Best L.A. Bars With Live Music That Book New Bands

Now that the nation is, tentatively, throwing concerts and having events again, perhaps your act is ready to get back out on the road. One of the must-play cities for an up and coming band still is, (and always will be), Los Angeles. Although the pandemic has forced things to change, and some venues have come and gone, there are still some places, new and classic, that are booking bands that are not regional or national acts.

 Where should you start looking to book yourself when you swing through California and finally make it to Hollywood? Let’s take a look.


Silverlake Lounge

The Silverlake Lounge has a classic lounge vibe place known for its music, comedy, drag shows, and lounge pizza. Although there is a focus on local acts, keep an eye out for open mic offerings and bring a pared-down version of your group (think acoustic or a duo) to show them what you can do in order to drum up future bookings for the whole band or act.

One of the great things about Silverlake lounge is the diversity of the acts that perform. While some clubs and venues in LA tend to stick to a certain orbit of styles, more singer-songwriter, more rock/punk, or more pop, Silverlake Lounge is open to a multitude of styles and sounds.

Book your show through:

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El Cid

Of the many storied and truly colorful spots in LA, El Cid is one of the oldest and most loved. Around since being called The Jail Cafe in the 20s, surviving through the 60s as a theater, and making it all the way to today as a place for concerts, LGBTIAQ+ brunches, and more, El Cid is definitely a place to try to play.  

At 125 seats, it’s actually one of the larger clubs of its type, is still open to having up and coming bands perform, and is never a dull place to be since it is open all week, starting at 5pm each evening.

Book your show through:

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Group Love, Big Mess Release Show, at the El Cid in Los Angeles


The Mint

The Mint is known for featuring some very famous acts such as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and sometimes famous actors’ projects. However, you’ll still find some up and coming bands playing the classic joint. Make sure when you submit to this place, (and all of them for that matter), that you include the best recorded example of what you would play live, so they know you are new, but serious. Demos and live practice recordings are not as good as your first demo, whether its recorded in a studio or in your own home studio (insert home studio link). Extra effort goes a long way, this is LA we’re talking about!

The Mint stands on the spot of an old famous jazz club from the 1930s, has been having live music since the 1950s, and is still running shows even during the pandemic. They are known for having an audience that cares about the music and is there to hear what you do, whether its a solitary songwriter or a six-piece indie band making their way on the road for the first time.

Book your show directly through their website form:

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The Mint


Hotel Cafe

It is a somewhat long shot, but it is always good to include a possible home-run in your big city booking plans. It doesn’t hurt to try, and if you land a slot at The Hotel Cafe, you could play to some of LA’s best musicians, industry cats, and the locals who know where it’s at. It’s not unheard of that an up and coming act plays their first LA show at Hotel Cafe and meets someone who can move them forward in their career. 

The vibe is right, the crowd comes to listen and have fun (but not talk over you), and it is the place dreams are made of. On any given night you can see the next big stars playing their first show in town, why couldn’t it be you?

Book your show by contacting:

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Harvard And Stone

Finally, here is a sick new underground spot that is still rife with up and coming talent, but isn’t off the beaten track….and is therefore a little more ear to the ground and whatnot.

Situated on Hollywood Blvd. – don’t let the environs throw you off –  inside is a local musician-approved spot to meet people and play your songs. What you need to know is first and foremost, they are ONLY about the music. This makes it one of the best spots in LA to book your act now, before it’s too late for some world dooming reason. 

Book your show by contacting:

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A performance at Harvard and Stone


When you are a new band beginning to put yourself out there, playing venues like this can be the big break that will propel your group into the spotlight – but promoting yourself can become a full-time job in itself. Promoting online, on the radio, in person, with venues, with industry execs, with fans, and more can start to take a toll and pull you from the real work you love to do – making music! Let us do the job for you – call Planetary group in LA at (323) 952-5050 and we’ll take the weight of self-promotion off of your shoulders so you and your band can focus on doing what matters most…being a band.