Local or tourist, everyone knows that Nashville and music go hand in hand. This town is crawling with aspiring artists trying to get their start as well as the iconic legends we all know and love. It’s no wonder there are great live music venues all over town — this town truly has a surplus of talent! So the next time you’re in the mood for an evening out, consider stopping in one of these fantastic venues, to support our thriving music scene. Aspiring or established, we assure you neither the space nor the sound will disappoint.

The Best Places to Hear Live Music in Nashville

3rd and Lindsley

818 3rd Avenue South Nashville, TN 37210 • (615) 259-9891
Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.

3rd and Lindsley is undoubtedly the place to hear new, up-and-coming artists before they make it big. Bands like Lady Antebellum, Train and Ed Sheeran have all played at the venue to welcoming crowds. Balcony seating with space to enjoy food and drink provide an escape from the dance floor crowds. Though we must remind you, all space is first come, first serve – so if you leave the front row, there’s no guarantee you’ll make it back! Fortunately, wherever you are inside, the sounds of quality music can be easily heard and appreciated.

12th and Porter

114 12th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203 • (615) 369-6474
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

12th and Porter hits each mark of a good venue: delicious bar food (yes, good bar food), a wide selection of beer and a casual space to listen to great turns. The stage front floor gathers quite the crowd, but there’s plenty of standing area bordering the venue walls. Since it’s renovation, 12th and Porter is a go-to concert atmosphere for experiencing a slew of different artists.

The 5 Spot

1006 Forrest Avenue Nashville, TN 37206 • (615) 650-9333
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. 

We love The 5 Spot for it’s relaxed atmosphere. On any given night, you’ll find talented bands from all genres filling the space with sounds of great music. Though they have some food, it is first and foremost a music venue so we suggest eating before heading inside. Their Sunday Night Soul and Monday Night Dance Party draws a big crowd and is a great opportunity to experience Motown and soul music, especially for those who don’t get to hear them often!

Acme Feed & Seed

101 Broadway Nashville, TN 37201 • (615) 915-0888
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

We love Acme Feed & Seed for the respite it provides from the tourist craze that has taken over much of the Broadway area. It’s also a nice mix of casual and avid listeners, with people mingling around the bar as well as those fully engaged with the stage. When the music stops playing, head upstairs to the rooftop patio, an absolute oasis granting stunning views of the Cumberland River. With some of the best cocktails in the downtown area, you know you’ve got a great morning, afternoon or evening planned!

Acme's first floor bar

Acme’s first floor is a fabulous spot to sip craft beer and listen to talented artists. | Image credit: Facebook

Ascend Amphitheater

310 1st Avenue South Nashville, TN 37201 • (615) 999-9000

Ascend has become the “it” venue in Music City. It’s outdoor location has really taken off with a packed schedule of big name artists. Alongside Bridgestone, its become the place for headliner shows downtown. It beautifully unites music with the park scene perched right on the edge of the river in an effort to preserve one of the last bits of green ground downtown. It holds a huge capacity for an amphitheater and for those of you who can’t stand the heat, don’t fear, they offer box seating as well! Check out their events here for tickets and more.

The Basement and The Basement East

1604 8th Ave S #330, Nashville, TN 37203 and 917 Woodland Ave. Nashville, TN 37206 • (615) 645-9174

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

The Basement, located behind Grimey’s, is a musty dive with broad talent. It’s small but gets packed on Tuesdays (no cover charge) which makes for an intimate vibe. It’s the kind of place to go on any given night, grab some drinks and make some friends, all while listening to local or touring bands. Nashvillians and newcomers alike can’t stop coming back to this place. With jamming live music of all genres every night, this is a spot we highly recommend.

Across town in East Nashville, The Basement East hosts two shows a night and welcomes acts of all kinds. This location is just as popular as its west side sister venue but has an atmosphere all of its own.

The Bluebird Cafe

4104 Hillsboro Pike Nashville, TN 37215 • (615) 383-1461
Hours : Monday, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

You’ve likely driven by The Bluebird Cafe and have seen the mile-long line. But don’t let the crowd intimidate you — it is absolutely worth the wait. One of the huge draws of this music landmark is that you can listen to billboard hits performed by the people who wrote them. Their passion for the music they create is breathtaking, especially when coupled with the intimate nature of the space.

City Winery

609 Lafayette Street Nashville, TN 37203 • (615) 324-1010
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 10:20 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

City Winery includes the Winery & Barrel Room Restaurant (for a quieter dining experience) and the concert dining area (where you eat, drink, socialize and listen to great live music). You’ll find a fantastic wine selection in addition to the breath-taking ambiance. Definitely a unique music experience worth checking out! SB Tip: City Winery also has a VIP mezzanine-level lounge from which to watch the music.

CityWinery stage with live Nashville music

Exit/In

2208 Elliston Place Nashville, TN 37203 • (615) 321-3340 
Hours: Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Box Office)

This music venue will definitely make you feel young at heart. Exit/In offers a great mix of genres that will please any music-lover. Exit/In has a longstanding history and Nashville’s music scene and their diverse list of artists who take the stage keep people coming back. Inside, you will be treated to talented acts and reminded of all the big-names who have passed through the doors.

Gray’s on Main

332 Main Street, Franklin, TN 37064 • (615) 435-3603 
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Gray’s on Main puts it best, they are the epitome of “soulful sounds, traditional flavors and vintage spirits.” This rustic restaurant on the main strip in historic Franklin cooks up some good Southern grub with an accommodating list of drinks from the bar. It’s the best of both worlds in terms of great food and music. The lineup features blues and folk artists, as well indie rock and jazz bands. Stop by for an authentic Tennessee music and food delight.

The Listening Room

618 4th Avenue South Nashville, TN 37210 • (615) 259-3600
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m to 12 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. 

The Listening Room is another Nashville music staple. Songwriters perform their own work before it gets passed to established talent, meaning you might just hear the next-big-thing before anyone else. There is a special magic in hearing music sung by the person who wrote it — it always gives us chills. With a stunning terrace that overlooks downtown and an excellent Sunday brunch, The Listening Room is a must for Nashvillians and tourists alike.

Marathon Music Works

1402 Clinton Street Nashville, TN 37203 • (615) 891-1781
Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Box Office)

For a more laid-back music venue where you can hear primarily up and coming musicians, Marathon Music Works is just the place. This industrial chic venue has two full service bars and great views of the stage no matter where you are. Be prepared for lots of crowds and standing up for long periods of time. But it’s totally worth it if you go to see a band you love!

crowds listening to live nashville music at Marathon Music Works

Marathon Music Works is always packed with people. It’s perfect for seeing great new acts in a smaller concert setting.

Puckett’s

500 Church St Nashville, TN 37219 • (615) 770-2772
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Another obvious choice on the list is Puckett’s, one of the more established Nashville staples with it’s 4 locations (Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, and Chattanooga). It’s Southern hospitality at its finest! While eating some of the best comfort food in Nashville, you’ll hear raw talent of songwriters right from your seat. It’s a place you simply must visit whether you’re a Nashville native or tourist.

Ryman Auditorium

116 5th Avenue North Nashville, TN 37219 • (615) 889-3060
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

An obvious choice on our list, The Ryman is one of the most ‘Nashville’ places in Music City. Country, alternative, pop, rock, bluegrass, stand up comedy — you can find just about every genre of entertainment at The Ryman. It’s rich history contributes to every performance, as entertainers find themselves humbled on the stage of so many great musicians who have come before them. It is truly a unique stage and a must-visit for any music lover!

Station Inn

402 12th Avenue South Nashville, TN 37203 • (615) 255 -3307
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. 

Station Inn is known as being home to the talented and hilarious Doyle & Debbie shows on Tuesday nights. Even if you’re not a huge bluegrass or Americana fan, you’ll love the lively atmosphere! Doors open at 7 p.m. and the music starts around 9 p.m. Try to arrive early and wait in line, so you can get the best seats. Trust us, it’s well worth the wait!

Third Man Records

623 7th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203 • (615) 891-4393
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For those who haven’t heard of Jack White’s Third Man Records label, it’s Nashville location is an old school venue tucked into the SoBro area. It’s an authentic music lover’s paradise with a record store, recording booth, photo booth and live venue. It’s one of the more unique Music City spots. This place is all about the novelty Americana experience that makes you feel as if you stepped back in time. Explore the shop, listen to vinyls and enjoy all sorts of artists and events that Third Man Records brings in.

Two Old Hippies

401 12th Avenue South Nashville, TN 37203 • (615) 254-7999 
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Guitars, apparel, accessories, home decor, gifts and live music: Two Old Hippies has it all! This Gulch shop has a stage in the back for free evening concerts and the occasional day time performance during store hours. While most of the venues provide food and drink in addition to their music, Two Old Hippies allows you to shop for your next concert while you’re enjoying the current one!

For more Music City favorites, check out our Nashville SB Guide!