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Welcome to New York: Five places of musical history in the Big Apple

New York, New York - a place so nice they name it twice, apparently. With its rich music scene and history, each year it is invaded by hoards of music nerds, making the pilgrimage to one of the world's most creative cities.

Of course, it would take a lifetime to list them all, so here's five top venues that you just have to visit when in the City That Never Sleeps.

Radio City Music Hall

Location: 1260 Avenue of the Americas

Want to retread the ground that a plethora of A-list celebrities have done over the years? Then head straight for Radio City Music Hall. Stars that have taken to the stage include ol' blue eyes Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Ray Charles  and Liza Minnelli to name a few. Not only has it been the go-to spot for stars to perform at their height, it has also played host to many award ceremonies such as the Grammy's, MTV VMAs and the Tony's. Still going strong, the venue is readying its annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular - perfect for getting anyone into a festive spirit.

Madison Square Garden

Location: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza

They say when you sell out Madison Square Garden you have made it, and they're probably right. With a capacity of 20,000, the venue also lends itself out as a home for the New York Rangers and the New York Knicks. In terms of music, modern history has been made countless times.

It was used as the venue for Bruce Springsteen when he reunited with his E-Street Band in 2000; in 1988 Michael Jackson moonwalked across the stage in what is considered one of the greatest gigs in recent memory, and has also seen Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and The Grateful Dead light up the stage. With the world's biggest stars playing the venue every week, it won't be hard to witness something special when visiting yourself. 

Bowery Ballroom

Location: 6 Delancey Street

Built in 1929 and turned into a venue in 1997, the Bowery Ballroom has quickly established itself as a legendary place for smaller-known bands to play to loyal fans. With a capacity of just 795 people, the Ballroom has the ability to create a unique and intimate setting where bands and the audience have a closer connection. If you fancy dropping in and seeing the next big thing, or just an alternative band, then it shouldn't be too hard to get tickets on the door. 

Rumsey Playfield

Location: Central Park

'Central Park? But that's a park' you may be thinking. Yes, but throughout the year it also plays host to a series of gigs, and also a brilliant summer festival known as Central Park SummerStage. Not only does is attract the crème de la crème of musical talent, it is also a free event - so it's great for those who aren't travelling with a lot of capital. A great band, a cup of premium lager and the sun out - all in a delightful city park - what could be better?

Cornelia Street Cafe

Location: 29 Cornelia St

What's the point of visiting New York without slinking into one of its signature smoky jazz clubs? Well, there won't be a cigarette in sight as the city has some very stringent smoking laws, but some excellent live jazz is still very much available. Whilst many will nod towards The Carlyle as a top venue, mainly due to the fact Woody Allen performs there a lot with his band, the Cornelia Street Cafe is just as much a musical landmark.

Opening its doors in 1997, its Greenwich Village placing attracted musicians, poets and singers from all over, a lot of which were bursting with fresh ideas and talent, and has kept the tradition ever since. Head down if you want something a little bit different.

Honourable mentions

The Dakota: Considered by some as the place where music died, The Dakota is the building in which John Lennon lived and was shot dead outside of. Today, many visit nearby Central Park out of respect where you can find a tasteful shrine mosiac with the word 'Imagine' centered in the middle.

CBGBs: Anyone with any interest in punk will know that CBGBs hosted some of the genre's most iconic gigs, including Iggy Pop, Blondie, The Ramones and for some reason they let Busted play there one time. It doesn't exist anymore, but the spirit of the street lives on.











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