Rocking Out Your Ultimate Guide To Live Music In Arlington VA

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Hey music lovers! Are you tired of scrolling through countless websites in search of the perfect live music venue in Arlington, VA? Look no further because I’ve got you covered! In this article, I’ll be discussing the top live music venues in the area, including their unique atmosphere, music genres, and upcoming events. You’ll no longer have to waste your time searching multiple websites, as I’ll provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your night out.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive guide to the best live music experiences Arlington, VA has to offer. Whether you’re in the mood for a night of blues, rock, jazz, or R&B, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your taste. Not only will you gain a wealth of knowledge about the local live music scene, but you’ll also learn about the history and culture that surrounds it.

Looking to make the most out of your night out? I’ll let you in on a little secret – the key to a great live music experience lies in the atmosphere, genre, and company. In this article, you’ll find out which venue best suits your preferences and how to enjoy yourself to the fullest. With plenty of upcoming events listed, you can start planning your next night out now!

Top Venues for Live Music in Arlington VA

Are you a music lover who loves to experience live music? If so, Arlington VA is the perfect destination for you. When it comes to live music, it has several extraordinary venues to offer. From classic rock to jazz to pop, this city has something to offer for everyone. Here are the top venues in Arlington that offer exceptional live music experiences.

1. The Birchmere

The Birchmere is a legendary music hall in Alexandria, Virginia, located just across the Potomac River from Arlington. It has been a staple in the music industry since its opening in 1966. The venue has hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry, such as Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt. It has an intimate setting with a capacity of 500 persons, and music fans can enjoy their favorite artists with a clear view from anywhere in the hall.

  • History and awards
  • The Birchmere has a rich history of being one of the most cherished and beloved music halls in the region. In 2002, the Birchmere was awarded as the Best Folk Venue by the Washington Area Music Awards. In 2017, it was awarded the Venue of the Year by the Academy of Country Music. It has received numerous other awards and honors throughout its long history.

  • Notable performances
  • The Birchmere has hosted some extraordinary performances throughout its existence. The venue has seen performances by legendary musicians such as Tony Bennett, Bill Monroe, Emmylou Harris, and Lyle Lovett. Moreover, popular modern-day artists like Mary J. Blige, The Avett Brothers, and Brandi Carlile have also performed here.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Pros Cons
    – Legendary venue with rich history – Limited capacity
    – Intimate setting where all seats have a clear view of the stage – No on-site parking
    – Affordable ticket prices – Limited food and beverage options
  • Location and contact information
  • The Birchmere is located at 3701 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. For more information, visit their website or call (703) 549-7500.

If you’re looking for a unique live music experience, The Birchmere should be at the top of your list. With its intimate setting and rich history, it’s the perfect venue for music aficionados. The venue offers a range of music genres, and you’re sure to find an artist or band that you’ll love. However, the venue has limited capacity, and it doesn’t offer on-site parking or a wide range of food and beverage options. Overall, The Birchmere is an iconic and must-visit music hall that offers exceptional live music experiences to all music lovers who visit Arlington VA.

The Best Places to Catch Live Music in Arlington VA

Arlington, Virginia is a vibrant and lively place, filled with rich culture and entertainment. Music is a major part of the city’s culture, and there is never a shortage of live performances happening in the area. If you love live music, you’re in luck – Arlington is home to several outstanding venues that cater to different types of music.

The Birchmere

The Birchmere is perhaps one of Arlington’s most iconic music venues. It has been in operation for over fifty years and has hosted some of the most iconic names in the music industry, such as Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, and The Beach Boys. The venue is relatively small, with a capacity of only 500, creating an intimate concert experience that makes guests feel like they’re right in the midst of the performance.

  • The History of The Birchmere
  • The Venue Space and Capacity
  • Types of Music Showcased
  • The Food and Drinks
  • Pros and Cons of Watching a Show Here

The Birchmere was founded in 1966 as a restaurant serving classic American cuisine. In the mid-1970s, it began hosting live music performances and has since evolved into one of the most eminent music venues in the East Coast.

The venue space is relatively small, with a standing capacity of 500 people. Concert-goers can enjoy an intimate music experience with a fantastic view of the stage, regardless of where they sit in the venue.

The Birchmere showcases a wide range of music genres, including jazz, blues, rock, country, folk, and bluegrass. Through the years, it has hosted numerous iconic musicians such as Tony Bennett, Lyle Lovett, and The Avett Brothers, and continues to attract an excellent lineup of performers each year.

The Birchmere offers a full bar and restaurant service, providing guests with sumptuous meals and drinks to enjoy during performances. However, food and drinks tend to be quite expensive, and concert-goers should be prepared to spend a few extra bucks other than the ticket price.

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Pros Cons
The Birchmere has an intimate atmosphere that provides an engaging experience for guests. The venue space can be quite small for some people, and guests may feel cramped during sold-out concerts.
The venue has a rich history and has hosted several iconic musicians and bands over the years. Food and drinks tend to be expensive, which can be prohibitive for some concert-goers on a tight budget.

Overall, the Birchmere is an excellent place for anyone who loves live music and wants to enjoy an intimate performance by some of the best musicians in the world. As one of the most iconic music venues in the Washington D.C. area, the Birchmere has become an essential part of Arlington’s music scene history.

The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse

The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse is a one-of-a-kind venue that combines two of the most beloved pastimes- movies and music. The venue is equipped with theatre-style seating, a large movie screen, and stage lighting, making it the perfect location for film screenings and live performances.

  • The Venue Space and Capacity
  • Types of Music Showcased
  • The In-house Bar and Food Selection
  • The Unique Experience of Watching a Show Here
  • Pros and Cons of Watching a Show Here

The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse is one of the most iconic music and film venues in Arlington. With a seating capacity of 200 people, the venue provides an intimate performance experience to small groups of guests.

The venue showcases a wide range of music genres, from folk music to classical concertos. It has hosted numerous famous musicians such as Ben Folds, Bobby McFerrin, and Bill Frisell.

The venue has an in-house bar that provides guests with a wide range of drink options, including beer, wine, and cocktails. The food menu serves classic pub dishes that cater to all tastes, including burgers, salads, sandwiches, and more.

Watching a show at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse is a unique experience, unlike any other music venues in the city. The venue provides guests with theatre-style seating, and the large screens offer an added impressive visual element that complements the music performances.

Pros Cons
The venue offers a unique music and film experience. The seating arrangement may not offer the best view of the stage for some guests.
The in-house bar and food selection provide guests with a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Concert-goers may experience some distractions from the movie screen during performances.

The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse is an excellent place for anyone who wants to enjoy a unique live music experience. With a beautiful combination of music and film elements, the venue offers an incredible range of additional entertainment features that are sure to delight every guest.

Arlington VA Live Music Scene: What You Need to Know

The Best Live Music Venues in Arlington VA

If you are looking for an unforgettable live music experience, Arlington VA has some highly recommended venues to choose from. Whether you are a jazz enthusiast, a rock music lover, or a frequent concert-goer, there is something for everyone.

The Birchmere

The Birchmere is arguably one of the most popular live music venues in Arlington VA. It is an intimate concert hall that has played host to a wide range of legendary artists, including Johnny Cash, Patti Smith, and Emmylou Harris. The venue provides excellent seating arrangements with good sightlines, and the sound quality is second to none. It smells and sounds like a classic concert venue. One of the unique features of Birchmere is the dinner option that is served during some events. The menu is upscale and delicious, but you’ll want to make sure the show starts late enough to allow for a leisurely dinner before the event.

The Electric Cow

The Electric Cow is another top-rated venue located in the heart of Downtown Arlington. It’s home to some of the area’s best underground and undiscovered artists. It attracts both local and regional crowds interested in experiencing new music. According to visitors, the Electric Cow has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, and the sound quality is fantastic. It is known for its draft beer and communal seating, which makes it easy to meet new people and enjoy the music together.

Clarendon Ballroom

The Clarendon Ballroom is a popular spot that has been hosting music acts for more than two decades. The ballroom can accommodate up to 500 guests and is a perfect option for those looking to enjoy live music in a trendy and upscale setting. The venue is known for its excellent sound system, and its spacious dance floor makes it a haven for people looking to dance the night away. The food options are limited but good, and the cocktails list is impressive.

The Pros and Cons of Seeing Live Music in Arlington VA

Advantages of Live Music in Arlington VA

  • You can experience diverse musical genres and discover new artists.
  • Many venues have a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
  • You can socialize with fellow music lovers and make new friends while having a good time.
  • Most venues offer delicious food and drinks, which makes the experience more enjoyable.
  • Live music is known to lower stress levels, boost mood, and even improve overall health.

Disadvantages of Live Music in Arlington VA

  • Some venues may not offer comfortable seating arrangements or have poor acoustics.
  • The volume level of the music can be too loud for some people, causing headaches or hearing damage over time.
  • Depending on the venue, ticket prices can be expensive.
  • Some music lovers may find it challenging to attend live music events due to their schedules, and thus may not have access to this form of entertainment frequently.
  • Given the COVID’s recent impact, many music events were restricted or have been shifted online.

Comparing Arlington VA’s Live Music Scene to Other Cities’ Scenes

Arlington VA vs. Austin, Texas

Arlington VA Austin, TX
Number of Live Music Venues 25+ 250+
Ticket Price Range $10-$100+ $20-$500+
Musical Genres Rock, Jazz, Alternative, and Pop Country, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Electronic, and Indie
Cultural Offerings Also, diverse dining scene, cultural festivals, and art galleries. Home to major music festivals, including South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits (ACL).
Pros Downtown location and good regional music scene More prominent live music destination in the world, boasting over 200 live music venues and numerous festivals every year.

Arlington VA vs. Nashville, Tennessee

Arlington VA Nashville, TN
Number of Live Music Venues 25+ 200+
Ticket Price Range $10-$100+ $30-$500+
Musical Genres Rock, Jazz, Alternative, and Pop Country, Blues, Rock, Jazz, and Soul
Cultural Offerings Also, diverse dining scene, cultural festivals, and art galleries. Home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and other cultural sites.
Pros Good regional music scene and balance between travel and live music Known for its country roots and its music history as the birthplace of the Grand Ole Opry and Johnny Cash’s legendary recording studio.

Overall, Arlington VA’s live music scene compares relatively well with other cities’ scenes. While Arlington VA is not considered a “must-visit” destination for live music lovers, it’s still an excellent place to experience diverse musical genres and discover new artists. Both local and regional crowds interested in experiencing new music enjoy Arlington VA’s live music scene. So why not grab a bite to eat, order a drink, and enjoy some great live music in Arlington VA?

Live Music Performers to Watch Out for in Arlington VA

If you are a music lover residing in Arlington VA, you would know that the music scene is quite alive and bustling in the city. Several music performers and artists are creating waves with their exceptional talent and adding to the vibrant music culture of Arlington VA. Here are some of the top live music performers in the region that you should watch out for.

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The Bachelor Boys

The Bachelor Boys is a high-energy band that specializes in providing an electrifying live music experience for events, parties, and weddings. Comprising of experienced musicians, the group covers a variety of music genres, from pop, rock, funk to R&B, and soul. They are known for their dynamic shows, interactive performances, and crowd-pleasing setlists. Many rave reviews from satisfied clients attest to their exceptional musicianship and showmanship. The Bachelor Boys’ performances are bound to keep the dance floor lively and create a festive atmosphere for any occasion.

  • They offer customized setlists based on client preferences
  • The Bachelor Boys’ members have experience in playing for various high-profile events and festivals
  • They have been featured in several publications, including Brides, The Knot, and The Washingtonian
  • They are renowned for their cover of popular songs and creative mash-ups.

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela is a guitar duo that originated from Mexico but is now based in Dublin, Ireland. They are known for their thrilling, intricate instrumental performances that fuse together flamenco, rock, and heavy metal influences. The duo has released several albums and singles over the years, including their critically acclaimed self-titled album, which won a Grammy nomination. Rodrigo y Gabriela’s live shows are awe-inspiring, featuring fast-paced guitar riffs, poetic melodies, and intense stage presence. If you are an ardent lover of guitar music, then their live performances are a must-see.

  • They have performed on several national and international tours, including the famous Glastonbury, Coachella and Bonnaroo festivals.
  • Their music has been featured in several movie soundtracks, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Puss in Boots.
  • Their talents have been recognized and endorsed by several celebrated musicians, including Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, who produced their 2014 album 9 Dead Alive.
  • They use unique guitar playing techniques, including fingerpicking and strumming, to create their signature sound.


Irresponsible is a local band that has been providing entertaining music experiences for the Arlington community since 2003. The band comprises of five talented musicians, each with a unique style of playing, who come together to create a cohesive, fun-loving music experience. Their music ranges from classic rock to modern pop punk, and they perform covers of popular songs as well as their original tracks. They are popular among the community for their high-energy shows that create a fun, party atmosphere.

  • They have performed at several well-known local events, including the Arlington County Fair and the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market.
  • Irresponsible has released several studio albums and singles, including their most recent album, Who’s at Fault
  • The band members have been performing together for over 17 years, creating a unique bond and chemistry on stage.
  • They are available for both private and public events and are known for their ability to engage and entertain a diverse crowd.

The Dave Kline Band

The Dave Kline Band is a world music group that blends together various genres like Celtic, jazz, flamenco, and more. Led by Dave Kline, a talented violinist and mandolinist, the band is known for its culturally diverse, uplifting music that is bound to make you dance. Their music explores various themes and moods, from sensual to soulful, making for a dynamic and engaging live music experience. The Dave Kline Band’s music has been featured in several festivals and concerts, earning them recognition and fame in the music industry.

  • They have performed at various music festivals across the US and Canada and have shared the stage with famous musicians like Santana, The Allman Brothers Band, and more.
  • The band has released six studio albums, including their critically acclaimed album Shifting Borders.
  • Dave Kline’s unique playing style and techniques, which blend together various music cultures, have earned him praise and recognition in the music industry.
  • They offer a high-energy, interactive, and uplifting music experience, making them a top pick for multicultural events and festivals.
Performer Genre Experience Recognition
The Bachelor Boys Pop, Funk, R&B, and Soul Played for various high-profile events and festivals Featured in several publications like Brides, The Knot, and The Washingtonian
Rodrigo y Gabriela Flamenco, Rock, and Heavy Metal Performed on several national and international tours, including Glastonbury and Coachella Won a Grammy nomination and recognition from famous musicians like Metallica’s Robert Trujillo
Irresponsible Classic Rock and Modern Pop Punk Performing together for over 17 years and released several studio albums and singles Popular among the Arlington community for their high-energy shows and entertainment value
The Dave Kline Band Celtic, Jazz, Flamenco, and more Performed at various music festivals across the US and Canada and shared the stage with famous musicians like Santana and The Allman Brothers Band Released six studio albums, including their critically acclaimed album Shifting Borders

In conclusion, the live music scene in Arlington VA has plenty to offer, thanks to the exceptional talent and diversity of the performers in the region. Whether you are a fan of pop, rock, jazz, flamenco, or heavy metal, there is something for everyone to enjoy. These performers are worth watching out for, as they are sure to create an unforgettable music experience for you.

The Ultimate Guide: How to Experience the Best Live Music in Arlington VA

Are you a music lover who recently moved to or is visiting Arlington, VA? Or maybe you’re a local searching for the best live music venues in the area. Arlington, VA offers a rich and diverse music scene that caters to all music genres and audiences. In this guide, we will help you discover the best ways to experience live music in Arlington, VA, from the top venues to the local artists.

Top Five Live Music Venues in Arlington, VA

If you’re looking for the best live music venues in Arlington, VA, you’re in luck. Arlington boasts an array of venues that provide music lovers the opportunity to witness their favorite acts and discover new artists. Here are five of Arlington’s Best Live Music Venues:

  1. The Birchmere: Known for its intimate setting, the Birchmere has been open since the 1960s and boasts an impressive lineup of bluegrass, folk, and country artists. The venue is also famous for its dinner-show packages.
  2. IOTA Club and Cafe: The IOTA Club and Cafe is a locally owned venue that caters to up-and-coming artists or band that’s starting to gain traction. The venue also serves delicious cocktails, making it the perfect spot for a night out.
  3. Pearl Street Warehouse: A relatively new venue, Pearl Street Warehouse is already generating buzz as the place to see up and coming Americana, blues and rock artists. The venue also serves tasty dishes from their in-house kitchen.
  4. The Salsa Room: If you’re looking to tango to live music, The Salsa Room located in Ballston is your go-to spot. This dimly lit venue frequently hosts salsa music nights that draw in people from all over the DC metro area.
  5. Clarendon Ballroom: If you’re into pop, rock, or electronic dance music (EDM), the Clarendon Ballroom’s electric dance floor is the spot for you. It’s a vibrant spot where people come to dance, drink, and enjoy the music scene.

Discover Local Artists

Arlington has a pulsating music scene featuring local musicians spanning various genres such as rock, jazz, blues, and country. Discovering these artists is another way to experience the best live music Arlington has to offer. Here are a few ways to find out about the local artists playing in Arlington:

  • DC Music Download: DC Music Download is a website that highlights local musicians and their music. It features articles, interviews, and reviews of local concerts.
  • DC Concerts App: This smartphone app is an excellent way to discover what live music is being played around Arlington. The app curates all shows happening in the area and makes it easy to purchase tickets.
  • WERA 96.7 FM: WERA 96.7 FM is a local radio station that focuses on Arlington and the surrounding areas. Tune in to discover and listen to the sounds of local musicians.
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Go on a Music Crawl

A music crawl is where you spend an entire night visiting various live music venues that are within walking distance of each other. The beauty of a music crawl is the ability to experience a variety of live music genres while also indulging in the different dining and drinking options offered in each venue. Here are a few areas in Arlington that are ideal for a music crawl:

Clarendon: The Clarendon area is on the Orange line metro and has several music venues within walking distance of each other, making it the perfect location to experience pop, rock, and electronic dance music all in one night.
Ballston: If you’re looking to move your feet, Ballston boasts several live music venues that focus on different Latin rhythms.
Columbia Pike: Columbia Pike has several venues featuring blues, rock, and jazz genres of music, making it a great spot for a blues, rock or Jazz lover.

Attend a Music Festival

A music festival is a great way to experience multiple live performances in one venue. Arlington has several music festivals throughout the year that cater to different music genres. Here are some of the music festivals in Arlington:

  • Columbia Pike Blues Festival: This Blues festival occurs every June and features local and national blues artists. The festival also has local artisan culinary vendors.
  • Clarendon Day: Clarendon Day is a street festival held annually in September. It features multiple stages with a variety of genres of music, as well as food, drinks, and vendors.
  • Wine in the Water Park: Wine in the Water Park is a yearly event where attendees get to taste wine while listening to live music performances.

Get to Know the Music Community

Getting to know the music community is another way to experience the best live music in Arlington, VA. Here are some ways to get engaged within the music community:

  • Volunteer: Volunteering at music events and festivals is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local music scene.
  • Join Facebook Groups: Joining Facebook groups that focus on local music is another way to be part of the community. Arlington has several groups that aim to spotlight local musicians.
  • Attend Showcases: Several venues host showcases for local artists. Attending showcases is a great way to experience live music, network with local musicians, and potentially discover your new favorite artist.

In Conclusion, experiencing live music in Arlington, VA is both exciting and diverse. From local artists to international acts, Arlington has something for everyone. By following our guide, we’re confident that you’ll be able to discover and experience the best live music Arlington has to offer.

FAQs: Live Music Arlington VA

What are some popular music venues in Arlington, VA?

Arlington has several popular music venues where you can catch live performances. Some of the popular venues include The Birchmere, IOTA Club and Cafe, Galaxy Hut, and O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub.

What types of music can I expect to hear at live music events in Arlington, VA?

Arlington’s music scene is quite diverse, offering a range of genres such as rock, jazz, folk, country, and blues. You can also find Latin music, electronic, and indie music being played at certain venues.

Are there any free live music events in Arlington, VA?

Yes, some of the music events at Arlington are usually free, and people can attend without purchasing a ticket. The Lubber Run Amphitheater, Mosaic District, and Columbia Pike Blues Fest are some of the venues where free music events take place.

What time do the live music events in Arlington VA start?

The time for live music events usually varies among different venues. However, you can expect most performances to start around 8 or 9 PM. Some venues also have afternoon or early evening performances, especially during the weekends.

Do I need to buy tickets in advance for live music events in Arlington, VA?

It is highly advisable to purchase tickets in advance, especially for popular bands or artists since events may sell out quickly. Most music venues offer online ticket sales, or you can buy tickets at the venue’s box office.

Can I bring food or drinks to live music events in Arlington, VA?

Whether to allow food or drinks to the event varies among the different venues. Some may allow customers to bring their refreshments, while others may only permit alcohol purchased from the venue.

Are there any age restrictions for live music events in Arlington, VA?

Most venues only allow individuals aged 21 years and above inside if alcohol is being served. However, several music events are all ages, especially those hosted outdoors or free events.

Do Arlington’s music venues offer seating, or should I expect standing room only?

The seating options usually vary among the different venues in Arlington, VA. Some venues offer luxurious seating, whereas others only offer alcohol tables and standing room only.

Can I take photographs or record video during live music events in Arlington, VA?

The policies about recording or taking photographs vary among different venues. Some of the music venues may allow you to take photos, while others prohibit photography or video recording during performances.

What is the average cost to attend a live music event in Arlington, VA?

The cost of attending live music events usually depends on the venue and the artist performing. Typically, prices range from $15 to $50 for small music venues and can go up to $150 for renowned musicians at larger stages or festivals.


Arlington, VA, has a vibrant music scene that caters to different tastes and genres. From free music events to luxurious seating options for concerts, Arlington’s music scene is something you should experience. After reading this article, you can check out the Birchmere, IOTA Club and Cafe, and O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub. Ensure you purchase tickets in advance and be aware of the rules at each venue. Enjoy the music and have a great time in Arlington, VA!