The Best Music Venues in San Diego

The Best Music Venues in San Diego

Photo via Vishnu Nair on Unspalsh

Like most college students, the minute concert venues opened back up and my favorite artists announced their tours, I bought every ticket I could. As a result, my bank account has suffered, but my expertise in San Diego’s concert venues has flourished. So, here is my personal guide to attending concerts here in sunny San Diego.

The Music Box

The Music Box is downtown San Diego’s premier music venue. If you’re looking for a party, The Music Box is the place to be. The crowd, while intense, is insanely fun, energetic, and kind. I can say I have met the best people at The Music Box and formed connections that I still have to this day. However, be warned, if you get stuck in the middle during a particularly upbeat song, it is either mosh or be moshed. The Music Box is super small, so you are guaranteed to see the bands up close and truly feel the music inside your bones. I still feel Sun Room’s and almost monday’s biggest hits when I saw them at their Halloween Show. You really can’t go far without hearing the beat of the bass drum or the ringing of the lead guitar, even in the bathroom, which is super nice by the way. If you get a chance to head to the balcony, you still won’t be far from the performers with a bird’s eye view and a nice break from the crowd. Overall, The Music Box is a great place to enjoy those smaller indie bands or artists that you love and party like there is no tomorrow!

Humphreys by the Bay

Humphreys is an amazing outdoor venue. While parking can be difficult, the $20 venue parking I feel is totally worth it for convenience. This place is truly beautiful. It is right on the water with boats floating by to catch a second of the amazing show you are about to see. Even if it’s chilly, no need to bring a jacket since you’ll be moving and grooving to music as the performers sing their heart out on the elevated stage. If you need a break from the crowd, there is a lovely grassy area near the back where you can enjoy the night air and magnificent sounds of your favorite bands. When I saw Bleachers here, I transcended. The amazing environment mixed with one of my favorite bands is a feeling like no other. Now, I make sure that if there is an artist I have even remotely heard of, I buy tickets just to enjoy the venue. You’ll question every other standing-room only general admission ticket after you buy this one.

The Observatory at North Park

Located at the heart of Hillcrest, The Observatory is a great place to listen to your favorite bands and artists. No matter how early or late you arrive, you’ll be able to see your favorite artists just fine! The floor is slanted towards the stage so even if you are stuck in the way back, your view won’t be obstructed by that obscenely tall guy that just so happens to be in front of you at every concert. This venue is plenty big with enough space for larger artists to have bigger shows. Tickets here are a bit more expensive, but such a nice space is worth it in my humble opinion. I cannot wait to see Hippo Campus here this spring and enjoy their performance whether I am 10 or 100 feet away. Take a look at their website and find a band you love, you won’t regret it. 

Hopefully, with this guide, you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into when you buy tickets to these venues. Let me know how you like them, and keep rockin’ on!

View Comments (8)
About the Contributor
Bradley Beggs
Bradley Beggs, Lifestyle Editor
Education Graduate Student Bradley Beggs is know for his wit, charm, and humbleness. When he's not editing for The UCSD Guardian, he's wrangling 24 third graders and attempting to run his own smaller version of The UCSD Guardian.
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Comments (8)

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  • S

    Steven SandersApr 19, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    I enjoyed the songs that were performed at this event. You can download those songs as ringtones for your phone at Dzwoneknatelefon.

    Reply
  • E

    EmilyApr 7, 2022 at 12:57 am

    Hope you have a great time at the Hippo Campus concert!! Sadly they were sold out (only $90 resales :’)) by the time I got a chance to look at tickets haha, but fingers crossed they tour again soon

    Reply
  • B

    Bradley BeggsMar 10, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    I love Belly Up! But, I did consider it ouside of San Diego

    Reply
  • J

    JACK KMar 7, 2022 at 10:27 am

    Well, I can only agree with one of your choices: Music Box is a nice venue and I’ve seen many shows there and always enjoyed.
    The
    Observatory is ok, little to no options for actual seats, so standing is to be expected here, sound is also not that good here.

    I strongly disagree with Humphrey’s! First, it’s not really a “venue”. They just set up temporary folding chairs in a lawn with a temporary stage, so not a true venue. I would excuse this if it was new, but they have been doing this for over 20 years and have never bothered to construct a proper venue. Second, It is by far the most overpriced place to see a show in all of SD. Most of their shows are in the $75-100 range and I get a fold chair for this? Third, the view is not all that good, it’s nice to be outside, but you can’t really see much of the water.

    What should be on your list: Casbah, House of Blues, the new Rady bandshell on the bay.

    Reply
  • M

    Michael A. SwitMar 6, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    and, I see that I added an unnecessary apostrophe — it is Humphreys …

    Reply
  • M

    Michael A. SwitMar 6, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    First, you misspelled Humphrey’s — http://www.humphreysconcerts.com/

    Second, is this limited to city of San Diego? If not, you missed the Belly Up, which is awesome.

    Reply