Concord, New Hampshire's live performance capital

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One of Concord’s most delightful surprises is the wide variety of live entertainment options. When you consider the choices we have on any given day, for residents and visitors alike, it is really quite remarkable. If Concord doesn’t have the largest number of theater seats per capita in New Hampshire, it soon will. And each offering is unique unto itself.

On the Heights, we have Hatbox Theatre. With approximately 100 seats, this intimate venue at the Steeplegate Mall brings you up close for performances that include Shakespeare, live music, comedy, improv, magic and much more.

Downtown venues like Concord City Auditorium, a beautifully maintained, 800 seat historic venue host a smorgasbord of shows throughout the year. Capitol Center for the Arts is New Hampshire’s largest theater with 1300 seats—it hosts top name music acts, Broadway performances, dance and much more.

We will soon be breaking ground for the new Concord Theatre in downtown Concord. This is a partnership between developer Steve Duprey and Capitol Center for the Arts. To get an idea of this venue, think upscale, flexible performance hall for concerts, small theater production and more. Another great project in the planning stage is the redevelopment of Phenix Hall. This historic Main Street theater once hosted Abraham Lincoln and if building owner Mark Ciborowski has his way, it will be the next hot blues club in Concord.

The city welcomes sidewalk performers and many local establishments host various jazz, rock, pop, acoustic and Irish acts (our Music, Arts & Culture web page has details). Concord Community Music School holds more than 150 public recitals and concerts each year and draws international audiences with its annual Mandolin and Fiddle Festivals. And New England College’s downtown Concord campus hosts poetry slams, art shows and live blues, folk and indie music performances. 

Outdoor venues include Concord Library’s Music on the Lawn series, and both Bicentennial and Eagle Square where you can watch live performances throughout the summer while enjoying a beverage of your choice from fine local restaurants. Annual events like Market Days and Rock On Fest bring diverse musical acts to multiple stages. And plans are in the works for New Hampshire Motor Speedway to host a three-day country music festival next summer in Loudon.

We have so many options for a community this size, and it is only getting better. Go and enjoy!

Tim Sink is the President of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce (and a talented musician!).

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