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Give these Nashville live music venues a listen

We’ve made a concerted effort to orchestrate this roadmap, so you can focus on finding the artists you adore.

A fan holds up the rock on sign while Brothers Osborne performs on the Nissan Stadium stage with two larger than life skeletons.

Brothers Osborne had a scary good performance on the Nissan Stadium stage during CMA Fest 2022.

Photo by NASHtoday

Table of Contents

Hear that? It’s the scintillating sound of Nashville’s live music venues beckoning you to a performance you’ll never forget.

The concert scene is truly unmatched in our area — from Bridgestone to The Basement East, there’s a stage for any type of tune. To get to know them all, you must do three things:

Put your hands in the air, wave ‘em like you just don’t care, then lay your eyes (and ears) on our guide.

Arenas and stadiums

Bridgestone Arena | 501 Broadway
Capacity: ~20,000

Home to the Nashville Predators and Nashville Stampede, Bridgestone Arena has won Pollstar’s “Arena of the Year” three times. Local comedian Nate Bargatze set the attendance record in April 2023 with 19,365 fans in attendance.

Nissan Stadium | 1 Titans Way
Capacity: 69,000-74,000

We’d say Titan Up, but this stadium has also hosted huge names outside of sports — including Elton John, Taylor Swift, and Garth Brooks. Originally opening in August 1999 as Adelphia Coliseum, Nissan is home to CMA Fest, the longest-running country music festival in the world.

GEODIS Park | 501 Benton Ave.
Capacity: 27,000

The largest soccer-specific stadium in the US and Canada, home to Nashville SC, promises a rockin’ good time. Wedgewood-Houston’s GEODIS Park opened in May 2022 and has a 65-ft-wide concourse and a 360-degree canopy.

An artist is singing on a stage.

Be sure to make a pit stop at the other businesses that make up Marathon Village before your concert at Marathon Music Works.

Photo by @lindsy_carr

Concert halls

Ryman Auditorium | 116 Rep. John Lewis Way N.
Capacity: 2,362

Ryman Auditorium, also known as the “Mother Church,” was built 130+ years ago as the Union Gospel Tabernacle and became the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. It has been named “Venue of the Year” by Pollstar 13 (and counting) times.

Grand Ole Opry | 600 Opry Mills Dr.
Capacity: 4,000

The Grand Ole Opry was formerly housed at Ryman Auditorium and a piece of that legacy lives on at center stage today (read: the history of the wooden circle). Each show features performances by eight or more artists without repetition — so you’ll always see something new.

Brooklyn Bowl | 925 3rd Ave. N.
Capacity: Up to 1,200

Brooklyn Bowl’s slogan “Eat. Drink. Rock and Roll” encompasses everything the venue has to offer. Purchase the bowling lane package for the concert of your choosing to reserve a lane for two hours. The lanes come with a view of the stage, full food and beverage services, and a chesterfield leather couch and shared table.

Marathon Music Works | 1402 Clinton St.
Capacity: Up to 1,500

The building was originally built in the 1900s as an auto manufacturing plant before its renovation. Pro tip: Stop by the box office on Friday (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) to get fee-free tickets, plus, come hungry because the venue serves food from Daddy’s Dogs.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center | 1 Symphony Pl.
Capacity: ~1,850

The venue opened in SoBro in 2006 and was named in honor of the late Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn, who led the Symphony for 22 years. Laura Turner Concert Hall is unique to many halls in its choice to feature natural interior lighting via 30 soundproof windows.

CMA Theater | 224 Rep. John Lewis Way S.
Capacity: 776

CMA Theater is a part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which spans 350,000 sqft of exhibition galleries, archival storage, retail stores, and event space. The theater hosts an array of performances across genres like country, bluegrass, folk, and Americana.

Nashville Municipal Auditorium | 417 4th Ave. N.
Capacity: 9,700

Originally constructed in 1962 to satisfy the area’s need for a multi-purpose facility, the auditorium opened with a Church of Christ Revival. Since, its seen The Rolling Stones sell out in just seven hours (Nov. 16, 1972), Elvis perform (July 1, 1973), and even became the home to the South Stars Hockey team in 1981.

Someone has their feet kicked up on the row of seats in front of them with the stage in the background and is holding two concert tickets.

Kick your feet up and enjoy the skyline views at downtown’s Ascend Amphitheater.

Outdoor settings

Ascend Amphitheater | 310 1st Ave. S.
Capacity: 6,800

The open-air venue powered by Live Nation is situated on the banks of the Cumberland River and includes concert seating and a lawn area. Ascend places a high priority on sustainability and converted over 105,000 pounds of waste from the landfill during its 2022 season.

Skydeck on Broadway | 5055 Broadway
Capacity: Up to 1,600

This standing room venue is cashless, so make sure you have your plastic on hand. Skydeck doesn’t offer food, but you are allowed to bring in bites from one of the 30+ eateries inside Assembly Food Hall on Level 2.

FirstBank Amphitheater | 4525 Graystone Quarry Ln., Franklin
Capacity: Up to 7,500

Situated on the back end of 140 acres, this venue features a natural landscape in a reclaimed rock quarry. Pro tip: You’ll park in meadow grass parking fields before walking a quarter-mile on paved surfaces inside the main gates.

The exterior of The Bluebird Cafe with its famous light blue awning.

The Bluebird Cafe opened in 1982 in the heart of Green Hills. | Photo by NASHtoday

Intimate spaces

EXIT/IN | 2208 Elliston Pl.
Capacity: ~500

EXIT/IN evolved from a “listening room” to a rock club, hosting musical acts like the then-unknown Jimmy Buffet and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and even comedian Steve Martin (who took the entire audience out for burgers). The Nashville Historical Landmark sits on the famous “Rock Block,” a stretch of road on Elliston Place full of businesses.

The Bluebird Cafe | 4104 Hillsboro Pk.
Capacity: 90

This intimate space is recognized for being a songwriter’s venue — you might know it as the place Taylor Swift was first discovered at 14 years old. The Bluebird was featured on the TV show “Nashville” and is also set to become the muse of an upcoming musical called “Bluebird.”

The Station Inn | 402 12th Ave. S.
Capacity: ~150

Six bluegrass singers opened The Station Inn in 1974 at its original location near Centennial Park and Vanderbilt University. The owners began as the house band, and when J.T. Gray purchased it in 1981, he began booking well-known bands each night. Some past performers include Alison Krauss, Bill Monroe, Jerry Douglas, and more.

The Basement East | 917 Woodland St.
Capacity: ~600

The Basement East, also known as “The Beast,” is the larger sister venue to The Basement. If you visit the standing-room-only space, you’ll see a mix of nationally-known artists and performers unique to Nashville.

3rd and Lindsley | 818 3rd Ave. S.
Capacity: Up to 700

The rock club began as a Mexican restaurant called Jose’s. The first band to play the venue was the Bobby Bradford Blues Band, followed by DeFord Bailey Jr. — both of whom performed sold out shows. The club has seen the likes of Lady A and Little Big Town on their rise to fame and also hosts artist residencies, like The Time Jumpers on Monday evenings.

The End | 2219 Elliston Pl.
Capacity: 200

This staple also located on the “Rock Block” was originally a popular dive bar and pool hall called Amy’s before it reverted to a venue. Self-described as offering “no-nonsense digs,” this dive bar has an electric vibe with past performers including The Flaming Lips, The Black Crowes, REM, and more.

The 5 Spot | 1006 Forest Ave.
Capacity: ~150

What do they call it? Dinner and a show? Happy Day Bobby’s now runs The 5 Spot’s renovated kitchen offering sandwiches and select sides. Plus, the space is known to have regular drink specials.

The Basement | 1604 8th Ave. S. Ste. 330
Capacity: 150

Did you know that Metallica dropped into the venue to perform in 2008? You never know who you might see at this cozy hangout, which is also the scene of regular album release parties. Try this: Visit on a Tuesday for New Faces Night, which features Nashville-focused bands.

The East Room | 2412 Gallatin Ave.
Capacity: 250

The East Room, a music and comedy venue established in East Nashville in 2012, hosts up-and-coming local and touring talent. Sign up for open mic comedy on Tuesday nights (7-7:30 p.m.) and add Dance Night - Fascination Street to your calendar every second Saturday of the month.

Listening Room Cafe | 618 4th Ave. S.
Capacity: 240

Through Sound Good, Do Good, this venue donates a portion of the cover charge for select events to organizations and people in need — which has added up to ~$350,000 since its inception. Pro tip: Your show ticket doubles as a dinner reservation, which requires a $15 minimum food/beverage order per person.

Rudy’s Jazz Room | 809 Gleaves St.
Capacity: 80

The jazz club offers live music, New Orleans-style food, local brews, and prohibition-era cocktails (no dress code is required). Find limited, free parking in the lot off of 9th Avenue behind the venue’s building and at Carter Vintage Guitars after 6 p.m. in spots labeled “Carter Guitars.”

Analog at Hutton Hotel | 1808 West End Ave.
Capacity: 325

You’ll love the personal and intimate living room-style seating at this venue located near Music Row. The space is described as “part social club, part live music and entertainment venue.” Pro tip: If you’re an artist staying at the hotel, be sure to take full advantage of the writers studios.

The Local | 110 28th Ave. N.
Capacity: 200

This bar and live music venue is open daily in West End offering original musical performances. The kitchen stays open late, using locally-sourced ingredients, and the bar serves craft beer from Tennessee breweries with weekday specials.

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