Everyone enjoys a good live music performance, but few people actually plan their vacation around concerts and shows. That said, there are some destinations where musical performances are the headlining attractions (or at least one of the headlining attractions). A world-class live music scene means that it is possible to enjoy some quality tunes and a great concert atmosphere even if you have other activities on your vacation itinerary. Which destination is best for a music themed vacation? It partly depends on which genre (or genres) of music you prefer to listen to. But some destinations really stand out no matter what type of music you listen to.
Here are the world's best cities for live music events.
The capital of country music features famous landmarks like the Grand Ole Opry. Country music fans and curiosity seekers will certainly want to see a concert here. Famed country artists take the stage throughout the year. However, some of the smaller music venues are what really make Nashville a great place for music events. Both up-and-coming and established songwriters play regularly at intimate venues around the city. Places like the Bluebird Cafe (a famous spot amongst music insiders) and the Basement offer glimpses of up-and-coming talent that true music fans will certainly appreciate.
This Spanish island was one of the first places where electronic music became popular in the mainstream. Though the scene here is a couple of decades old and not as fresh as it once was, the world's best DJs still come to perfect their craft before heading back to their home countries to enjoy mainstream success. World-famous DJs still regularly stop at Ibiza's best clubs. Also, you can still find that hedonistic, anything-goes party atmosphere that first made Ibiza famous. So, while electronic music purists might want to head elsewhere to see the most-cutting-edge DJs perform live, anyone who likes a good party and appreciates quality electronic music will still find Ibiza almost irresistible. You can easily step away from the music venues and enjoy some time on the beach or the local vineyards.
Dakar is a center for art and music in West Africa. From jazz clubs to some of the world's most popular and skilled Afro-beat performers, Dakar is alive with music, even on weeknights. If you are someone who delights in a fusion of musical styles, then Dakar is the destination for you. Live performances are almost always filled with energy and the audience is encouraged to participate (usually by dancing). If your idea of a good concert includes grooving on a dance floor, then you will delight in the live music scene of Dakar.
New Orleans and Austin, USA
New Orleans is a city of blues and jazz music. You can even find some great live music venues on tourist-heavy Bourbon Street. A number of parades, music festivals and concerts take place throughout the year, with music a part of every major happening on the New Orleans calendar. The annual New Orleans Jazz Festival draws some of the world's best jazz acts and also brings stars of other Southern and Caribbean genres to the stage. Austin, Texas, meanwhile, is known as a haven for true music fans. This city is best known for Austin City Limits, a televised showcase of talented bands and songwriters. The annual South by Southwest Music Festival, meanwhile, is a who's who of independent pop and rock music, with literally thousands of shows taking place over a one week period.
Live music does not have to mean rock, pop and dance music. Vienna, Austria is home to amazing classic music performances. Fans of the world's most high-brow musical genre will find plenty of places to see concerts in Vienna. The Vienna Philharmonic is the hottest ticket, playing their concerts at the palatial Konzerthaus. Meanwhile, a number of smaller groups and chamber quartets play at smaller, but equally stylish, venues around the city.
Are you a music lover? Let us know what destinations we should add to our list of the world's best cities for live music.