10 iconic music venues in Los Angeles

The Troubadour

Location: West Hollywood 

Opened: 1957

Capacity: 500

Inspired by the homonymous venue in London, The Troubadour was first opened at another location as a coffee house before moving to Santa Monica Boulevard. It is known for hosting rock, folk, singer-songwriters and heavy metal shows. It helped launching the career of some big names such as Mötley Crüe, Elton John and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

The Roxy Theatre 

Location: West Hollywood 

Opened: 1973

Capacity: 500

The Roxy is currently owned by the Grammy Award-winning record producer Lou Adler and his son. The family business saw some of the biggest rock artists as soon as it opened; Neil Young played there on the first week. In 1976, some huge music legends even decided to record their live, including Bob Marley and Guns N’ Roses. Above the venue is located the hidden bar “On The Rox” which is known for throwing private events and birthdays hosted by DJs and attended by a lot of industry people.

The Regent

Location: Download 

Los Angeles Opened: 1914

Capacity: 1 100

First opened in 1914, The Regent is one of the oldest venues still operating in Los Angeles and used to be a grindhouse and adult movie venue. It is now owned by Spaceland which is one of the premier independent club promotion and event companies and which also owns The Echo as well as Echoplex in Echopark. In 2019, Live Nation acquired Spaceland adding these venues to its collection amongst The Wiltern, The Hollywood Palladium and many others.

The Fonda Theatre 

Location: Hollywood 

Opened: 1926 

Capacity: 1200

This venue has been through a lot of different names: Music Box Theatre, Guild Theatre, Fox Theatre, and Pix Theatre before finally becoming The Fonda Theater in 1985 in honor of film and stage actor Henry Fonda before changing its name one last time and going back to it in 2012. In the early 2000’s, it was restored to its original 1920’s style but closed again between 2012 and 2014 then got named as the top venue in Los Angeles by LA Weekly a year later.

The Forum 

Location: Inglewood 

Opening: 1967

Capacity: 17 500

This indoor arena hosts concerts and sport events and was designed by the renowned firm of Charles Luckman Associates, who had built Madison Square Garden in New York. Its stage welcomed legends such as The Jackson Five and Elvis Presley and also hosted the MTV Video Music Awards twice. Its structure can be adapted to different events and can host up to 17 500 guests or 8 000 if opened as an “half bowl”. After being purchased by the Madison Square Garden in 2012, it was renovated to turn into a high world-class concert venue which resulted in being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Whisky a Go Go

Location: West Hollywood 

Opened: 1964

Capacity: 500

This notorious venue, located on the iconic Sunset Strip a few steps away from The Roxy Theatre, owes its name to the first discothèque “the Whisky à Go-Go” established in Paris in 1947. It opened in February 1964 with a live performance of Johnny Rivers which was recorded and released as his debut album. It originally opened as a nightclub and popularized go-go dancing but quickly started to mostly host concerts. Commonly called “the Whisky”, it has been referred as one of the most famous rock’n'roll landmarks in the United States by many.

The Walt Disney Concert Hall 

Location: Downtown Los Angeles 

Opened: 2003

Capacity: 2265

Internationally known for its unconventional architecture, it is one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world and is home to the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, one of the world’s preeminent orchestra. Its construction started when Lillian Disney, widow of Walt Disney, donated $50 million and ended up costing a total of $274 million paid by private donations.

The Hollywood Bowl 

Location: Hollywood Hills 

Opening: 1922

Capacity: 17 500

Named as one of the 10 best live music venues in America by the magazine Rolling Stones in 2018, it is an open-air venue and is owned by the County of Los Angeles. It kicks off its season in Summer and presents hundreds of musical events each year and has had several house orchestras. A few minutes away is situated The Hollywood Bowl museum which features many historical exhibits.

Dodger Stadium 

Location: Elysian Park 

Opened: 1962 

Capacity: 56 000

This huge outdoors baseball park occasionally transforms itself into a concert venue for acts who need a bigger space that what other venues have to offer in Los Angeles. Amongst many others, KISS, Elton John, Beyonce, David Bowie, Madonna and Michael Jackson have performed there. The rest of the year, it is home to Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Belasco Theater

Location: Downtown Los Angeles 

Opened: 1904

Capacity: 1000

Originally opened in 1904, this venue has served a lot of different purposes. First opened as a theatre, it became a church then a famous spot for movies, television shows, and private parties rental. It was featured in several movies including “Swordfish” and “Memoirs of a Geisha”. It was not until 2011 that The Belasco went through major renovations in order to host concerts all year round.