What are the best cities in the world for live music? (Spoiler: Toronto is one.)

Here’s yet another piece of research that’s actually an ad for a British company. But hey, it’s interesting, so I’ll bite. A mortgage company called Money commissioned a look at which cities around the world are the best when it comes to live music. The criteria were number of music venues, upcoming concerts, major music festivals, and artists and bands from that city.

Finishing in top spot is–quelle suprise!–London, England. There are 207 music venues in the city and 5,088 concerts on the schedule. That includes eight upcoming major festivals. And the number of artists claiming London as home is apparently 2,507.

Coming second was New York City with 188 venues, 3,267 scheduled shows, two major music festivals, and 3,011 artists from NYC. In third place was LA: 240 venues, 3,033 upcoming shows, three major festivals, and 2,257 homegrown artists.)

Any Canadian bands on the list? Yes! Toronto finishes in sixth spot, just behind Chicago (#4) and San Francisco (#5). Money calculated that The Six has 59 venues (a number that needs to be increased), 615 upcoming concerts, 14 major music festivals, and 631 artists claiming TO has home.

Montreal also made the list, finishing in 18th spot (35 venues, 612 upcoming shows, six festivals, and 432 artists with a base in the city.

Breaking things down another way:

  • City with the most venues: L.A. (240)
  • City with the most upcoming concerts: London (5,088)
  • City with the most major festivals: Chicago (22)
  • City producing the most artists: New York (3,011)

They also broke things down by genre:

  • Best for rock: Liverpool
  • Best for indie and alternative: Dublin
  • Best for Metal: Lisbon

Get deeper into these lists and analysis here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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