Charlottesville has so many music venues and concerts happening on any given night that it can feel overwhelming – countless venues and dozens of local acts all competing for your attention (and ticket sales). It’s rare to find a city of this size with such a diverse talent pool of musicians, bands, and places to play. So, the Charlottesville Guide staff thought we could help you take advantage by highlighting the best Charlottesville live music venues. Regardless of what your musical tastes are, C-ville has something for everyone. Check out the list below and find your next favorite spot!
Charlottesville Live Music Venues
Known primarily for hosting the UVA men’s and women’s basketball games, JPJ Arena also hosts a ton of national chart-topping acts, boasting the largest arena capacity in the state of Virginia. Within recent years, JPJ has brought in Fall Out Boy, the Chainsmokers, Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, and Panic! at the Disco. The shows are primarily pop and country-leaning, but such big shows are extremely fun to go to and witness. Find their upcoming schedule here.
Along with the Jefferson Theater and the Southern Cafe, the Sprint Pavilion is managed by Starr Hill Presents/Red Light Management – the preeminent (and perhaps the only) music management and booking company in Charlottesville. The Pavilion handles many higher profile guests, such as Bon Iver, the Avett Brothers, Father John Misty, and more. They notably cater to more indie/folk/oldies fans than the pop acts that come to JPJ. Additionally, Sprint hosts a popular weekly concert series in the summer called Fridays after Five, featuring local and regional acts. Find their schedule here.
While it might be a slight step below the Pavilion in terms of shows with nationally recognized artists, the Jefferson is still a gem for fans of popular indie music. It boasts a diverse slate of various genres, as well. The venue has had many accomplished artists come through for a show, including Dr. Dog, Miguel, Eli Young Band, and Gary Clark Jr. Plus, the hall itself is absolutely beautiful, having been restored a few years back after having been open for almost 100 years! It’s a fantastic environment to catch a show, Find their schedule here.
As we mentioned above, The Southern is also part of the Starr Hill Presents/Red Light Management family. It fills a very unique role in the Charlottesville music scene. The Southern pulls in many regional and national touring acts who are starting to gain traction, such as Mitski and Declan McKenna, while also allowing local artists to get their start on a reputable stage. Lots of talent from the Charlottesville and UVA communities play The Southern. It maintains a cozy community feel while still bringing in bigger acts, as well. Check out the Southern’s upcoming schedule here.
The Tea Bazaar is an overlooked gem in both the music scene and the foodie scene in Charlottesville. It offers primarily vegan and vegetarian options, as well as beer, wine, tea, and hookah. Twisted Branch is also an awesome place to catch a show. With a small, intimate room that provides great sound, the Tea Bazaar features a lot of lesser-known touring acts, as well as local Charlottesville talent. You won’t find anything too conventional here, but it’s a wonderful experience with some off-the-beaten-path music and delicious food. Take a look at their schedule here.
A truly classic Charlottesville live music bar is Miller’s Downtown, the Downtown Mall staple that features live music 7 days a week. With a vast menu of delicious pub fare, a large selection of alcoholic beverages, and an array of musical acts across many genres, this old haunt is a terrific place to spend any night of the week. Some of their regular players include the John Dearth Quintet – a famed UVA professor and his group – as well as Charlottesville singer-songwriters like Emily Julia Kresky and Matthew O’Donnell. So, get on over to Miller’s, kick back, and enjoy an evening of drinks and great music. Find their schedule here.
Without a doubt the most obscure yet fascinating venue in all of Charlottesville, the Garage is literally a one-car garage where shows are staged. Located off the Downtown Mall, right near Market Street Park, this avant-garde venue plays out to a grassy hill where. Concertgoers often bring blankets and sit for the show. While the Garage does feature art installations from time to time, their primary focus is Charlottesville musicians. Well-established city stalwarts play here, as well as up-and-comers from Charlottesville, UVA, and the surrounding area. It’s surreal to catch a show here, with beautiful music coming out of what is usually nothing more than a mini-storage unit or parking spot. Check out the Garage’s schedule here.