Rock On Philly’s Picks: Top 5 Venues

Featured Image courtesy of Britt Miller.

5. Johnny Brenda’s


This intimate concert space is housed within a trendy bar located in Fishtown. The stage is quite small, but the technical delivery of every performance in the space is incredible. Attendees can view the show from stage level, or watch from above on the balcony.

4. Milkboy Philly


Another small, with only a 200 capacity room, Milkboy Philly is an attractive building tucked away in Center City right on Chestnut. It hosts a slew of events, from live music to visual art exhibits, and has a fantastic restaurant and bar. For a variety in artistic happenings, Milkboy Philly is the place to be.

3. World Cafe Live


This two space venue is impeccable. There is a restaurant and venue on the top floor that is impressively well maintained. You can either grab dinner while enjoying live music at the Upstairs room, or experience a 500 capacity sold out event Downstairs, equipped with a balcony and bar, that delivers an intimate concert atmosphere. The building shares its space with local radio station WXPN, where the two dispense wonderful musical collaborations for the public.

2. The Mann Center for the Performing Arts


The Mann Center is a wonderful location for outdoor concerts. The space is an amphitheater, originally the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The sound is always on point and the sight lines are great, even from lawn seats! The 15,000 capacity space is quintessential for a summer evening of music. In addition the Mann Center opened up a second stage this year titled the Skyline Stage to provide the outdoor concert experience in a smaller space.


1. Union Transfer


Hands down, this is the best venue in all of Philadelphia. The sound equipment is top notch and produces an incredibly high quality sound. What I find truly fascinating about this venue is that the stage is adjustable, and has three different positions it can be moved to, depending on the size of the crowd. The space itself is a converted spaghetti restaurant and factory, with exposed beamwork and old chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. It always has a lively atmosphere and friendly bar staff, providing the setting for a great night.

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