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Ball & Chain
Photograph: Michael Strader Marko

The best live music venues in Miami for unforgettable concerts

The best live music venues in Miami are where you can see local punk rock or international superstars

By Ryan Pfeffer
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The best live music venues in Miami occupy a broad spectrum of tastes. Like so much in this city, the diversity will make your head spin. Want sweaty punk mosh-pits? You got it. Would you rather sip wine and listen to jazz? No problem. Is it authentic Cuban sounds you’re after. Obviously, we’ve got that. Sure, the 305 has a national dance music reputation thanks to the best clubs in Miami, but our music scene is nothing to sneeze at. We have given this world Miami bass, the Estefans and plenty more still to come. Here are the clubs and venues where you can see the best concerts in Miami.

Best live music venues in Miami

Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater for the Performing Arts, Music and nightlife, Miami
Photograph: Jason Koerner

1. Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater for the Performing Arts

Things to do Performances South Beach

What is it? The Fillmore is a historic venue that has been in Miami Beach since 1950, at one point used for the filming of The Jackie Gleason Show. Today it’s controlled by Live Nation and hosts some serious touring acts such as Father John Misty, Janelle Monae and more.
Why go? The Fillmore is Miami’s live music sweet spot, hosting acts not big enough for an arena but too large for local clubs. Thankfully, the venue is a pleasure to use, operating smoothly and quite easy on the eyes too.

Taberna Las Rosas
Photograph: Courtesy Taberna Las Rosas

2. Las Rosas

Restaurants Allapattah

What is it? A rock bar with just the right amount of grime. Las Rosas sits in Allapattah (a short jaunt from Wynwood) and frequently hosts live, local music with a stellar sound system and plenty of booze.
Why go? Las Rosas is a kind of music venue that is not all that common in Miami anymore. Free, local music is a dying breed in this city but you can find it here, loud and proud. There are mosh pits, queer parties and more surprises every night.

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Hoy Como Ayer
Photography: Courtesy of Hoy Como Ayer

3. Hoy Como Ayer

Music Latin and world West Little Havana

What is it? Little Havana’s home for authentic Cuban music. This place is snug, loud and hosts the best Latin music you’ll see in Miami. Dance skills will be put to the test here, for sure.
Why go? No bar in this city transports you to another country as convincingly as Hoy Como Ayer. English speakers may find themselves miming to their servers but that is part of the fun. This place should be on the top of everyone’s Miami bucket list.

Churchill’s
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Churchill’s

4. Churchill's Pub

Bars Dive bars Little Haiti / Lemon City

What is it? A stage that has produced more glorious WTF moments over the last 30-plus-years than anywhere in the state of Florida. This place is a dive bar’s dive bar—with a bathroom that will make you want to hold it in forever.
Why go? Because Churchill’s is as proud and iconic a part of the Miami music scene as any venue in town. All these years later, it’s still packing in the punks, hosting hip-hop and even a weekly jazz night. Never change, Churchill’s.

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Ball & Chain
Photograph: Michael Strader Marko

5. Ball & Chain

Bars East Little Havana

What is it? Calle Ocho’s most popular bar—and for good reason. The historic Ball & Chain is not only gorgeous, but you can find live free music there every single day of the week.
Why go? The outdoor pineapple stage is fun enough to look at unoccupied, but on weekend nights it’s the epicenter of Little Havana nightlife. Want to see a proper salsa? The Ball & Chain patrons put on a clinic.

Erick Morillo at Club Space
Photograph: Dan Vidal

6. The Ground

Nightlife Clubs Park West

What is it: The Ground is what Club Space is calling its ground floor these days, which has been converted into a part-time live music venue. The Ground, naturally, hosts some dance-y acts like Mount Kimbie but will also have artists such as Rhye and Jens Lekman.
Why go: The Ground is a smart use of Space’s extra room. You can still dance on the terrace, but the addition of live music has made the club appeal to an array of new music fans.

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Concert
Photograph: Unsplash/Kaleb Nimz

7. AmericanAirlines Arena

Music Downtown

What is it? The home arena of our dear Miami Heat. But the AAA also pulls double duty as the music venue to the biggest acts rolling through Miami.
Why go? Because where else are you going to see acts like Kendrick Lamar, Shakira or Elton John. Sometimes you’ve got fight traffic and crowds for that amazing show.

Gramps
Photograph: Courtesy Gramps

8. Gramps Bar

Bars Dive bars Wynwood

What is it? The cultural core of Wynwood. This bar has something going on every week: drag nights, karaoke and, of course, plenty of live music and some really phenomenal DJs.
Why go? You never know what you’ll get at Gramps, but chances are you’ll have a blast. There are two stages, one outdoor stage and an indoor stage around the back for more intimate shows. Check the website to keep up with Gramps’ whirlwind programming. 

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Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park, Nightlife and performing arts, Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Bayfront Park

9. Klipsch Amphitheatre at Bayfront Park

Things to do Event spaces Downtown

What is it? An outdoor venue with the Downtown Miami skyline as its backdrop. Controlled by Live Nation, the Amphitheatre features fixed seating and lawn seating, with a combined capacity of about 10,000.
Why go? Thanks to its Live Nation parents, the venue will see some really big touring acts. But it can be a bit rough during the summer when humid nights turn fans sticky with sweat.

Lagniappe wine bar Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Langiappe

10. Lagniappe

Bars Wineries Midtown

What is it? Though Lagniappe is known more as a wine bar, this place’s music programming is no joke. The best local jazz musicians set up in Lagniappe’s cozy indoor space to jam out.
Why go? Lagniappe is probably the most romantic spot in Miami. Even if you’re just on a friend date (or a well-deserved date with yourself, boo-boo) Lagniappe’s jazz and wine combo will have you feeling some type of way.

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