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.


Live Music Most Nights

Al’s Bar

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

The Burl

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

Cosmic Charlie’s

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

The Green Lantern

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

Willie’s Locally Known

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

Henry Clay’s Public House

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

Parlay Social

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

Tee Dee’s Blues Club

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

Tin Roof

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

Best Friend Bar

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


Big Show Venues

Manchester Music Hall

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

Rupp Arena

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

The Lexington Opera House

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

The Lyric Theater

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

Unique Entertainment Experiences

Thursday Night Live

Cheapside Pavilion

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

Ethereal Brewing Co.

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

Talon Winery

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

Daily Offerings Coffee Roastery

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

Common Grounds

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