Experience The Best Live Music Hartford CT Has To Offer

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Hello and welcome to this special article on live music in Hartford, CT! As many of us know, Hartford has always been a hub for live music events, attracting a diverse range of music genres and enthusiasts alike. However, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the live music scene, leaving many of us craving the experience of a live performance. This article aims to explore the current state of live music in Hartford, and provide some insight into how you can still enjoy live music safely and responsibly during these times.

Here’s what you can expect from reading this article: a comprehensive look at how the pandemic has affected live music in Hartford, some of the amazing venues that are still hosting live events, and some tips on how to enjoy live music responsibly. We understand how important live music is to our community, and we hope that this article will inspire you to get out and enjoy the many talented artists that Hartford has to offer, while also keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Perhaps you’re feeling a bit hesitant about attending live events these days? We totally understand, and we want to assure you that there are many safety measures in place to protect both yourself and those around you. In this article, you’ll learn more about how venues are implementing safety measures such as social distancing and mask mandates, as well as how you can do your part in keeping everyone safe. We’ve also included some helpful tips on how to make the most out of your live music experience, so you can truly enjoy the magic of live music once again!

The Top Venues for Live Music in Hartford CT

If you are a music lover living in Hartford, Connecticut, then you are in luck. The city houses some of the best live music venues in the state, with something for everyone. From the classic to the contemporary, country to jazz, there is something for everyone.

Here we have listed out the top venues for live music in Hartford CT that you should definitely check out:

1. Infinity Music Hall & Bistro

One of the most iconic music venues in Hartford, the Infinity Music Hall & Bistro is an intimate setting for live music performances. This theater-style venue has excellent acoustics, with plenty of comfortable seating options including booths, tables, and balcony seating. The venue is popular for its eclectic mix of music genres, including rock, blues, country, jazz, and R&B.

Here are some interesting facts about this music venue:

  • Infinity Music Hall & Bistro has two locations in the state, one in Hartford and the other in Norfolk.
  • The Hartford venue has a seating capacity of 400, while the Norfolk location has room for 300 people.
  • The venue has a state-of-the-art sound system and lighting system that enhances the music experience.

If you are looking for a unique musical experience, Infinity Music Hall & Bistro should definitely be on your list.

2. Xfinity Theatre

Located on a huge property in Hartford, the Xfinity Theatre is an outdoor amphitheater that can accommodate over 30,000 people. This venue is the perfect spot for summer concerts, as it boasts a large lawn area and a massive stage that elevates the musical experience. The amphitheater hosts several popular concerts, including summer music festivals and touring concerts.

Here are some interesting facts about this music venue:

  • The Xfinity Theatre was formerly known as the Hartford Civic Center.
  • The venue has been host to several big names in the music industry, including Aerosmith, Beyonce, and the Dave Matthews Band.
  • The acoustics system is impressive and there are plenty of food and drink options in the venue.

Whether it is a rocking summer concert or a smaller intimate show, the Xfinity Theatre has got you covered.

3. Arch Street Tavern

The Arch Street Tavern is a historic music venue situated in downtown Hartford. The space is designed to evoke the ambiance of an old-time music hall, with exposed brick walls and a cozy atmosphere. The tavern has been around since 1939, and over the years it has earned a reputation for its eclectic mix of live music performances.

Here are some interesting facts about this music venue:

  • Arch Street Tavern has a full menu with a variety of food options, including burgers and beer.
  • The venue offers live jazz performances every Sunday.
  • The tavern is a great spot for young and old, with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

If you are looking for a cool, low-key venue for live music entertainment, then the Arch Street Tavern is the place for you.

4. Webster Theater

The Webster Theater is one of Hartford’s most popular music venues, with a focus on rock and hip-hop music events. The theater features a large open floor with a stage, perfect for larger music acts, and the seating in the balcony offers an intimate view of the performances from above. The Webster Theater has hosted some of rock’s biggest names, including Alice Cooper and Metallica.

Here are some interesting facts about this music venue:

  • The venue has a full bar and a spacious outdoor patio area.
  • The Webster Theater also offers an impressive lighting system that enhances the performances.
  • The seats in the balcony area are set up for maximum comfort, giving you a birds-eye view of the show.

Whether you are a fan of rock or hip-hop or just looking for a lively music experience, the Webster Theater is the place for you.


In conclusion, Hartford CT is a great place for live music entertainment, and the city has plenty of options to choose from. Whether you are into jazz or contemporary music, there is a venue for you. Just head to one of these venues and enjoy the music!

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Discovering the Best Local Bands in Hartford CT

Discovering the best local bands in Hartford CT can be exciting and rewarding. The city has a rich history of live music, with music venues that offer a perfect balance between old-school traditional and modern sounds. Here are some tips on how to discover the best local bands in Hartford CT.

1. Research Online

The internet is a great place to find out about the local music scene. Here are some websites you can visit to stay updated with all the live music events in Hartford CT:

  • CT Now’s website: This website lists all the events happening in Connecticut, including live music performances. It is a great resource to find out about the local bands playing in Hartford.
  • Hartford Courant’s website: Their events page is another go-to resource for live music events in the area. You can even search for events by date, location, and genre.
  • Songkick: Songkick is a free online platform where you can track your favorite bands and receive alerts when they come to town.

These websites not only list the upcoming concerts but also provide information about the bands, their history, genre, past performances, and links to their music on SoundCloud, Bandcamp, or Spotify.

2. Go to Small Venues

Most local bands typically play at small venues like bars, clubs, and coffee shops. These venues offer an intimate atmosphere that allows you to get up close and personal with the artists. Here are some popular small venues where you can discover the best local bands in Hartford CT:

  • Arch Street Tavern: Arch Street Tavern is a popular small venue that hosts local and national acts in a relaxed atmosphere. It has been around since the 1970s, making it one of the oldest music venues in the city.
  • Black-Eyed Sally’s: This restaurant/bar is a popular spot for live music in Hartford CT. They offer an eclectic mix of blues, jazz, and rock music with local and national bands performing regularly.
  • The Half Door: The Half Door is an Irish pub that combines traditional Irish music with contemporary local tunes. They have acoustic sessions every Sunday evening, making it a perfect spot to catch up-and-coming artists in Hartford CT.

Small venues are also a great place to network with other music lovers, learn about new events, and even meet the band after their performances.

3. Attend Local Music Festivals

Local music festivals are a great way to discover new bands and enjoy a variety of music genres. Here are some popular music festivals in Hartford CT that you can attend:

  • Riverfront Recapture Music Series: Every summer, Riverfront Recapture hosts a music series along the Connecticut River. It features local bands in a variety of genres, including rock, folk, and jazz.
  • The Hartford Jazz Festival: The Hartford Jazz Festival is an annual event that brings together jazz musicians from around the world. It is a great place to discover new local jazz talent.
  • Riverfront Food Truck Festival and Music Extravaganza: This festival is a combination of music and food. It features bands playing blues, rock, and funk music and is a great place to try out different cuisines while enjoying local music.

Attending local music festivals not only allows you to experience the different music genres but also creates a sense of community and support for the local music scene.

4. Join Local Music Groups on Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer a great way to stay updated on local music events and connect with other music lovers. Hartford CT has several local music groups where you can join and stay updated on the local music scene:

  • Hartford Underground: Hartford Underground is an online group that focuses on local underground music and art. They offer a platform to connect and share information for artists and music lovers in Hartford CT.
  • Hartford Jazz Society: The Hartford Jazz Society is a community-based organization that supports jazz music in the city. They offer membership, events, and scholarship opportunities to promote jazz education and appreciation in Hartford CT.


Discovering the best local bands in Hartford CT is not just about finding the perfect music venue or festival. It is also about building a community of music lovers who come together to celebrate the city’s diverse music scene. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a new visitor, take time to explore and experience the local music scene in Hartford CT – you might just uncover your new favorite band.

Subsection 3: Top Live Music Venues in Hartford CT

Hartford CT is home to several venues that offer live music performances throughout the year. Here are some of the top live music venues in Hartford CT:

1. Infinity Music Hall & Bistro

Infinity Music Hall & Bistro is a legendary venue in Hartford CT. This venue has a rich history of hosting some of the greatest names in music. The venue offers an intimate setting with amazing acoustics that make it the perfect spot to enjoy live music. The bistro inside the venue offers delicious food and drinks that complement the music perfectly.

The Infinity Music Hall & Bistro has hosted various big names in the music industry such as Al Di Meola, John Mayall, Todd Rundgren, and Dar Williams. In 2013, Infinity Music Hall & Bistro was voted as one of the Top 100 Clubs in the World by Pollstar.


  • Intimate setting
  • Amazing acoustics
  • Delicious food and drinks
  • Legendary venue


  • Can be expensive
  • Limited parking

2. Xfinity Theatre

Xfinity Theatre is an outdoor amphitheater that hosts some of the biggest names in music today. The venue has a seating capacity of 30,000 making it one of the largest live music venues in Hartford CT. The venue offers a great view of the stage from all angles and the sound system ensures that you can experience the music at its best.

Xfinity Theatre has hosted various international and local acts such as Dave Matthews Band, Snoop Dogg, and Drake.


  • Large capacity
  • Great views of the stage
  • Amazing sound system
  • Outdoor setting


  • Outdoor venue makes you vulnerable to weather conditions
  • Food and drinks can be expensive

3. The Bushnell Performing Arts Center

The Bushnell Performing Arts Center is not just a venue but an experience in itself. The venue is an architectural masterpiece with its intricate design and state-of-the-art facilities. This venue hosts various events throughout the year including live music performances. The Bushnell Performing Arts Center offers a luxurious setting that is perfect for a night out.

The Bushnell Performing Arts Center has hosted various musical legends such as Tony Bennet and Lisa Fischer.


  • Architectural masterpiece
  • Luxurious setting
  • State-of-the-art facilities


  • Can be expensive
  • Parking can be difficult to find
Venue Capacity Setting Food/Drinks Pros Cons
Infinity Music Hall & Bistro 300 Indoor Delicious Intimate setting, Amazing acoustics, Legendary venue Expensive, Limited parking
Xfinity Theatre 30,000 Outdoor Expensive Large capacity, Great views of the stage, Amazing sound system Outdoor venue makes you vulnerable to weather conditions, Food and drinks can be expensive
The Bushnell Performing Arts Center 2500 Indoor Expensive Architectural masterpiece, Luxurious setting, State-of-the-art facilities Can be expensive, Parking can be difficult to find

In conclusion, experiencing live music in Hartford CT is a must for any music lover, whether you are into jazz, rock, or pop. Hartford CT boasts several live music venues, each with its own unique ambiance and charm. From small, intimate settings to large outdoor amphitheaters, Hartford CT has something for everyone. Be sure to check out the top live music venues in Hartford CT and enjoy the thrill of live music.

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Exploring the History of Live Music in Hartford CT

Hartford, CT, is a city with a long and rich history in music. The city has been home to many famous artists, venues, and events, and has contributed a lot to the world of music. In this article, we will dive into the history of live music in Hartford, CT, and explore the key events, artists, and venues that have made it a music lover’s paradise.

The Early Years of Live Music in Hartford CT

Live music has been a part of Hartford’s culture for centuries. The city’s first documented concert was held in 1733, and by the early 1800s, Hartford was already a music hub, with concerts and operas regularly taking place in public halls.

However, it was not until the 1920s and 1930s that Hartford’s live music scene really started to take off. Jazz and swing music were becoming popular all over the country, and Hartford was no exception. The Savoy Ballroom, which opened in 1926, quickly became one of the hottest venues in the city, attracting the biggest names in jazz and swing.

During this era, Hartford also became home to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1934. The orchestra has since become a pillar of the city’s music community, performing in venues across the city and beyond.

The Rise of Rock and Roll in Hartford CT

In the 1950s and 1960s, rock and roll took over the airways, and Hartford was quick to adapt. Many famous rock and roll acts played in Hartford during these years, including Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and Chuck Berry, among others.

One of the most famous venues during this era was the Bushnell Memorial Auditorium, which opened in 1930 and quickly became a popular spot for live music. The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix all played at the Bushnell during the 1960s.

Another key venue during this era was the Hartford Civic Center, which opened in 1975. The Civic Center quickly became one of the most popular venues in the city, hosting some of the biggest rock and roll acts of the 1970s and 1980s, including Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, and The Grateful Dead.

Hartford CT Music Festivals

Hartford has also been home to many popular music festivals over the years. The most famous of these is the Gathering of the Vibes, which was held annually in the city from 1996 to 2015. This four-day festival attracted music lovers from across the country, featuring acts such as Bob Dylan, James Brown, and The Allman Brothers Band.

Another popular festival is the Riverfront Recapture Summer Concert Series, which has been running since 1981. This free outdoor concert series features a wide range of musical genres and has become a staple of Hartford’s summer entertainment lineup.

The Modern Live Music Scene in Hartford CT

Today, Hartford continues to be a vibrant music hub, with many talented local artists and a variety of live music venues. Some of the most popular venues include Infinity Music Hall & Bistro, which has hosted acts such as Joan Osborne and Patti Smith, and the Webster Theater, which regularly features up-and-coming rock and roll acts.

In recent years, Hartford has also seen a resurgence in jazz music, with the Hartford Jazz Society and the Hartford Jazz Festival both playing a significant role in promoting the genre in the city.

The Pros and Cons of Live Music in Hartford CT

Like any music scene, Hartford’s live music scene has its pros and cons. Here are some of the main points to consider:

  1. Pros:
    • Hartford has a long and rich history in music, with many famous artists and venues calling the city home.
    • The city’s music community is diverse and vibrant, featuring a wide range of genres and styles.
    • Hartford’s music festivals and concert series provide opportunities for both local and national acts to perform.
  2. Cons:
    • The loss of the Gathering of the Vibes in 2015 left a gap in the city’s music festival lineup.
    • The city’s live music scene can be somewhat fragmented, with different genres and scenes spread out across the city.
    • Some venues have struggled financially in recent years, leading to concerns about the future of the live music scene in Hartford.


Overall, Hartford’s live music scene has a rich and fascinating history, with many key players and events shaping its development over the years. Today, the city continues to be a vibrant music hub, offering a wide range of genres, venues, and festivals for music lovers to enjoy. Whether you’re a fan of jazz, rock and roll, or something in between, Hartford has something to offer.

What Makes Hartford CT a Must-Visit Destination for Live Music Fans

Live music is an essential aspect of all societies globally, and no matter the culture or language, music is regarded as an art form that brings a shared feeling of harmony and emotions. Hartford, CT, is a well-known tourist hotspot, with several museums, historical landmarks, and parks. Nevertheless, it is its vibrant live music scene that draws many visitors to the city. In this article, we will discuss what makes Hartford, CT, an excellent destination for live music fans.

1. Venues that offer varied live music genres

One of the significant features of Hartford’s live music scene is the diverse range of genres; there are music venues that cater to all music tastes. Regardless of whether you love classical, hip-hop, rap, rock, or jazz music, there is something for everyone. The city has several venues, including the XL Center, Infinity Hall, and the Webster Theater, where local or international musicians can perform their talents, allowing live music fans to have an enriching experience. It’s not unusual to attend a music show and end up discovering a new genre, artist, or band that can become your favorite.

XL Center

The XL Center (previously known as the Hartford Civic Center) is one of the significant attractions in downtown Hartford that offers live music events. The multi-purpose arena seats over 16,000 people, and it caters to different music tastes from rock concerts to pop music events. The venue has showcased big names such as Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, and the Jonas Brothers.

Infinity Hall

Infinity Hall is a well-known music venue that has been welcoming guests since 2008. It is home to some of the most significant folk, country, and jazz artists in the area. The venue can seat over 400 guests, making for an intimate setting to experience live music.

Webster Theater

The Webster Theater is one of the most famous music venues in Hartford, Connecticut. The venue is known to showcase various music genres, from heavy metal to hip-hop. The venue has hosted artists such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Nine Inch Nails, as well as hip-hop legends LL Cool J and Nas.

2. Engaging music festivals throughout the year

Hartford hosts numerous music festivals throughout the year, which are a hub for live music fans to gather and enjoy performances not just from their favorite artists/bands but from a broader range of talents. These events offer a chance to learn about the local culture, cuisine, and meet new people. One of the biggest festivals is the iHeartRadio music festival, which generates lots of buzz and is attended by people from various parts of Connecticut.

iHeartRadio Music Festival

The iHeartRadio music festival is one of the most significant annual music events in Hartford. The festival usually features a mix of well-known and upcoming artists in the music industry, spanning several genres such as rock, hip-hop, and pop. It is a two-day event that hosts thousands of music fans.

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3. Affordable ticket prices and free concerts

Live music events can be expensive, and this can deter people from attending shows they would otherwise be interested in. However, Hartford’s live music scene offers affordable ticket prices for events that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Additionally, the city hosts free concerts; for example, the Bushnell Park concert series that occurs every summer.

Bushnell Park Concert Series

The Bushnell Park concert series is a free outdoor concert event that happens every summer, providing families and individuals the chance to experience live music performances without breaking the bank. Music fans can bring lawn chairs or a picnic blanket and sit on the grass as they enjoy the various performances.

4. Emerging and world-renowned talent

Not only does Hartford host established artists, but it is also a hub for emerging talent. The city fosters local talent and provides a platform for musicians to perform and gain exposure. This has helped to foster a vibrant music scene, with diverse styles and sounds waiting to be discovered.

Local Talent

Hartford has been recognized for its burgeoning music scene. The vibrant environment has seen local musicians emerge and become world-famous, such as MGMT and Michael Bolton.

5. Unique atmosphere and community

The atmosphere that exists in Hartford’s live music scene is captivating. It is a culmination of the unique venues, enthusiastic fans, and the city’s hospitable and welcoming community. Music fans who visit Hartford can expect to feel at home, interact with locals, converse about music, and make new friends.


Hartford’s live music scene is renowned for its community; it is small, but everyone knows each other. The community works to support local musicians, bars, and venues, ensuring that the music scene continues to thrive. The passion and dedication of the music enthusiasts create an electric atmosphere that visitors to the city find hard to resist.

In conclusion, Hartford, CT, is a vibrant and excellent destination for live music fans. The city’s music scene classifies it as a must-visit destination. It offers an engaging mix of venues that cater to various genres, music festivals, affordable ticket prices, emerging and world-renowned talent, and a unique atmosphere and community. There is always something for everyone; music enthusiasts are guaranteed to have a memorable experience.

FAQs for Live Music Hartford CT

What are some good live music venues in Hartford?

There are many great live music venues in Hartford, including Infinity Music Hall and Bistro, The Webster Theater, and the Xfinity Theater. Each of these venues has a unique atmosphere and hosts a variety of genre-specific shows.

What type of music can I expect to hear in Hartford?

Hartford has a diverse music scene, so you can expect to hear everything from rock and country to jazz and classical music. Many venues host both local and national acts, ensuring that there is always something for everyone to enjoy.

How do I purchase tickets for live music shows in Hartford?

Tickets for live music shows in Hartford can be purchased through the venue’s website, a ticketing website like Ticketmaster, or at the box office of the venue itself. It is important to purchase tickets in advance as some shows may sell out.

What is the best time of year to see live music in Hartford?

The best time to see live music in Hartford is during the summer months when many outdoor festivals and events take place. However, there are also many great shows happening throughout the year, so be sure to check the schedules of local venues regularly.

Are there any free live music events in Hartford?

Yes, there are many free live music events in Hartford throughout the year. For example, the Riverfront Recapture organization hosts a free summer concert series on Thursday evenings at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to a live music event in Hartford?

The rules regarding outside food and drinks vary depending on the venue you are visiting. Some venues may allow you to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages, while others do not allow any outside food or drinks. It’s best to check the specific rules of the venue you plan to visit beforehand.

What is the age limit for attending live music events in Hartford?

The age limit for attending live music events in Hartford depends on the venue and the type of event. Some venues have a strict 21 and over policy for events that serve alcohol, while others may allow minors accompanied by an adult. It’s best to check the specific rules of the venue before purchasing tickets.

Is there parking available at live music venues in Hartford?

Yes, most live music venues in Hartford have parking available either on-site or nearby. However, it’s important to check the parking situation in advance as some venues may have limited parking or require paid parking.

Do live music venues in Hartford have seating options?

Many live music venues in Hartford have both standing room and seating options available. Some venues may require reserved seating, while others have a first-come, first-served policy for seating options.

Are live music events in Hartford accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, most live music venues in Hartford are accessible for people with disabilities. They typically have wheelchair-accessible entrances and seating options as well as accommodations for individuals with other disabilities. It’s best to check with the venue beforehand to ensure they can accommodate specific needs.


In conclusion, Hartford has a vibrant live music scene with something for everyone. With a variety of venues, genres, and events, music lovers can explore and experience the diverse sounds of Hartford. Be sure to check out the schedules of various venues for upcoming events and shows. When attending live music events in Hartford, be sure to check the venue’s rules and regulations, parking, seating options, and accessibility to ensure a great experience. Enjoy the music!