From the Agora to the Colosseum: A History of Cleveland’s Legendary Concert Halls


CLEVELAND, Ohio – You can’t examine the history of the concert industry and its historic concert halls without northeast Ohio. After all, the first major rock and roll concert took place at the Cleveland Arena 70 years ago.

The Moondog Coronation Ball, hosted by Alan Free, Leo Mintz and others, helped usher in the era of rock and roll on March 21, 1952. But that was just the start of Cleveland playing a major role in the evolution of the genre with a collection of legendary concert halls that have hosted the greatest artists of all time at pivotal moments in their careers.

A free event at the Music Box Supper Club in Cleveland’s Flats celebrates the region’s lineage of premier music venues, arenas and clubs. Supported by a panel of renowned historians, “CLE Rocks Presents… No Sleep Till Cleveland,” will revisit the legacy of the Agora, Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland Stadium, Public Auditorium, Leo’s Casino, Musicarninval and more.

[Reserve your table for “CLE Rocks Presents… No Sleep Till Cleveland”]

The event, hosted by life and culture reporter Troy L. Smith, will be taped as an episode of the CLE Rocks Podcast. Participation is free. But you have to book a table at Music box website.

The panel includes Deanna R. Adams, author of fiction and non-fiction, including “Rock and Roll and the Cleveland Connection” and “Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Venues.” Also in attendance will be veteran television and radio journalist Mike Olszewski, author of several books on Cleveland’s history, including “Smoky, Sweaty, Rowdy, and Loud: Tales of Cleveland’s Legendary Rock & Roll Landmarks,” and Susan Csendes, a seasoned box office manager. and disc jockey who worked at the Agora, Odeon and Tower City Amphitheater in their heyday.

Together, the panel will discuss the impact of some of the most significant moments in Cleveland’s music history, such as Bruce Springsteen’s famous Agora concert in 1978, Led Zeppelin performing at Musicarnival on the same day as the moon landing, the glory days of the Richfield Coliseum and more.

“CLE Rocks Presents…No Sleep Till Cleveland” is sponsored by Wonderstruck Music & Arts Festival, taking place July 9-10 at Lakeland Community College, featuring some of the best local, regional and national musical artists in the world. get your TICKETS today.


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