Live Entertainment Venues in Honolulu, HI
The ARTSmith is a combination artist’s loft/dance studio/office spaces/performance venue, where proud companies strive to make their mark on the Honolulu art scene and beyond. Live performance and visual art presentations every First Friday Artwalk by Dancers Unlimited, Cherry Blossom Cabaret, Jason Tom Human Beatbox Academy, Curators of Hip Hop, Freelance Clothing, and guest artists. They also have fun dance classes on weekday nights (free street parking), such as Flirty Feather Boa from Cherry Blossom Cabaret, and Popping & Locking from Dancers Unlimited. Ring the doorbell and someone will run down to let you in.
Blaisdell Center is THE event place for events, as far as Honoluluans are concerned. The Neil S Blaisdell Concert Hall is the biggest in the state, and home to the Honolulu Opera Theater, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, and host to most big names who give concerts in Hawaii, like Justin Bieber and Beyonce. The Neil S. Blaisdell Arena, with its tier seating and circular format, also holds concerts (Michael Buble and Aerosmith recently visited), MMA & WWE fights, Disney on Ice, Cirque du Soleil. The Neil S Blaisdell Exhibition Hall hosts trade expos, product shows, and has a few ballrooms that can be rented for your baby’s first birthday luau. Basically, the Blaisdell center is a gigantic space that fulfills Hawaii’s needs for gigantic events.
Host to the NFL Pro Bowl, the Aloha Stadium pulls double duty as a Parking Lot Swap Meet during most days of the year. Vendors sell all the trinkets, knick knacks, crack seed, and aloha wear any person could ever dream of in this sprawling parking lot market that spans the entire circle of the stadium. Aloha Stadium also hosts the 50th State Fair in the summer, with carnival rides, games, and cotton candy. Fun fact? The finish line of the annual Great Aloha Run is the Aloha Stadium’s end zone. Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Whitney Houston have also held concerts here. This place has been the same since most people can remember, aging with character through the years.
Balmy weather and the ability to clamber into a concert walking distance from the beach call for a visit to The Waikiki Shell. It sits at one end of the humongous Kapiolani Park, and with Diamond Head as a backdrop one need not ask for more scenic concert surroundings. Half the seats are regular bowl seating similar to the Hollywood Bowl, and the upper half is a lawn where you can stretch your legs or bring a blanket. Concert-goers on the cheaper side have even been known to set up blankets outside the shell walls and enjoy the music gratis.
Honolulu’s friendly neighborhood Diamond Head Theater stages popular plays and musicals. Look out for upcoming productions of Cinderella, Hairspray, Titanic, and Singin’ in the Rain, rolling out on a one-new-show-per-month basis. The quality of the costumes, acting, and preparedness at every production often amazes people, so go see a show and pleasantly surprise yourself. Diamond Head Theater also offers classes in acting, dance, and music for aspiring children as well as kids who want to learn just for fun. It’s located in Kaimuki/Diamond Head, right next to Kapiolani Community College.