Experience The Best Of Live Music Norfolk VA An Unforgettable Evening Awaits You

Hello music lovers! Are you tired of searching for good live music venues in Norfolk, Virginia, and ending up disappointed? Well, you’re not alone. Finding the perfect place to relax and listen to great live music can be a frustrating experience, especially in a city with so many options. But fear not, we’re here to help!

By the end of this article, you’ll know all the top places to go for live music in Norfolk, and you’ll be able to make an informed decision about where to spend your next evening out. You’ll feel confident in your choice and be able to enjoy an evening of fantastic music and a lively atmosphere.

We’ve done our research and can guarantee that the information you’ll find in this article has been tested and proven. So, sit back, relax, and read on, because we’ve got you covered when it comes to finding the best live music Norfolk has to offer!

The Best Music Venues in Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, Virginia, is an exceptional city that thrives in its exciting music scene. Whether you want to jam to popular hits, enjoy smooth jazz tunes, or listen to classical music, Norfolk has it all. The best part? The city has numerous venues that offer diverse musical sounds to attract people from all walks of life. Check out the following music venues in Norfolk, VA, to enjoy your favorite music genres.

The NorVa

The NorVa is one of the most famous music venues in Norfolk, VA, known for hosting renowned artists and bands such as Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, and Weezer. It is located in the heart of downtown Norfolk and provides an intimate setting for concert-goers to get up close and personal with their favorite artists.

  • Capacity: The NorVa has a capacity of approximately 1,500 guests. It is not too small nor too big and offers a cozy environment for a live show.
  • Sound quality: The NorVa is famous for its superior sound quality that brings out the best in live music. It provides top-of-the-line equipment that makes everything from guitars to drums sound fantastic.
  • Ambience: The venue features an art-deco theme that adds to the ambiance of the intimate setting. Its comfortable standing-room-only configuration ensures that you never miss a beat from your favorite artists.
  • Proximity: The NorVa is situated in the heart of Norfolk’s entertainment district, with adjacent restaurants, bars and ample parking options.
  • Experience: The venue provides an exceptional experience with its lively atmosphere, an accessible bar with an impressive selection of beverages, and concert posters framed on the walls.
Pros Cons
Provides exceptional sound quality The venue might be too small for some music enthusiasts.
Features a beautiful art-deco theme Standing-room-only configuration can be uncomfortable for some patrons.
Offers an intimate setting where guests can get up close and personal with their favorite artists. It can get loud, making it difficult to have a conversation with your friends in between sets.

The NorVa is a gem that sets the bar high for live music venues. It has been voted by Rolling Stone as one of the best music venues in America and continues to exceed the expectations of its patrons with every performance. Experience the magic of live music in Norfolk, VA, with The NorVa.

Exploring the Vibrant Local Live Music Scene in Norfolk, VA

If you’re a music lover, then Norfolk, VA is a place you would not want to miss. The city’s live music scene is one of the most vibrant and dynamic in the country. The city boasts a rich musical heritage, which has given rise to a thriving and diverse music community.

Here, we’ll delve into the local live music scene of Norfolk, VA and explore the different aspects that make it one of the most sought-after destinations for music enthusiasts.

1. The Venue Scene

Norfolk, VA is home to some of the best live music venues in the country. Whether you’re into indie rock, blues, jazz, or electronic music, you’ll find a venue that caters to your musical taste. Some of the most popular venues in the city include:

  • The NorVa: This iconic venue has played host to some of the biggest names in the music industry, including The Black Keys, Adele, and The Killers. The NorVa has a capacity of 1,500 and offers an intimate setting that allows fans to get up close and personal with their favorite artists.
  • Toast: Toast is a smaller venue that offers an eclectic mix of live music, ranging from indie rock to bluegrass. It has a capacity of 250 and is a popular spot among locals for catching up-and-coming artists.
  • The Taphouse: This cozy bar is located in the heart of Ghent and serves up some of the best craft beer in the city. It also hosts live music nights, featuring local and regional acts. The Taphouse has a loyal following among the locals and is a great spot for discovering new talent.

2. The Music Festivals

Norfolk, VA plays host to a variety of music festivals throughout the year. These festivals bring in some of the biggest names in the music industry and attract crowds from all over the country. Some of the most popular music festivals in the city include:

  • The American Music Festival: This is one of the largest outdoor music festivals on the East Coast, attracting over 250,000 people each year. The festival features a lineup of national and regional acts across multiple stages, along with food vendors and arts and crafts booths. Previous headliners include artists like Aretha Franklin, The Fray, and Weezer.
  • Norfolk Jazz Festival: This festival is a celebration of jazz music and features performances by local, regional, and national jazz artists. The festival takes place at the Town Point Park in Norfolk and draws in a large crowd of jazz enthusiasts. Past performers include jazz legends like Al Jarreau, Boney James, and George Benson.
  • Folk Festival: The Norfolk Folk Festival celebrates the traditional music of America, with a lineup that includes bluegrass, folk, and country artists. The festival takes place in the fall and draws in a large crowd of music lovers. The festival also features workshops and demonstrations on traditional music and dance.
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3. The Local Music Scene

Norfolk, VA has a thriving local music scene, with a variety of talented artists and bands calling the city home. Whether you’re into indie rock, hip hop, or jazz, you’re sure to find a local artist that you’ll love.

Some of the most popular local artists in Norfolk include:

  • Korinn: Korinn is an indie rock band that has been making a name for itself in the Norfolk music scene. The band is known for its catchy melodies and unique sound.
  • Black Blush: Black Blush is a hip hop group that blends soulful beats with socially conscious lyrics. The group has gained a strong following in the Norfolk music scene and has been recognized for its innovative sound.
  • Hope House Band: The Hope House Band is a gospel group that performs regularly at the Hope House Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports people with developmental disabilities. The band’s uplifting music has become a source of inspiration for many in the Norfolk community.

4. The Open Mic Nights

Norfolk, VA has a vibrant open mic scene, with multiple venues hosting open mic nights throughout the week. These open mic nights provide a platform for local artists to showcase their talent and connect with other musicians in the community.

Some of the most popular open mic nights in Norfolk include:

  • The Venue on 35th: The Venue on 35th is a cozy coffeehouse that offers open mic nights every Thursday. The venue has a welcoming atmosphere, making it a great spot for new and experienced artists to perform.
  • Zeiders American Dream Theater: Zeiders American Dream Theater hosts a monthly open mic night, featuring a diverse lineup of local artists. The open mic night is held in the theater’s intimate studio space, creating a unique and intimate atmosphere for performers and audiences.
  • The Rusty Anchor: The Rusty Anchor is a popular bar that hosts open jam sessions every Thursday. The jam sessions are open to musicians of all levels, making it a great spot for beginners to learn and connect with other musicians.

In summary, the local live music scene in Norfolk, VA is a vibrant and dynamic community that is home to some of the best venues, festivals, and local artists in the country. Whether you’re a music lover or a musician yourself, Norfolk offers something for everyone.

The Best Kept Secrets: Norfolk’s Hidden Live Music Gems

Norfolk, Virginia is known for its vibrant music scene, with popular venues like The Norva and Chrysler Hall drawing in crowds from all over the state. However, there are many lesser-known venues in Norfolk that offer incredible live music experiences. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the hidden gems for live music in Norfolk.

The Taphouse Grill

The Taphouse Grill is one of the most popular bars in Norfolk, but many people don’t know that it’s also a great spot for live music. Here are some key things to know about this venue:

  • The vibe: The Taphouse Grill has a laid-back, friendly atmosphere. It’s a popular spot for locals to grab a beer after work or on the weekends, and the live music adds to the ambiance.
  • The music: The Taphouse Grill hosts live music several nights a week, featuring local artists as well as touring acts. You can catch everything from acoustic solo acts to full bands playing a range of genres, including rock, blues, and folk.
  • The drinks: As its name suggests, the Taphouse Grill is known for its selection of beers. They have over 40 beers on tap and many more in bottles and cans, including a variety of craft beers. They also have a full bar with a range of cocktails and spirits.
  • The food: The Taphouse Grill offers a range of pub-style food, including burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers. They also have vegetarian and vegan options, as well as gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions.

If you’re looking for a cozy spot to enjoy some live music and a few drinks with friends, the Taphouse Grill is definitely worth checking out.

The Barrel Room

The Barrel Room is tucked away in the basement of the Granby Theater, and it’s one of Norfolk’s best-kept secrets for live music. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The vibe: The Barrel Room is an intimate and cozy space that’s perfect for live music. With its brick walls and low lighting, it feels like a speakeasy from another era.
  • The music: The Barrel Room specializes in jazz, blues, and soul music, and it hosts some of the best local and regional artists. They also have a regular open mic night, where anyone can come and showcase their talent.
  • The drinks: The Barrel Room has a range of cocktails, beer, and wine, as well as a selection of small plates and charcuterie boards.
  • The history: The Granby Theater, which houses the Barrel Room, is a historic venue that opened in 1915. It was originally a vaudeville theater and later became a movie theater. Today, it’s a popular spot for weddings, concerts, and other events.

If you’re a fan of jazz or blues music, or you just want to experience a cool underground venue, the Barrel Room is a must-visit.


Toast is a small coffee shop and bar located in the Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk. It might not seem like an obvious choice for live music, but it’s a hidden gem that’s worth discovering. Here’s what you should know:

  • The vibe: Toast has a cozy and eclectic vibe, with mismatched furniture and artwork on the walls. It’s a great spot to catch up with friends or get some work done during the day.
  • The music: Toast hosts live music several times a month, featuring local and regional artists. They also have a vinyl night, where people can bring their favorite records to play on the shop’s turntable.
  • The drinks: Toast has a range of coffee and tea drinks, as well as a small selection of beer and wine. They also offer a variety of pastries and small bites.
  • The community: Toast is known for its strong sense of community. They host events like poetry readings, book clubs, and art shows, and they often collaborate with other local businesses and organizations.

If you’re looking for a unique and welcoming spot to enjoy some live music, Toast is definitely worth a visit.

Venue Vibe Music Drinks Food
The Taphouse Grill Laid-back, friendly Local artists and touring acts, range of genres Over 40 beers on tap, full bar Pub-style food, vegetarian and vegan options, gluten-free options
The Barrel Room Intimate, cozy Jazz, blues, soul, open mic night Cocktails, beer, wine, small plates, charcuterie boards N/A
Toast Cozy, eclectic Local and regional artists, vinyl night Coffee, tea, beer, wine Pastries, small bites

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a unique and authentic live music experience in Norfolk, don’t just stick to the well-known venues. Check out some of these hidden gems and discover new music, food, and drinks in the process.

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Unforgettable Concert Experiences in Norfolk, VA

Music enthusiasts know that Norfolk, VA is a melting pot of various musical genres. This coastal city hosts some of the biggest and most notable music festivals in the country, attracting thousands of visitors every year. Concert-goers leave with unforgettable experiences, having witnessed high-energy performances from some of their favorite artists. Here are some subtopics to explore the unforgettable concert experiences in Norfolk, VA.

The sound, the light, the show

Good music coupled with excellent lighting and sound production makes for an unforgettable concert experience. That is precisely what you will find at the Norva, a premier music venue in Norfolk, VA. This 1,500-seat capacity venue is known for its state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, providing concert-goers with a rare experience. At the Norva, every seat is a good seat as the intimate space allows for an unobstructed view of your favorite musicians.

The Norva has hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry, from Snoop Dog to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others. The venue has been consistently voted one of the best music venues in the country, and for a good reason. The sound quality at the Norva is top-notch, with its sound system being ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the world’s best.

The vibe in the audience

The energetic vibe in the audience can also make or break a concert experience. At Waterside District, located in Downtown Norfolk, concert-goers spend hours getting down with the beat. With over 80,000 square feet of dining and entertainment space, the Waterside District is an ideal venue for a variety of concerts. The venue has hosted some of the biggest names in music, ranging from hip-hop, country to rock.

At Waterside District, the audience is at the heart of every performance, and the vibes you get from the people leave a lasting impression. Waterside District aims to create an environment that is inclusive and fun, making it a great venue for all ages.

The festival experience

Music festivals provide a platform for an unforgettable musical experience that goes beyond just the music. The Virginia Arts Festival is a premier musical festival that takes place in Norfolk, VA, drawing visitors from all over the world. This festival is held annually in April and May, showcasing international artists with genres ranging from pop, jazz, classical, and country.

The Virginia Arts Festival offers a range of events, from free concerts to exclusive and intimate events. The festival provides visitors with an opportunity to explore various art forms beyond just music. Each year, the festival showcases programs that feature celebrated artists with experimental works.

The outdoor concert experience

Nothing beats an open-air concert experience with the skyline in the background. Town Point Park, located on the downtown Norfolk waterfront, offers the perfect setting for outdoor concerts. The park is a spacious venue hosting annual events such as the Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Food Festival, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s annual Concert in the Park, and the Annual Latino Music Festival.

Town Point Park provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the Elizabeth River and the city skyline. The park is a serene environment, giving guests an unparalleled outdoor concert experience. This venue has also been home to the region’s most significant outdoor beer festival, where visitors can taste some of the best locally brewed beers.

Pros Cons
  • Unforgettable concert experiences created by expert sound and lighting
  • Unique concert experience at diverse venues
  • Outdoor concerts provide a lovely backdrop for music enthusiasts
  • Music festivals cater to diverse musical preferences
  • High demand for tickets, making it hard to secure a seat
  • Traffic can be a hassle when exploring different venues
  • The cost of attending multiple concerts and festivals can be an issue

In conclusion, Norfolk, VA is an attractive destination for music enthusiasts. The various venues and festivals create memorable experiences that cater to diverse musical interests. From the incredible sound quality at the Norva to the serene environment at Town Point Park, visitors are spoilt for choice. The sound, lighting, outdoor setting, and general vibe in the audience all play a part in making unforgettable concert experiences in Norfolk, VA.

Top Live Performances to Catch in Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, VA is a hub of live entertainment, with numerous bars and clubs hosting music events on a regular basis. The city has become a destination for music lovers seeking quality live performances. The vibrant music scene is a testament to the city’s rich musical heritage, which dates back to the early 20th century when jazz and blues music was popular. With so many options available, it can be challenging to decide which performances to catch. Here are the top live performances to catch in Norfolk, VA.

1. Jazz Night at Attucks Theatre

Attucks Theatre is a historic venue that has hosted legendary jazz artists such as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and Ella Fitzgerald. The venue continues to host Jazz Night every Wednesday, featuring local and national jazz acts. Jazz Night is a popular event that attracts a diverse crowd of music lovers. The show is known for its intimate setting, excellent acoustics, and world-class performances.

  • Attucks Theatre was named after Crispus Attucks, the first casualty of the American Revolution.
  • The theatre was built in 1919 and was one of the only theaters for black Americans in the South during segregation.
  • Jazz Night has been a tradition at Attucks Theatre for over 20 years.

2. The NorVa

The NorVa is a premier music venue located in the heart of Norfolk’s arts district. The venue has a capacity of 1,500 people and hosts a variety of music genres, from rock and alternative to hip hop and EDM. The NorVa has hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Foo Fighters, Coldplay, and Beyonce. The venue is known for its state-of-the-art sound system, spacious dance floor, and excellent stage visibility.

  • Named one of the best music venues in the country by Rolling Stone magazine.
  • The NorVa was originally a vaudeville theatre built in 1917.
  • The NorVa’s name is derived from the venue’s former name, The Norfolk Theatre, spelled backward.

3. Big Bands at Chrysler Hall

Chrysler Hall is a magnificent venue that hosts Broadway productions, comedy shows, and orchestral performances. The venue is also home to the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, which is known for its outstanding performances. One of the highlights of Chrysler Hall’s music program is the Big Bands series, which features renowned big band orchestras from around the country. The Big Bands series is a rare opportunity to experience the sounds of the swing era.

  • Chrysler Hall opened in 1972 and seats over 2,500 people.
  • The venue is part of the Norfolk Scope Complex, which also includes the Scope Arena and the Exhibition Hall.
  • The Virginia Symphony Orchestra has been performing in Chrysler Hall since 1979.

4. Reggae Night at The Bunker Brewpub

The Bunker Brewpub is a popular destination for craft beer enthusiasts and live music aficionados. The venue hosts Reggae Night every Tuesday, featuring local and national reggae acts. Reggae Night is a laid-back event that is perfect for relaxing and enjoying good music with friends. The Bunker Brewpub is known for its excellent selection of craft beer and its cozy atmosphere.

  • The Bunker Brewpub is located in a historic building that was once a part of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
  • The venue has won numerous awards for its craft beer, including medals at the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival.
  • Reggae Night has been a tradition at The Bunker Brewpub for over 10 years.
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5. Local Music at Zeiders American Dream Theater

Zeiders American Dream Theater is a new addition to Norfolk’s live music scene. The venue is dedicated to showcasing local and regional talent across a variety of music genres. Zeiders American Dream Theater is a unique space that combines a performance venue with a community gathering place. The venue hosts events that are designed to bring people together through the power of music.

Zeiders American Dream Theater The NorVa
Capacity 250 people 1,500 people
Music genres Local and regional talent across various genres Rock, alternative, hip hop, and EDM
Features Intimate setting, state-of-the-art sound system Spacious dance floor, excellent stage visibility
Notable performers N/A Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Beyonce
  • Zeiders American Dream Theater opened in 2018 and was named after the theater’s founder, Terry Zeiders.
  • The venue is part of the American Dream Series, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting performing arts in the community.
  • Zeiders American Dream Theater is one of the few venues in the area that focuses on showcasing local and regional talent.

In conclusion, live music in Norfolk, VA is thriving, with a variety of venues and genres to choose from. Whether you prefer jazz, rock, reggae, or orchestral music, there is something for everyone. From historic venues like Attucks Theatre to modern spaces like The NorVa and Zeiders American Dream Theater, Norfolk offers a diverse range of live performances that are not to be missed.

FAQs – Live Music Norfolk VA

What are some venues that offer live music in Norfolk VA?

There are several venues in Norfolk VA that offer live music. Some popular ones include The NorVA, Attucks Theatre, The Taphouse Grill, The Vanguard Brewpub and Distillery, and Charlie’s American Café.

What kind of music can I expect to see in Norfolk VA?

Norfolk VA offers a wide variety of music, ranging from jazz and blues to rock and indie. You can also find local bands, cover bands, and tribute bands. Depending on the venue and the event, you can expect to see different genres of music.

How can I find out about upcoming live music events in Norfolk VA?

You can find out about upcoming live music events in Norfolk VA by checking the websites of the venues, following them on social media, looking at local event calendars like VisitNorfolk and DowntownNorfolk, or using online platforms like Bandsintown and Songkick.

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

It depends on the event and the venue. Some events may require advanced ticket purchase, while others may offer tickets at the door. It’s always recommended to check the event details and ticket information beforehand to make sure you’re prepared.

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

The age limit for attending live music events in Norfolk VA can vary depending on the venue and the event. Some venues may be strictly 21+, while others may allow all ages with a parent or guardian. It’s best to check with the venue beforehand if you are unsure.

Are there any outdoor live music events in Norfolk VA?

Yes, there are several outdoor live music events in Norfolk VA, especially during the summer season. Some popular ones include the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival, Harborfest, and Party on the Pier at Ocean View Beach Park.

Do any restaurants in Norfolk VA offer live music?

Yes, many restaurants in Norfolk VA offer live music, especially during weekend nights. Some examples include The Rustic Spoon, The Dirty Buffalo, 757 Crave on Colley, and Norfolk Seafood Company and Big Easy Oyster Bar.

What is the dress code for attending live music events in Norfolk VA?

The dress code for attending live music events in Norfolk VA can vary depending on the venue and the event. Some venues may require specific attire, while others may have a more casual dress code. It’s always recommended to check with the venue beforehand if you are unsure.

Can I bring my own alcohol to live music events in Norfolk VA?

No, it is not allowed to bring your own alcohol to live music events in Norfolk VA, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Most venues have a bar or concession stand where you can purchase drinks and food.

Are there any free live music events in Norfolk VA?

Yes, there are several free live music events in Norfolk VA, especially during the summer season. Some examples include the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival, The Plot Pop-Up Events, and Groovin’ By The Bay at Ocean View Beach Park.


In conclusion, Norfolk VA offers a diverse and vibrant live music scene, with plenty of venues, genres, and events to choose from. Whether you are a fan of jazz, rock, or anything in between, you can find something to suit your taste. To stay up-to-date with the latest live music happenings in Norfolk VA, make sure to check the websites and social media pages of the venues, local event calendars, and online platforms. After reading this article, you can plan your next night out to enjoy live music in Norfolk VA. Good luck and happy listening!