The Benefits of Small Music Venues


As summer ramps up to full speed, so does the season for large festival shows and stadium concerts. While the buzzing atmosphere of large crowds can be a draw for these bigger venues, smaller shows present their own draw during this hot summer concert season. Since the onset of the pandemic, a good chunk of people have never experimented with small venue shows. It’s always temping to spend 50 to 100 dollars on a nosebleeds for your favorite artists, but your next favorite artist might be at the bar or record shop down the street. There is an infinite amount of reasons to try out a smaller venue, but here are just a few.

During these summer months, concerts are usually a sweaty affair. The majority of smaller venues are inside, and depending on the show, this can mean a more temperature controlled atmosphere. They also usually have free water or a water fountain to keep you cooled off in this record hitting heat.

Even though they’re always a riot, sometimes stadium shows can create a separation from the artist. This is fine for when you’re going with a group of friends or a date, but can feel impersonal in the day and age we’re in currently where the Internet has made artists so much more approachable. Smaller shows provide that personal connection to an artist. When a performer is less than fifteen feet away, not only are you able to see the performance better, but it also breeds a deeper connection between the artist and the crowd.

In terms of price, smaller venues usually put on cheaper shows. It can depend on the artist and the genre, but typically 50-100 person shows won’t cost more than ten to twenty dollars per person.

Credit: Alive Coverage

For the majority of these small venues, the crowd remains relatively the same. If you’re looking to meet people at shows, smaller venues are a great avenue to do so. In a larger stadium setting, ticket prices are so high that the crowd is more focused on the performance than anything else. On top of this, there is a percentage of people at stadium shows who have traveled sometimes across the country to be there. This makes it difficult to find new friends in fellow fans, whereas the price point of smaller shows encourages mingling and community building. Bands are often happy to meet and talk to fans that come to their shows as well, sometimes working the merch booths themselves.

With a lower price, these venues are able to put on more experimental and out-there performances. You won’t find a lot of well known names at smaller venues, as the majority of bands will be local. This is a fun way to find new up-and-coming bands or smaller artists that may have the same sound as an artist you already enjoy. It is important to find shows with artists playing music that play a genre that you like, but sometimes it can fun to try something entirely new as well.

Some performers only play large stadium settings, but on the off chance that your favorite artist plays a smaller venue, it might be up your alley to try something new and see if it fits. A great way to get started is to find poster promotion for shows in your area. In the case of more rural areas, there are often Instagram pages or record shops that will promote local shows.

What kind of concert venues do you prefer?

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James Wieners
James Wieners
James Wieners is currently studying Journalism in Chicago. When he's not writing and/or listening to music, he's showing off the beautiful city of Chicago to tourists from around the world as a tour guide.

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