Seattle Venues – Shows and Events

Interested to know the full schedule of Seattle shows and events? Whether you are on vacation or just looking for some weekend fun, check the calendar and you will certainly find something to entertain you!

A rock concert? For sure! After all Seattle has be the cradle of many trends and the birth city of famous rock bands. A theatre play? Why not? You will spend a quality evening in a historical performing arts venue! A sports game? Again right! Seattle has it all!

Benaroya Hall

The award winning Benaroya Hall has been home to top Seattle concerts and other types of private, public and corporate events since 1998, when it was opened to the public. This performance hall located in Downtown Seattle features a modernist and functional architectural style, for which LMN Architects of Seattle received the honor award by the American Institute of Architects in 2001.

The landmark’s name was given after Jack Benaroya – a philanthropist who was the 1st one to make a donation (of $15.8 million out of the total cost of $120 million) for the facility’s construction.

While in Seattle, you can attend a Seattle Symphony Orchestra concerts at Benaroya Hall, in one of its two auditoria – the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, which can seat up to 2500 people, and the Nordstrom Recital Hall, with a capacity of about 500 seats.

The very moment you enter the building, you will notice the elegance of its lobby, featuring an impressive amount of glass art, among which the famous Crystal Cascade, designed by Dale Chihuly.

Paramount Theater

A top performing arts venue located in Downtown Seattle, Paramount Theater was originally opened in March 1928 with a total seating capacity of 3000 people, its intended use being to show films, and to hold vaudeville shows – the main forms of entertainment at the time the theater was built. However, since 2009, this venue has enlarged its portfolio, serving different types of performing arts events.

Once Seattle’s cathedral of entertainment as the Seattle Times put it, the Paramount Theater was included in 1974 on the list of the National Register of Historic Places.

The cafe inside the Theater is always open 1 hour before show time for you to enjoy some delicious desserts and coffee.

Key Arena

Seattle’s Key Arena was originally opened as Washington State Pavilion for the Century 21 Exposition and Seattle World’s Fair in 1962. It is located in the Northern part of downtown on Harrison Street.

It continues to be a fixture in a 74-acre entertainment complex as a host to Seattle’s concerts, ice shows, circuses, and sporting events. Some historical performances have been the Beatles in 1964 and Elvis Presley in 1970.

Renovations for the Coliseum to be upgraded to NBA standards started in 1994. The architectural firm NBBJ was hired for the remodel and closed the then Washington State Coliseum for a year while it was under construction. The remodel used existing structures in combination with new ones to preserve the integrity of the original building. This is seen in the roofline where four new main trusses were brought in with the existing trusses.

The new arena had space for an additional 3,000 seats after the court was lowered to 35 feet below street level. In April of 1995, it was renamed the Key Arena and opened back up to the public after renovations were completed in October of 1995.

The Key Arena continues its history as a place for Seattle’s sports from being home to the Seattle Super Sonics until 2008 and from 2002 to present day it has been home to the WNBA Seattle Storm. Rat City Rollergirls and Seattle University’s Men Basketball teams have also joined the Key Arena family.

Today, it remains one of Seattle’s desired locations to host conferences, family entertainment, and major corporate meetings and events. In addition to hosting a variety of events, Key Arena offers awarding winning dining through Levy Restaurants during sporting events and entertainment shows, as well as catering for other hosted events.

5th Avenue Theatre

The 5th Avenue Theatre is operated by the 5th Avenue Theatre Association that, according to its mission statement, “exists to develop, produce, and present live musical theater for the cultural enrichment of the Northwest community, and to preserve, maintain, and operate the historic and irreplaceable 5th Avenue Theater”.

The 5th Avenue Theatre was designed by architect Rober C. Reamer and interior designer Gustav F. Leljestrom. Its interior’s rich design was inspired by China’s Forbidden City, the Temple of Heavenly Peace, and the Summer Palace.

The theater décor wasn’t the only thing that was impressive, it had also been equipped with sound, lighting, and ventilation systems, which was state-of-the-art technology for the time. On September 24, 1926 it had its grand opening with a Fanchon & Marco vaudeville production.

It kept up with the times with the arrival of moving pictures in the 1930’s under the leadership of James Q Clemner. He made going to the movies an entire experience by having the ushers dress up to fit the movie’s theme and had an organ that played live music during suspenseful moments.

In the 1978 The 5th Avenue Theatre went out of business following the popularity of TV and a poor economy. However, members of the community had a plan to turn the 5th Avenue Theatre into a place for Broadway entertainment. After fundraising, the theatre had its grand re-opening on June 16, 1980 with actress Helen Hayes declaring it a “national treasure”.

The 5th Avenues Theatre’s first Broadway production on its re-opened stage was Annie. Today, the commitment to live performance is clear with the expansion of productions, its offer of free-to-public shows, and sponsorship for educational outreach programs.

Today, the 5th Avenue Theater remains a top stage in the nation for Broadway productions and new musical productions.

Moore Theatre

The oldest still operating performing arts venue in Seattle with a seating capacity of over 1400, Moore Theatre is located in the downtown, in the close proximity of top attractions like Pike Place Market and Seattle Needle.

The edifice dates from the early days of the 20th-century, when it was designed by the architect E. W. Houghton upon the order of a real estate developer whose name the building took.

The Moore Theatre was initially intended to be a luxurious social venue to serve the Seattle elite of the Gilded Age, and host various entertainment events organized for the tourists accommodated at the Moore Hotel during the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.

Nowadays it continues its tradition as a top performing arts venue in Seattle, being the home of theatre productions, concerts, lectures and conventions. Mixing elements of the Byzantine and Italianate architectural styles, the Moore Theatre looks plain and simple from the outside, with its white ceramic tile and terra-cotta façade.

Both the theatre and the Moore Hotel were included in 1974 on the National Register of Historic Places.

Neptune Theatre

Dating from 1921, the Neptune Theater is a historical shows venue in Seattle.

Initially conceived as a single screen cinema, it was transformed in 2011 into a performing arts venue.

Because of its interesting architecture, and historical value, the Neptune Theater was included on the list of Seattle City Landmarks, representing nowadays one of the cultural sights of this Northwest Pacific city.

It is currently the hosting venue of theater plays, concerts and many other performing arts events.

Mccaw Hall

Previously known as the Seattle Opera House or the Civic Auditorium, the McCaw Hall is a top performing arts venue in Seattle. Designed by LMN Architects, the McCaw Hall has two main tenants – the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

The name of this events hall takes after Marion Olivier McCaw – a founding member of the Seattle Opera board of trustees and an opera fan, whose family donated $20 million for the 2003 renovation work of this Seattle shows venue located on the grounds of Seattle Center.

During these renovation works, major parts of the building were stripped out, the façade being replaced with a gleaming glass wall. New facilities were added to the building, among them an auditorium, impressive lobbies, an orchestra pit, and a café.

CenturyLink Field (Formerly Qwest Field)

Formerly known as Seahawks Stadium and then, between June 2004 and June 2011, as Qwest Field, CenturyLink Field is a top Seattle stadium and various events venue located within a mile from the city’s business district.

Following a state-wide referendum held in 1997, the construction works started in the year 2000 and the stadium was open to the public in 2002.

Currently, CenturyLink Field serves as the home for the famous American football team Seattle Seahawks (NFL) as well as for the soccer team Seattle Sounders FC (MLS). The Seattle Seahawks games are notorious for their high level of noise, several records being broken along the years.

In the same location, you will find WaMu Theater, where you can attend various cultural events. The stadium itself hosts, besides sporting events, rock music concerts, and exhibition shows. Among the rock bands to have performed on CenturyLink Field – Metallica and the Rolling Stones.

The Showbox

Formerly known as the Showbox at the Market because of its location in the proximity of Pike Place Market, The Showbox is a top entertainment venue in Seattle dating from 1939.

The Showbox was the witness of various musical trends that have seized the city along the years, from Jazz Age to the hip hop and R&B, from the notorious Grunge Era to the contemporary music and the new folk, this Seattle shows venue has entertained the crowds and has been home to hundreds of concerts each year.

The Showbox SoDo

A rather young member of the Showbox Presents family, this medium sized concerts venue in Seattle featuring a wood-beam and brick architecture opened to the public in 2007, and has been, since then, hosting an impressive number of musical events.

Sure, Showbox SoDo is not top of the list when it comes to services, and many customers have been complaining about the not so good acoustics, the staff’s lack of manners and professionalism, and the rectangular hall’s large pillars that impede the view.

However, the headliners are always appealing and they certainly attract the crowd. Being an all ages show venue, drinkers are kept in a gated area.

The youngsters would usually crowd up in front of the stage, so if you want to be where the action takes place, you might want to skip the drink during show time.

Crocodile Cafe

Known among the locals as Croc, The Crocodile is one of Seattle’s best and oldest live music venues. Since 1991, when it was first opened to the public, its stage has been the witness of many concerts, including some iconic names like Nirvana, R.E.M., Beastie Boys, and Pearl Jam.

The Crocodile made the subject of many newspaper headlines and rose some concern among local music fans when it closed in December 2007.

Although some thought that this fixture of Seattle’s music scene had disappeared for good, The Crocodile reopened in March 2009, thanks to the efforts of some local business people and musicians who purchased the establishment.

Now, The Crocodile continues to be the home of musical events, attracting the crowds of music fans.

El Corazon

Back in the hay-day of alternative rock, El Corazon has been one of the most popular live music venue in Seattle, and it continues to attract the crowds as the place books concerts by top rock bands, but also some electronic performances and hip hop acts.

If you bought tickets to see one of the very popular bands performing at El Corazon, make sure to arrive here at least an hour before door time.

Sound quality is fine, and the decor is totally “metal” with everything painted in black.


Neumos is one of the most respectable live performing venues in Seattle as far as booking popular bands goes.

The bar has a relatively small room, and with the exciting names on schedule on a regular basis, expect the place to be invariably crammed and active.

This rather intimate club located on Capitol Hill has, however, a sizeable dance floor, but it can become insufficient with the place exceeding its capacity most of the evenings. The balcony area is worth checking out.


Wamu Theater At CenturyLink Field Event Center

You’ll find the Wamu Theater in the same complex where the Seattle Seahawks play. This venue offers a theater that can seat up to 7,200 people in 10,000 square feet of space. Concerts are held regularly throughout the year here with Top 40 bands coming to play, but it can also be used as a banquet hall, convention center, or even fashion shows.

Since the legalization of marijuana in Washington, one of the leading events at the Wamu Theater is the annual Wellness Retreat that is hosted by Snoop Dogg. The Seattle Art Fair is also held at the Wamu Theater at the end of July every year.

For a full look at the events calendar, be sure to reference the Wamu Theater home page. What makes this Seattle events venue so unique is that it can also be booked for private functions. There is on-site A/V equipment that comes with the venue, as well as security, catering, and electrical support. From car shows to weddings, the number of events held here annually is a true reflection of what life in Seattle is all about.

Getting to the Wamu Theater can be difficult. It’s located at 800 Occidental Ave South, so there are a number of one-way intersections that must be navigated to get there safely and there may be train stoppages and ferry traffic as well.

For the best methods to reach an event, take a moment to determine how you plan to drive into downtown Seattle using these helpful maps. A good time is waiting for you at the Wamu Theater.

Look for events during your stay in Seattle and you’ll be able to enjoy just one of the many cultural opportunities the city has to offer.

Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion

Built in 1927, the Alaska Airlines Arena is the primary home of the University of Washington Huskies basketball teams. It received a renovation that was completed in 2000 and now seats about 10,000 people for games and special events. The university’s gymnastics team also calls this venue their home.

If you’ve avoided this venue in the past because of how many seats had poor views, it’s time to give the Alaska Airlines Arena a second look. Major upgrades have been installed, including a large central scoreboard and coordinating corner visuals. This helps to keep almost all fans involved in a game or enjoying a show since there is at least one visual reference that can be seen from all seats.

The easiest way to get to the venue depends on how traffic is flowing at the time. Taking I-5 to the 520 and then proceeding north on the 513 is often the easiest route to take. Taking 45th over to the 513 and then proceeding south also typically works. The venue sits right on Lake Washington, so don’t forget to enjoy the view while getting ready to enter the stadium.

For an afternoon event or game, you’ve got easy access to Seattle’s City Center and the Waterfront. The Alaska Airlines Arena might be smaller than other Division I venues, but if you want to cheer on the Dawgs, it’s still going to provide a great experience.

There is plenty of parking with the location of the venue in the university district. Expect to pay $10 to park. The food options are a bit limited compared to other Seattle venues, but include hot dogs, nachos, and pizza.

Take some extra time to explore the neighborhood if you want a better bite to eat and then satisfy any snack cravings you’ve got during the event. The Alaska Airlines Arena has a charm all its own. Whether you stop by for a tour or a game, it is definitely one of the highlights that a trip to Seattle has to offer.

CenturyLink Field Parking Lots

With the Sounders and Seahawks filling an annual schedule and with CenturyLink Event Center promotions happening on occasion as well, it can be a struggle at times to find parking around CenturyLink Field. Here are the options that are available.

There are three parking lots that are directly managed by CenturyLink Field. The cost to park in these three lots can be as high as $40 depending on the event. The CenturyLink Field Event Center Parking Garage is located on Royal Brougham Way South, just across from Safeco Field. The North Lot is located at 2nd Avenue South and South King Street. The Union Station Lot is located on 4th Avenue South across from the Weller Street Pedestrian Bridge.

In addition to these three main parking venues, there are small parking lots that are privately managed around the stadium and throughout downtown Seattle. Some of these spaces have attendants while others have pay stations assigned to each parking space. Although many stations have upgraded to digital payment processing systems, there are some that are still cash only.

A common way to attend an event at CenturyLink Field is for a driver to drop off their passengers and then park the vehicle in one of the above locations. There is a designated drop off location at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and Occidental Street, which can be accessed off 1st Avenue South.

If you are planning to attend a Sounders or Seahawks game, then you will want to give yourself a few extra minutes . Many private parking lots are reserved ahead of time for game day parking.

With 15,000 parking spots throughout downtown Seattle and more than 11,000 at the venue, however, there is usually enough space to accommodate everyone. CenturyLink parking is remarkably accessible. Choose one of these options and you will be able to enjoy your time at the venue and if your plans allow, in downtown Seattle as well.

Husky Stadium – WA

The University of Washington’s Husky Stadium is often voted one of the best scenic college football venues in the United States. It’s an open air stadium that provides some coverage for fans under two extended grandstands that focus on the 50 yard line. With the Olympic Mountains in the background on one end off the stadium and the marina for Lake Washington on the other, it is easy to see why people in Seattle come to enjoy football and the view.

On a game day, tailgating at Husky Stadium takes on a very unique feel. You’ll find some tailgaters enjoying a Fall afternoon out on the lake, tailgating just off-shore on their boat. Originally built in 1920, the venue has been renovated three times since, with the last being in 2012. It now is able to seat over 70,000 people making it a Top 15 venue in the US for its sport.

The concessions options at Husky Stadium encompass some of Seattle’s landmark eateries. Beecher’s, Ivar’s, and Kidd Valley are all available. Serving clam chowder, fish and chips, fresh sandwiches, and teriyaki, there is something to cater to every taste for a surprisingly affordable price.

For women’s sporting events at Husky Stadium, there are father/daughter experiences held regularly that will take visitors and fans behind the scenes at the venue. For kids under 13, the Dubs Club is free every year.

Don’t forget to visit the Husky Hall of Fame while visiting too. It’s open up to 3 hours before a scheduled event. Husky Stadium is a great place to catch a game. If you plan a trip to the venue, make sure to bring your camera to capture the views as well and you’ll have a wonderful time.

Safeco Field

One of the best ballpark experiences in the United States can be found at Safeco Field, which some locals just call “The Safe.” Found just off of the historic Pioneer Square, one of the best experiences Seattle has to offer is a walk from the ferries to the ballpark to catch a Mariners game in the Summer.

With pubs, local eateries, and an excited buzz in the crowd, these are the moments that make the city feel alive. Safeco Field isn’t just about baseball. It’s also about the food. You’ll be passing a number of food carts on the way to the stadium that offer hot dogs, burgers, and sausage at fair prices. Inside the stadium are the world famous garlic fries, local seafood from Ivar’s, and a helping hand whenever it is needed.

Even if you’re sitting in the nosebleed seats, you’re going to receive a world class experience. Here are some tips to make the trip to Safeco Field more enjoyable.

  • Parking is limited. There are small parking stations and a garage near the stadium, but parking for a game generally runs between $15-$25. Consider using public transportation or park near Pike’s Place Market and take the 20 minute walk to the stadium.
  • Security is tight. Only bring what you’ll need with you. What is allowed inside the stadium can change without notice.
  • Bring extra cash. Stop at MediMex if you’re walking to the stadium. You won’t regret it.

Safeco Field has been one of the landmarks of Seattle since 1999. If you can catch a game while in town, then walk up to the box office and get some tickets if you haven’t ordered them in advance. The experience will be one that you’ll definitely remember. Don’t forget to say hello to the Mariner Moose before you leave!

Chop Suey

This neighborhood bar came under new management in February 2015. It’s still a great place to pick up a tall boy and listen to live music.

Chop Suey has long been known for the touring bands that have played this venue, with local favorites Dead Moon even coming out of retirement to play for the new ownership’s grand opening. You’ll find it in Capital Hill just off of Madison and Pike.

Pinball machines and vintage paintings give the lounge a throwback vibe that only increases when there’s an evening of 80’s music being played. Expect a $5 cover most nights, but on Sundays there are also $1 drink specials. Monday night is karaoke night.

Columbia City Theater

This intimate venue used to be a vaudeville stage, so the the atmosphere is quite unique if you want to take in a live show in Seattle. First built in 1917, there is now a wide variety of shows that are offered every year at this venue which holds about 200 people.

Columbia City Theater is most known for its progressive music scene. You’ll even find bands like Wilco playing this venue from time to time. Get there early to get a good spot since most shows are general admission only.

There’s a bar up front by the entrance when you come for a show that offers drinks which are reasonably priced for the area. There is also a second bar in the back for faster service during the shows.

Foundation Nightclub

This club is routinely ranked as the #1 nightclub in Seattle and it often gets ranked in the worldwide 100 by DJ Mag as well. VIP tables and bottle service are always available and you can book the space for a private event if you wish as well. DJs from all over the world come in to play a show here, which gives the club a definite international vibe. Most events are based on EDM, but there’s a little ska, grunge, and other Seattle flavors thrown in from time to time.

Make sure you sign up in advance for a complimentary entry during the week. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest nights and it is recommended that you purchase tickets in advance. Showing up at 11pm to get in line will virtually guarantee that you won’t get in for the party. Cover ranges from $10-$15 and drinks are typically in the $10 range.

The Triple Door

This might just be the most underrated club in all of Seattle. It’s right downtown on Union Street and the stage doesn’t offer a bad view in the house. It’s an intimate setting, but that doesn’t stop musicians like Emily Wells from visiting on a frequent basis. You’ll also find Sinatra tribute shows, singer/songwriter showcases every Tuesday, and even movies being played from time to time.

The Triple Door also has food options that are provided by Wild Ginger, which has been voted 11 straight years the most popular restaurant in the city by Zagat. Make sure you order the ginger martini and pair it with the green curry chicken. Beef, lamb, and your favorite Asian-inspired noodle dishes are also surprisingly affordable.

Show up early for Happy Hour, stay late for the entertainment, and don’t forget about dessert. The Triple Door is guaranteed to show you a great time. Ticket prices vary based on the event, so be sure to check the venue’s calendar before finalizing your plans.

Tractor Tavern

This venue has featured diesel music, drinks, and dancing in Ballard for two decades. Country and gospel tend to be the main staples of live music, but there are indie and prog options from time to time as well. Most tickets are about $10, but headlines will typically charge a few bucks more. It’s the only place in Seattle where one night you can have an 80’s party and the next night experience a traditional square dance.

There are about a dozen taps in total for drinks, but make sure you grab some food before the show because the only thing you’ll find at the bar is peanuts. If you want seating, make sure to come right around when doors open at 8pm since options are limited. Make sure to try the local hard cider as you experience the folksy acoustics.

Shows sell out regularly, so if you know in advance that you’ll be in Seattle for a specific period of time, make sure to order your tickets in advance if possible.

Studio Seven

This music venue is located in the industrial district and the bands tend to be more hardcore than other Seattle sites. The site lines can be tough, but if you time it right, you can also literally be right next to the stage since there aren’t any barriers in place. The vibe is stark and plain here and the sound system is a bit questionable, but the quality of the bands that come in to play is unquestionable. There are some events where a dozen bands have been pulled in.

If you love the look and feel of the local neighborhood dive, the Studio Seven is definitely the place for you. There are decent drink specials, but the bar does tend to run out before the end of the show. There’s a snack bar available as well. Avoid the bathrooms at all costs. If you visit after October, make sure you dress in layers because it gets cold fast.

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