Nashville, better known as Music City, lives up to its nickname in every way possible. With several singers born there, like the queen of country music Kitty Wells, and various bands that have formed or relocated to live in Nashville, this Tennessee town is full of music history. But it’s not just Music City’s history. It’s not just the amazing places to eat through the city. It’s the live music venues where you can hear the sounds of Nashville and sounds from all over the world from established musicians to up-and-coming bands that make it such a rich musical city.
There’s no shortage of places where you can grab a drink and sing along with artists of various genres. Below are 8 live music venues that play the sounds of Music City better than any other music joint in Nashville.
12th and Porter
Not only is it one of the best live music venues in Nashville, 12th and Porter is one of the best in the nation. Thousands of shows and hit recording artists have performed here since the venue first opened, including Vince Gill, Jon Bon Jovi and Ben Folds. Shows are standing room, but there are bar stools available — first come, first served — on the outer perimeter of the bar and in the balcony you can sit on. The general admission standing room holds 300 people, and you can buy your tickets to a show online or at will call. 12th and Porter is generally for 18 and over, however there are some shows with age limits. Check the website or call to double-check.
Located in the warehouse district of SoBro (that’s South of Broadway for neophytes), City Winery is a 300-seat venue that indulges the ears as well as the vino tastebuds. The venue includes the Winery & Barrel Room Restaurant for a upscale dining experience or the concert dining area where you can socialize and listen to the sounds. Check out the events calendar for live music and upgrade with friends to the VIP mezzanine-level lounge.
3rd and Lindsley
3rd and Lindsley and is an all ages, smoke-free spot that serves tasty food and live music nightly. Legendary and up-and-coming acts play here, including local, national and international artists and bands. Established 1991 and located in the SoBro district, the venue holds 400 seated and 625 for standing. Tickets are general admission and can go fast so make sure you get yours before they sell out.
The Bluebird Cafe
Located in a small strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 90-seat venue is a performance space for songwriters where each performs his/her own songs. Does the name sound familiar? The Bluebird Cafe is popular location in the former ABC drama and current CMT show “Nashville.” Reservations are recommended at this incredibly small club with amazing acoustics.
The 5 Spot
You may have heard about this East Nashville venue if you’re an avid watcher of the hit TV show “Nashville.” Country singers, as well as artists with a rock and Americana folk sound, play at this 21 and older music venue. The 5 Spot is a great place to drink cheap beer and enjoy the sweet sounds of Nashville. There are always great music lineups, fun events and awesome deals on food and drinks. Monday nights are the dance party nights, so put on your dancing shoes and put some bounce into your Monday while in Nashville.
Robert’s Western World
Robert’s Western World is where you go when you want to hear traditional country music. But don’t feel out of place if you left your cowboy boots at home — you can buy a pair here! Dive deep into the honky tonk spirit when you order a fried bologna sandwich and a cold beer from the Honky Tonk Grill. And in true traditional country folk fashion, Robert’s has a church service every Sunday you can attend. The music, the food and the atmosphere are what continue to attract people from all over the world.
The Station Inn
The Station Inn is best known for its authentic beer and food, as well as hosting some of the hottest names in bluegrass, country and roots music since 1974. Sometimes chart-topping artists show up unannounced and sit in with whatever band is playing that night. It’s a 21 and older concert venue, but those younger than 21 are welcome when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Door fees are cash only, but there’s an ATM out front for your convenience. Food is served at this non-smoking music spot before, during and after shows, but make sure you order from the bar instead of waiting for a waitress to come take your order and bring you your food. When it comes to food, you’re on your own here.
Marathon Music Works
Locally owned and operated, the space for Marathon Music Works has been meticulously restored for live music experiences and has hosted entertainers from Garth Brooks to Chance the Rapper. A short ride from downtown, the historic building from the 1900s is one of the newest venues in Music City. Wanna hangout before the show? Grab a drink in the 4,000-square-foot lobby before enjoying your concert.
While Tin Roof is a younger, college-aged type of scene, anybody can come spend a night listening to live music and enjoying good food. There are multiple locations now, but the Tin Roof started in Nashville as a place where musicians could play their tunes and hang out when they weren’t on a stage. Eat, drink and have fun with your friends inside this dynamic environment where top country artists regularly come to perform.
Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar
Nashville is home to more than just country venues. You can also hear the sweet rhythms of blues and jazz music, and Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar is our top live music venue in Nashville to hear these sounds. The stage may be smaller, but you won’t even notice once the musicians loudly and proudly take the stage to perform. Come enjoy the sweet jazz tunes, but don’t leave before trying some of the tasty Southern foods BSBBB cooks up, like gumbo, fried pickles, fried okra and po’boys.
Music City is full of some of the nation’s best live music venues that host performances by the greats and up and comers of every music genre. So no matter what type of music you enjoy singing and dancing along to, book your Nashville hotel and experience the perfect live music venue for you.