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50 unique music venues to hold your next concert or music festival

Independent music venues are home to the hopes and dreams of many performers and promoters. These are the stages that have given many their start, and even sometimes the stage where artists become world-recognized. We have compiled a list of 50 independent music venues and have broken them down into their different geographical locations. We tried to include a unique venue from every state. From a small seated church to a large outdoor venue, you'll find something that will work for your next event here in this list.

Northeast

  1. The Grand

    The Grand music venue seatingOverview: This amazing landmark was built in 1938, and constructed during the Great Depression by the City of Ellsworth. The Grand has an Art Deco architecture style. Due to the style of architecture, this venue was recognized and listed as one of the venues on the National Register of Historic Places. The Grand is a non-profit organization for the performing arts. This venue tries to connect its audience to performers through arts, entertainment, and education. The Grand believes that this venue is for the overall community and tries to connect its board to this idea. This venue also tries to be inclusive of the diversity of many cultures by performing different programs. The Grand is of smaller size but provides a personal interaction from the performers to the audience.

    Location: 165 Main St. Ellsworth, Maine
    Capacity: 400 people
  2. The Music Hall

    The Music Hall balcony overlooking the stageOverview: The Music Hall is a gorgeous theater that opened its doors in 1878, also known as the Vaudeville theater. This venue has been a performing arts center for more than 140 years. The Music Hall was made in Victorian-era style architecture. The Music Hall has had their original hardwood flooring and horseshoe-shaped balcony to give the audience the best acoustics possible. This venue has been in the process of restoring and renovating to help preserve this landmark. The Music Hall is also preserved by a community-supported nonprofit organization. Today they have made another theater known as the Loft that is a modern converted storefront that opened in 2011. Their main goal is to showcase a wide diversity of performances and present their art to the community.  One cool fact about The Music Hall is that they have had many artists including Mark Twain.

    Location: 28 Chestnut St. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
    Capacity: 895 people
  3. Stone Church

    The Stone Church from a street perspectiveOverhead view of a wedding at the Stone ChurchOverview: This building was formerly known as the All Souls Unitarian Church. The Stone Church contains a blend of cultures that have helped to build this spectacular building. It was built with some elements from the Renaissance, along with gothic revival with Celtic and Scandinavian, and other folk designs. Overall the Stone Church is a Victorian gothic style architecture. It is the process of restoration while getting some more modern elements. The team working on the Stone Chuch is all about saving the soul of this 140-year-old building. They try to use as many as the original material to keep the history while making adaptions to make this into an even better music venue. The Stone Church holds corporate events and weddings. Eventually, this venue wants to expand its events to include music, by making it a proper music venue! This will help to connect music while getting transported back in time and creating amazing memories.

    Location: 210 Main St. Brattleboro, Vermont
    Capacity: Around 200 people
  4. Regent Theatre

    A small live band at the Regent TheatreOverview: The Regent Theatre was built in 1916 and is considered a historic landmark of Arlington. It is a relatively small theatre giving the audience an intimate feeling to the performers. It showcases a wide array of events including concerts, family entertainment, comedy, and more. This venue is right in the heart of Arlington where there are lots of restaurants within walking distance along with free parking across the street. The Regent Theatre tries to give the highest quality events to the area and the community. This venue recruits different talent both nationally and internationally to perform at this theatre.  

    Location: 7 Medford St. Arlington, Massachusetts
    Capacity: 500-seats venue
  5. Fete Music Hall

    Purple and Yellow lights reflecting off of the Fete Music Hall's dancefloorOverview: The Fette Music Hall is home to many different experiences such as concerts, weddings, art galleries, charity auctions, and more. This venue's main goal is to give its customers the best experience possible. They have three different rooms all with stages lights and PA systems made for acoustics. This venue has many different performances for their different rooms which can be seen on their website as individual tabs. The Fete Music Hall has other amenities such as four fully stocked bars, an outdoor patio, a vintage arcade and pizza parlor, and even valet parking. This venue is New England's premier destination for live music and events. The Fete Music Hall tries to supply diversity to their entertainment while showcasing the diversity of the community. This venue wants to come together to celebrate the arts while solidifying the relationship between the artists and their audiences.

    Location: 103 Dike St. Providence, Rhode Island
    Capacity:  The Ballroom hold around 785 people and the lounge holds 200 people
  6. Westville Music Bowl

    Westville Music Bowl is a massive blue stadium with 360 degree seatingOverview: This venue is HUGE! It is trying to convert into a center for performing arts by the New Haven Center of Performing arts. This organization is a non-profit group that re-opened this venue in 2021! This open-air music venue was formerly home to the Pilot Pen tennis tournament and the Connecticut tennis center. They have four tiers to allow for many guests to all of your festival needs. The Westville Music Bowl has events for all ages but sometimes will do an adults-only session. The Westville Music Bowl plans on trying to become the ideal space for all outdoor concerts for live entertainment in the area!

    Location: 45 Yale Ave. New Haven, Connecticut
    Capacity: Currently holds 2,000 people. Normally holds 3,000-5,000 people.
  7. White Eagle Hall

    White Eagle is a multi-story venue with a mural in its ceiling.Overview: White Eagle Hall is a newly restored and renovated historic theater that opened up in 1910 and was constructed by Polish immigrants. Today, White Eagle Hall has become a nightlife scene. This venue has many different forms of entertainment including comedy, music, film, and dance. White Eagle Hall also has historic features such as an iron wrap-around porch, and two large stain glass atriums that stand 28 feet high. This venue has been revamped with modern technology to give high-quality lighting and sound systems. White Eagle also has springs within the floors and walls to give the best aural clarity possible to listeners. This venue also has an intimate event space for smaller gatherings such as weddings, receptions, and fundraisers. One very unique thing about this venue is that their bars and balcony flooring is made out of the basketball court of the St. Anthony Friars, a high school team. White Eagle Hall also was awarded the Excellence in Preservation Award by the Jersey City Landmark Conservancy in 2017. 

    Location: 337 Newark Ave. Jersey City, New Jersey
    Capacity: 800 standing, 400 seating, or 250 for dining
  8. XL Live

    Lights beam are seen overhead of the crowded XL Live concertOverview: XL Live has an amazing setup, accompanied by a 200-inch stage LED wall to give everyone an up-close experience. This venue also has light shows, lasers, and CO2 cannons for top-notch performances. For the party crowd, XL Live comes with a full bar with 24 beers on tap, specialty drinks, and slushies. One of their unique features is that this venue has an over 200-year tree on the patio that guests can sit under. If shade isn't your thing, then guests can warm themselves with XL Live's stone fireplace or one of their firepits. This venue also has an outside bar and smoking area along with an upgraded loft viewing area for a more intimate gathering above the crowd. XL Live's goal is to be a safe and welcoming entertainment facility to all.

    Location: 801 10th St. Harrisburg, Pennslyvania 
    Capacity: Around 1,000 people
  9. The Capitol Theatre

    Yellow lights shimmer with a packed concert at The Capitol TheatreOverview: The Capitol Theatre had its grand opening in 1926 with a sold-out show of over 2,000 people. With this venue being through different eras it adapted to its surroundings. In the 1970s the Capitol Theatre was renovated to house rock and roll concerts. It has even had Janis Joplin and Pink Floyd play within its walls. Later on in "1984, The Capitol Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places". Throughout the 80s it was used for all sorts of plays and musicals. for a little while, due to the economy, it became a catering hall. Today, the Capitol Theatre is back to doing what it does best and has journeyed back to a place of music to be enjoyed by all.

    Location: 149 Westchester Ave. Port Chester, New York
    Capacity: 1,800 people

Southeast

  1. Roots

    A behind the scenes look of two musicians playing for a seated outdoor audience.Overview: Roots is a historic 1880s building that was originally home to the Guisinger Music House from 1925 to 1981. This venue provides an intimate listening room that holds concerts year-round. One of the best features of this venue is that it holds the Roots festival which has been going on for over 10 years. This festival has expanded to five nights of 100+ music and food experiences across two different cities. Roots are focused on providing the community with intimate urban music, food, and special surprises for the guests. There is something for everyone at this venue with returning fan favorites and new faces brought to their stage.

    Location: 1E Mountain Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Capacity: 1,300 people at the Town Center
  2. Ashe Cultural Arts Center

    The Ashe Cultural Center helping to teach children about the arts.Overview: Ashe Cultural Arts Center is different than your normal venue. This venue has two separate theater areas, the first has a multi-functional space with a 24' x 24' stage while this other has a mobile stage all with audio/visual, sound, and lighting equipment. This center also has sites to live at with 29 studio apartments, one and two-bedroom apartments. This venue is focused on "celebrating the people, places, and philosophies of the African Diaspora". Ashe Cultural Arts Center wants to lead in creating emphasis on the creative works that have been done by people of African descent. 

    Location: 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd New Orleans, Louisiana
    Capacity:  Around 200 seats
  3. Rick's Cafe

    Small live band playing with a crowded covered in red lights at Rick's Café Overview: Rick's Cafe is a live music bar that showcases events such as wrestling, drag, and live music performances. Weekly Rick's Cafe also has karaoke and trivia nights for its guests. This venue has some age restrictions, some shows are 18+, or 21+, or have the option to allow accompanied minors. Rick's Cafe also has a variety of food and drinks items on its menu. This venue goes above and beyond for its customers.

    Location: 319B Hwy 182 East Starkville, Mississippi
    Capacity: Around 800 people
  4. Alabama Theatre

    An on stage perspective of the Alabama TheatreOverview: The Alabama Theatre was built in 1927 while playing Paramount films. This beautiful venue was a well-known movie palace for 55 years. The Alabama Theatre also hosted the annual Miss Alabama pageant and weekly Mickey Mouse Club. Sadly, in 1987 the owners of the theatre declared bankruptcy and were saved by a non-profit corporation. The nonprofit decided that the new theatre was for performing arts and would eventually host live events as well as films. In 1998 the building went through a front door to back door restoration all within 8 months bring it back to its former glory. Now it is an incredible venue to hold any live music event with the amazing restorations it went through.

    Location: 1817 3rd Ave N Birmingham, Alabama
    Capacity: 2,500 people
  5. Hargray Capitol Theatre

    Second story view of the packed concert at Hargray Capitol TheatreOverview: The Hargray Capitol Theatre opened in 1916 and was used for movies with their theatre screen. At the time admission was only 15 cents. Sadly, in 1976 the doors closed and the building was neglected for 30 years. In 2003 this venue was seen as a treasure and restoration began. This lead to the doors of the Hargray Capitol Theatre being reopened in 2006. This venue became a symbol to its community and now operates as a place for a multi-purpose entertainment venue.

    Location: 382 2nd St. Macon, Georgia
    Capacity: 650 people
  6. Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park

    Spirit of Suwannee Music Park pulls in the audience with their loud speakers and bright purple lights.Overview: The Spirit of the Suwannee Music park stretch across 800 acres of campground spaces available. With this venue's outdoor presence, they have many different outdoor events besides their live music festivals. The Spirit of the Suwannee has a boat launch on-site, a place to bring canoes or kayaks, and other places where families can take a stroll. For the more adventurous crowd, this venue has freshwater fishing, wildlife habitats, and even places to play disc golf. This venue is coved with pine and oak trees and gives audience members a great outdoor experience. 

    Location: 3076 95th Dr. Live Oak, Florida
    Capacity: Around 20,000 people
  7. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

    With a front row view of the audience's empty chairs at The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina Overview: Live music is one of the many things that the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina does. This venue strives the give back to the communities and teach them about all of the different types of art forms including performing and visual arts. This Arts center is run by a non-profit organization and has been deemed an award-winning regional arts center. This venue has different events such as community festivals that are free and outdoors such as the Community Tree Lighting, Taste of Gullah, and Youth ArtFest. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina also welcomes national acts, field trips, special needs programs, educational programs, and visual arts events. One event this venue does for the visual arts is that they use the Woods Community Room as an exhibit for youth and educational arts year-round. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina also uses its Walter Greer Galley to showcase 150 local artists and the Art League of Hilton Head. This venue is all about teaching the community through a multitude of different art formats.

    Location: 14 Shelter Cove Lane Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
    Capacity: 349 seats
  8. Asheville Music Hall

    Asheville Music Hall is crowded for a small live-music bandOverview: The Asheville Music Hall is a mid-sized venue that opened in 2011 at the former Stella Blue. This venue focuses on providing an intimate live music experience to fans while keeping an amazing quality to the event, artist, and fans. The performers showcase many different genres of music and also have up and coming artists' performances. Asheville Music Hall has had many musical legends such as Ghostface Killah, and Disclosure. One unique fact about this venue is that they provide statistics on their website including: 343200 beers sold, 3434 shows, 1287 minds blown, and 76 hula-hoops found. Asheville Music Hall wants to provide its guests with a 1-night cosmic vision.
     
    Location: 31 Patton Ave Asheville, North Carolina
    Capacity: 360 people
  9. The Listening Room

    The Listening Room shows the table top seating within this empty room.Overview: The listening Room was founded in 2006 by a singer/songwriter himself. This singer/songwriter tried to find a venue to perform at but was unable to, so he created the Listening room. He wanted to create a venue that had the right kind of atmosphere for the artists of Nashville. Some people also call this venue "The Bluebird Cafe outside of Nashville".The Listening Room has moved many locations both for environmental and expansion reasons. The popularity of this venue has led to its increase in size to allow for more listeners in its venue. The owners have plans in the works to open more locations in the future, but it has become a must-see spot in Nashville. The Listening Room was also voted "Best Singer/Songwriter venue in Nashville". Here is a place to make memories you will never forget.

    Location: 618 4th Ave S Nashville, Tenessee
    Capacity: Around 650  people
  10. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

    The rustic barn and waterfront outdoor perspective of Renfro Farm Interior venue of Renfro packed live-music band concert.Overview: Renfro Valley is made up of a lot of different components including two separate show theaters, their own shopping center, a liquor store, and an RV parking lot. This venue was started in 1939 and is 55 acres. Renfro Valley Theater specializes in classical country, southern gospel, and mountain bluegrass style music. In 1939 Renfro Valley hosted its first Renfro Valley Barn Dance. After 80 years of being known as "Kentucky's Country Music Capital," it still rings with the sound of music in its raters. In 2000 the entire Valley was given to the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Their mission is to treat visitors, or listeners with the same respect that they give their own neighbors.

    Location: 2380 Richmond St. Mt. Vernon, Kentucky
    Capacity: Around 1,500 people
  11. The Canal Club

    This picture of the Canal Club shows powerful white lights through the eyes of a audience member.Overview: The Canal Club is a two-floor venue, with separate performance areas. The Canal Club tries to feature different acts from the local, regional, and national levels on a weekly basis. The upper level of this venue is home to a bigger stage, this is mostly used for their national acts. The Canal Club's lower level allows for a more intimate event experience, with seating and standing sections. This venue is stocked with full food and bar areas that are available on both floors. Due to the limited seating, this venue is a first-come-first-serve event. The Canal Club is a show for all ages, although if you are under the age of 12 they may ask you to wear ear protection due to the level of live music.

    Location: 1545 E Cary St. Richmond, Virginia
    Capacity: 720 people
  12. Purple Fiddle Cafe, Brews, and Stage

    Small band plays to a small intimate crowd at the Purple Fiddle CafeOverview:  Purple Fiddle Cafe, Brews, and Stage is an intimate place for families of all ages to gather. This venue started out as a Depollo Store, the new owners wanted to keep Mr. DePollo's impromptu social gatherings alive.  Purple Fiddle Cade has a variety of healthy deli options, crafted beverages, and Appalachian-based acoustic music. This venue is a smoke-free environment, for the community to gather. Purple Fiddle Cafe tries to bring high-quality professional entertainment to West Virginia, but they also believe that their people are the best attribute of their venue.

    Location: 96 State Hwy 32 Thomas, West Virginia
    Capacity: About 150 people
  13. Merriweather Post Pavilion

    This picture of the Merriweather Post Pavilion shows an outdoor venue packed with music loversOverview: The beautiful outdoor venue is 40 acres of amazing scenery. This venue is also sometimes referred to as the Symphony Woods. Merriweather Post Pavilion tried to nurture its relation to nature while connecting people to their environment for over 50 years. This venue has a fantastic sound system, low stage, and large video screens. They have made some renovations and have added a new roof that has been raised 20 feet, this helps to create a better experience for guests due to amazing views and acoustics. Another new thing is their all-new SkyBoxes and SkyLawn, these adaptations give fans new perspectives from elevated views of the stage. They showcase a multitude of different music genres such as rock, country,  blues, pop, jazz, hip hop, alternative, electronica, and classical. With this diverse range of artists and events, this venue tries to provide a top-notch concert experience. One unique experience this venue has was that they actually ripped out the first fifteen rows to create a mosh put for Green Day's American Idiot tour. Merriweather Post Pavilion has also had many famous names perform here including Jimi Hendrix, Willie Nelson, and the Foo Fighters. This venue is one that inspires Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards by taking care of the beautiful outdoor venue. 

    Location: 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy Columbia, Maryland
    Capacity: Around 19,000 people
  14. Freeman Arts Pavilion

    Seats are within circle allowing for audience members to be distanced at this outdoor theaterOverview: This venue became the Freeman Arts Pavilion in 2021, it was originally called The Freeman Stage. Freema Arts Pavilion is run by a non-profit organization that was established in 2007 to honor Josh Freeman, who it is named after. The nonprofit tries to make programs that benefit the community and would make Mr. Freedman proud of the work they are doing. This is an outdoor venue, that showcases dance performances, theatre, children's performances, and live music. Freeman Arts Pavilion has a mission to be able to give art advocacy, education, and access to all performances. One unique thing that the Freeman Arts Pavilion does is that they have an arts initiative program that provides K-12 students and underserved families year-round art experience at no cost to them. This venue also offers younger audiences a series, May through September, in which they are able to attend events that are given once or twice a week completely free.

    Location: 31806 Lake View Dr. Selbyville, Delaware
    Capacity: 4,000 people with 1,100 under the roof

Midwest

  1. Sanctuary Event Center

    Sanctuary Event Center shows the inside, with stain glass windows, and lights bouncing off the walls.Overview: Sanctuary Events Center was founded in 1886, and was the first English-speaking church in the Dakota area. This venue has gorgeous late gothic revival architecture. There was talking about demolition surrounding the Sanctuary, in 2013. This venue was later saved and had five million dollars put into its renovations and restoration. The Sanctuary Events center primarily does wedding and private events. This venue has a large stage in the Great Hall, a house sound system, two projector screens, and a built-in projector. The Sanctuary Events Center also has an in-house technician available for all events held at this facility. The Sanctuary's mission is to help preserve the past while celebrating the present.

    Location: 670 4th Ave N Fargo, North Dakota
    Capacity: 375 guests for a seated event, 600 for standing guests
  2. Red Rooster Coffee House

    Red Rooster Coffee House is an intimate setting to have live musicOverview: Red Rooster Coffee House is a small and intimate venue to gather in. This venue has been in operation for over 25 years and offers coffee, food, and drinks. With their cozy atmosphere, they have tried to create a place to foster creativity for the community. The Red Rooster was started by a pair of siblings, they wanted a place where everyone could gather regardless of background, so this venue is open to all ages. The Red Roster has held events such as live music, art galleries, film, literature, and karaoke. This venue overflows with creativity and culture because it is a place that everyone in the community can enjoy the arts.


    Location: 218 S Main St Aberdeen, South Dakota
    Capacity: 80 people
  3. Slowdown

    Slowdown is packed with a band performing in shining down white lightsOverview: The idea of Slowdown started in 2000, where the owner wanted to bring the California rock club feel to his home of Nebraska. At the time Nebraska was also lacking in the music venue department. Later on, the owner created Saddle Creek Records and decided to build them both up together. This venue was in the middle of no man's land, but it was able to help rebuild the north downtown area and take charge of the area. Slowdown does a variety of events such as weddings, holiday parties, content, and especially rock shows. This venue has brought rock back to Nebraska.

    Location: 729 N 14th St Omaha, Nebraska
    Capacity: 650 people by the main stage and 250 people by the small stage
  4. Hutchinson's Historic Fox Theatre

    Looking at the Fox Theatre from outside the building, both vertical and horizontal sign  Inside the Fox Theatre is the empty seats, and the screen used for moviesOverview: Hutchinson's Historic Fix Theatre opened in 1931 and was designed by the Boller brothers who constructed grand "Movie palaces". The Fox Theatre was the first flashing display of neon lights in Kansas and one of the original marquees in the country. This venue was one of the best examples of art deco architecture within the central U.S. The designers have a lot of emphasis on the geometric form of the building along with keeping metallic terra cotta floral, stair railings, and light fixtures. Hutchinson's Historic Fox Theatre has a mission to share transformative moments that are almost like magic to live audiences. This venue wants to expand the reach of our imaginations in the spirit of the arts. The Fox Theatre was named the "State Movie Palace of Kansas" by the State Legislature in 1994. This venue was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places and State Registered and considered a local landmark. One impressive title they hold is also being named one of the "8 Wonders of Reno County".

    Location: 18 E 1st Ave Hutchinson, Kansas
    Capacity: 1221 seats available

  5. The Parkway Theater

    This picture of the Parkway Theater looks down the aisle towards the stage from the audience perspective with red chairs and yellow lights upon the stage.Overview: Parkway Theater was built in 1931 and later reimagined in 2018. This venue is the perfect blend between the intimate and larger crowds, housing only a couple of hundred attendees. The Parkway Theater is said to be "One of the cities best-loved listening rooms". This venue has brought many generations together to celebrate history and present-day arts and entertainment. One unique thing about the Parkway Theater is that they have custom cocktails on Thursday night for movie-themed custom cocktails.

    Location: 4814 Chicago Ave Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Capacity: About 360 people
  6. The Englert Theatre

    The Englert Theatre from a balcony perspective looking down on a blue lit band performance.Overview: The Englert Theatre has existed since 1912, where it replaced a horse stable. Around twenty years later, there was a large fire that set this gorgeous theatre ablaze. When it was being renovated, the restorers wanted to keep the era of the 1920s in mind. The Theatre got an updated interior with a gypsum board, paneling, carpeting, and acoustic ceilings. This venue was later closed years later in 1999 but reopened in 2004 with the spirit of music in its walls. This venue tries to bring in both local and international artists for performances. The Englert Theatre is on a mission to inspire its community and jumpstart the value of the arts in its citizens. This venue is preserving history while celebrating the cultural diversity of its community.

    Location: 221 E Washington St Iowa City, Iowa
    Capacity: Around 1,000 seats
  7. Uptown Theater

    This multi-story venue shows the interior seating allowing for the large capacity of this venue. Overview: The Uptown Theatre was built in 1928, and started out by showcasing first-run movies.  This Theater was created to mirror the style of the outdoor Mediterranean courtyard. One of the most beautiful pieces of art sits upon its ceiling, giving off an amazing feature of the nighttime sky accompanied by stars, clouds, and birds. In 1979, it was on the list for the National Register of Historic Places. In the 1970s it became primarily the place to be for concerts. Sadly it closed its doors in 1989, about ten years later decided to restore this precious piece of architecture. The restoration of the Uptown Theater took fifteen million dollars in renovations to get back the details and colors of this Theater. "The Uptown Theater is now ranked number 82 on the list of the top 10 theaters in the world...by Pollstar".

    Location: 3700 Broadway Blvd Kansas City, Missouri
    Capacity: 1,700 people
  8. The Cooperage

    The Cooperage has white chairs and soft yellow lights ready for an upcoming wedding service.Overview: The Cooperage is a must-see spot for live music in the harbor district. This venue used to be a manufacturing plant for barrels but now gets to be a joy for many people to enjoy music. This is a 21 and up venue, that serves as an adult playground. This venue is ready to meet your need regardless of whether it is for a wedding, private event, or concert. The Cooperage has a brand new sound system with an available sound tech to be there so that your night is smooth sailing. This music venue also has food trucks outside to get a variety of foods and is said to have some of the best tacos in town right down the street. Fill the rafters with the sounds of music and laugher at this beautiful venue.

    Location: 822 Water St Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Capacity: Around 150-200 people
  9. Winter's Jazz Club

    Winters's Jazz Club shows a piano and drum set ready for their next live-band performance.Overview: Who doesn't like Jazz! Winter's Jazz Club allows you to pay a cover charge and listen to as much music as you want. In this venue, you don't have to give up your seat for the next set unless it is reserved. This is a music venue for all ages and provides a full bar that also supplies non-alcoholic drinks too. Although this venue does not serve food, it does have many restaurants very close to it, allowing for you to pick what you are in the mood for. The Winter's Jazz club is set up to be the first-come-first-serve seating with both general admission and VIP sections. This music venue stirs us the arts by incorporating a quiet policy in its listening room, where there is no talking during the performances. The Winter's Jazz Club also enforces a dress code of smart casual or better. So, unfortunately, tank top and flip flop won't work at this Jazz Club. Sonny Rollins, an American saxophonist, once said, "Music represents nature. Nature represents life. Jazz represents nature. Jazz is Life."

    Location: 465 N McClurg Ct Chicago, Illinois
    Capacity: 125 in the listening room, 24 along the bar area
  10. HI-FI

    HIFI is basked in purple light with a crowd of people eager to hear the performer on the stage.Overview: HI-FI has followed in the footsteps of its parents. This venue is hidden within Murphy Arts Center, which used to be the home of the Grenada Theatre which you can still see from the second floor today. This building is full of performance history and thriving in the music scene. The owners used to be independent concert promoters and had such a passion for the arts. This venue plays different music from rock, to folk, and even to country. This venue has many local performers as well as national stars. HI-Fi is set up as a general admission standing room event, where the minimum age to be at these events is 21. This venue has won numerous local and regional awards including "Indianapolis, INs top mid-sized concert venue". One unique thing that HI-FI does is that they are on a mission to give back to the community, they have over one hundred fundraisers annually. One fundraiser example is the water charity which is hosted monthly and donates $1 per bottle of water sold at the venue.

    Location: 1043 Virginia Ave Indianapolis, Indiana
    Capacity: 400 capacity
  11. Kalamazoo State Theatre

    The Kalamazoo State Theater empty and ready to be filled with music loversOverview: Kalamazoo State Theatre is absolutely pure magic. This venue was designed in 1927 to create the feel of a Spanish Garden, and has fantastic acoustics, because of the good theatre design-builders used. In 1982 it was sadly closed. Volunteers and the community started "Save the State" in hopes of saving it. The Kalamazoo State Theatre was purchased and saved in 1985 by the Hinman Company to allow for this intimate feeling theatre to reopen. Now this venue is a part of the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT) to help with the restoration, preservation, and ongoing operations of this treasured venue. This Theatre has had many famous people on its stages such as Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Britney Spears, Rascal Flatts, and Slayer.

    Location: 404 S Burdick St Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Capacity: Around 1,500 people
  12. Bop Stop

    This side view of the Bop Stop shows two rows of barstool seating before a small band performance.Overview: Bop Stop is a premier listening room in Cleveland, Ohio. This venue features an intimate setting with beautiful views of Lake Erie. Bop Stop has tiered seating and an open floor plan, which allows for everyone in the audience to have a good seat at the show. This venue also does not have a specific dress code and is great for people of all ages. Bop Stop was donated to the Music Settlement in 2013. These two try to help provide music to their communities. The purchase of food or drink at the Bop Stop helps to support the Music Settlement. This venue has won multiple awards including the award "Top Jazz Club in The United States" 2019, "Best Jazz and Blues" 2017, 2018, 2020, "Nightlife Spots" 2014 in FOX 8 Buzz List, and some other ones. Some of the Bop Spot's past performers include: Jeff Coffin, Aaron Parks, Oz Noy, and Katie Thiroux.

    Location: 2920 Detroit Ave Cleveland, Ohio
    Capacity: 100 people

Southwest

  1. Last Exit Live

    This picture of the Last Exit Live shows the hands of the audience up in song from the band playing on the stage.Overview: Last Exit Live is an intimate live music experience. They opened in 2003 in a small shopping center plaza where they gained a lot of fans. Last Exit Live then decided to move to their own freestanding building in the warehouse district. This venue tries to bring in national touring acts such as Zac Brown Band, James McMurtry, and CloZee. Last Exit Live also appreciates its own local talent by letting them perform. This venue has a wide array of music including country, reggae, electronica, funk, rock, and folk. Last Exit Live is set up as standing room seating and has a limited number of high-top tables that are in the back portion of the venue. This venue has a full bar service having beer and wine. They do not have food available, but you are allowed to bring in your own food. A unique feature about Last Exit Live is that it is a 21 and older venue.

    Location: 717 S Central Ave Phoenix, Arizona
    Capacity: Around 200 people
  2. Liberty Inc.

    Behind the band view of The Nightowl band playing for an audienceOverview: Liberty Inc was formed in 2013 to promote the arts. This venue is set up with a nonprofit and is one hundred percent member-supported. This venue wants to try to bring artistic and cultural experiences to Rosewell. Liberty Inc is 21 and older unless stated otherwise. This community that helps Liberty Inc allows for members to host events at this venue. The Liberty Inc is great for both small or big gatherings due to it having multiple attendee spots, such as their patio, seated area, or standing. This venue has stunning archways, a bar, chandeliers, and a music presence like no other. The members believe that music is everywhere and that attendees should soak up every moment there. 

    Location: 312 N Virginia Roswell, New Mexico
    Capacity: 230 seated, 400 standing, patio holds 50
  3. Mohawk Austin

    The Mohawk Austin shows a roofed stage with a packed front pit sectionOverview: Mohawk was built in 2006, to give attendees an amazing live music experience. This venue is known for its killer rock shows, good service, great prices, and strong pours. They welcome a wide array of music, with all different genres. Mohawk has a happy hour before the concert where they have discounted drinks, and hopefully, you will be able to get amazing seats! This venue is standing room only and performs regardless of whether it is rain or shine. They have three separate bars: indoor, roof deck, and patio. Mohawk also has two separate stages, one that is 21' x 16' and the indoor one is 16' x 13'. Mohawk believes that "Music is a language everyone speaks, without bias", and they want to think about "What will make this [event] more than just a show".
    Location: 912 Red River St Austin, Texas
    Capacity: 900 people
  4. The Auditorium At the Douglass

    From the stage there are empty seats ready to be filled at the Auditorium at the Douglass.Overview: The Auditorium at the Douglass has had an unusual history. This music venue was once a predominately African American high school. This building was then abandoned for years before it found its calling as a hall for music. The Auditorium at the Douglass has featured many different shows, such as big bands, graduations, and concerts. This venue has been honored on local, regional, and even national levels. With some help, this venue was able to update its equipment with state-of-the-art theater technology including a high-fidelity sound system, professional lighting systems, and projection equipment. The Auditorium at the Douglass has a balcony and the main floor to seat its music enthusiasts that want to embrace the building's heritage and history. The mission of this venue is to bring its legacy forward to the future.

    Location: 600 N High Ave Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Capacity: 725 people

West

  1. The High Dive

    This picture shows a couple at a table while someone is doing karaoke on stage.Overview: The High Dive is a modern music museum. Around the inside, there are many memories upon their walls scattered with events of the last decade. They have a full-service bar within their walls. This venue does not offer food but does allow you to bring in your own to enjoy during the show. In a 10 year span, this amazing venue has become a significant feature in Seattle's music scene. The High Dive has even had some famous people walk through its doors such as Bruce Lee, Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobain.

    Location: 513 N 36th St Seattle, Washington
    Capacity: 250 people
  2. The Old Church Concert Hall

    Red and purple lights shine to the rafters of this huge open ChurchChurch 2Overview: The Old Church Concert Hall was built in 1882, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. This venue is non-profit, that also is non-religious, and is home to music for all ages. This venue was saved by the people who loved the architecture and wanted to bring music to future generations. The Old Church Concert Hall has a mission to have programs set up to represent the culture within the community while enjoying the architecture of this amazing Church. This venue wants to provide an intimate relationship with music and open its doors to be the living room for everyone to join. The Old Church offers many community programs such as "Lunchtime Concerts" and "Little Ears Concerts for Children" and "WE CAN LISTEN" which is a social justice series.

    Location: 1422 SW 11th Ave Portland, Oregon
    Capacity: 300 seat space
  3. DNA Lounge

    DNA lounge is cast in multiple color lights before the arrival of its nightlife scene.Overview: DNA lounge is the place to be to get into the party spirit. This venue has been around for over 35 years and has become one of San Francisco's most popular nightclubs since 1985. They have multiple different types of events such as birthday parties, private events, lectures, and burlesque shows. These different shows all come with different age requirements, some are all ages whereas others are 18+ or 21+. This venue has two separate stages, along with four different dance floors, and seven bars. One unique feature about the DNA lounge is that this venue has a full-service late-night restaurant and cafe attached to it. It has also won multiple awards such as "Best Dance Club" every year since 2008. and won over 60 "Best of" awards from local publications like the Guardian, SF Weekly, and 7x7 Magazine.

    Location: 375 11th St San Francisco, California
    Capacity: Main room 800 people, Above DNA is around 300 people
  4. The Alpine 

     

    The Alpine has high-rise wooden ceilings, with brick walls.Overview:  The Alpine is a part of a company called Record Street Brewing. This venue opened its doors in 1929 and has since been transformed into a state-of-the-art music and event venue. This hosts many different things such as weddings, receptions, film/tv shoots, and live music. The Alpine holds cutting-edge acts and memorable nights of music. This venue has a historic setting with an intimate place to gather with friends. Record Street doesn't just have an amazing venue, they have a restaurant where they make pizza from scratch and have perfect pints to enjoy. Record Street Brewing also has a dog-friendly patio.

    Location: 324 E 4th St Reno, Nevada
    Capacity: 500 guests in the standing room, 350+ guests in the cocktail reception, 250 guests in the Theater style
  5. The Olympic

    A stage sits empty with instruments upon itOverview: The Olympic is trying to make some noise by being one of the newest music venues in Boise, Idaho. They have featured a large selection of talent including national, regional, local bands, Dj, and all kinds of other events. This particular venue is a full-service 21+ venue offering cocktails and beer to its guests. The Olympic is a general admission venue that has limited seating available, so it is based on a first-come-first-served basis. One interesting thing about the Olympic is that they are a part of NIVA the National Independent Venue Association to help keep music alive in smaller independent venues.

    Location: 1009 W Main St Boise, Idaho
    Capacity: 300 people
  6. Red Butte Garden

    Outdoor covered venue with yellow lights reflecting into the large standing audience.Overview: Hear the music in the sound of the gardens at Red Butte Garden. This venue has two separate sections a visitor center and the amphitheater. The Red Butte Garden is a state arboretum that was established by the Utah Legislature at the University of Utah. They have many different programs such as memorials, tribute gifts, membership, classes, workshops for adults, a summer camp for kids, and even an app game called trailblazer. They also offer bridges to connect different places, and to connect with the community such as "A bridge to the greater environment" and "A bridge to the arts". This venue also allows for outdoor entertainment, theater it is rain or shine. Something cool that the Red Butte Garden does is they offer have half-price admission in the colder months of December, January, and February.

    Location: 300 Wakara Way Salt Lake City, Utah
    Capacity: 3,000 people
  7. Kettlehouse Amphitheater

    Design of the Kettlehouse Amphitheater which is an outdoor empty seated theater with mountains and trees surrounding the outsideOverview: Montana is beautiful with there rivers, trees, and mountains. The owners had started Kettlehouse Brewing Co. years before trying to reconnect to the beautiful outdoors. "Their mission was to match the quality of their beers with their outdoor experiences." By chance, they met a couple wanting to make a permanent outdoor amphitheater, and the Kettlehouse Amphitheater was born in 2016. The Kettlehouse Amphitheater is a permanent stadium that has seating, a general admission standing pit, and general admission lawn seating.  This venue offers a full-service bar, still allowing you to connect with nature with a crisp cool beer. It is located on the banks of the Big Blackfoot River in Bonner, Montana. Journey to this venue to enjoy a night filled with music while being able to view the gorgeous scenery all around you.

    Location: 605 Cold Smoke Lane Bonner, Montana
    Capacity: 4,000 people
  8. Boulder Theater

    This venue has huge murals upon the walls and has a large audience ready for the band upon the stageOverview: Boulder Theater had its opening night in 1936. Today Z2 entertainment has taken over running three different music venues including Boulder Theater, Fox Theatre, and Aggie Theatre. Z2 has become Colorados's largest independent live music promotion and entertainment company. The Boulder Theater's "...facade, finished in the art deco style of the day, is designated as a Colorado Historic Landmark". This venue also has many different performances within its walls such as all genres of music, different comedy shows, film screenings, and more. The Boulder Theater has a stage that is 42' wide, and 18' behind the main traveling drape. This venue is ready to pack an audience in for a memorable night of music.

    Location: 2032 14th St Boulder, Colorado
    Capacity: 850 people
  9. The Lincoln Cheyenne

    The stage are ascending up away from the stage, while the chairs wait patiently to be filled.Overview: The Lincoln Cheyenne was built in 1927 and started with music along with a pipe organ. It was built in an art-deco style, accompanied by the main floor and an added balcony. It then was closed for a while and changed into a movie theater. It was actually the first theater to play talking movies. Eventually, it was able to turn back around in 2011 and revolve around music again. A nonprofit took charge and set it up to help educate the youth about the arts, and music. This venue offered free guitar lessons as an incentive to get people to come back to the music. In the future, they would like to see the music program, and music event increases to a music venue level. Since 1929, the Lincoln Cheyenne has hosted more than 2 million people including a future president, Ronald Reagan, and some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

    Location: 1615 Central Ave Cheyenne, Wyoming
    Capacity: 1,250 people
  10. Koot's

    This picture shows the outside of Koots, which is a wooden log cabin style with a fake moose outside of it.Overview: Koot's is the nickname for Chilkoot Charlie's nightclub. This venue was started in 1970 and was before known as the Alibi Club. Koot's started off as a live piano bar, and was then bought by a new owner saying he would triple his sales in the first year, he was right! Oil was found in Alaska and Koot's became the place to be. They have had big names perform there such as Metallica, Bon Jovi, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, Styx, and Greenday. Chilkoot Charlie was even the host of MTV Street Party and had national coverage on ESPN. This venue has won a handful of awards including "Best if 8 Awards" and "PressPick Award" all for being the best bar. Koot's was even named "Number 1 Bar in America" by Playboy Magazine. This venue has a rustic Alaskan theme with three separate stages, three dance floors, and 10 bars. This does not count the extra bar they have in the summertime. Koot's is historic and is a must-see venue in Alaska.

    Location: 2435 Spenard Rd Anchorage, Alaska
    Capacity: 400 North Stage, 200 South Stage, and 3,000 outside

     

  11. Hawaii Theatre Center

    Four performers pose for a picture with a packed audience.
    Overview: Hawaii Theatre Center was built in 1922 by the Consolidated Amusement of Honolulu. Unfortunately, they announced their closing in 1984. Citizens tried to protect the theatre from demolition. Eventually Hawaii Theatre Center obtained both the theatre itself and the land base for the future. They did some renovations in 1989 and reopened in 1996, and then won an award for an award-winning interior. In 2004 they did exterior renovations, and in 2005 was named an "Outstanding Historic Theatre in America" by the League of Historic American Theatres. In 2006 they were the first small non-profit recipient of the Hawaii Better Business Bureau's "Torch Award for Business Ethics". Today they have a broad range of entertainment for cultural and educational experiences. Their mission is to benefit the community and visitors of Hawaii while providing art education to the youths.

    Location: 1130 Bethel St Honolulu, Hawaii
    Capacity: 1,400 people


    Conclusion
    NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association supports venues and helps these venues stay present in our ever-changing environment. You may find additional venues on their list. Of course, these are not all of the independent venues in the U.S., but this list contains one from each of the fifty states we thought was unique and worth sharing. 
Abby Spanbauer
Abby Spanbauer
Abby is an Integrated Marketing Communication major at Illinois State University. She loves country music and was in choir for several years. She enjoys being able to bring her passion for music into her writing.

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