If you could play in any city in the world, what would be your number one choice?
It’s a fact that some cities provide a better atmosphere for musicians to shine. The location you perform in has a great impact on the progress of your musical career.
Whether you’re a solo musician or part of a band, certain cities around the world can provide you with a ton of opportunities.
Below is a list of eight of the best cities for musicians in the world.
1. London, United Kingdom
London is well known for being the birthplace of many big names in music. With all the expensive clubs, traditional pubs, and big arenas, the city hosted some of the most famous musical acts in the world.
With legendary bands like the Stones, the Beatles, the Clash and the Kinks blossoming in London, it’s not uncommon to see new bands kick-starting their careers there. Concerts are playing in the city 24/7, thanks to the big number of music venues.
Whether you’re into jazz, rock, heavy metal, punk, or dubstep, you’ll find all the music genres you like everywhere you go in the city.
2. New York City, New York, USA
With a wide array of jazz cafes, underground clubs, and blues bars, the party is always going on in the city that never sleeps. Often regarded as a hub for disco, house and hip hop, it’s not surprising to discover a thrilling dance scene there.
From the folk and hippy tunes emerging from Greenwich Village, and post-punk bands such as Interpol, to rock bands like The Strokes, the Walkmen and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the city is a lively, internationally acclaimed music center.
Moreover, New York has a significant salsa and Latin American cult.
3. Ibiza, Spain
With so many beach bars, open-air clubs and live music venues, the Island of Ibiza is considered one of the most popular music cities in the world. Clubs like Pacha, Space, and Amnesia are all regarded as a stomping ground for all ambitious musicians.
The recent years have witnessed a transition to non-dance related music and festivals like Ibiza Rocks, which appealed to a different type of music-loving vacationers.
Throughout the summer months from June to October, Ibiza hosts an impressive lineup of DJs and live acts, including names like Sven Vath, Solomun, and Rizzle Kicks.
4. Berlin, Germany
Being one of the finest music centers in Europe, you’ll find an abundance of underground electro clubs and jazz cafes. Although Techno and House are dominating the music scene in Berlin, live music is gradually regaining popularity throughout the city these days, including Lido, Kreuzberg, and SO36.
Local acts can be witnessed in many regions all over the city, like Me & My Drummer, Crime, and Ter haar. They provide some excellent sounds no matter the place they perform in.
Occasionally, you can also hear some indie rock and alternative punk throughout the German capital.
5. Havana, Cuba
Havana is Cuba’s center of culture, so it’s expected to find a musical atmosphere prevailing all over the city’s streets and grand piazzas. The music scene is influenced by African and Spanish music. A unique rumba rhythm can be heard during the hot summer nights.
Grand Venues like El Gato Tuerto and La Casa de la Música presents you a taste of the Latin American culture, and if you’re a fan of salsa, you can find salsa lessons in the districts of Vedado and Miramar.
Well known acts in Havana that you must catch live include Paquito D’Rivera, Orishas, and X Alfonso.
6. Nashville, Tennessee, USA
While it’s true that country music is the reigning genre in the US city of Nashville, there’s room for all other genres as well. All of the country artists who regularly make it to the top charts live there, in addition to musicians like Jack White and Steven Tyler that represent other genres.
Nashville is home to some historic, mega venues like the Bridgestone Arena and the Ryman Auditorium, but smaller venues aren’t uncommon either. There is a wide variety of places for everyone to play and listen to music.
Whether you want to grab a beer and listen to some live blues music or want to try out that new song you wrote in front of an audience, there’s a place for you. The bluebird’s Cafe is one of these places, with plenty of others all over the city.
7. Tokyo, Japan
The language barrier stands in the way of a lot of English-speaking musicians from getting accustomed to the city’s contemporary music scene, not to mention its rich, interesting history.
While J-pop is prevailing in Tokyo, strong rock ‘n’ roll scene has been going on since the ’80s, and it continues to thrive today.
In that time period, DJ Krush and Crazy-A, the founders of the annual B-Boy Festival, paved the way for the hip-hop culture to flourish in Tokyo from there.
Furthermore, electronic music gained popularity with Yellow Magic back in the ’70s, and now all its subgenres, from dubstep to darkwave to electro-house, are getting attention.
8. Buenos Aires, Argentina
With genres like rock ‘n’ roll, metal, pop, and electronic music having a wide audience throughout the Latin American city, it’s a no brainer to include Buenos Aires on my list.
With a lively nightlife scene, staying out till morning is common here. Musicians like Yelle, Temples, Tricky, and Alt-J are often included in the calendar at Club Niceto every year, a famous venue for touring acts.
The city also hosts its very own edition of Lollapalooza. When such a high profile festival comes to town, this confirms the city’s musical status.
When choosing your destination as a musician, consider things like your favorite genres, the languages you can speak, and how far the city is from your hometown.
Anyway, it all depends on how you take advantage of the opportunities that come to you. Never underestimate the effect of an act in a small pub on your musical career.
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