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Live Music in New York City

by erin 24. September 2009 13:54

A lot of times the bar scene can get quite redundant. After a long night at the bar, the average music lover can easily spend around 5 to 10 bucks on playing music in the bar’s jukebox.


No one has time to research free music venues, so here is a list of some free and affordable places to find live music. Some of the places are bars with a music stage, others are music venues with a bar but they all serve your pockets well.


Located on 538 East 14th Street is Otto’s Shrunken Head - http://www.ottosshrunkenhead.com/


It’s a tiny place but you if you’re looking for a real feel of New York, you’ll find it here. Not only do you get cheap beer, you always get free music. There is no cover charge to enter the bar that has a music stage in the back of it. Every night you can experience a different type of music for hours. The place has multiple sets throughout the night, showcasing local artists who are just getting a break from their day job.


Cover Charge: None


Rockwood Music Hall - http://www.rockwoodmusichall.com/


Rockwood Music Hall is located on 196 Allen Street in the lower east side. There is never a cover charge and if you get there early enough than you can see around five to six artists per day. They only play an hour set. It’s a small venue so I suggest you get there early if you’re planning on seeing one of the later shows. Sometimes you’ll get to see a big artist, such as the likes of Norah Jones (in which case, get there when it opens or pay the consequences of a denied entry).


Cover Charge: None


Lakeside Lounge - http://www.lakesidelounge.com/


Lakeside Lounge is a perfect place to escape the college crowd as well any, if not all of the tourists. Located on 162 Avenue B, you’ll find real New Yorkers looking to save a buck while they’re out on the town. There is no cover charge and the beers are affordable. There is a back room so you’ll have to make right-turn if you to find some quality gritty hard-rock sounds of the city.


Cover Charge: None


The Red Lion - http://www.redlionnyc.com/


The Red Lion can be found on 151 Bleecker Street. You can get music there every night of the week. There are three sets during the evening and you can even order some quality cuisine while you’re in the building. They have salads, sliders, chicken tenders and much more for average prices. The seating area is spread out so you don’t feel like people are sitting on top of you. However, there are some tables with an obscured view of the music stage. So if live music is your prime objective, make sure to try and get there around seven or eight. Another downside to this place is they actually do ask for a cover.


Cover Charge: $7 (starts at 7 p.m.)


The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza – No website


This venue is a little bit on the pricy side compared to the aforementioned live music places. However for what it costs, you’re probably going to get a bigger show at the venue on 17 Irving Place. It’s a venue that hosted the likes of many famous bands. Tickets range around $10 to $40 depending on the musical artist but it beats seeing a show at Madison Square Garden for over 100 bucks. Irving Plaza is small but spacious venue without a bad spot in the place. You get a good view of the live show from any where you’re standing.


Cover Charge (ticket prices): Varies from $10 to $40


After going to a couple of these places, you’ll forget about Madison Square Garden in no time.

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