This guide to the best concert venues in Houston will help you decide where to enjoy your next live performance. Whether that be a fun family matinee, an entertaining evening showing to enjoy with friends, or a romantic outdoor venue where you can bask in the experience under the stars; the city has some incredible venues to suit all gatherings.
Highlighted are some of Houston’s best concert venues to help you plan your next live event, including the types of acts shown there, what food offerings are available on-site, and any accessible facilities to help with the comfort of your experience.
Best Indoor Concert Venues in and Near Houston
First off, let’s take a look at our top picks for the most outstanding concert venues in Houston!
1. Toyota Center
|Address:||1510 Polk St, Houston, TX 77003|
The Toyota Centre is one of the largest indoor arenas in Houston, with a generous capacity of 18,300. Since opening in 2003, the arena has operated under three different names; it has been Toyota since 2019. This is the venue to go to if you are looking to enjoy incredible concerts, touring shows, and sports; The Toyota Centre is home to the NBA’s Houston Rockets.
Private parking is available for pass-holders at the arena for 2,500 cars, with additional parking close by. Aside from the mesmerizing live shows, there is also a superb mall packed with retail stores, award-winning dining establishments, and museums, including the Legends Locker and The Children’s Memorial Hermann.
The Toyota Centre has a total of twelve event spaces that can be hired for private parties and wedding receptions. The 1994 & 1995 Championship Room is one of the most popular event spaces, with a reception capacity of 400. The room hire cost for this space starts from $1,000.00.
Some of the biggest names in the business have performed at The Toyota Centre, including Prince, Muse, Rihanna, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, to name just a handful. Being located within Houstons Business District, this is a vibrant, electric, bustling place to explore before/after visiting the center. The area is a stone’s throw away from beautiful parks and quirky bars, with some fantastic hotel choices for anyone looking to make a night of it.
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2. Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land
|Address:||18111 Lexington Blvd, Sugar Land, TX 77479|
The Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land is proud to be a showstopping, state-of-the-art, shiny new area just 20 miles from Houston, which opened in 2017. This architectural masterpiece cost $84 million to construct and has a maximum capacity of 6,400.
There is a car park at the arena which can accommodate 2,500 cars; the cost for parking is $15.00 and can be reserved prior to arrival. There are several foods stands to choose from within the center; no external food and drink can be bought into the building, and thorough bag checks are to be expected upon entry.
This is an entirely smoke-free facility, re-entry is not allowed, and smoking is not permitted within the venue grounds.
The Smart Financial Centre is a family-friendly venue with lots of entertaining performances aimed at introducing children to the world of arts. This is the place to see shows such as The Masked Singer, Disney Junior Live on Tour, and The Nutcracker Christmas Ballet.
There is not much in the way of activities within walking distance from the arena. One of our favorite places to go in the area is Sugar Land Memorial Park; you can walk here in around half an hour, or it’s a short 5-minute car journey. The park has a stunning butterfly garden alongside flower gardens and nature trails.
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3. NRG Stadium
|Address:||NRG Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054|
The NRG Stadium is the largest venue in Houston, with a whopping capacity of 72,220! The arena has a retractable roof and was the first NFL stadium to introduce this feature. Construction costs of this epic venue are valued at $352 million. There are parking passes available at NRG; prices vary between $17.00 to $34.00.
This colossal arena has 196 event spaces that can be privately hired for corporate events and special events. Within these spaces, there are luxury suites with a capacity of 12 – 28 guests and larger party suites accommodating around 150 guests.
Concession stands are located around the arena selling hot snacks such as pretzels, nachos, and hot dogs. You will also find the fully stocked bar’s within the space. No outdoor food or drink is permitted within the stadium.
There are some sublime restaurants within the surrounding area, including a wide range of Mexican restaurants, which open till late. Ruchi’s Mexican Grill stays open until 2 am, and Chacho’s Mexican Restaurant is open 24hrs; both are a short stroll from the stadium.
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Best Outdoor Concert Venues in and Near Houston
If you’re looking for an outdoor concert venue, then these are three great options.
1. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
|Address:||2005 Lake Robbins Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77380|
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, also known as The Pavilion or The Woodlands Pavilion, is a quirky outdoor amphitheater located close to Lake Woodland. This pavilion has been helping artists find a stage to showcase their talents since 1990, welcoming contemporary artists alongside young performing art enthusiasts.
There is free parking available on-site for those wanting to enjoy the performances, with paid parking available close by for guests visiting the ice rink and woodlands market.
The center as a whole has a passion for enriching young people’s lives through the media of performing arts. They run educational events, performing arts scholarships, and student arts training with world-class musicians. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion has an excellent volunteer program that includes perks such as free access to the live performances held here.
There is so much to do around the pavilion. The Woodlands Mall is a vast shopping center within the same area as the pavilion, housing close to 200 shops and restaurants.
And if you are looking for a more peaceful activity to enjoy while in the area, you could head to Riva Row Boat House, where you can explore the lake by kayak or canoe.
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2. Miller Outdoor Theater
|Address:||6000 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030|
The Miller Outdoor Theatre sits within the beautiful Hermann Park. This awesome outdoor venue has live performances during the daytime on selected days of the month, with further performances available to watch most evenings. There is a wide range of family-friendly shows, including live pop music, full orchestras, and dance shows. Tickets are only available to book 24hrs in advance.
The closest free parking lot to the theatre is a short walk away at Houston Zoo. There is plenty of more free parking dotted around the park should that one be full when you arrive.
There are refreshment stands set up around the theatre area, and you are also able to bring your own food and drink – alcohol is permitted. If you would prefer to dine before/after the show, there is an abundance of options nearby, including Turkish, Mexican, and Italian.
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3. White Oak Music Hall
|Address:||2915 N Main St, Houston, TX 77009|
White Oak Music Hall is an extremely diverse venue with indoor and outdoor spaces available. The outdoor lawn space has the capacity for 800 guests, while the smaller indoor halls can hold 50 – 150. There is on-site parking available for 550 cars; a parking pass can be purchased at the time of your show ticket.
Alongside the music hall, there are seven additional venue spaces that can be hired for private parties at White Oak. This is becoming a popular venue for large weddings as its customizable spaces can hold anywhere from 30 to 3,000 guests.
White Oak has a diverse variety of restaurants and fantastic bars; within the music hall, there are dedicated concert bars. You can order via an app to help cut down queue times. One of the best bars to head to if you are looking for a chilled vibe and an awesome craft ale is The Raven Tower. The Raven Tower is a minute walk from the Music Hall and has a superb outdoor patio.
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Best Small Concert Venues in and Near Houston
If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, then these small concert venues should certainly be considered.
1. Bayou Music Center
|Address:||520 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 7700|
Located in Downtown Houston, Bayou Music Centre is one of the best places to visit for unique gigs, including music and comedy shows. The venue has two spaces; the main hall can hold a maximum of 3,700 guests, whereas the smaller 40 Below area is used for more intimate performances with a capacity of 400 standing or 150 seated.
There is no parking at Bayou Music center; however, there is plenty of parking nearby. The venue promotes the use of the BestParking App to help visitors find, book, and pay for parking in advance to avoid disappointment in this busy area.
Bayou Music Center has bars available within the theatre areas, they do not serve food here, but thanks to its unbeatable location, there are so many dining options within a short walk from the venue. This area of Houston has a wonderland of things to see and do, including the Downtown Aquarium, numerous parks, and Houston City Hall.
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2. The Heights Theater in The Heights
|Address:||339 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008|
The Heights Theatre in The Heights is a magnificent retro theatre that has been around since the early 1900s. This cozy venue has a maximum capacity of 500 guests; there are also two small meeting rooms available that can be privately hired. Despite being such a historic building, they have made the theatre accessible for wheelchair users by constructing a small, single ramp that leads through to the seating areas closest to the stage.
The Heights has a range of performers adorn their stage, from local artists to celebrity names such as Mandy Moore and Colin Hay.
There is a small bar at the venue; however, no food is served here. You can find a number of restaurants along the street close to the theatre, the closest being Torchy’s Tacos which is open until 9.30 pm. There are no restaurants within close proximity that open past 10 pm.
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3. House Of Blues
|Address:||1204 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77002|
House of Blues has to be one of our favorite intimate venues on this list; it is home to incredible music and amazing foods. This place genuinely has such a fantastic atmosphere that is incomparable to anywhere else in Houston.
This adult-only hot spot specializes in Southern food that can be enjoyed surrounded by inspiring folk art and the beats from the live music on offer. The theatre has space for 1,200 standing guests or 750 seated. This is split across two floors and does not include the restaurant area that can hold an additional 175 diners.
There are several smaller rooms that can be hired for private events. The venue as a whole can accommodate just over 2,000 people if each space is used to capacity.
The restaurant here could rival some of the best dining spots in Houston, with a tantalizing Southern menu consisting of blackened salmon, authentic Jambalaya, succulent baby back ribs, and crispy fried chicken. All dishes are cooked on the premises.
There is parking available close to House of Blues; the venue recommends that this is reserved and paid for prior to arrival via SpotHero.
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So, where will you head to for your next live performance?
We hope that we have helped you create a shortlist of the best concert venues to consider in Houston. If you would like to see what other live performance hotspots Houston has to offer, you might want to check out our guides for Karaoke Contests in Houston and Sensational Drag Shows In Houston for inspiration.