Discover The Best Columbus Live Music Venues For An Unforgettable Night Out

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Greetings music lovers! Are you tired of listening to the same old songs on the radio and want to discover something new? Or are you simply looking for a fun night out with friends accompanied by live music? Columbus, Ohio has got you covered! In this article, we’ll explore the vibrant and diverse live music scene in Columbus and delve into why it’s a must-see destination for music lovers.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with all the information you need to fully immerse yourself in the live music scene in Columbus. You can expect to discover new venues and artists to add to your playlist and gain insight into Columbus’ rich history of musical innovation. We’ll also explore the wide range of genres and unique sounds that can only be experienced live, leaving you inspired and excited to explore more of what Columbus has to offer.

From blues and jazz to rock and roll and everything in between, Columbus offers a vast array of live music experiences that cater to every taste. We’ll guide you through the best venues to catch live shows, share insider tips from local music enthusiasts, and even offer suggestions on where to grab a drink or a bite to eat before or after the show. Get ready to discover the sounds that will make Columbus your new home away from home for live music.

The Best Venues for Columbus Live Music: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re looking to catch some live music in Columbus, Ohio, you’re in luck! The city has a vibrant music scene, with plenty of options for every taste and budget. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a look at the best venues for Columbus live music, including their pros and cons, what sets them apart, and real-world examples of the types of acts you can catch at each spot.

The Bluestone

First up on our list is The Bluestone, a unique venue with a rich history and a reputation for bringing in top-notch acts from a variety of genres. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Location: The Bluestone is located on East Main Street in downtown Columbus, just a few blocks from the popular restaurant and nightlife district of Gay Street.
  • Atmosphere: This venue is housed in a former church, which gives it a unique ambience that you won’t find anywhere else. The main stage is in the main sanctuary area, while the upstairs area is reserved for VIPs and private events.
  • Size: The Bluestone can hold up to 1,300 people, making it one of the larger venues in Columbus.
  • Genres: While The Bluestone is known for its country music acts, they also host acts from a variety of other genres, including rock, hip hop, and pop.
  • Pros: The historic atmosphere and top-notch sound system make The Bluestone a favorite among both performers and patrons alike. Plus, the VIP area provides a great way to enjoy the music in a more intimate setting.
  • Cons: It can get quite crowded, especially during popular shows, so be prepared to jostle for a good spot. Additionally, drinks and food can be expensive here, so it’s not the most budget-friendly option.

Notable acts that have performed at The Bluestone include Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, and Post Malone. If you’re a fan of country music or just appreciate a unique venue with a storied past, be sure to check out The Bluestone next time you’re in Columbus.

Pros Cons
Unique and historic atmosphere Can be crowded
High-quality sound system Expensive drinks and food
VIP area for a more intimate experience

In conclusion, The Bluestone is a top venue for live music in Columbus, with a rich history and unique atmosphere that sets it apart from other locations. While it can be a bit pricey and crowded, the high-quality sound system and VIP area make it well worth the cost.

Discover Local Talent and Rock Out at These Columbus Live Music Festivals

Columbus, Ohio is home to a thriving music scene that celebrates local talent, with live music festivals throughout the year. These festivals offer unique opportunities to discover new and emerging artists, and to experience the diverse sounds of the city’s music community. From indie rock to blues, from jazz to hip-hop, there is something for everyone at Columbus live music festivals.

The Benefits of Supporting Local Musicians

Supporting local musicians has many benefits for communities and individuals alike. When you attend a live music event featuring local artists, you are contributing to the vitality of the local music scene and helping to sustain a creative and cultural resource in your city. In addition to contributing to the local economy, supporting local musicians also allows you to discover new and emerging talent and to connect with your community through shared experiences.

Some other benefits of supporting local musicians include:

  • Fostering creativity: Local musicians often draw on their experiences in their community to create unique and engaging music that reflects their culture and surroundings.
  • Building community: Music has the power to bring people together and create shared experiences that foster a sense of community and belonging.
  • Encouraging diversity: The local music scene can celebrate the diversity of the city’s culture and bring different communities together through a shared love of music.
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The Best Columbus Live Music Festivals to Attend

Columbus is home to a variety of live music festivals that showcase local talent and offer a diverse range of musical styles. Here are some of the best festivals to check out:

  1. ComFest: Short for “Community Festival,” ComFest is a free, three-day festival held in Goodale Park every June. The festival features live music from local artists, as well as workshops, food vendors, and activities for kids.
  2. Breakaway: This two-day festival is held every August at MAPFRE Stadium and features national and local hip-hop and EDM artists. The festival also includes art installations, carnival rides, and food vendors.
  3. RootsFest: Hosted by the Columbus Arts Council, RootsFest celebrates the diverse cultures and music of Columbus. The festival features local and regional artists, as well as food vendors and activities for all ages.

Pros and Cons of Columbus Live Music Festivals

Columbus live music festivals offer many benefits, but there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are some of the pros and cons of attending live music festivals in Columbus:

Pros Cons
  • Opportunities to discover new music and emerging artists
  • Fun and engaging atmosphere
  • Opportunities to connect with your community through shared experiences
  • Some festivals can be expensive
  • Crowds can be overwhelming
  • Outdoor festivals are dependent on the weather

Despite the potential drawbacks, attending live music festivals in Columbus is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local music scene and support the city’s creative community.

Local Music Scene

Columbus takes pride in its diverse and vibrant music scene. There is something for everyone, whether you’re into jazz, country, rock, hip hop, or indie music. The city’s live music venues offer an eclectic mix of local and national acts, with some venues being more intimate and others being grandiose. In this section, we will explore the Columbus local music scene and provide you with some insights into the music culture within the city.

The Columbus Music Venues

Columbus boasts some of the best music venues in the country. They range from small and intimate coffee shops to grand theaters that can hold thousands of people. Here are some of the top venues you can check out:

  1. Newport Music Hall: This iconic venue has been around since the 1970s, and it has hosted some of the most famous names in music, including Elvis Costello, U2, and Bruce Springsteen. The hall has a rich history and is a must-visit for any music lover.
  2. Ace of Cups: This small venue is located in the eclectic neighborhood of Clintonville. It has a laid-back atmosphere and features a variety of local and national acts. The venue is known for its support of the local music community.
  3. Express Live: This massive concert venue can hold up to 2,200 people and has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including The Black Keys, Kendrick Lamar, and The Lumineers. It has state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and is known for its high-quality concerts.

The Columbus Music Festivals

Columbus is home to several music festivals throughout the year. These festivals draw in huge crowds and feature a wide range of musical genres. Here are some of the popular music festivals in Columbus:

  1. Rock on the Range: This is one of the largest rock festivals in the country, and it takes place annually in May. It features some of the biggest names in rock and metal music, and it draws in crowds of over 120,000 people.
  2. Jazz & Rib Fest: This festival takes place in July and features a mix of jazz music and delicious barbeque ribs. The festival is free to attend and draws in over 500,000 people each year.
  3. Breakaway Music Festival: This festival takes place in August and features an eclectic mix of electronic, hip hop, and indie music. It has grown to become one of the most popular music festivals in Columbus.

The Columbus Music Culture

Columbus has a unique and diverse music culture that is celebrated throughout the city. The city has a strong sense of community, and this is reflected in the music scene. Here are some of the things that make Columbus’ music culture unique:

  • Support for local acts: Columbus has a strong sense of support for local musicians. Venues and festivals prioritize featuring local acts.
  • Diverse musical genres: Columbus’ music venues and festivals feature a wide variety of musical genres, from jazz to indie rock to country.
  • Collaboration between artists: Columbus has a strong sense of collaboration between artists. It is common to see artists from different genres working together to create something new and unique.
Pros Cons Comparisons
-Strong sense of support for local musicians -Limited resources compared to larger cities like New York or Los Angeles -Columbus has a more accessible and affordable music scene compared to larger cities
-Diverse musical genres -Fewer big-name acts come through Columbus compared to larger cities -Columbus’ music scene is more unique and diverse compared to larger cities with a more homogenous music culture
-Strong sense of collaboration between artists -Limited exposure outside of Columbus -Columbus has a tight-knit music community compared to larger cities, allowing for more collaboration between artists

If you’re looking for live music in Columbus, you won’t be disappointed. The city’s vibrant music scene offers something for everyone, whether you’re into jazz, rock, or hip hop. From intimate coffee shops to grand theaters, Columbus’ music venues provide an unforgettable experience. Its music festivals draw in huge crowds and feature a wide range of genres. Columbus’ music culture celebrates diversity and collaboration, making it a unique and exciting place to experience live music.

Don’t Miss These Weekly Columbus Live Music Events

Columbus, Ohio is a melting pot of musical talent, and it’s the perfect place for live music lovers to enjoy a night of entertainment. Whether you’re into jazz, rock, country, blues, or indie music, Columbus has weekly live events to keep you entertained for hours on end. Here are some of the best weekly live music events in Columbus that you shouldn’t miss:

1. Jazz Wednesday at Brothers Drake Meadery

Brothers Drake Meadery is a top-notch venue in Columbus renowned for its high-quality jazz music. Every Wednesday, Brothers Drake Meadery hosts a live jazz event where guests can enjoy some of the best jazz performances in Columbus. Local artists and bands like the Alex Burgoyne Quartet and Jazz Happy Hour are regular performers that create a lively ambiance with their music.

Furthermore, Brothers Drake Meadery serves fresh and hand-crafted meads, which are wines made from honey instead of grapes. The meads served during the jazz night are unique and one-of-a-kind, providing an exceptional tasting experience while enjoying quality live music.

2. Whiskey Wednesday at Ace of Cups

Ace of Cups is another premier venue in Columbus for live music. Every Wednesday, they host a Whiskey Wednesday where guests are treated to a special musical performance. Along with the live music, patrons can have a taste of a vast array of whiskey from all over the world at discounted prices.

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Ace of Cups has gained the reputation of being the “hipster capital” of Columbus. One’s eye will catch some of the hipsters with tattoo-sleeves, fedoras, and vintage stores walking around the area. The place exudes an authentic and nostalgic feeling because the bar started in 1972 as Columbus’ first punk club.

3. Thursday Night Live Music at Brothers Drake Meadery

Brothers Drake Meadery makes the list twice, as they have another weekly event happening every Thursday: Live music night. The Thursday Night Live Music event features a broad range of music genres like blues, rock, and soul, performed by Columbus’ renowned musicians.

Moreover, Brothers Drake Meadery’s chefs provide a carefully crafted menu of various dishes prepared using local ingredients. The company has pledged to use only Ohio-grown, organic produce.

4. Swingin’ Tuesdays at Big Room Bar

For lovers of swing music, there’s no better place than the Big Room Bar. Every Tuesday, Big Room Bar hosts a swinging event where guests can dance their hearts out to some of the best swing music in the area. They play music from some of the famous performers from the swing era like Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, and Duke Ellington, interspersed with modern swing music from recent bands.

In Big Room Bar, they serve only Ohio-made craft beers, which are refreshing and delightful. They have a wide range of locally sourced beers ranging from stouts, IPAs, and Amber Ales that will make the night memorable. However, not everyone is a craft beer fan, so they serve a wide selection of cocktails for those who prefer them.

5. Sunday Night Live Blues Jam at Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival features the Sunday Night Live Blues Jam event where they host some of the best blues performances in Columbus. Featuring the best house band in Columbus, the Guitarist Tom Carroll and The Dirty River Band. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and sit in with the live performers to create something unique and special.

In addition, Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival features a massive array of food vendors that serve both local and international foods, so attendees will not only enjoy an amazing live music experience, but also offers the chance to taste the best local dishes.

Event Name Location Day
Jazz Wednesdays Brothers Drake Meadery Wednesdays
Whiskey Wednesday Ace of Cups Wednesdays
Thursday Night Live Music Brothers Drake Meadery Thursdays
Swingin’ Tuesdays Big Room Bar Tuesdays
Sunday Night Live Blues Jam Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival Sundays

In conclusion, attending a weekly live music event in Columbus can be an exhilarating and entertaining experience. With different genres and authentic music styles from Blues, Jazz, Swing, and Indie held in various venues, every day of the week offers adrenaline-filled nights to music enthusiasts. Get set to savor the music, local craft beers, or whiskeys, and have a taste of the best dishes prepared by some of Ohio’s top chefs in Columbus’s finest venues.

5. Utilize Social Media to Stay in the Loop

Social media has changed the way we interact with the world around us, especially when it comes to staying up-to-date with the latest events and happenings. The Columbus live music scene is no exception, as it has embraced social media as a key tool for staying connected with music lovers and promoting upcoming shows. Here are some ways you can utilize social media to keep tabs on the live music scene in Columbus:

1. Follow Your Favorite Venues and Artists on Social Media

One of the best ways to stay in the loop with Columbus live music is to follow your favorite venues and local artists on social media. These pages will not only give you updates on upcoming shows, but also provide you with behind-the-scenes glimpses into the daily lives of your favorite performers.

For example, following The Basement, A&R Music Bar, and the Newport Music Hall on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram will give you direct access to show announcements, ticket sales and contests. Many of these establishments post photos, videos and backstage interviews with the bands, providing a deeper and more personal connection to the music.

2. Use Hashtags to Find Shows and Events

One of the most efficient ways to track Columbus live music is through hashtag searches on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. By typing in keywords like #ColumbusMusic or #ColumbusConcerts on Instagram, users can find recent posts from other music enthusiasts and upcoming events that they may not have heard of otherwise.

Even local musicians use Instagram hashtags to promote their shows and connect with fans. Columbus based band, The Floorwalkers, uses the hashtag #FloorwalkersLive to spread the word about their shows, often posting photos of their fans and fans’ posts of their concerts, encouraging the hashtag to appear more frequently and thereby promoting their music in the process.

3. Join Local Social Groups for Music Fans

There are plenty of online communities out there specifically designed for Columbus music fans. From Facebook groups to chat forums, these online groups serve as a great platform to explore and discover new music. One such community is Columbus DIY Music, a Facebook group that brings together a community of independent music lovers, artists, and musicians.

This group encourages local musicians to post about their shows and their music, providing a unique insight into the Columbus music scene that is not available through conventional sources. This also acts as a gateway to discovering local bands that may not have a huge following, but still have amazing music.

4. Subscribe to Mailing Lists and Newsletters

Most venues, local bands, and music festivals offer mailing lists or newsletters that provide subscribers with exclusive discounts and early access to upcoming shows. Signing up for these monthly or weekly newsletters is an easy and convenient way to stay up to date on the latest happenings in the Columbus live music scene.

One example is the Jazz Arts Group Columbus, which sends out a monthly newsletter outlining upcoming jazz performances and educational opportunities. Subscribers can stay in the loop about new concert announcements, festival lineups, artist interviews, and other jazz related content.

5. Download Music Streaming Apps like Spotify

Music streaming apps like Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora have become popular platforms for discovering new music and keeping up to date with your favorite artists. One powerful feature of Spotify is the ability to see upcoming shows of your favorite artists in your area.

Spotify, for instance, updates users with their favorite artist’s show information, as well as sharing playlist, concerts photos and videos on their profiles page. “Concert Match” is another feature on the app that notifies users of upcoming concerts in their area based on their musical preferences. By utilizing these platforms, music lovers in Columbus can discover their new favorite artist or show easily.

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Pros and Cons of Utilizing Social Media to Stay in the Loop

Pros Cons
  • Free and easily accessible
  • Real-time updates on shows and events
  • Customized recommendations based on musical preferences
  • Provides insider access to artists and venues
  • Information overload and noise
  • Dependence on an app or social media for updates
  • Can be distracting with constant notifications
  • Privacy concerns and data mining

Overall, social media provides an effective way to stay informed about the Columbus live music scene. By following your favorite venues, artists, and streaming services, the social media platforms can connect music lovers with shows that match their musical preferences. Mailing lists serve as a a quick way to get exclusive discounts, and joining online communities give insight into local underground music scene. No matter which method you choose, utilizing social media to stay in the loop with Columbus live music is a great way to discover new shows, venues, and hidden gems.

FAQs: Columbus Live Music

What live music venues are there in Columbus?

Columbus boasts a diverse range of live music venues, from large concert halls to small intimate clubs. Notable venues include the Newport Music Hall, A&R Music Bar, Skully’s Music-Diner, and the Basement. Each venue offers a unique atmosphere and showcases different genres of music.

What is the best time to visit Columbus for live music events?

Columbus has live music events throughout the year, but the summer months when outdoor venues host concerts are a popular time. Columbus hosts several music festivals throughout the year, such as the Jazz and Rib Fest and Breakaway Music Festival. You can check online listings for schedules of events.

What are the popular music genres in Columbus?

The music scene in Columbus is diverse, and you can find all types of music genres, including rock, folk, jazz, blues, hip hop, and country. Ohio is also a hotbed for experimental and indie music, so there is always something unique happening.

Are there any free live music events in Columbus?

Yes, Columbus offers many free live music events throughout the year. Summer is a particularly popular time, and you can check out outdoor events like concerts at the Columbus Commons, Goodale Park, and Bicentennial Park. During the winter, you can check out the Jazz at Lincoln Center program, which is free and held at the Southern Theatre.

Can I find live music events for all age groups in Columbus?

Yes, many live music venues in Columbus cater to all age groups, from all-ages concerts to family-friendly outdoor events. Some of the popular family-friendly live music events include the Friday Night Concert Series at the Bicentennial Park and the Community Concert series at the Franklin Park Conservatory.

Are there any famous musicians from Columbus?

Columbus has produced many famous musicians, including R.L. Burnside, Dwight Yoakam, Bow Wow, and J Rawls. There are many rising stars in the Columbus music scene, including Saintseneca, Counterfeit Madison, and The Lovebenders, among others.

Do I need to purchase tickets in advance for live music events in Columbus?

It depends on the event and venue. Some venues sell out quickly, so purchasing tickets in advance is recommended to guarantee your spot. Others are first-come, first-served seating, so you can purchase tickets at the door. It is recommended to check the venue website or call in advance to find out the ticket purchasing options.

Can I find live music events during the weekdays in Columbus?

Yes, many venues in Columbus host live music events during weekdays. Typically, the shows start in the evening and run until 11 pm or later, depending on the venue. Some venues, such as Shadowbox Live, have weekday happy hour events with live music.

Can I find live music events outside of Columbus?

Yes, there are many cities outside of Columbus that host live music events, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Dayton. Columbus is also within driving distance of other major cities, including Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, which have vibrant music scenes.

How can I get involved with the music scene in Columbus?

There are many ways to get involved in the music scene in Columbus. You can attend live music events, volunteer at music festivals, or take music lessons. If you are a musician, you can join an open mic or participate in a songwriters’ showcase. You can also support local musicians by purchasing their music or merch.


Columbus is a vibrant city with a diverse range of live music events throughout the year. Whether you’re a fan of rock, hip hop, or jazz, there is music for everyone in Columbus. In addition to attending live music events, you can get involved in the music scene in many ways. Volunteer at music festivals, join an open mic, or take music lessons. Make sure to check out the Columbus music scene on your next visit, and support local musicians.

Goodbye for now, and don’t forget to check out more interesting articles.