Best Of 2021

Best All-Ages Venue: The Pageant

The Pageant
The Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard; 314-726-6161) makes a strong case for itself as one of the best all-ages venues in the city year after year — and even frequently lands in the conversation about the best venues in the entire country, period — but this time around it’s the beloved establishment’s forward-thinking COVID-19 policies that landed it on this list. Between its Glimmer of Normalcy series — which in the fall of 2020 brought live music back to its stage with a dramatically reduced capacity as well as a mask mandate and social distancing, despite being a money-losing prospect — and its status as one of the first venues in town to announce a vaccine or negative-test requirement to attend its shows, the Pageant has been on the forefront of scientific consensus regarding the virus throughout the pandemic. And for artists, who are just trying to ply their trade without putting themselves or their crew members in harm’s way, these efforts have not gone unnoticed, with the likes of 100 Gecs, Jack Harlow, Thundercat, Bad Religion and Snail Mail all slated to visit in the coming months. While live music isn’t quite all the way back to the levels it was before this whole nightmare, it’s good to see that venues like the Pageant are taking their responsibility to their community seriously in the meantime. It’s those efforts that will finally put all this in the rearview mirror. —Daniel Hill

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