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A music venue is any location regularly used for a concert or musical performance. Music venues range in size and location, from an outdoor bandshell or bandstand to an indoor sports stadium. Typically, different types of venues host different genres of music. Opera houses, bandshells, and concerts host classical music performances, whereas public houses, nightclubs, and discothèques offer music in contemporary genres, such as rock, dance, country and pop.

Music venues may be either privately or publicly funded, and may charge for admission. An example of a publicly-funded music venue is a park bandstand; such outdoor venues charge nothing for admission. A nightclub is a privately-funded venue; venues like these often charge an entry fee to generate a profit. Music venues do not necessarily host live acts; disc jockeys at a discothèque or nightclub play recorded music through a PA system.


Music venues can be categorised in several different ways. Venues can either be permanent or temporary, be situated outdoors or indoors or play host to live or recorded music. Music venues may be the result of private or public enterprises. Many venues only allow acts of one particular genre; jazz clubs only allow jazz musicians, and opera houses generally host only operas. Music venues can be categorised by size and capacity; a small nightclub will often have a much smaller capacity than that of a stadium.

The majority of music venues are permanent; however, temporary music venues do exist. An example of a temporary venue would be one constructed for a music festival.

Music venues are either outdoor or indoor. Examples of outdoor venues include bandstands and bandshells; such outdoor venues provide minimal shelter for performing musicians and are usually located in parks. A temporary music festival is typically an outdoor venue. Examples of indoor venues include public houses, nightclubs, coffee bars and stadia.

Venues can play live music, recorded music, or a combination of the two, depending on the event or time of day. A characteristic of virtually every live music venue is that one or more stages are present.


Although music as an art form has existed since prehistoric times, permanent music venues began with the theatre of ancient Greece.


Opera houses

An opera house is a theatre constructed specifically for opera. The first opera house was the Teatro San Cassiano in Venicemarker, Italymarker, which opened in 1637. An opera house generally has a spacious orchestra pit, where a large number of orchestra players may be seated at a level below the audience.

Bandshell and bandstands

A bandshell is a large, outdoor performing venue typically used by concert bands and orchestras. The roof and the back half of the shell protect musicians from the elements and reflect sound through the open side and out towards the audience.

Jazz club

Jazz clubs are an example of a venue that is dedicated to a specific genre of music.

Public houses and nightclubs

Concert hall

A concert hall is a performance venue constructed specifically for instrumental classical music. A concert hall may exist as part of a larger performing arts center.


See also

Notes and references

  1. Available at Project Gutenberg.
  2. Available at Project Gutenberg.

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