Memphis is the home of Elvis Presley and Graceland, Beale Street and The Blues, and iconic record powerhouses like Stax and Sun. It has long drawn hungry fans and talented musicians alike from across the country to create and absorb the music that flows through every corner of the city. An amalgamation of genres — from gospel and country to rock and R&B — the Memphis music scene is a melting pot to be experienced in open-air amphitheaters, storied theaters, and cozy cafes. Here’s your ultimate guide to live music venues in Memphis.

ICONIC MUSIC VENUES

Levitt Shell
1928 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

Speaking of Elvis Presley, The King himself performed his first paid concert at Levitt Shell (formerly called Overton Park Shell, Memphis Open Air Theater, and Shell Theater) on July 30, 1954. Since the 1930s, this open-air amphitheater in Overton Park has brought Memphis together through music. Outside of Covid-related closures, Levitt Shell presents about 50 free concerts a year by internationally touring musicians. If you’ve never seen a show under the iconic, brightly lit arches, pack your picnic and pull up a lawn chair! See the full calendar of events here.

Levitt Shell

Enjoy free shows at 7 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through October 23 for the 2021 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Click here for this season’s lineup! Image: Levitt Shell

Lafayette’s Music Room
2119 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

Since the 1970s, Lafayette’s Music Room has been the restaurant-meets-music-room where locals and music fans flock to see undiscovered stars. Lafayette’s played a significant role in launching the careers of Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, J.J. Cale, and Leon Russell, to name a few. Known as one of the top music venues in the South, Lafayette’s also has some fabulous fare. With your Sunday brunch shrimp and grits or your after-work pint, you can see live music seven days a week — both free and ticketed, and sometimes multiple shows a day. Check out their packed calendar of events here.

Graceland Live
3717 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, TN 38116

Graceland, the house that Elvis built, has recently partnered with Live Nation to bring even more of the hottest touring acts to Memphis. Graceland Live features two venues: The Soundstage and The Guest House Theater, both equipped with state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and video production. A full city block of exhibits, restaurants, attractions, a world-class resort hotel — and, of course, Graceland itself — surrounds these venues. What’s even cooler? Every show includes FREE admission to Elvis Presley’s Memphis after 3 p.m. on the day of the show. Click here for the full show calendar which includes upcoming performances by The Monkees, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Elvis Costello, and more.

B.B. King’s Blues Club
143 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103

The “king” of Beale Street, B.B. King’s Blues Club (the original club that now has a dozen or so locations across the country) has legendary players on stage every night of the week – from authentic blues to soul to classic rock ‘n’ roll. They also have a menu full of delicious Southern dishes like their famous BBQ. No matter who’s on stage, the vibe of B.B. King’s is a must-experience in Memphis. Check out their live music calendar here.

SEASONAL VENUES + CONCERT SERIES

Peabody Hotel Rooftop
118 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103

Returning Spring 2022, The Peabody’s beloved Thursday night concert series will return from April through August. Hot bands, cool drinks, and sweeping views of the Mississippi River make this a can’t-miss musical experience. Check back here for 2022’s lineup.

Memphis Peabody Hotel Rooftop

Memphis cannot wait for the return of the rooftop series at The Peabody! Image: The Peabody Memphis

Radians Amphitheater
Live at the Garden @ Memphis Botanical Gardens
750 Cherry Rd, Memphis, TN 38117

The newly renamed Radians Amphitheater is home to the nationally recognized, 20-years-running, and locally-loved Live at the Garden concert series. Fabulous acts play to the backdrop of unmatched natural beauty in the Memphis Botanical Gardens. Still to play this season at “Radians Amp” are Sheryl Crow, Earth Wind, and Fire, Mempho Music Fest, and more! See the lineup and get tickets here.

RELATED: Music, Food + Travel: Fall Festivals in the South

Handy Park
200 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103

Located on Beale and Third, Handy Park is a public park with both a large stage and a smaller performance area, making it a popular spot for free concerts of all sizes. Events in Handy Park are always free and open to the public, check out afternoon performers or the bigger shows on holidays like New Year’s Eve. For a list of Beale Street events, click here.

VENUES WITH MORE THAN JUST MUSIC

Orpheum Theatre
203 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103

Another iconic venue is the Orpheum Theatre, the Mid-South’s home for touring Broadway plays since 1977. In addition to their ongoing Broadway Series, the theatre hosts performances by Ballet Memphis, various concerts, and local community events like Memphis in May and the International Blues Challenge. ZZ Top and Gary Clark Jr. are just two of the musical acts on Orpheum’s packed lineup of upcoming events to explore here.

The Buckman Arts Center
60 Perkins Extended, Memphis, TN 38117

This intimate, 300-seat venue located on the St. Mary’s School campus dazzles more than 5,000 arts-savvy patrons with world music, contemporary dance, family programming, educational outreach, visual arts, and conservatory classes each year. Click here to see all that’s coming up on their calendar.

Crosstown Theater + The Green Room
1350 Concourse Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

Crosstown Arts is home to two venues: Crosstown Theater, a 425-seat black box theater that can transform based on the event, and The Green Room, an intimate listening experience without the distractions of a bar or restaurant venue. Impeccable acoustics, state-of-the-art lighting, and intimate seating layouts make this a fabulous place for serious audiophiles to see national headliners and Memphis-based musicians alike. Click here to view the complex’s upcoming shows.

Germantown Performing Arts Center
1801 Exeter Rd, Germantown, TN 38138

Neighboring Germantown is home to GPAC, a performing arts center that hosts incredible musicians of all sorts of genres along with Broadway plays, family movie nights, and more. Check out the Bluebird Concerts, an outdoor concert series in The Grove, or one indoors at the Duncan-Williams Performance Hall. See the full lineup of events here.

FedEx Forum
191 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103

Memphis’s multi-purpose arena, FedExForum, is home to the Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis’s NCAA Division I men’s basketball program. When there’s not an exciting sporting event, the arena hosts a packed calendar of chart-topping artists like Luke Combs and Chris Stapleton. For a full list of upcoming concerts and events, click here.

VENUES WITH NIGHTLY (OR ALMOST NIGHTLY) MUSIC

Beale Street Entertainment District
Beale St Memphis, TN 38103

Aside from B.B. King’s, there are so many incredible spots on Beale Street to see music nightly. Stumble into any of them, and stay until you’re ready to check out the next! A few to check out are Blues City Cafe, Rum Boogie Cafe, Tin Roof, and Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe & Honky Tonk.

Beale Street

Beale Street offers many dining and entertainment options, it’s hard to pick one or list them all! Image: Beale Street Management

RockHouse Live
5709 Raleigh Lagrange Rd, Memphis, TN 38134
Midtown: 2586 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38112

Rock fans, this venue is for you. After the original RockHouse Live Dallas opened successfully in 2006, the “incubator” Memphis location of RockHouse Live opened in 2013, followed by the Midtown location (at 2586 Poplar Ave) in 2014. Between the two venues, there’s live music almost nightly, and the Midtown location is known for its karaoke nights. See their upcoming events on Facebook here.

Growlers
1911 Poplar Ave. Memphis, TN 38104

Growlers is a locally owned and operated concert venue and dive bar in the heart of Midtown that features an eclectic array of musical artists, lots of local brews, and elevated bar food. Check out their schedule here.

Hi Tone Cafe
282-284 N Cleveland St, Memphis, TN 38104

Open seven days a week with cold drinks, delicious food, and live music almost every night, this venue features two music rooms: the lounge and the big room. Find a concert to check out here.

Eight & Sand
545 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103

The newly opened Central Station Hotel has a super suave lobby lounge called Eight & Sand. Grab a craft cocktail and listen to their nightly DJs spin from a massive and beautifully displayed collection of vinyl records from Memphis greats and beyond. Click here for more info.

Memphis Central Station

Eight & Sand boasts a 30-foot record wall with Eggleston Works speakers and a 500-album vinyl record collection, all connected to Memphis in some way. This cool and cozy lounge is a must for locals and visitors alike. Image: Central Station Hotel

Zebra Lounge
2114 Trimble Pl, Memphis, TN 38104

One of Memphis’ hidden live music gems, Zebra Lounge on Overton Square is a piano bar open seven nights a week with live music starting every night at 8 p.m. You’ll find DJs spinning sing-alongs, singer-songwriters, jazz trios, and more. And there’s never a cover charge! Head here for the lineup of music.

Neil’s Music Room
5725 Quince Rd, Memphis, TN 38119

With live music almost every night of the week, Neil’s is an off-the-beaten-path venue with great food and pool tables, too. Crowds dance to live blues and rock music inside and on the patio when it’s nice. They also serve some delicious pub grub like homemade pizzas, their famous “fat guy” cheeseburger, and an all-day breakfast seven days a week. The best way to see Neil’s Music Room’s schedule is on their Facebook Events page here.

BARS WITH LIVE MUSIC

Railgarten
2166 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

This unique hangout sprawls across an old 1.5-acre rail yard with lots of mismatched furniture, fan-cooled cabanas, a diner, a tiki bar, and an array of indoor and outdoor games like ping pong and a playground for kiddos. When it comes to live music, Railgarten represents Memphis and beyond in their lineup of on-the-rise hip hop artists, Americana legends, killer cover bands, as well as national touring acts. For their full event calendar, click here.

Railgarten

Hayes Carl, Neal Francis, George Porter, and Tauk are a few nationally touring acts that you can see Railgarten in the next few months. Image: Facebook

The Bluff
535 South Highland St, Memphis, TN 38111

One of Memphis’s top sports bars also boasts a menu of great Southern food and a live concert calendar. Check The Bluff’s Facebook events page here for the latest show announcements.

Ghost River
341 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103

Memphis’ first craft brewery has a Beale Street location that keeps the music and beer flowing. Order up a sandwich at the Gourmet Sandwich Kitchen to accompany your favorite Ghost River Brewing Co. ale. The beer garden hosts live music a few nights a week, and you can check out the calendar here.

Loflin Yard
7 W Carolina Ave, Memphis, TN 38103

A downtown haven and one of the city’s coolest indoor/outdoor restaurant/bars also hosts concerts! Grassfire takes the stage weekly for their Sunday Bluegrass Brunch complete with awesome tunes and delicious food and drinks until 3 p.m. Stay in the loop on their Facebook events page here.

RELATED: 27 Memphis Restaurants with Dog-Friendly Patios

Wiseacre
2783 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112

Memphis’ beloved Wiseacre always has exciting events happening like trivia, brewery tours and tastings, food trucks, special festivals with musical acts, and more. Come try their award-winning beers, order some delicious food from a local food truck, and see what else is going on at the complex. For a full look at who’s playing at Wiseacre, check out their Facebook events page.

We hope this list has inspired you to check out some live music in your own backyard or on your next trip to Memphis!

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