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Best of L.A.

Best Music Venues in L.A.

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Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 3:45 AM

click to enlarge TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
Our Best Of L.A. issue is out. Yay!

It contains many entries on music venues, which makes sense considering that Los Angeles is home to some of the best in the world. Whether you're into jazz, blues, rock, country, hip hop, or just a sweaty mosh pit, there's a spot in the city offering it.

Behold, then, our picks for the best venues in L.A. including, at the end, our pick for the best overall venue in L.A.

See also: Best L.A. Musicians By Genre

click to enlarge SANMANUELAMP.jpg
Best Large Scale Music Venue: San Manuel Amphitheater

Located an hour northeast of Los Angeles by way of Interstates 10 and 15, the San Manuel Amphitheater is the largest outdoor amphitheater in the United States, holding some 65,000 attendees in its reserved seats and grassy general-admission areas. Built in 1982, the venue was partially funded by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and was built to host giant festivals that he put on in 1982 and 1983. Acts such as Van Halen have given way to bands like Mumford & Sons and big hip-hop festivals, but the place still packs 'em in. It's a pretty spot; the venue's location in San Manuel Regional Park offers plenty of green space for preshow tailgating, Frisbee throwing and general revelry. There are even campsites available for fans who want to make a night of it. 2575 Glen Helen Pkwy., San Bernardino. (909) 880-6500, livenation.com/venues/14768/san-manuel-amphitheater. --Katie Bain

click to enlarge STATEHISTORICPARKKKK.jpg

Best Massive, Nearby Festival Venue: L.A. State Historic Park

We've got nothing against the far-flung Southern California locations where music festivals are being held with increasing regularity. Except for the fact that they're often deep in the desert and, when you take into account the traffic, often require a half day of traveling to and fro. Why bother going so far when we've got a huge, highly functional festival area right on the edge of Chinatown? It's 32 acres of prime dancing, drinking and cavorting real estate, and it's right off the Gold Line, so there's no need to drive home. From the HARD festivals, which cater to electronic music, to FYF, which is largely indie, to H2O, which focuses on Latin music and hip-hop, L.A. State Historic Park has just about everything, and you won't have to burn through half a tank of gas to get there. Just go soon -- in 2014 it will close for a year for renovations. 1245 N. Spring St., Chinatown. (323) 441-8819, lashp.com. 
--Ben Westhoff

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