Music is what keeps us alive. There’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing your favorite band perform live at an exciting venue.
San Diego boasts a multitude of music venues. Regardless of who your favorite musician is, whether it’s a local artist or world-famous band, you’ll always find someone performing at San Diego music venues.
So, without further ado, allow us to show you the best live music venues in San Diego.
Large San Diego Music Venues
San Diego Symphony
Address: 750 B St, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 235-0804
The San Diego Symphony is a US symphony orchestra which lies in the heart of the city, near Balboa Park. With over 100 years of performing history, this great musical venue has seen its fair share of talented acts. Think Charlotte Church, Cirque Eloise, and much more.
Although many guests have appeared at the San Diego Symphony, the main star is the orchestra. They’ve uplifted the souls of all visitors through their passionate and emotional performances.
Considered one of San Diego County’s larger indoor live music venues, the San Diego Symphony has an elite vibe with big names performances.
Upcoming concerts include Garrick Ohlsson and Violent Femmes.
Address: 100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 795-5025
Read our Top Tips for Visiting Petco Park here
Petco Park is where many big-name performers will hold their concerts in San Diego. The stadium has a holding capacity of over 40,000, so you can fit quite an audience.
The venue has a prime location in downtown San Diego, near the Gaslamp District and East Village. It features high-end facilities like modern restrooms, food and drink stands, and lavish suites for those who really want to splash.
Artists of all genres have played in Petco Park, including hip-hop icons like Wu-Tang Clan and world-famous pop stars like Madonna. Over the next few months, Hozier, Cigarettes After Sex, and Darius Rucker have concerts lined up at the stadium.
Address: 222 Marina Park Way, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 235-0804
Next up, we have the Rady Shell, situated in Jacob’s Park beside San Diego Bay. The venue only recently opened in 2021 and is known for mesmerizing architectural designs. The venue itself spans over 13,000 square feet and has a seating capacity of up to 10,000 people.
Past musicians who have taken to the Rady Shell’s stage include Jason Mraz and Brian Wilson. Upcoming live performances from John Legend and Diana Ross are on the cards over the next few months.
Providing a chilled outdoor atmosphere, visitors to the Rady Shell have a variety of facilities at their disposal. These include an onsite restaurant and blanket shop for those in lawn seats.
Address: 2101 Stadium Way, San Diego, CA 92108
Read our Top Tips for Visiting Snapdragon Stadium here
Outdoor Snapdragon Stadium is another cracking live music venue with a holding capacity of 35,000.
Owned by San Diego State University, this is home to the San Diego Aztecs football team, although it hosts an array of events throughout the year. These include concerts, community events, festivals, and more.
Offering a relaxed ambiance, the Snapdragon Stadium has hosted Indian funk band Cha Wa and iconic Jimmy Buffet. Coldplay and Guns N’ Roses are booked for this upcoming September and October, so get your tickets ASAP.
Address: 3500 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: (619) 224-4171
Rounding out our favorite large live music venues in San Diego is the outstanding Pechanga Arena. This venue holds up to 125 events and sees over 750,000 visitors annually.
Pechanga Arena has been hosting events for over 50 years, so naturally they lure the most talented performers to their stage. World-renowned artists like Snoop Dog, and Indie bands such as the Lumineers, have all performed here in the past.
Pechanga is an indoor arena with an incredible atmosphere and a variety of concessions available to concert-goers. Some popular options include the Rockin’ Baja Lobster Coastal Cantina food stand and the CaliFino Tequilla Bar. Arrive early for a couple pre-performance drinks.
This is definitely a top spot among San Diego music venues.
Small Music Venues & Bars In San Diego
Address: 3350 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110
Situated on Sports Arena Boulevard is indoor Soma music venue, with over 20,000 square feet of space and a huge concert history. They’ve hosted some outstanding performers like Green Day, Blink 182, Billie Eilish, and many more.
Soma is relatively small in size, it’s only able to hold up to 2,300 people. However, it has plenty to offer visitors, like two raised VIP viewing areas, a craft beer bar, and the Soma Soda Bar.
Soma’s upcoming events include Lil Wayne, Hippo Campus, Snow Tha Product, and many more. There’s no age limit either, so you can bring your little ones along to enjoy the fun.
Address: 1337 India St, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 795-1337
Music Box is a lavish music venue on India Street hosting various talents, such as new artists, local heroes, and national stars.
You haven’t lived unless you’ve watched a concert at Music Box. It may only have a holding capacity of over 700 people, but that adds to the intimacy. Among San Diego live music venues, this is definitely one of the best.
Food and beverage stands are available for guests, whether you’re after some gourmet wings or a cheeky cocktail, like the Dark Side Of The Mule. Three stories of seating with incredible stage views will surely enhance your experience. Remember, the higher you are, the better the pop star will look.
Fia, Kerela Dust, Lovejoy, Shrink Ray, and Cupcakke are all scheduled to perform at Music Box this year. Remember to book your VIP table and bottle service for the show you wish to see.
Belly Up Tavern
Address: 143 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
Phone: (858) 481-8140
Solona Beach’s Belly Up Tavern is a fantastic place to watch live music in San Diego. The establishment is designed to allow concert-goers to get up close and personal with their favorite musicians. There’s standing area right in front and no assigned seating. There’s nowhere else quite like the Belly Up Tavern.
Mid-performance, most people tend to congregate along the main bar in the back, which will keep everyone in high spirits throughout the evening. If you’re feeling peckish, the Belly Up Tavern’s onsite restaurant will have something to savor, with an extensive menu inspired by the SoCal lifestyle.
Sofa King Bueno, Ghostland Observatory, Atomic Groove, Pedro The Lion, and Wayward Sons all play this upcoming June. What a way to kick off the summer season.
House Of Blues San Diego
Address: 1055 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 299-2583
Sitting in the notorious Gaslamp Quarter is the House of Blues. Established just under thirty years ago, it has given blues artists a stage to perform on ever since. Most artists who perform here are from the American folk and blues scene, so if you’re into that style of music, this is your spot.
House of Blues is a cozy venue with standing space, ideal if you want to have a bit of a bop. Alternatively, you can fork out a bit extra for a seat on the balcony with a nice view of the stage. This will keep you from being bumped into every couple of seconds.
The venue also has its own restaurant, run by famous chef Aaron Sanchez. Here you can indulge in a bit of a feast before the main event.
July is lining up to be an action-packed month at the House of Blues, with artists like Arrows In Action and Ace Frehley with slots booked.
Address: 868 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 615-4000
The vintage Balboa Theater was built all the way back in 1924 and is still bringing music to the ears of many Americans to this day. It resides in downtown San Diego and has over 1,300 seats for visitors.
Balboa Theater is only open on performance days, and boy, does the atmosphere become electric. Stars like Lewis Black, Weird Al Yankovic, and Eddie Griffin have all filled this iconic spot.
Don’t get confused with the Balboa Theater’s sister venue, the Civic Theater, which is only a few blocks away. Sometimes people show up at one, only to realize their concert is at the other venue.
Humphrey’s Backstage Live
Address: 2241 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
Phone: (619) 224-3577
If you only have one night in San Diego, you should check out Humphrey’s Backstage Live. It’s given the stage to a variety of acts over the years, from young local talent to groundbreaking national artists.
Humphrey’s Backstage Live has its own bar manned by a professional team of mixologists, crafting the tastiest cocktails and pouring local beers. The bar also has an excellent selection of food with Mexican-infused dishes like yellowfin poke tacos or traditional US favorites like the Maine lobster mac and cheese.
Almost every night of the week, you’ll find someone performing at Humphrey’s Backstage Live. This May sees Billy Watson, FreeMartin, Ron’s Garage Band, and Lucky Strike all putting on a show, San Diego style!
Live music venues are the perfect way to spend a night in San Diego.
Maybe you want to see your favorite pop star in Balboa Park or prefer something a bit more relaxed, like Humphrey’s Backstage Live? Whatever you’re after, there’s a music venue in San Diego you’ll enjoy.
Last Updated on July 14, 2023 by Maria Haase