Whether you’re in the mood for classic rock jam bands, feel-good smooth jazz, talented solo pianists or inventive DJ mashups, you’ll find an array of live talent around Lexington to satisfy all your live music cravings.
Lexington’s bourbon and food scenes appeal to the palate, but the music game in town makes this city a treat for the ears, too. Explore the vibrant sounds of Lexington’s live music scene and meet the talented artists that continue to shape it.
601 N. Limestone
An intimate neighborhood dive bar that was “hipster before hipster was cool,” Al’s Bar features the best of the best in local and regional music talent, and also offers a well-stocked bar plus a surprisingly tasty menu selection of signature burgers and classic bar food. alsbarlexington.com
375 Thompson Road
The Burl may one of Lexington’s newest music venues, but its proximity to the trendy Distillery District and impressive lineup of both local and national talent has put it on the live music map as of late. Located inside an old restored train depot, this is “a place for music, built by musicians.” theburlky.com
723 National Avenue
A self-described “funky music club” that recently relocated to the heart of Lexington’s Warehouse Block, Cosmic Charlie’s books live entertainment 7 nights a week, frequently featuring jam bands, rock n’ roll ensembles and Bluegrass gigs on Sundays. cosmic-charlies.com
497 West 3rd Street
What was once a gritty biker bar is now a cozy Jefferson Street mainstay dedicated to bringing live music to Lexington locals. A dive bar atmosphere with a hipster clientele, you’ll find performances here ranging from punk and psychedelic beats to Bluegrass folk and indie rock. facebook.com
286 Southland Drive
Is there a better mix than smoked BBQ and live music? We didn’t think so. Check out Willie’s dynamic weekly live music lineup on their website that includes shows almost every night. This place is all about passionate people who love good BBQ and Bluegrass beats. willieslocallyknown.com
112 N. Upper Street
Featuring vivacious live music on weekends, reasonably-priced well drinks and an endless supply of fresh (and free) popcorn, this laid-back pub is named for acclaimed lawyer, politician and orator Henry Clay, who erected the building in 1805. henryclayspublichouse.com
249 W. Short Street
Parlay Social is what you get when you cross a bourbon bar, a live music venue and a prohibition-era speakeasy. With a constantly evolving live music roster and plenty of floor room to get your groove on, there are good times to be had at this Cheapside Plaza mainstay. parlaysocial.com
266 East 2nd Street
With smooth riffs from guitar wizard and vocalist Tee Dee Young, this off-the-radar nightclub is the go-to place for blues jams on Monday nights. teedeeyoung.com
303 S. Limestone
Situated on a corner of UK’s bustling campus, Tin Roof is a “live music joint” that gives established and budding musicians a chance to strut their stuff. Featuring live music just about every night of the week and serving lunch, dinner and late night food, it’s rare that you’ll encounter an “off” night at this place. tinrooflexington.com
500 Euclid Avenue
Take a pal to this comfy dive bar to enjoy a wide variety of live music on their stage. And if you’d rather be the one providing the live entertainment, you can always come for a karaoke night. facebook.com
899 Manchester Street
“A space for music lovers, community and everything in between.” Housed in what was originally the Old Tarr Distillery Warehouse #2, Manchester Music Hall hosts concerts and festivals in its hip Distillery District location. Photo by Jared Lee. manchestermusichall.com
430 W. Vine Street
Perhaps best known as the home of the legendary Kentucky Wildcats Men’s Basketball team, Rupp Arena has also hosted a lineup of legendary performers since its construction in 1976. As the largest live music venue in Lexington, you’ll find that some pretty big names come through here. Check their events schedule for upcoming shows. rupparena.com
401 West Short Street
A historic Lexington treasure and one of the region’s premiere performing arts centers, the Lexington Opera House hosts regional theater performances, live music, operas, ballets, comedy shows and professional Broadway tours in its restored 19th century façade. lexingtonoperahouse.com
300 E. 3rd Street
With a goal to “preserve, promote, present and celebrate diverse cultures,” the Lyric hosts an array of local and regional talent on its stage. One of its most popular series is the Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, a multimedia celebration of grassroots music filmed in front of a live audience, which it holds Monday nights. lexingtonlyric.com
Come rain or shine on Thursday nights during warmer months, you’ll find live music underneath downtown’s Cheapside Pavilion, accompanied by hundreds of locals enjoying local food and drinks. downtownlex.com
1224 Manchester Street
A trendy brewery on Lexington’s Brewgrass Trail and a pillar of the Distillery District, Ethereal offers occasional live music in their back room amidst dart boards and friendly company. Check their Facebook page to see when you can catch a live show. etherealbrew.com
7086 Tates Creek Road
For a scenic treat, take a weekend picnic out to this beautiful winery on the outskirts of Lexington and enjoy free live music from area bands and solo artists as you sip on delicious local wines. talonwine.com
529 W. Main Street
This family-owned coffee joint infrequently hosts live local talent in a warm, open-aired atmosphere, best enjoyed with a cup of their delicious coffee or whatever beer they have on tap. dailyofferingscoffee.com
343 E. High Street
Common Grounds has long been a supporter of burgeoning talent in town. Come for a Monday open mic night to hear singers, musicians, poets, orators and anyone who has something to share with the community. You’ll find live local music on weekends here as well. commongroundsoflexington.com
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