10 Places Where You Can Enjoy Live Music In Nashville

Live Music In Nashville

Nashville may have built a reputation for being the heart of country music, but this isn’t the only type of music that you can listen to when you make your way to this Tennessee city. After all, there is a reason why it’s dubbed as “Music City”, as travelers can expect to enjoy a variety of live musical performances that are line with their favorite musical genre. The best part? They can have fun listening to these tunes while having fun tasting the local food and drinks offered in the city. Look no further than this list if you’re looking for the best live music in Nashville.

1. Bluebird Cafe

Jillian Kohr Live At The Bluebird Cafe
Source: Photo by user Purple7Management used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Bluebird Cafe is the place to be for those who want to enjoy good music coupled with a bit of history. Considered as an institution in Nashville’s music scene, this place has served as the launching pad of many well-known performers. There’s a huge possibility you will end up telling your friends that you watched the artist who made it big when he/she was just starting out at the Bluebird Cafe. If you’re lucky, you can even catch one of them dropping by while you’re there, as big names such as Steven Tyler and Melissa Etheridge also hang out in this area. Be warned though: seating is limited (it only sits about 90) so make sure to grab tickets as early as possible.

Bluebird Cafe

Address: 4104 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215

Website: Bluebird Cafe

2. 12th & Porter

Photo by Elise Lacret

Posted by A Hero En Route on Monday, 13 May 2013

Music lovers who appreciate good acoustics should head on over to 12th & Porter. Consistently ranked as one of the best live music venues not just in Tennessee, but across the country as well, this establishment is large enough to accommodate up to 3,000 people while retaining an intimate vibe. Shows are primarily standing room, although there are a few bar stools scattered across the area for those who prefer sitting down.

12th and Porter

Address: 114 12th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203

Website: 12th & Porter

3. The Stage on Broadway

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Posted by Chad Bearden on Sunday, 10 July 2016

No trip to Nashville is complete without a visit to one of its honky-tonks, and The Stage on Broadway more than delivers, and it even features a dance floor if you feel like doing a jig as you enjoy the tunes. This is a good option if you want to get your kids acquainted with country music, as children are allowed here until around 6 pm, and live music starts playing early in the afternoon. If, however, you prefer a more adult way of kicking back, cocktails and other drinks are served here as well. The venue is available for rental if you want to host a private event there.

The Stage on Broadway

Address: 412 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

Website: The Stage on Broadway

4. Tootsies Orchid Lounge

Tootsies Orchid Lounge
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ttotallytexan used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Nashville’s live music scene features a variety of genres. In Tootsies, you can experience three of these at a time. The three-level establishment often has live performers that play different genres per floor, although the lowest one is usually dedicated for those who want to stomp their boots as they enjoy country music. Feel free to check out their Wall of Fame while here to see which famous acts have already performed here.

Tootsies Orchid Lounge

Address: 422 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Website: Tootsies Orchid Lounge

5. The End Nashville

This music venue is for those who want to enjoy listening to sounds heavier than country music. The grunge look of The End’s exterior is a perfect match to the music that you can expect to hear when you get in. Expect to hear different varieties of rock music when you drop by here.

The End Nashville

Address: 2219 Elliston Pl, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Website: The End Nashville

6. Exit / In

Silver Jews. October 12, 2008. Exit/In, Nashville.
Source: Photo by user americansongwriter used under CC BY-ND 2.0

This music venue is one of the best places to go to if you want to listen to up and coming artists - or if you want to be one yourself, given that it hosts open mic nights. Most of the music played here lean toward rock, alternative, and punk, although it does feature musical acts that play in other genres. Make sure to check the schedule before heading there if you want to catch a specific performer, as schedules may vary.

Exit / In

Address: 2208 Elliston Pl, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Website: Exit / In

7. Station Inn

Station Inn Nashville 2
Source: Photo by Flickr user Nick Shields used under CC BY 2.0

Fans of bluegrass music need not look any further than Station Inn, an institution since the ‘70s. Admission is on a first come first served basis, and the rates are dependent on the musical acts that will be performing for the night. If you want to dust off your banjo and play along, head to the Station Inn on Sundays, where they hold no-cover bluegrass jam nights.

Station Inn

Address: 402 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Website: Station Inn

8. Second Fiddle

If you’re not a fan of joining the crowds at night, head on over to Second Fiddle, which plays live music as early as lunchtime. While the establishment is open until late night for those who love their nightlife, families who want a comfy, cozy place to enjoy good food and good music can kick back and relax here as well. Fans of old-timey country music will love the tunes played here. The decorations help add to the vibe of the bar.

Second Fiddle

Address: 420 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Website: Second Fiddle

9. Gran Ole Opry

Dolly parton grand ole opry
Source: Photo by user Foto de Tech. Sgt... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

If you’re looking for a venue that’s a little more formal than your average honky-tonk, the Gran Ole Opry might be the place for you. The establishment is a weekly country music stage concert. Originally only featuring country acts, it has since expanded to accommodate performers of other musical genres. Daytime tours are offered for those who want to explore the venue.

Gran Ole Opry

Address: 2804 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214, USA

Website: Gran Ole Opry

10. Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daniel Schwen used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Like the Gran Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium is practically a music institution in Nashville. In fact, the iconic building itself is already considered as a national historic landmark. While it’s dubbed as the Mother Church of Country Music, the music venue plays hosts to acts from different genres.

Ryman Auditorium

Address: 116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219, USA

Website: Ryman Auditorium

A place for every genre

Nashville is dubbed as the “Music City”, and with good reason. The downtown area is practically filled wall to wall with establishments that have live music playing tunes from just about every genre under the sun. This doesn’t mean, however, that all of these places are at par with each other. Given the sheer number of establishments in the city, you may just end up stumbling into a place that is not your cup of tea, for one reason or another. Use this article as a guide to help you find the top music spots in the city.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Melanie is a freelance travel writer. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of two of the things she loves: writing and traveling.

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