Discover The Best Columbus Ohio Music Venues Where Music Meets Fun

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Hello music lovers, are you always on the lookout for the next best venue to catch your favorite band or discover a new artist? Well, look no further, because we have you covered. In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of Columbus, Ohio’s best music venues, catering to any genre or taste. From intimate settings to grand arenas, there’s a spot for everyone to enjoy live music.

By reading this article, you can expect to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Columbus music scene and the various venues that contribute to its vibrancy. We’ve done the research, visited the venues, and talked to the artists. We’ll give you insider tips and tricks to make the most out of your concert-going experience. Whether you’re a first-time concert-goer or a seasoned pro, this article is for you.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover new favorite artists or to indulge in a memorable live music experience. We’ll provide you with all the information you need. Get ready to rock, sing, and dance the night away in Columbus, Ohio’s most popular and hidden gem music venues. Let’s dive into the world of Columbus, Ohio music venues together!

The Value City Arena: Top Venue for Columbus Ohio Music Lovers

Music lovers in Columbus, Ohio have an incredible range of entertainment options to choose from, but none quite match up to the experience that the Value City Arena offers. Located within the confines of The Ohio State University, this arena stands tall as one of the largest multi-purpose event spaces in the Midwest, with a seating capacity of 18,809 people. With an equally huge stage, the arena is every serious musician’s dream come true. This article will give you a detailed breakdown of why the Value City Arena is the top venue for Columbus Ohio music lovers.

Location and Accessibility

The Value City Arena is centrally located within the confines of The Ohio State University Campus at 555 Borror Drive, Columbus, Ohio. It is easily accessible via public transportation, including the COTA bus, which by the way is free to OSU students. There is also ample parking available surrounding the venue for those who prefer to drive to their concerts. Not only does this venue make it easy for people to get there, but it also offers several hotels around its vicinity for those coming from out of town. Additionally, its location within a university campus presents music lovers with alternative entertainment options like bars and restaurants to get breakfast, lunch, or dinner as well as nightclubs.

The Ambiance and Atmosphere

One of the most outstanding features of the Value City Arena is its massive size and the ambiance it creates. With a seating capacity of 18,809, the atmosphere in this venue is truly electric when it comes to concerts, with each one turning into an unforgettable experience. The arena’s sound engineers have perfected the lighting, acoustics, and the jumbo screens giving a total entertainment package. The crowd energy, coupled with the sound, is enough to get anyone jumping, fist-pumping, and singing along with other music lovers.

Concerts and Events

The Value City Arena is a multi-purpose venue, meaning it can host a variety of events, including graduations, sporting events, and concerts. It is a permanent home to Ohio State Buckeyes men’s basketball and men’s ice hockey although, everything else that takes place within the arena is a bonus. A lineup of popular artists typically grace this venue, from pop music sensations to hip hop legends. In the last year, the arena has hosted a range of top-notch concerts such as Celine Dion, Trans Siberian Orchestra, and Post Malone.

Pros and Cons of Choosing the Value City Arena

When looking at a venue to host your favorite musical artist, several factors come to mind, and this section will give a detailed breakdown of the pros and cons of choosing the Value City Arena.

Pros Cons
– Central Location and excellent accessibility – Large venue may not be ideal for small concerts
– Ability to host major musical artists – Higher ticket prices due to the large seating capacity
– High-tech sound systems and jumbo screens that guarantee an unforgettable experience – Limited food vendor options within the auditorium
– Keeps security at a maximum, ensuring safety for all attendees – Concerts can become overcrowded, with the crowd energy spilling over


The Value City Arena is not just some building where people go and listen to music. It’s an experience that leaves people in awe, possibly even becoming a memory that lasts a lifetime. It’s no wonder it’s been signed as a permanent home to a range of popular bands, singers, and entertainers for decades. Whether it’s the venue’s acoustics or the electric energy present during every concert, the Value City Arena is hands down the top venue for Columbus Ohio music lovers.

The History of Music Venues in Columbus Ohio

Columbus, Ohio, is a city that has a rich history of live music performance. Some of the most prestigious and influential music venues in the country can be found in this midwestern city. From the nationally recognized Newport Music Hall to the intimate Ace of Cups, Columbus has something for every music lover. This article dives deep into the history of music venues in Columbus, Ohio, including the different types of venues, the impact of music on the city, and the most popular bands that have played in these venues.

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The Different Types of Music Venues in Columbus

Columbus has a variety of music venues that cater to different preferences and musical genres. Some of the most popular venues in Columbus include:

  1. The Classic Music Venues
  2. These venues have stood the test of time and have been around for decades. They include the iconic Newport Music Hall, which opened its doors in 1923 and has hosted performances from the biggest names in music, including Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana, and U2. The Athenaeum Theatre is another historical music venue in Columbus, which was built in 1896 and has staged various types of performances throughout its long history, including opera, dance, and music.

  3. The Intimate Music Venues
  4. These are small music venues that provide an up-close and personal experience for fans. Ace of Cups is a good example of an intimate music venue that has become a staple in Columbus’ music scene. Since opening its doors in 2011, Ace of Cups has hosted numerous local and regional acts, as well as some of the biggest names in the industry, including Alice Cooper.

  5. The Outdoor Music Venues
  6. Columbus also has some outdoor music venues that provide a unique experience for fans. Express Live (previously known as Lifestyle Communities Pavilion) is a perfect example of an outdoor music venue that can fit up to 5,200 patrons. This venue has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including Snoop Dogg, Santana, and The Lumineers.

  7. The Apartment Music Venues
  8. These venues are typically located in residential areas and are popular among the younger crowd. The Summit is one such music venue that started as a DIY space in an apartment in 2016. Over time, it has gained immense popularity and has become a go-to venue for some of the most alternative and experimental musical performances.

  9. The Alternative Venues
  10. In Columbus, there are also alternative venues where musical performances happen in unexpected places. For example, in 2011, the Columbus Museum of Art hosted a series of concerts called “Sonic Circuits” that brought together contemporary music and art.

The Impact of Music on the City

Music has had a significant impact on the city of Columbus. Not only has it attracted major music acts to perform in the city, but it has also helped shape the cultural identity of Columbus by giving the city a unique personality. Music also contributes to the vibrant nightlife, encourages tourism, and provides a platform for local talent to showcase their skills. In addition, many music venues in Columbus have played a crucial role in the larger music scene in the country by providing a starting point for bands that would later go on to become famous for their music.

The Biggest Bands That Have Played in Columbus Venues

Columbus has played host to some of the biggest names in the music industry. From rock legend Bruce Springsteen to rap superstar Snoop Dogg, Columbus music venues have seen it all. Here are just a few of the most popular bands that have graced stages in Columbus:

  1. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
  2. The Rolling Stones
  3. Metallica
  4. Snoop Dogg
  5. Nirvana
  6. U2
  7. Alice Cooper

The Pros and Cons of Music Venues in Columbus

Music venues in Columbus offer many advantages, such as providing a platform for local talent, attracting major music acts to the city, and contributing to the cultural identity of Columbus. However, they also have their disadvantages, such as noise pollution, crowd management, and potential safety hazards. Here is a table that summarizes the pros and cons of music venues in Columbus:

Pros Cons
Provides a platform for local talent to showcase their skills. Noise pollution can be a concern for people living near music venues.
Attracts major music acts to the city, which benefits tourism and the local economy. Crowd management can be a challenge during large events.
Music venues contribute to the cultural identity of Columbus. Potential safety hazards can arise due to large crowds and drunken behavior.

In conclusion, music venues in Columbus have a rich history and have played a crucial role in shaping the cultural identity of the city. With a diverse range of music venues, Columbus has something for every music lover, whether it be outdoor concerts, intimate gigs, or classic music venue experiences. The impact of music on Columbus is undeniable, and as the city continues to grow, its music scene will only get better with each passing year.

How to Find the Best Columbus Ohio Music Venues

Columbus, Ohio is a city with a thriving music scene. From rock to jazz, bluegrass to classical, there is something for every music lover in Columbus. However, with so many music venues in the city, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this section, we’ll take a look at some insider tips for finding the best Columbus Ohio music venues.

Research and Plan Ahead

The key to finding the best music venues in Columbus is to do your research and plan ahead. Check out online reviews, browse websites and social media pages, and talk to friends and colleagues who are familiar with the local music scene.

  • Start by browsing websites like Visit Columbus and Columbus Alive to get an idea of what kind of music venues are available in the city.
  • Check out online reviews on sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor to see what other music lovers have to say about their experiences.
  • Follow your favorite music venues on social media to stay up-to-date on upcoming shows and events.
  • Join local music groups, both online and in-person, to connect with other music enthusiasts and get insider tips and recommendations.

Choose the Right Music Venue for Your Style

Once you’ve done your research, the next step is to choose the right music venue for your style. Columbus has a diverse range of music venues to suit every taste and preference, from intimate coffee shops to sprawling outdoor amphitheaters.

  • If you’re looking for a laid-back and intimate setting, check out venues like Woodlands Tavern or Ace of Cups.
  • If you prefer a more upscale experience, consider places like Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza or the Lincoln Theatre.
  • For outdoor concerts and festivals, check out venues like the Columbus Commons or Express Live!

Consider Location and Accessibility

When choosing a music venue in Columbus, it’s important to consider its location and accessibility. Make sure the venue is located in a safe and accessible area, and that there is plenty of parking and public transportation options nearby.

  • Take a look at a map of Columbus to get an idea of where the music venues are located in relation to each other.
  • If you’re driving, make sure there is ample parking available, either on-site or nearby.
  • If you’re relying on public transportation, make sure the venue is located near a bus or train stop.
  • Check out the venue’s website for information on accessibility and accommodations for those with disabilities.
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Pros Cons
Choosing the right music venue based on your style can enhance your overall musical experience Some music venues in Columbus can be expensive
Considering location and accessibility can save time and make the transportation process easier Some music venues in Columbus are located in a difficult to navigate part of the city

In conclusion, Columbus, Ohio offers a fantastic music scene that caters to many different tastes and preferences. To find the best music venues in the city, it’s important to do your research, choose the right venue for your style, and consider location and accessibility. With these insider tips, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying all that Columbus Ohio music venues have to offer.

4. Choosing the Best Seating Options

When attending a live music event, the seating arrangement is a crucial factor in determining the quality of your experience. Columbus Ohio music venues offer different seating options, including general admission, reserved seating, VIP tables, and VIP booths. This section will help you choose the best seating option for your night out.

General Admission

General admission (GA) tickets are the most affordable option for a concert or music event. GA tickets usually do not offer reserved seats, and the first-come, first-served seating system can result in a hectic and stressful experience. But there are pros and cons to consider before choosing GA tickets.

Pros Cons
  • Most economical option
  • Opportunity to be right up front
  • No reserved seating
  • Requires planning and commitment to arrive early for best spots
  • May involve standing for long periods

In cases where a general admission ticket is the only option or the only viable one, you can still have a great experience by arriving early, preparing to stand for long periods, and bringing snacks and water with you.

Reserved Seating

Reserved seating tickets allow you to choose your seat in advance, giving you a predictable and comfortable experience during the concert or music event. Some venues may charge more for reserved seating, but the benefits can outweigh the costs.

Pros Cons
  • Guaranteed seat
  • Comfortable and relaxed experience
  • No need to arrive early or stand in line
  • May be more expensive than GA tickets
  • May not offer best view or sound quality

Reserved seating is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a more comfortable and predictable experience during concerts.

VIP Tables

VIP tables offer an exclusive and premium experience during live music performances. With VIP tables, you get dedicated seating, personalized service, and closer proximity to the main stage.

Pros Cons
  • Dedicated seating with great view of stage
  • Personalized service from venue staff
  • Closer proximity to the performance
  • More expensive than reserved seating or GA tickets
  • May not offer a view of the entire performance area

VIP tables are an excellent choice for individuals or small groups looking for an up-close and exclusive experience.

VIP Booths

VIP booths offer a luxurious and intimate experience during music performances. With VIP booths, you get private seating, a personalized sound system, and a dedicated server.

Pros Cons
  • Private seating with dedicated server
  • Personalized sound system and lighting
  • More exclusive and intimate experience
  • Most expensive seating option
  • May not offer a view of the entire performance area

VIP booths are an excellent choice for groups looking for a luxurious and exclusive experience during a music performance.

In conclusion, choosing the best seating option is a crucial factor in planning the perfect night out at Columbus Ohio music venues. Whether you opt for general admission, reserved seating, VIP tables, or VIP booths, understanding the pros and cons of each will help you make the best decision for your desired experience.

Comparing Columbus Ohio Music Venues: Which One Fits Your Vibe?

Columbus, Ohio boasts a flourishing music scene, with varying genres and styles catered to the diverse music enthusiasts around the city. Whether you prefer a cozy, intimate setting or a large, spacious venue, Columbus Ohio has got you covered. To make it easier for you to choose from the vast array of options available, we have compiled a list of the top venues in Columbus, Ohio. This article will guide you through the different music venues in Columbus, Ohio, and help you find the one that caters to your vibe and persona.

1. Size Matters: Large Music Venues
Large music venues are the perfect space to experience a larger than life music event. They generally have a higher seating capacity, a larger stage, and better audio-visual quality.

Nationwide Arena

Nationwide Arena, located in the Arena District, Columbus, is a multi-purpose venue that has some of the biggest music events of the year. The arena can accommodate over 20,000 guests and features a state-of-the-art sound system and LED lighting. According to Pollstar Magazine, the arena was ranked among the top 10 venues globally in 2019.

The Schottenstein Center

The Schottenstein Center, situated on the Ohio State University campus, is another large music venue in Columbus, Ohio. The center can host a crowd of over 18,000 and is known for its exceptional acoustics.

Venue Capacity Location
Nationwide Arena 20,000 guests Arena District, Columbus
The Schottenstein Center 18,000 guests Ohio State University Campus

2. An Intimate Experience: Small Music Venues
Small music venues are a perfect setting for those who enjoy intimate performances, and love to get up close with their favorite artists. This type of venue typically has a lower seating capacity, less grandiose staging, and a more personable feel.

The Basement

The Basement, located in the short North neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, is a popular small music venue that can accommodate up to 300 guests. The stage is placed close to the audience, offering an intimate experience.

Ace of Cups

Ace of Cups, situated in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, is another small music venue. With a capacity of just 150 guests, the venue features performances from both established and upcoming indie musicians.

Venue Capacity Location
The Basement 300 guests Short North neighborhood of Columbus
Ace of Cups 150 guests Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus

3. Under the Sky: Outdoor Music Venues
Outdoor music venues provide the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a sunny day while taking in some fresh air and fantastic music. These music venues come in different sizes and shapes, with large amphitheaters being the most common.

Promowest Fest

Promowest Fest is a three-day music festival held at different venues across Columbus, Ohio. Some of the prominent venues include Express Live, A&R Music Bar, and The Basement. The festival attracts big names and up-and-coming artists from a broad range of music genres.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium hosts the wildly popular summer concert series that features live performances from top artists in a beautiful outdoor setting. The venue offers amphitheater-style seating and is known for its stunning stage production.

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Venue Capacity Location
Promowest Fest Varies depending on the venue Various venues across Columbus
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Amphitheater-style seating Dublin, Ohio

4. Vibe with History: Historical Music Venues
Historical music venues have a unique and compelling charm that draws both music and architecture enthusiasts. These venues have played a pivotal role in shaping Columbus, Ohio’s music scene.

Newport Music Hall

Newport Music Hall is the most iconic and historical music venue in Columbus, Ohio. The venue has hosted some of the biggest names in music history, including U2, Bruce Springsteen, and Nirvana. This venue offers an intimate experience with a capacity of 1,700 guests.

The Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre, located in the heart of the theater district in downtown Columbus, has hosted many big music events since its opening in 1926. The venue features stunning architecture inspired by Spanish Renaissance and offers an acoustic experience that is unrivaled.

Venue Capacity Location
Newport Music Hall 1,700 guests Ohio State University campus area
The Palace Theatre 2,827 guests Downtown Columbus

5. Just for You: Niche Music Venues
The Niche music venues cater to specific music genres and offers a unique vibe that suits a particular audience. These venues concentrate on the niche forms of music that may not receive attention elsewhere.

Woodlands Tavern

Woodlands Tavern, located in Grandview, Columbus, Ohio, is considered one of the best niche music venues in the city. The venue primarily features bluegrass and progressive acoustic music and has grown into a hub for the bluegrass community nationwide.

Dahlia Nightclub

Dahlia Nightclub, located in the Arena District, Columbus, Ohio, offers an intimate setting with some of the best electronic dance music (EDM) performances. The venue boasts a cutting-edge sound system and has earned the reputation of being the go-to spot for many EDM enthusiasts.

Venue Capacity Location
Woodlands Tavern 250 guests Grandview, Columbus
Dahlia Nightclub Varies depending on the event Arena District, Columbus


Columbus, Ohio, has a diverse range of music venues that cater to all kinds of music enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a fantastic outdoor setting or an intimate indoor performance, the city has several options to choose from. When selecting a music venue, it’s essential to think about the size, acoustics, atmosphere, and genre of music that aligns with your taste. We hope this guide helps you navigate the Columbus music scene with ease, and you find the perfect venue that sets the right vibe for you.

FAQs about Columbus Ohio Music Venues

What are some popular music venues in Columbus Ohio?

Some popular music venues in Columbus Ohio include the Newport Music Hall, Ace of Cups, Skully’s Music-Diner, and The Basement.

What genre of music is typically played at music venues in Columbus Ohio?

Music venues in Columbus Ohio typically play a variety of genres including indie, rock, hip hop, country, and electronic dance music.

Is there a venue that specializes in jazz music in Columbus Ohio?

Yes, the jazz house Notes In Short North is an intimate music venue that hosts jazz acts from both local and national artists.

What is the capacity of Newport Music Hall?

Newport Music Hall has a capacity of 1,700 people inside the venue and 1,000 people outside in the plaza.

What is the age limit for attending a show at Skully’s Music-Diner?

The age limit for attending a show at Skully’s Music-Diner varies depending on the event. Most shows are 18 and up, but some events may be 21 and up.

Is The Basement a smaller venue compared to Newport Music Hall?

Yes, The Basement is a smaller venue compared to Newport Music Hall with a capacity of 300 people.

Are food and drinks available at most music venues in Columbus Ohio?

Yes, most music venues in Columbus Ohio offer food and drink options for concert-goers.

What is the pricing typically like for tickets to shows at Columbus Ohio music venues?

Ticket pricing for shows at Columbus Ohio music venues vary depending on the artist, venue, and event. Generally, prices can range from $10 to $50 per ticket.

What type of seating is available at music venues in Columbus Ohio?

Most music venues in Columbus Ohio offer general admission standing room only. Some venues may have limited seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Are there any outdoor music venues in Columbus Ohio?

Yes, there are several outdoor music venues in Columbus Ohio including Express Live!, The Bluestone, and the Columbus Commons.


Columbus Ohio is home to many great music venues that offer a variety of genres for music fans of all types. From the larger Newport Music Hall to more intimate spaces like Ace of Cups and Skully’s Music-Diner, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Some venues, like Notes In Short North, specialize in specific genres like jazz. Prices for shows vary depending on the venue, artist, and event, but general admission standing room only is the norm. After exploring Columbus Ohio’s music scene, be sure to check out other local attractions like the Short North Arts District, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and the historic German Village. Thank you for reading and we hope to see you at one of our many wonderful music venues soon.