indie rock artists like The Shins and The Postal Service. Artists will find numerous venues for playing to the masses, from the Columbia City Theater and the Paramount to the Showbox at the Market and even SeaTac International Airport which hosts live music to help the many passengers who have to endure going through security feel a little more upbeat.
Nashville is considered a mecca for music, and not just country. Known as “Music City” it’s a hub for rock ‘n’ roll, indie, jazz, blues, and soul too. Famous artists like Kings of Leon and Paramore were birthed here, and countless others made some of their first steps to success in Nashville. Even Rolling Stone magazine named it the “Best Music Scene” in the country. No matter what your style, you’ll find a place to play. The Basement is an intimate venue that’s hosted everything from metal to acoustic shows, while many country legends have achieved their dream of being on stage at the Grand Ole Opry – perhaps that will be you someday?
The city is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” may not have spawned an endless list of musicians like San Francisco or London, but it’s home to more live music venues per capita than even such famed music spots as New York City and Los Angeles. Plus, Austin real estate is far more affordable than what you’d find in any of those cities. It’s well-known for its TV show “Austin City Limits,” and some of its most popular places for artists to play include the Continental Club and the Broken Spoke.
New York City, New York
Unless you’re already a well-paid, perhaps famous musician, it may be a struggle to afford to live in New York City, but if you can it may be worth it. The Big Apple boasts an incredibly diverse scene with something for every artist. It’s credited as the birthplace for hip-hop and punk, and it’s been the launching spot for so many musicians it would take a book to list them all. Venues range from Broadway to underground clubs, with some of the most iconic places to play including Lincoln Center, Beacon Theatre, Knitting Factory, and even Central Park.
Los Angeles, California
L.A. is really the “it” city when it comes to all types of entertainment, including music. It seems to have all started back in the 1960s at the numerous venues on Sunset Strip, including the Roxy and Whiskey a Go Go (still there today), and the bands that played there like The Doors, Alice Cooper and Led Zeppelin. Today, you’ll find an endless list of venues, large and small, including some of the most iconic in the nation, like the Hollywood Bowl and the Troubadour.