6 huge live music venues in San Diego

Discover arenas where big names play to crowds exceeding 10,000 people.

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park illuminated in blue

Our music scene is glowing.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

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This summer, San Diego’s music scene will make soundwaves. The lineup includes many big names, and they’ll be playing to even bigger crowds.

We’re amped to explore these huge venues that can hold 10,000+ people, but if you’re looking for smaller crowds, we’ve already checked out San Diego’s mid-sized and small venues.

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

This new, outdoor venue offers an immersive musical experience and holds up to 10,000 guests. It’s home to the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, but the Embarcadero Marina Park South space is used for much more. They’ve got a great summer lineup in the works — plus a shell of a lot more to look forward to.

Seats getting filmed at Viejas Arena.

It’s showtime at Viejas Arena.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

Viejas Arena

You might head to this venue to watch San Diego State University basketball games, but it’s also home to live music. Acts perform to crowds of 12,400+ on the SDSU campus, attracting a mix of rising artists and long-time favorites.

  • This truth doesn’t hurt — Lizzo is performing with Latto on Thursday, May 25.
  • Paramore will be a riot when they perform on Sunday, July 16, with Foals and The Linda Lindas.
  • Bryan Adams will bring his “So Happy It Hurts” tour on Wednesday, July 26, with guest Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Pechanga Arena

Many of San Diego’s sports teams have called this Midway District venue home since it opened in 1966, but it also has a long musical history. Everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Britney Spears has rocked this stage, and the audience can hold up to 16,100 people, though capacity varies by event. Here’s a look at some upcoming shows:

  • Poway-founded blink-182 will take the stage on Monday, June 19 + Tuesday, June 20.
  • Rap star Lil Baby will freestyle on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
  • Glory day is Saturday, Dec. 2, when Bruce Springsteen comes to town.
Iron Maiden performing at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre.

Iron Maiden takes the stage in Chula Vista.

Photo via @ironvinyl

North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre

Some of San Diego’s biggest shows can be found at this Chula Vista venue that opened in 1998. Artists perform to crowds of up to 20,000 — and this summer, the outdoor amphitheater will see some serious star power.

  • Janet Jackson — Sunday, June 11, is all for you. The legendary singer brings her “Together Again” tour with guest Ludacris.
  • Duran Duran will perform their “Future Past” tour on Tuesday, Aug. 22, with Bastille and Nile Rogers & Chic.
  • We’re patiently waiting for 50 Cent to perform “The Final Lap Tour” on Thursday, Aug. 31, with guests Busta Rhymes and Jeremih.

Snapdragon Stadium

San Diego’s newest venue is already bringing the noise in Mission Valley. Not only is it home to San Diego Wave FC and SDSU Aztecs Football, but its 35,000+ seats make it the perfect arena for huge music acts — and it’s already attracted a rockin’ roster for its first full year.

  • By the way, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform this Friday, May 12.
  • Set your clocks, Coldplay will take the stage on Wednesday, Sept. 27 + Thursday, Sept. 28.
  • Rock legends Guns N’ Roses will perform on Sunday, Oct. 1.
Petco Park exterior

Petco Park is here for baseball season and concert season.

Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

Petco Park

The Padres bring in huge crowds, so when their home base hosts concerts, it can hold a staggering audience of 42,000+. The Rolling Stones was the first act to play at the downtown San Diego ballpark in 2005, but other big names have packed the stadium over the years. Most recently, the venue said farewell to Elton John, but the music will keep coming this summer.

  • Country star Morgan Wallen is bringing his “One Night At A Time World Tour” to the stadium on Friday, July 14, and that won’t be the last night. There’s a second show on Saturday, July 15.

Pro tip: Concerts at Gallagher Square will give you that ballpark concert experience, but with a smaller crowd.

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