I don't think I could be more proud to be a Seattleite right now. We have the best coffee, the mountains and ocean nearly at our fingertips, a (fairly) temperate climate and we also boast one of the best music scenes in the entire country. We have pop, hip-hip and rock, but the rise of the size of this city's EDM fan base has blown me away. Within the past 3 years I've gone to looking forward to a show every month or so to being forced to choose which artist I'll be seeing on a given weekend. I would say that at this point, I easily average 1-2 shows per WEEK, sometimes more.
It used to be that electronic music shows were generally limited to 2-3 venues, save Decibel Festival
which utilizes all of the city's best concert halls, nightclubs and smaller, intimate venues. Nowadays, it seems like every venue in Seattle is hoping to get a piece of the EDM cake, and for good reason.
The best part about this strong fan base of electronic music fans is that we don't only love the music, we love going to see and support our favorite artists live. If it's an artist that everyone is really into at the moment, you know the show is guaranteed to sell out.
That said, I've compiled a list of my favorite venues based on the following criteria:
- -Sound System/Acoustics
- -Bar (come on, you 21 and upers know this is the 2nd most important thing to the music at a concert)
- -Ease of access
To be fair to the venues I don't add into this list, there are so many more that I love going to but I want to highlight the top spots where I always have an amazing time.
Top 5 EDM Venues in Seattle
This Fremont neighborhood staple made my list because of its amazing atmosphere, especially in the summer. The drinks are reasonably priced, there's a big outdoor patio and though their calendar is generally packed with hip-hop and indie talent, I've seen a few awesome, lesser-known electronic artists here like Gigamesh
. You'll never see any electro, house or dubstep at Nectar, but if you're looking for a more chill electronic/live band combo on a hot summer night, this is it the place.
412 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103
If you ever hear that any of your friends are heading to "The Croc" you know that you'll get to see an awesome intimate show, and that you'll be jumping around sardine-style with your shirt drenched in your and god knows who else's sweat. If you can handle/mentally prepare yourself for this type of experience, you're good to go. This Belltown venue's layout is very similar to its Capitol Hill counterpart, Neumos
, with high ceilings, an upstairs bar, stage bar and third bar separate from the madness if you need to take a breather.
Why I chose The Croc over Neumos? There's just something about it that I love way more, but I can't put my finger on it. I recommend checking out both for sold out shows that you'll want to rage to. Sound Remedy
, Dillon Francis
, you name it. Just leave an extra t-shirt in the car for the drive home.
2200 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
If I'm not going to see a DJ at a nightclub, this is the place I want their show to be. This venue is on the older side, but there's absolutely nothing that I'd want to change about it. Just steps from Pike Place in downtown, the Market's acoustics are what I really love about it. That, and the fact that those who are 21 and up are able to enjoy the show from the two elevated bars, which is a huge plus for short people like me. It's not the biggest venue; the last artist I saw there was Feed Me
and tickets were in such high demand that he played two back-to-back sold out shows. Drinks are a little pricey, same as at their sister venue in SoDo
, so grab cocktails elsewhere beforehand.
1426 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
As a Capitol Hill resident, I love a great venue that's close to home. Q is just over a year old, with a fairly discrete doorway (I say fairly discrete because the 3 or 4 neon lights by the door can tell you that this isn't just some old warehouse) and you'll find it right in the middle of the Hill's most popular bars. Boasting a crystal clear Funktion-One sound system, disco balls galore and lasers like you've never seen, this place knows how to have a loud and rowdy party.
Bartenders make delicious drinks with Q's homemade vodkas; I recommend the Bangkok Mule
with Thai Vodka & Rachel's Ginger Beer. My favorite night at Q? Kingdom Saturdays
, where things are always bound to get weird. Bring your party pants, ladies and gents. You're guaranteed to drink too much at Kingdom, but don't worry, Mario's Pizza
around the corner will be your late night savior.
1426 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122
If you're a Seattleite and there's an A-list DJ that you haven't seen before, chances are they have played or will be playing at Foundation soon. Also just over a year old, Foundation is Seattle's first nightclub that opened exclusively for Electronic Dance Music. I might be biased since I feel like Foundation has become my second home, but I love everything at this club from the lighting, to the sound system, to the amazing staff who make this place run flawlessly. My favorite part? It's intimate. Where else are you going to find yourself standing right next to Gareth Emery
, or Fedde Le Grand
, or even Above & Beyond
while they play? If you haven't been here, it's time you experienced Foundation.
2218 Western Ave #100, Seattle, WA 98121
Don't agree with my list? Post YOUR top venues in the comments section :)