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Best of UpstateLIVE 2013 – Part 4, Best Venues

2013 has been a great year for UpstateLIVE. We have expanded our staff and coverage to bring more bands and live acts to the attention of fans and readers, and are looking forward to 2014 with great anticipation as we focus on the music coming out of all corners of New York State. Music festivals and incredible tours pepper the Upstate New York music calendar, giving broad musical choices for the 8 million New Yorkers who call Upstate their home.

Our staff writers and photographers were asked to look back at the full year of music in Upstate New York and beyond, and weigh in with their best of 2013. We looked at 10 categories – Best Upstate Show, Best Show, Best Upstate Album, Best Album, Best Upstate Festival, Best Festival, Best Upstate Venue, Best Venue, Best Band on the Rise and Jam of the Year –  and came up with the best music we have seen and heard this year.

Here’s part 4 of 5, looking at the Best Venues of 2013

Best Small Venue

Town Ballroom, Buffalo

Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs

Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown

Nietzsche’s, Buffalo


The Purple Fiddle, Thomas, WV

Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Opus 40, Woodstock


Red Square, Albany

Club Helsinki, Hudson

Schubas, Chicago, IL

Massry Center at The College of Saint Rose, Albany

The Crooked I, Erie, PA


Fox Theater, Oakland, CA

Glasslands, Brooklyn

The Hollow Bar, Albany

The Westcott Theater, Syracuse

Best Medium Venue

Turning Stone’s Showroom, Verona

The Capitol Theatre, Portchester


Brooklyn Bowl

Palace Theater, Albany

Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo

The Egg, Albany


The Landmark Theatre, Syracuse


Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ

Best Large Venue

Saratoga Performing Arts Center


Red Rocks, Morrison, CO


Bethel Woods, Bethel, NY

Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ


Artpark in Lewiston, NY

TIP-River (1)

Molson Amphitheater, Toronto, Ontario


photo by Pete Mason

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at EncorePark, Alpharetta, Georgia


photo by Pete Mason

Double J Ranch, Rothbury, Michigan

The Gorge, George, Washington

The Mann Music Center, Philadelphia

Got a favorite venue that we didn’t mention? Sound off in the comments!

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Pete Mason

Pete Mason is a teacher and writer living in Albany, NY. He has written two books, PhanArt: The Art of the Fans of Phish, a compilation of art made by Phish fans, and co-authored PhanFood, a cookbook of recipes by and for Phish fans, and is currently working on a book on music festivals. He maintains the website PhanArt.net, compiling the art made by fans, inspired by Phish. He is the Editor-in-Chief of UpstateLIVE and has written for Huffington Post, Hidden Track, Honest Tune, HeadCount, and Nippertown.


  1. […] end as the show raged on.  The I is a fantastic place, chosen by UpstateLIVE staff as one of the best small venues in 2013. Run by co-owners Marty Schwab and Tracy Evans, The I prides itself on fair prices, a well […]