If there’s one thing that New York City is known for, it’s the music. Venues large and small in the Big Apple have become legendary destinations in the music world, not least because of the sheer amount of professional gigging musicians in the area, and the famous careers made here.
But even with age old favorites like Blue Note and Radio City Music Hall, there are tons of new spaces that have opened up in the past few years that offer great stages for a number of genres.
We’ve compiled a list of the five best recently-opened music venues that we think every musician, professional and otherwise, should know about.
1. Brooklyn Steel – 319 Frost Street, Williamsburg
Sporting an industrial, factory-like aesthetic, Brooklyn Steel—which opened up last year—is quickly becoming one of the best medium-sized venues around. Tons of big-name artists come through, including Ween, and tons of great acts are coming up. You can expect to catch Kimbra, Sleigh Bells, Jawbreaker, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizards coming through in the coming months.
Managed by local promoter Bowery Presents, Brooklyn Steel came to be in April of 2017 with LCD Soundsystem doing a five-show run. With a capacity of 1800, it’s easy to see why big-name industry leaders are holding shows for intimate gatherings at this new venue.
Brooklyn Steel was designed with a major focus on sightline from all points of the space, so coming here you’re less likely to be missing out on the action than at other spots. The prices are also reasonable, so coming here won’t break the bank.
Check out their website here.
2. Elsewhere – 599 Johnson Avenue, Bushwick
Opened by the previous ownership of Glasslands, Elsewhere sprung up in November 2017 as a new 24,000 square foot artspace, bringing some much-needed energy to the Kent Street area.
As an all-inclusive performance and artspace, Elsewhere has tons of great things on the roster coming down the pike. From comedy and fine arts shows, to musical performances and benefit events, Elsewhere is poised to be one of the most exciting venues in Brooklyn.
With two concert and performance spaces, a cafe, a usable rooftop, and a skybridge artspace, Elsewhere itself is a work of art—it takes what was once an abandoned warehouse and turns it into a truly dynamic, attractive, and revolutionary multi-media venue.
Check out their website here.
3. Jupiter Disco – 1237 Flushing Ave, Fort Greene
Imagine Bladerunner epitomized as an electronic music venue, and you have Jupiter Disco. Opened up in 2016, this destination has been a hotspot for electronic music DJs, as well as some expertly-crafted mixology artworks.
We wanted to put this venue on the list because it is perhaps the most exciting spot for electronic music in the city. Glowing neon lights abound give Jupiter Disco a very futuristic feel, perfect for the music it is known for. On top of that, a wide array of alcoholic libations, from a $5 Narragansett to boutique cocktails crafted with fine mezcal, are all available.
4. Public Arts – 215 Christie Street, Lower Manhattan
Founded by Ian Schrager—the man behind the iconic Studio 54—opened up in June of 2017 and has come through strong as one of the premier music venues in the city.
Located in Schrager’s Public Hotel, Public Arts is meant to be a multimedia venue with a full suite of video equipment, audio equipment, with equal capacity as a live music and dance venue. Iconic act Patti Smith played the opening reception, and the plush atmosphere features a wide array of entertainers and eclectic musical acts. The next chapter in a legendary club owner’s career, Public Arts is definitely a sight to behold.
5. National Sawdust – 80 N 6th Street, Williamsburg
Opened in the last months of 2015, National Sawdust has seen unprecedented success. As an artist-run non-profit venue built—quite literally—in an old sawdust factory, this venue is the definition of revival.
Driven by the mission to bring a truly eclectic array of performances to Williamsburg, National Sawdust features everything from avant-garde performances to classical, electronic, and rock groups. This is a place that really does have everything for everyone.
As a non-profit, National Sawdust aims to foster a robust environment for the artist community in New York City. Each year they choose a theme, then commission composers and musicians to create following that idea. National Sawdust is a breath of fresh air in the music venue scene in New York City, and coming here makes you a supporter of a healthier arts and music scene.