From national touring acts to fun regional festivals, Hartford has always been a destination for live music. But even if you’ve seen a show in Hartford, you’re probably not aware of all the places for live music that the city has to offer.
To help, we put together this list of all the great places to see live music in Hartford. From big stadiums to intimate outdoor areas, here are all the spots where you can jam out to live music in the city:
With a capacity of 30,000 people, XFINITY Theatre is Hartford’s go-to concert venue for artists that draw big crowds. The indoor/outdoor venue has been a stop on world tours for Drake, Iron Maiden, and everyone in between – plus festivals like Vans Warped Tour and Farm Aid.
While the XL Center is mainly used as a sports venue, the mid-sized arena draws big crowds on their concert nights. Taylor Swift, Travis Scott, and Elton John are just a few of the artists who have graced the stage.
Front Street’s concert destination is known for pristine acoustics, friendly staff, and a surprisingly intimate feel for a 500 person capacity venue. Fans can enjoy cushioned seats and cup holders while jamming out to artists like Hot Tuna, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Rhiannon Giddens, and more.
The Webster is a 70+-year-old retro movie theater that has been beautifully restored to its art deco roots. The 1,200 capacity venue primarily hosts heavy metal and rock bands, so expect mosh pits and standing room only. Downstairs you’ll find the Webster Underground: a smaller secondary performance space where you can catch new and local artists.
This dynamic venue is the ideal place to grab a bite off the full menu or enjoy a happy hour drink while enjoying live music from jazz, southern rock, and orchestra bands. Located near the convention center, Arch Street is a great stop before a conference or event – especially with their newly renovated patio. Locals love Wednesday nights which are reserved for the fan-favorite funk band Boo Yah.
Along with their lineup of Broadway productions, The Bushnell hosts orchestras, vocalists, and performance musicians like the Blue Man Group. The beautiful, historical theatre adds a wow factor to all performances.
In addition to ticketed events at theaters and arenas, many of Hartford’s parks, landmarks, and other similar areas host events or event series with live music. Many of these event series take place during the warmer months, and aside from some more prominent festivals, most are free to enjoy.
Here are some of our favorite spots and organizations with live music events:
Bushnell Park’s Performance Pavilion has been one of the most popular spots to enjoy live music for decades. Free live music events include the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, Black-Eyed & Blues Fest, and the Hartford Pride Concert. We also love the ticketed Picnic in the Park series with local restaurants.
Pratt Street just wrapped up a busy summer event season with many live music performances. Along with their fun Pratturday parties, they recently hosted a unique, ticketed, silent disco event as part of Hartford Pride. Over the past few months, the historic street also hosted many local musicians as part of hartford.com’s Pratt Street Patio live music series.
Hartford’s first food hall invited many local musicians to perform in their outdoor courtyard as part of their Thursday Night Live series. Today, they continue to host live music events either outdoors or in their bar Local. Ticketed musical events are also sometimes an option for special events such as Oktoberfest
Additional parks and areas with live music events include:
Hartford’s nightlife and dining scene have always included live bands, vocalists, and DJs. Here are a few of our favorite spots to watch them live:
We hope this blog gives you some insight into the live music scene here in Hartford! There’s something for every music lover in our city with so many venues, genres, and event types to choose from.
To stay in the know about upcoming live music in the area, be sure to follow the social accounts of the different venues that caught your eye. Or, just give us a follow for a curated, digest look at all of our favorite music, shops, and restaurants throughout the city.