Opened in 1974, the Newhaven Concert Hall replaced the Newhaven Hippodrome, a circus big-top used as a summer home by the Circus Maximus, of which had become the main venue for touring rock bands visiting Newhaven as well as the venue for the Newhaven Art Festival. The Hippodrome was destroyed after it collapsed during a concert by The Coasters, and as a result the Circus Maximus gave concert promoters Heartstopper Attractions a small loan of a million dollars to build a larger, concert-specific space on the site of the old big-top.
The Newhaven Concert Hall's first show was a concert by KISS as a warm-up show for their Hotter than Hell Tour. The Newhaven Art Festival of 1975 was held a year later.
Devo performed at the Newhaven Concert Hall during the Newhaven Art Festival in 1982 during the Lovian leg of their New Traditionalists Tour. The show was broadcasted on the King Biscuit Flower Hour and was taped by LTS as part of the live coverage of the 1982 Newhaven Art Festival.