If you’re a music fanatic, travelling the world provides many exciting opportunities to witness diverse music scenes. From different venues to genres, and rich histories that have music totally ingrained within them – here are just 5 of the world’s best cities for music, and what you should do when you’re there.

Nashville, USA
Photo by Alex Ford on Flickr

It isn’t outrageous to declare Nashville the music capital of the USA. Its country roots and rockier contemporary culture make a perfect blend for an authentic musical part of Tennessee. In Nashville, you’ll find country-themed and rock-themed bars, restaurants, museums, and venues throughout the city.

Today, Nashville still has a thriving music scene. With Music Row being home to many recording studios and record labels, Big Machine Records was where Taylor Swift is signed. Establishments such as Robert’s Western World and the Country Music Hall of Fame have long been cherished by the community and tourists alike, showcasing Nashville’s rich musical history. It reminds you of why iconic musicians such as Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash called Nashville home.

Be sure to catch a live show while you’re here, whether it’s in a small bar or somewhere as iconic as the Ryman. The Grand Ole Opry tour will come to Nashville in October through to the end of 2018, showcasing the very best of country music.

London, UK
Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

London has been the home of Amy Winehouse, Adele and, back in the day, the Rolling Stones. The city retains its significance in music to this day, constantly giving the UK the best live shows and boasting new and upcoming acts that reach worldwide success year in and year out.

Venues such as Wembley Stadium and The O2 welcome the world’s biggest artists and bands – Taylor Swift is playing a sold-out show at the former later this year. However, it’s the smaller clubs and establishments that often showcase the more intriguing and exciting talents. Brixton is one such borough where everyone from Paramore to Kesha found their feet during world tours.

And, of course, London boasts its very own talent with many incredible musicians calling it home. From the late George Michael and David Bowie to newer artists such as Stormzy and Florence Welch, it’s definitely one of the world’s most musically diverse cities.

New York City, USA
Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

1Cover suggest no trip to the US would be complete without a visit to New York City. In terms of musical history and heritage, NYC is hard to beat. With its roots spreading to jazz, blues, rock, hip-hop and dance music to name just a few, many iconic household names birthed their careers in the Big Apple – including Lady Gaga, Madonna, as well as bands such as The Strokes and Kiss.

There’s plenty of venues for concerts and gigs happening throughout the year in NYC. Madison Square Garden, where the Grammys took place earlier this year, is the biggest of them all. Other venues, such as the Radio City Music Hall, are where you’ll find the more intimate and special shows. Crooners like Tony Bennett often perform in the city, too, extending its authentic jazz history into the current day.

Elsewhere, spots such as Strawberry Fields – a memorial next to John Lennon’s apartment, where he was fatally shot – and Café Wha? in Greenwich Village are incredibly important for New York’s exciting music scene. Check out my guide on where to find cheap and free concerts here!

Austin, USA
Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

The official motto of Austin is the “Live Music Capital of the World”, and it deserves that slogan, considering the city has over 100 live shows happening every night. Its multitude of live venues, new and old, formal and informal have shaped its diverse and interesting musical history and culture.

Austin once acted as the antithesis to Nashville with a country music scene that wasn’t quite traditional. Struggling musicians took to the stage here in front of receptive audiences, finding a different way to the top – and it worked. Antone’s, a live music club founded by Clifford Antone in 1975, saw the careers of musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan began. The club remains a staple of Austin’s music culture to this day.

As you stroll through the streets of this energetic city, you’ll see music wherever you go. From the multiple music venues to the 30-foot guitars placed on sidewalks in the centre, its importance in history, although often forgotten, is undeniable.

Dublin, Ireland
Photo by Puamelia on Flickr

Anyone could tell that live music is a central part of Dublin’s culture, and it has been for many years. After all, acts such as U2, Thin Lizzy and The Boomtown Rats were born in this eclectic, exciting city. Its rowdy, unrefined nature makes for its diverse, loud music embraced around the world.

Venues such as Whelan’s summarize what is so special about Dublin’s music scene. It’s intimate yet feels huge. The small venue remains iconic for years as musicians like Ed Sheeran and Arctic Monkeys have played on the stage in the past.

Live music can be found all over the city from massive arenas to small, traditional pubs. Dublin’s energy means there’s no shortage of jubilant, lively music to drink and dance to.

Do you have any more suggestions for cities with great music scenes? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

You might also want to read:

Finding Concerts at An 1100 Years Old Church: Ohrid Summer Festival
Cambodia Vlog: A Khmer Music Experience in Phnom Penh
Ystad, Sweden: Uncover the Origin of Music with The European Music Archaeology Project
Why I Miss NYC: 10 Reasons From A Former New Yorker

This post was made possible through a partnership with 1Cover.

Also published on Medium.

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