Get Ready To Rock Discover The Best Live Music Knoxville Has To Offer

Contents show

Welcome to the lively world of live music in Knoxville. If you’re a music lover, you’ll know that finding the perfect spot to enjoy live music can be a challenge. The right venue can make all the difference between an amazing night out or a forgettable one. In this article, we’ll explore the diverse and thriving live music scene in Knoxville and give you the lowdown on the best places to go for a night of great music.

Are you ready to get your groove on? By reading this article, you can expect to find a comprehensive guide to the top live music venues in Knoxville. Whether you’re in the mood for sultry jazz, foot-tapping country, or heart-pumping rock, we’ve got you covered. You’ll also discover insider tips on how to nab the best seats, get the best food and drinks, and guarantee a night to remember. So, put on your dancing shoes and get ready to be transported on a musical journey through Knoxville’s vibrant cityscape.

With so many live music venues to choose from, finding the perfect spot to suit your needs can be daunting. But don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you. Our expert team has scoured the city to unearth the best live music joints in Knoxville. We’ve taken into account factors such as atmosphere, music genre, ticket prices, and location to create a comprehensive guide to suit every taste and budget. So, whether you’re a seasoned live music enthusiast or a newbie looking to explore the scene, we’ve got everything you need to know right here.

Best Venues for Live Music in Knoxville

Knoxville, Tennessee is a thriving city with a lively music scene. The city is home to some of the best music venues in the region, attracting top local and national acts. From intimate clubs to large amphitheaters, Knoxville has a venue for every music lover.

Venue Size Matters

When it comes to live music venues, size matters. Different types of music require different acoustic settings and stage sizes. It’s important to consider the size of the venue when choosing a spot to see your favorite band play live. Here are the different types of music venues in Knoxville, based on their size:

  • Intimate Venues – These venues usually cater to small audiences of less than 150 people. They are ideal for acoustic acts, solo performances, and up-and-coming artists. Examples of intimate venues in Knoxville include Barley’s, Open Chord, and Blue Plate Special.
  • Medium Venues – These venues have a capacity of up to 1,000 people. They are intended for more established acts that require a stage and sound system. Examples of medium venues in Knoxville include The Concourse and The Mill and Mine.
  • Large Venues – These venues have a capacity of over 1,000 people. They are ideal for big-name acts and festivals. Examples of large venues in Knoxville include The Tennessee Theatre, The Civic Auditorium-Coliseum, and Thompson-Boling Arena.

Acoustic Venues

Acoustic music is primarily defined by its use of natural acoustics, rather than using electronic amplification. In such instances, venue acoustics become paramount to the kind of music that is produced. These venues are well known for their acoustics:

  • Bijou Theatre – The Bijou Theatre is a concert venue in Downtown Knoxville that has been around since 1909. The theatre features beautiful stained-glass windows, seating for up to 700 people, and excellent acoustics.
  • Tennessee Theatre – The Tennessee Theatre is a treasure of Knoxville, opened in 1928 and founded as a movie palace in the days of silent cinema, the theatre is now host to local and visiting artists of all genres, from music to theater.

Outdoor Venues

Outdoor music venues are popular and generally preferable during the summer months, as they provide a unique and refreshing atmosphere for music enthusiasts. These venues range from small parks and open lawn areas to large-scale amphitheaters. Some outdoor venues to look out for in Knoxville include:

  • Market Square – Market Square is a popular public city square located in Downtown Knoxville. During the summer months, it’s a place to be entertained with free concerts, movies, and a variety of outdoor events.
  • World’s Fair Park – The World’s Fair Park is an expansive public park in Downtown Knoxville that hosts a variety of outdoor events, from music festivals to local concerts.

Specialty Venues

Knoxville is known for its unique and specialty music venues, where live music is often paired with crafts, artisan food, or other forms of entertainment. These venues typically cater to niche communities or particular tastes.

  • Scruffy City Hall – Besides being a popular hangout spot in Knoxville, Scruffy City Hall is also a music venue that specializes in alternative and indie rock. The bar also features a craft cocktail bar and a small arcade room for enthusiasts.
  • Preservation Pub – Preservation Pub is a well-known spot for both music and food in Knoxville. Known for its live music, good food, and specialty drinks, the pub is recognized for its dedication to preserving historic structures and the local community. ​
Venue Capacity Acoustics Specialty
Barley’s 100-150 Intimate
The Concourse 800-1,000 Medium
Tennessee Theatre 1,600 Acoustic
Market Square Open Lawn Outdoor
World’s Fair Park 10,000 Outdoor
Scruffy City Hall 150-200 Intimate Specialty Drinks
Preservation Pub 100-150 Intimate Historic Preservation

When choosing a music venue, consider factors such as size, acoustics, and specialty. Whether you prefer intimate venues or large-scale amphitheaters, Knoxville has a music venue for everyone. From classical to indie and everything in between, the city’s vibrant music scene is sure to satisfy every music lover.

Local Bands Making Waves on the Knoxville Music Scene

Knoxville, Tennessee has a thriving local music scene with a variety of genres being represented. From bluegrass to punk rock, Knoxville offers something for everyone. In recent years, there has been an influx of local bands that have been making waves on the music scene. These bands have been gaining popularity not only in Knoxville but also in other parts of the country. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the local bands that are making waves in Knoxville.

See also  Conquer The Business Music And Fashion Districts Insider Tips And Tricks

The Black Cadillacs

The Black Cadillacs is a six-piece rock and roll band that was formed in 2008. The band comprises members from Knoxville and has been gaining popularity not only in the city but also across the country. Their music is a mix of classic rock and blues with a modern twist. The band has released two albums to date and has been touring extensively across the United States. Some interesting facts about The Black Cadillacs include:

– The band has shared the stage with several renowned musicians including Zac Brown Band, Grace Potter, and the Avett Brothers.
– The Black Cadillacs’ music has been featured in several TV shows including Shameless, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals.
– In 2013, the band won the award for Best Rock Band at the Knoxville Music Awards.

The Joy Kills

The Joy Kills is a punk rock band that was formed in Knoxville in 2016. The band members were previously part of other local bands before joining forces to form The Joy Kills. Their music is fast-paced and energetic, with lyrics that reflect on the challenges of life in modern society. Some interesting facts about The Joy Kills include:

– The band members take inspiration from classic punk rock bands like The Ramones and The Clash.
– The Joy Kills have released three EPs to date, with their latest being “The Upstairs Room” released in 2019.
– The band has been performing regularly in Knoxville and has gained a considerable following in the city.

The Pinklets

The Pinklets is an all-female band that was formed in Knoxville in 2016. The band comprises four college students who are passionate about music. Their music is a mix of indie, pop, and rock, with lyrics that reflect on themes of empowerment and self-love. Some interesting facts about The Pinklets include:

– The band was formed after the members met in a music class at the University of Tennessee.
– The Pinklets’ debut album, “We Knew This Would Happen,” was released in 2019 and features songs that were written by the band members.
– The Pinklets have been performing at various venues in Knoxville and have gained a significant following in the city.

Comparison Table

To summarize the key aspects of the three local bands making waves in Knoxville, here is a comparison table:

Band Name Genre Number of Albums Released Notable Achievements
The Black Cadillacs Rock and Roll/Blues 2 Shared stage with Zac Brown Band, Grace Potter, and Avett Brothers; music featured in TV shows; won Best Rock Band at Knoxville Music Awards
The Joy Kills Punk Rock 3 Released three EPs; performing regularly in Knoxville and gaining a significant following in the city
The Pinklets Indie/Pop/Rock 1 Formed by college students after meeting in a music class at University of Tennessee; debut album features songs written by band members; performing regularly in Knoxville and gaining a significant following in the city

In conclusion, Knoxville’s music scene is vibrant and diverse, with several local bands making waves in recent years. The Black Cadillacs, The Joy Kills, and The Pinklets are just a few examples of the talent that can be found in the city. With their unique sound and style, these bands are not only gaining popularity in Knoxville but also across the country. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for these bands and others like them in Knoxville’s music scene.

The History of Live Music in Knoxville

The city of Knoxville, located in eastern Tennessee, has a rich history of live music that spans over a century. From the very beginning, the city’s thriving nightlife, diverse population, and strong tradition of Appalachian music have contributed to its vibrant music scene. Today, Knoxville’s music scene continues to be a major attraction for both local residents and tourists alike, with a variety of venues hosting live music performances throughout the year.

The Early Years

In the early 1900s, Knoxville was a bustling city with a thriving music scene. The city’s downtown area was home to several theaters and music halls that hosted a range of performances, including vaudeville shows, operas, and musical concerts. One of the most iconic venues at the time was the Tennessee Theatre, which was built in 1928 and still hosts performances to this day.

During this time, Knoxville was also home to many talented musicians, including several prominent bluegrass musicians such as Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers. These musicians helped to establish Knoxville as a leading city in the country music scene, eventually earning it the title of “The Cradle of Country Music.”

The Rise of the Music Scene in Knoxville

In the 1960s and 70s, Knoxville’s music scene underwent a major transformation as more and more young musicians began to explore new genres and styles. Many of these musicians were inspired by the sounds of the emerging rock and roll and blues scenes, as well as the counterculture movements of the time.

During this period, several new music venues emerged in Knoxville, including the Bijou Theatre and The Tennessee Valley Fair. These venues offered music fans a place to enjoy live performances by some of the biggest names in the industry, such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

The Modern Era

Today, Knoxville’s music scene is more vibrant than ever, with a wide range of venues and performers from different genres and backgrounds. From alternative rock and indie bands to country music and blues, there is no shortage of live music available in the city.

Some of the most popular venues for live music in Knoxville include:

– The Pilot Light – This small venue is known for its intimate shows and up-and-coming artists.
– The Mill & Mine – A larger venue that hosts big-name acts and popular bands.
– The Tennessee Theatre – This historic venue continues to host live performances of all kinds, from music to theater.

In addition to these venues, Knoxville also hosts several music festivals throughout the year, including the Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival and the Big Ears Festival. These festivals feature performances by some of the biggest names in music as well as up-and-coming artists from various genres.


In conclusion, Knoxville’s music scene has a rich history that spans over a century. From the early days of vaudeville shows and country music to the modern era of alternative rock and blues, Knoxville has always been a hub for live music. Today, the city continues to be a major attraction for music fans from all over the world, with a variety of venues and festivals that offer something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of traditional country music or prefer something more modern, Knoxville’s music scene has something to offer.

Tips for Enjoying Live Music Safely in Knoxville

Going to concerts and live music events in Knoxville can be an exciting experience, but ensuring your safety while enjoying the live music is essential. Whether you’re a seasoned concertgoer or a first-timer, these tips for enjoying live music safely in Knoxville will help you have a memorable time without putting yourself in danger.

Know Your Surroundings:

When attending a live music event, you must be aware of your surroundings. This includes paying attention to where the exit and entry points are, as well as keeping a close eye on people around you. Here are some helpful tips to keep you safe:

  • Arrive early to familiarize yourself with the venue and check out the exits.
  • If you’re going with friends, make a meeting point in case you get separated.
  • Pay attention to any suspicious behavior, such as aggressive or intoxicated individuals.
  • If something feels wrong, trust your instincts and take action.
See also  Discover The Best Places For Live Music KC A Guide For Music Lovers

If you’re unsure about how to stay safe, don’t hesitate to ask security personnel or event staff for tips.

Be Mindful of Your Alcohol Consumption:

Drinking alcohol can be a fun part of a live music event, but it’s crucial to drink responsibly. Too much alcohol can impair your judgment and put you in a vulnerable position. Here are some tips for responsible drinking:

  • Set a limit for yourself and stick to it.
  • Stay hydrated by alternating alcohol with water or other non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Avoid drinking on an empty stomach to prevent getting too intoxicated too quickly.
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers or anyone you don’t trust.

Ultimately, being mindful of your alcohol consumption will help you stay safe and have a better time at the live music event.

Travel with Friends:

Attending a live music event is always more enjoyable when accompanied by friends, but it’s also safer. When traveling with friends, you have a support system that can help you stay safe and navigate tricky or uncomfortable situations. Here are some tips for traveling with friends:

  • Make sure everyone has a way to contact each other in case they get lost.
  • Determine who will be the designated driver before you go out, so there’s no confusion later on.
  • Agree to check in with each other periodically throughout the event.
  • Never leave your friend alone, especially if they have had too much to drink.

Traveling with friends is a simple yet effective way to ensure your safety during a live music event.

Understand Your Limits:

Lastly, it’s important to understand your limits when attending a live music event. This includes knowing when it’s time to leave and when you’ve had enough to drink. Here are some tips for understanding your limits:

  • Pay attention to your body’s signals, such as dizziness or nausea.
  • Take breaks throughout the event to give your body a chance to recuperate.
  • Don’t push yourself or your limits to impress others.
  • Know how to find a taxi, Uber or Lyft if you need to leave early.

Understanding your limits is essential to ensuring your safety, both physically and mentally, during a live music event.

Pros Cons
  • Enjoy a fun and exciting experience with live music.
  • Get to know new bands and meet new people with similar interests.
  • Travel with friends and have a support system to keep you safe.
  • Risk of alcohol poisoning and substance abuse.
  • Dangerous situations from not knowing your surroundings or paying attention to suspicious behavior.
  • Possible physical harm from not recognizing your limits and pushing yourself too far.

In conclusion, these tips for enjoying live music safely in Knoxville are simple yet effective methods to ensure your safety and have a memorable experience. Knowing your surroundings, being mindful of your alcohol consumption, traveling with friends, and understanding your limits will help you have a fun and safe time during any live music event.

How to Support Knoxville’s Live Music Community

Knoxville’s live music scene is one of the most vibrant in the region, with dozens of venues showcasing an array of music genres. Music lovers from across Knoxville flock to these venues every weekend to enjoy live music performances by local and national acts. However, the ongoing pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the live music industry, with many musicians and venues struggling to stay afloat. As a community, we must come together to support Knoxville’s live music community in these challenging times. In this article, we will discuss five ways to support Knoxville’s live music community.

1. Attend Live Music Events

One of the simplest and most effective ways to support Knoxville’s live music community is by attending live music events in the city. By paying for tickets and showing up for performances, you are showing your support for local musicians and venues. This helps to create a vibrant live music scene that benefits both the musicians and the community.

  • Buy tickets for live music events
  • When you attend live music events, buy tickets from the event organizers or official ticketing websites. Avoid purchasing tickets from unauthorized third-party vendors who may be selling fake or scalped tickets.

  • Spread the word
  • Talk to your friends and family about upcoming live music events in Knoxville. Share event flyers and posters on your social media pages to help spread the word. Encourage others to attend live music shows and support local musicians.

  • Take photos and videos during live events
  • Take photos and videos during live music events and share them on social media platforms. This can help to generate buzz and excitement for future shows and events, and it can also help to promote the musicians and venues.

2. Buy Merchandise

Another way to support Knoxville’s live music community is to purchase merchandise from local musicians and venues. Merchandise sales such as T-shirts, hats, stickers, and other items, are a critical source of revenue for many musicians and venues that have been unable to perform or host events in the past year, due to pandemic restrictions.

  • Buy merchandise from local musicians and venues
  • When you attend live music events, be sure to check out the merchandise booths of the bands and venues. Purchasing merchandise directly from the source helps to support local musicians and venues financially.

  • Promote merchandise sales on social media
  • If you’re unable to attend a live music event but still want to support the artists, check out their merchandise online. Purchase the items you like and share them on social media platforms to help promote their sales to a broader audience.

  • Volunteer at merchandise booths
  • If you have some spare time, you can volunteer to help run merchandise booths at live music events. This helps musicians and venues by enabling them to focus on their performances, while you take care of sales and marketing.

3. Tip the Musicians and Staff

Tipping is an excellent way to support Knoxville’s live music community financially. Musicians and staff at venues rely on tips to supplement their income, and many venues have tip jars set up for this very purpose.

  • Tip the musicians
  • Give musicians performing at live events a tip to show your appreciation for their talent and hard work. You can do this by dropping cash into a tip jar or via digital payment options, such as Venmo or Cash App.

  • Tip the venue staff
  • Many live music venues have bartenders, servers, sound technicians, and security staff working to ensure a smooth performance. Tip them generously to show your appreciation for their services.

  • Be courteous and respectful
  • When attending live music events, be courteous and respectful towards musicians and venue staff. Let them know that their hard work is appreciated, and that you are happy to support them by tipping and attending their events.

4. Donate to Local Music Nonprofits

There are several local music nonprofits in Knoxville that work tirelessly to promote and support the city’s live music scene. Donating to these nonprofits is an excellent way to support Knoxville’s live music community.

  • Donate to local music nonprofits
  • Knoxville has several music nonprofits, such as the Dogwood Arts Festival, the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Donating to these nonprofits helps to support local musicians and promote the city’s live music scene.

  • Learn about these nonprofits
  • Take some time to learn about the different music nonprofits in Knoxville and their missions. Find out how you can support them through volunteering, fundraising, or financial donations.

  • Attend fundraisers and events
  • Music nonprofits often host fundraisers and events to raise money for their causes. Attend these events to show your support and help raise funds for the local music community.

See also  Feel The Rhythm Live Music Thursday Night Is The Perfect Way To Kick Off Your Weekend

5. Support Local Music Venues

Local music venues are the backbone of Knoxville’s live music scene. These venues provide a platform for musicians to showcase their talents and for music lovers to come together and enjoy live music.

  • Be a loyal patron of local music venues
  • Choose to attend live music events at local venues rather than national chains. This helps to support Knoxville’s live music community by giving revenue to local businesses.

  • Share your experiences at local music venues
  • Spread the word about the live music venues you enjoy the most. Share your experiences on social media platforms and encourage others to check out these venues.

  • Attend fundraisers and events held by local music venues
  • Many live music venues host fundraisers and events to support their businesses and the local music community. Attend these events to show your support and help raise funds for the venues.

In conclusion, there are several ways to support Knoxville’s live music community. By attending live music events, buying merchandise, tipping musicians and staff, donating to local music nonprofits, and supporting local music venues, we can help ensure the continued growth and vitality of Knoxville’s live music scene. So next time you’re looking for a fun night out, consider checking out a live music event in Knoxville and show your support for the local music community.

FAQs – Live Music Knoxville

What are some popular music venues in Knoxville?

Some of the popular music venues in Knoxville are The Mill and Mine, The Bijou Theatre, The Concourse, and The Tennessee Theatre. These venues regularly host live music events and concerts featuring top-notch artists and bands from various genres.

What types of music can I expect in Knoxville?

Knoxville is known for its eclectic music scene and offers a diverse range of music genres including rock, bluegrass, country, jazz, and blues. You can also find contemporary and experimental music concerts in the city.

When is the best time to visit Knoxville for live music?

While there is live music happening year-round in Knoxville, the best time to visit would be in the summer when several outdoor music festivals take place. These festivals feature multiple artists and bands across many genres, making it a perfect opportunity to experience Knoxville’s music scene in full bloom.

Can I experience live music in Knoxville for free?

Knoxville offers plenty of free live music events throughout the year, especially during the summer months. Grab a picnic blanket and head to Market Square for Sundown in the City or to World’s Fair Park for the Rossini Festival. Both of these events offer free live music.

What is the dress code for live music events in Knoxville?

The dress code for live music events in Knoxville depends on the venue and the event. Some venues require formal attire, while others are more casual. It’s always best to check the dress code before you attend a live music event to avoid any surprises.

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

It is always recommended to purchase tickets in advance for popular live music events so that you can secure a spot and avoid long lines. Many venues have their own ticketing system, while some rely on third-party ticketing platforms such as Ticketmaster or Eventbrite.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to live music events in Knoxville?

The policy on outside food and drinks varies from venue to venue, so it is best to check with the venue before you bring your own. Some venues may not allow outside drinks, but will allow outside food, while others may not permit either.

Are there any age restrictions for live music events in Knoxville?

Most of the live music events in Knoxville allow all ages. However, some events that take place in bars and nightclubs may have age restrictions, typically 21 and above. Be sure to check the age requirement before attending the event.

Are there any accessible music venues in Knoxville for people with disabilities?

Knoxville offers accessible music venues for people with disabilities. Venues like The Mill and Mine, The Bijou Theatre, and The Tennessee Theatre provide wheelchair accessibility, reserved seating, and other accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

What’s the best way to stay updated about live music events in Knoxville?

The best way to stay updated about live music events in Knoxville is by following local music venues and promoters on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also sign up for newsletters and email updates from these venues to receive regular updates on upcoming events and concerts.


In conclusion, Knoxville is a vibrant city with a lively music scene that offers something for everyone. From free outdoor concerts to indoor venues hosting top-notch artists and bands, music lovers can enjoy a wide range of genres across various settings. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to the city, there are plenty of opportunities to experience live music in Knoxville. After reading this article, you can head to one of Knoxville’s top music venues, check out a free outdoor music festival, or explore the city’s eclectic music scene. Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out our other interesting articles.