Tampa Bay’s top 20 concert venues

Tampa Bay live music lovers can be found absorbing loud sonics and sweaty sights in venues ranging from cozy rock dens to plush theaters to humongous arenas to moonlit lawns peppered with empty beer cups. Everybody has his or her fave. Here at Creative Loafing, we have dozens of preferred rock, jazz, country, blues and experimental noise destinations. Which made whittling our list of Top 20 concert venues a real bitch, wrought with heated arguments and a near wrestling match between Snider and Tatangelo.


Here's what remained standing after the dust cleared. We've organized the venues according to capacity, listing them from biggest to smallest in each of five categories. But this isn't an end-all declaration. Think of our list as a springboard for a regularly expanding venue directory that will be found on Creative Loafing's awesomely retooled music page, due to drop next week. We'll also share memories there of our favorite gigs, as we do in the list below, and we hope to hear about some of your own booze-soaked recollections. You caught Green Day at the Brass Mug? You were there when Pearl Jam grunge-rocked Jannus Landing? Share your tale in the comments section found online under each venue. Enjoy.



About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
Scroll to read more Local Music articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]