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Beyond the Main Stage: The Best Venues to See a Concert in San Diego

San Diego is not only a city of beaches and beautiful sunsets but also a lively hub for music enthusiasts. Whether it’s a solo guitarist at a local bar or a world-renowned music festival, San Diego has a soundtrack for everyone. Here is your guide to the best upcoming music, plus some underground hot spots you don’t want to miss.

Music Festivals and Events


Image: instagram.com/kaaboosandiego


Kaaboo: Think of Kaaboo as a mix of music, comedy, and art. This isn’t just a festival; it’s an immersive experience. With top-tier line-ups over a series of three days, this is a must-attend event for music lovers.

The Shell Concerts: A newer addition to the San Diego music scene is the Shell Concert series, which takes place in The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. This architectural marvel is equipped with state-of-the-art sound and complemented by scenic bay views.

CRSSD Festival: Prepare for a sonic journey featuring top electronic, dance, house, techno, and indie rock artists. With three stages and over 36 performers, this mid-sized electronic music festival is back for two unforgettable days at San Diego Waterfront Park. Beyond the beats, indulge in craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, delectable food, and more.

Venue Picks


Image: instagram.com/observatorynorthpark


The Observatory North Park: This historic venue has a charm that’s hard to match. From its intricate architecture to its intimate setting, it promises an unparalleled musical experience. Keep an eye on their calendar as they always have a diverse line-up catering to all musical tastes.

Music Box: Located in the heart of Little Italy, the Music Box is all about ambiance. With three levels and a rooftop lounge, you can enjoy the concert from every angle. The acoustics are fantastic, ensuring every note hits just right.

Belly Up Tavern: Nestled in Solana Beach, Belly Up Tavern has been serving up live music since the ’70s. Its vintage vibe and incredible artist roster make it a favorite for both locals and tourists. Remember to arrive early and grab a good spot!

Underground Concerts



Orli: If you’re looking for an intimate, stripped-back musical experience, you can’t miss our outdoor events featuring a diverse array of artists at Orli. Join us and experience the captivating sounds of emerging local talent for a one-of-a-kind music showcase. Check out our upcoming events here.

Monarch Ocean Pub: A Del Mar hot spot, Monarch Ocean Pub is certainly a “locals only” concert venue announcing intimate concerts just a month before the performance. The restaurant has brought in notable artists such as Grammy-nominated band Common Kings which performs at the venue regularly.

Del Mar Concerts in The Park: Imagine sprawling on the grass under the open sky just steps from the ocean, as live music fills the air. Del Mar’s Concerts in The Park offers just that. With a mix of genres and a laid-back vibe, it’s the ideal way to unwind and enjoy some good tunes.

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