As Grand Rapids continues to grow, the music scene continues to evolve with it. New developments all over town have changed the landscape for live music, creating a vibrant music scene that features more than 100 performance venues. Whether it’s music that is born and based right here in West Michigan or touring musicians stopping through town, there are plenty of options for live music every night of the week.
Whether you’re in town for the night or you're a Grand Rapids native, you’re sure to find awesome live music all over the city – in breweries, nightclubs, restaurants, theatres, parks, nature centers, farm fields and the amazing performance venues listed below. These 15 concert spaces allow you to purchase tickets in advance, guaranteeing you a spot for the evening.
Downtown VenuesBack to Top of List
DeVos Performance Hall houses performances from the Grand Rapids Symphony, Broadway Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Ballet and more.
Photo by DeVos Performance Hall
DeVos Performance Hall
In between hosting Broadway Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Ballet, Grand Rapids Symphony and Opera Grand Rapids performances, the 2,543-seat DeVos Performance Hall brings in some of the most storied names in popular music – from B.B. King, James Taylor and John Mellencamp to Harry Connick Jr., Aretha Franklin and Alice Cooper. The acoustics are exceptional, the seating is comfortable and every seat provides a clear view of the stage in the city’s premier performing arts facility.
Fountain Street Church
This massive neo-Romanesque structure built in 1925 seats up to 1500 guests for occasional concerts, including a series of Candlelight Concerts performed live under the gentle glow of candlelight. Boasting spectacular acoustics, Fountain Street Church has hosted musicians as varied as U2, Arlo Guthrie, NEEDTOBREATHE and Larkin Poe over the years.
GLC Live at 20 Monroe is a state-of-the-art music venue located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.
GLC Live at 20 Monroe
This mid-size music venue in the heart of downtown can accommodate up to 2600 patrons. Most shows feature a general admission standing floor in front of the stage with reserved mezzanine seating up above, while select shows offer seating throughout. GLC Live at 20 Monroe brings in well-known names from across musical genres – any given week may feature such luminaries as Gary Clark Jr., Todd Rundgren, Ashley McBryde, Korn and the Dropkick Murphys.
The Intersection offers 4 separate stages under one roof.
Photo by Phierce Photo
What started in 1972 as a small venue a few blocks out of downtown has now grown into one of the top music venues in the country. (It’s ranked in the top 50!) The Intersection offers four separate stages under one roof – the main showroom (1,600 capacity), Elevation (800), The Stache (400) and The Mint (200) – which allows it to host an eclectic mix of established, up-and-coming, local and regional musicians. Featured artists have included Luke Bryan, Snoop Dogg, Mastodon, They Might Be Giants, Keb Mo and Gavin DeGraw. Most shows are general admission, though select shows offer reserved seating in the Elevation and main showroom.
The newest entry to downtown’s concert scene is one of the most unique. With 200 seats arranged in a semi-circle around a stage elevated just one foot off the ground, it creates an intimate connection between the artists and audiences. You’ll feel like you’re in an underground jazz club, though the musical performers across all genres. While Midtown is (relatively) small, its world-class sound system has enticed such exceptional musicians as Mary Gauthier, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Loudon Wainwright III, Terence Blanchard and The Verve Pipe to the stage.
The Pyramid Scheme can accommodate 420 patrons and is a general-admission standing-room-only venue with a few first-come, first-serve seats.
Photo by Experience Grand Rapids
The Pyramid Scheme has been downtown’s go-to for live local music and arcade nostalgia for years. Before you even head into the music venue, you’ll find over 20 pinball machines. If that doesn’t grab your attention, the music will. During the week, you can catch acts that just played in Detroit or Chicago and are looking for an extra gig. This means you can enjoy a more intimate show from a band after they just played larger venues in bigger cities. The Pyramid Scheme can accommodate 420 patrons and is a general-admission standing-room-only venue with a few first-come, first-serve seats.
Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium
Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum hosts a series of Concerts Under the Stars from January through March. Local bands collaborate with local visual artists to weave together live music with original video art projected onto the seated Planetarium’s 50-foot dome. It’s a truly immersive concert experience.
Before closing its doors in 2009, Skelletones was the place for young, emerging rock bands to hone their talents in front of enthusiastic audiences. That tradition was revived in 2021, when Skelletones reopened in the same location – and instantly regained its cred as a haven for players and fans of punk, hardcore, emo, ska and other underground music genres. This venue is alcohol free, so it’s a safe place for teens to cheer on their favorite bands and solo artists!
St. Cecila is a beautifully restored 1894 landmark building with a 630-seat auditorium and is considered one of the finest recital halls in the country.
Photo by St. Cecilia's Music Society
St. Cecilia Music Center
Known as the “the mother of the arts” in Grand Rapids, St. Cecilia Music Center hosts annual jazz, folk and classic concert series in a beautifully restored 1894 landmark building. Its 630-seat auditorium is considered one of the finest recital halls in the country and has welcomed such legendary artists as Chick Corea, Judy Collins, Rosanne Cash, Leo Kottke, Arturo Sandoval and The Benny Green Trio.
Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill
With a capacity of just 140 patrons, this intimate space one-half mile from Grand Valley State University’s downtown campus is one of the area’s smallest ticketed venues – and also one of our most beloved. Tip Top hosts local bands as well as renowned national touring artists in a retro setting adorned with concert posters. It’s open seven days a week and each week features multiple concerts. You can enjoy great burgers and beers even if there’s no band!
Van Andel Arena is the kingpin of local concert venues with a capacity of more than 12,000 seats.
Photo by Experience Grand Rapids
Van Andel Arena
With a capacity of more than 12,000 seats, Van Andel Arena is the kingpin of local concert venues. It’s regularly ranked among the world’s top-grossing venues of its size – no wonder, since it’s a frequent tour stop for the world’s biggest, most crowd-pleasing music acts, including Taylor Swift, Elton John, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Shawn Mendes, Garth Brooks and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (just to name drop a few). Van Andel is also home to the Grand Rapids Griffins hockey and Grand Rapids Gold basketball team, and it hosts a variety of family-friendly entertainment shows throughout the year.
Venues Outside of DowntownBack to Top of List
Located on the campus of Aquinas College in the Uptown neighborhood, Circle Theatre is best known for its acclaimed summer theatre productions – but it also hosts a Summer Concert Series featuring music organized around curated themes, e.g. Hits of the 90s, The British Invasion and Blue Collar Rock. Talented local performers sing songs you know and love.
Terraced lawn seating, great views of gardens and sculpture, and lively acoustics attract sold-out crowds to see national and international music sensations, past and present.
Photo by Experience Grand Rapids; performance by Lipstick Jodi
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Every June through September, this world-renowned horticulture and sculpture attraction hosts a Summer Concert Series in its outdoor amphitheater. Terraced lawn seating, great views of gardens and sculpture, and lively acoustics attract sold-out crowds to see national and international music sensations, past and present – everyone from The Shins, Andrew Bird and Cake to Foreigner, The Beach Boys and Tony Bennett. Bring a blanket or chair and a picnic basket to enjoy a quintessential Grand Rapids summer experience.
The Stray Café
The Stray is a coffee shop + music and arts venue in Wyoming, less than 15 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. It hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night – concerts are usually free but occasionally ticketed. Guests can enjoy a selection of artisan foods, espresso and pastries while they listen.
This historic movie theatre and performance center in Grand Rapids’ Uptown neighborhood was constructed in 1911 and has been upgraded with a state-of-the-art concert system to accommodate a wide variety of local, regional and national music acts. Its 400-seat auditorium alternates between hosting concerts, movies, comedy troupes and theatrical performances.
Check out Grand Rapids' live music event listings to see what acts are playing in these and other Grand Rapids hot spots.