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3 of the Best Concert Venues in Columbus

Although I'm not an Ohio native, throughout my time here at Kent State, I’ve been to my fair share of concerts in the state. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to go to many shows and get a feel for what the music venues here are like. These are a few of my favorite places to see shows in Columbus.

1. Newport Music Hall

Holding up to 1,700 people, this venue is definitely not the smallest, but I’ve never felt overwhelmed when at a show here. At first glance, you might think it is in a weird location, as it’s right across the street from Ohio State University. If you’re someone who waits in line all day to see your favorite artists like me, it can feel like you’re right on campus, which could be hard to get used to at first. It's in a very busy area, but it's fun to people-watch and see what it’s like to be on another college campus. I’ve seen some of my favorite bands such as Coin, Bad Suns and The Band Camino here. Every show was amazing and there isn’t a bad spot throughout the venue. I would definitely recommend checking out a show at Newport if you have the chance. 

2. Express Live!

What is unique about this venue is that there is both an indoor and outdoor stage, which not every music venue has. Express Live! is a bit of an upgrade from Newport Music Hall, as it’s indoor stage can fit up to 2,200 people. The stage is definitely quite larger than Newport, so artists who play there tend to have more stage props and room to create a different experience. This venue is right by Nationwide Arena, so it can get quite busy if there is also a game going on the same day as a show. The area is more lowkey than Newport, but there are still some food stops and other shops that can be checked out if you’re waiting in line. I’ve seen Catfish & The Bottlemen at this venue, and it was one of my favorite shows that I’ve gotten to go to while being in Ohio. 

3. The Basement

Being the smallest out of the three venues listed, The Basement is unlike any other venue I’ve been to. It’s definitely the best place to go for a more personal, intimate feel as it holds only 300 people. It’s located right next to Express Live!, so be prepared to possibly run into people who are going to a show there. Sometimes, it can be confusing as to where people are waiting and who they’re waiting for, but usually, everyone is nice and will let you know where you should be. If you’re looking to find new local artists or bands, this is the venue for you. 

All three venues have a different vibe to them and create a unique experience for any concert-goer. I’m excited to see what other shows I end up going to at these venues and if I discover any more hidden gems throughout the city of Columbus.

Danica Garcia

Kent State '20

Danica Garcia is a Fashion Merchandising major with a Fashion Media minor at Kent State University.
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