It’s next to impossible to pinpoint exactly where, or when, rock ’n’ roll began. Most music critics agree it really took off in the 1950s but argue over which artist or group was the originator, and therefore, where, exactly, the birthplace of rock is. So while we can’t say for certain who that first rock star was, or which state or country can lay claim to the genre, we can trace the history of the style of music through the venues that shaped it.
To do this, Stacker used news reports and musical histories to compile a list of 50 iconic rock venues across the world. While many of these venues are concentrated in NYC and London, which were two of the earliest cities to champion the new style of music, we’ve included venues from every continent and dozens of countries. From Cafe Wha? to the O2 Arena to Copacabana Beach, each of the concert halls, clubs, and arenas on this list played a significant role in the shaping and history of rock.
Read on to learn a little more about rock and roll through the venues that shaped it.