The 12 Best Live Music Venues Outside of Broadway

As a local and avid live music enthusiast in Nashville, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing some of the city’s best musical offerings. While Broadway is undeniably famous for its live music, there’s a wealth of other fantastic venues across Nashville that offer unforgettable performances.

While Broadway’s honky-tonks and live music venues are definitely worth a visit, Nashville’s music scene extends far beyond this iconic strip. East Nashville, for instance, boasts a thriving music community with numerous venues showcasing local talents.

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What are the best music venues off-Broadway in Nashville?

Among the best off-Broadway spots are The Basement East, known for its impressive artist lineup and vibrant atmosphere, and Exit/In, a legendary venue hosting diverse artists. For country music enthusiasts, The Bluebird Cafe and the Grand Ole Opry are must-visit intimate venues. For those seeking varied genres, The Station Inn caters to bluegrass lovers, while City Winery offers upscale dining paired with diverse music genres. 

There are so many great venues in Nashville that most tourists don’t ever get to experience. That’s why I put together this list of popular off-beat spots and not-so-popular hidden gems you can find in Nashville.

The Basement East

Among my top picks for live music in Nashville is The Basement East. This intimate venue boasts an impressive lineup of artists covering various genres, from indie rock to electronic music. Not only is the sound quality top-notch, but the vibrant atmosphere also adds to the overall enjoyment of the performances.


Another standout venue in Nashville’s music landscape is Exit/In. With a rich history dating back to the 1970s, this venue has hosted legendary acts like Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Today, Exit/In continues to attract diverse artists, making it a must-visit destination for any music lover in the city.

The 5 Spot In East Nashville

The 5 Spot offers an array of live music almost every night, featuring a mix of local and touring acts.

The Bluebird Cafe

For those seeking an intimate live music experience, The Bluebird Cafe is a must-visit. Renowned for hosting some of Nashville’s finest songwriters, this small venue creates a focused environment where guests can truly appreciate the artistry of the performers.

Ryman Auditorium

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To immerse yourself in Nashville’s rich musical history, head to the iconic Ryman Auditorium. With a legacy dating back to the late 1800s, this venue has seen the likes of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley grace its stage. The breathtaking acoustics and unique atmosphere make for an unforgettable experience.

The Station Inn

If you love bluegrass, this intimate venue dating back to the 1970s is a must-visit. Renowned for hosting big names in the genre, its cozy and unpretentious ambiance ensures an unforgettable experience.

The Listening Room

Modern and inviting, this venue showcases talented singer-songwriters, often featuring writers’ rounds. The impeccable sound quality and impressive food and drink menu add to the allure.

3rd and Lindsley

A spacious venue catering to a diverse range of acts, from local favorites to national touring bands. With excellent sound quality and a delectable Southern comfort food menu, it promises a fantastic night out.

Rudy’s Jazz Room

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Jazz aficionados will adore this cozy speakeasy-style venue, showcasing some of the finest jazz musicians in Nashville. Its intimate and relaxed setting creates a perfect ambiance for a memorable night with friends or a special someone.

Alley Taps

Tucked away in Printer’s Alley, exudes a speakeasy-style charm and hosts live music nightly. With a warm and intimate ambiance, it’s the perfect place to savor whiskey and enjoy their jazz nights on Wednesdays.

Flamingo Cocktail Club 

Located in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood offers a trendy setting with craft cocktails and a small stage for live music. Its retro vibe sets the scene for a mix of local and touring bands that are sure to impress.

East Room in Eastwood

East Room in Eastwood is a versatile space known for hosting everything from live music to comedy shows and dance parties. The venue’s spacious dance floor and excellent sound system promise an unforgettable experience. When the weather allows, their ample outdoor patio adds to the allure.

A Melodic Feast: Nashville’s Fusion of Food and Music

Nashville is a city renowned for its great music and delectable food, and luckily, there are numerous venues that combine both for an unforgettable experience. While Broadway is famous for its offerings, these are some of my favorite spots to relish both food and music in Nashville:

For an exceptional blend of live music and mouthwatering meals, The Station Inn tops the list. This iconic venue, cherished since 1974, is a haven for bluegrass and roots music enthusiasts. On top of the soulful melodies, their top-notch menu features delights such as burgers and fried catfish.

City Winery offers a more upscale experience for those seeking elevated cuisine and diverse music genres. Indulge in a wide variety of wines and savor delectable small plates while being serenaded by everything from jazz to Americana tunes.

If you’re in the mood for a distinctive night out, the burlesque shows at Skull’s Rainbow Room promise an extraordinary experience. This historic venue, dating back to the 1940s, delights audiences with live music and captivating burlesque performances. The food menu is equally impressive, featuring delights like oysters and steak.

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The Lipstick Lounge provides another fantastic spot for burlesque and live music. Welcoming the LGBTQ community, this bar and venue offer a plethora of entertainment options, from burlesque shows to drag performances and live music. The food menu, though concise, boasts delicious offerings like loaded tater tots and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Nashville’s Diverse Live Music Scene: Genres and Top Venues

As a Nashville music enthusiast, I can’t help but revel in the city’s deep roots in country music. While Broadway’s honky-tonks are famous, Nashville boasts numerous other venues showcasing this beloved genre. Among the best places to experience live country shows are the iconic Grand Ole Opry, the intimate Station Inn, and the renowned Bluebird Cafe.

Though Nashville is synonymous with country, it also thrives in other musical genres, including rock, bluegrass, jazz, Americana, honky-tonk, blues, metal, singer-songwriter, and even hip-hop. Each genre finds its unique space within the city’s vibrant music scene.


As I wrap up my search for the best live music venues in Nashville, I can confidently say that there are plenty of options outside of Broadway that offer amazing performances from talented musicians.

One of the most notable institutions in Nashville is the Ryman Auditorium, which has hosted countless legendary artists over the years. While the Ryman may not offer live music every night, it’s definitely worth checking out their schedule to catch a show.

When it comes to local talent, The Basement and The End are two venues that consistently showcase some of the best up-and-coming musicians in Nashville. While they may not have the same name recognition as some of the larger venues, both The Basement and The End offer a more intimate and authentic live music experience.

While some venues may have a cover charge, many of the best live music spots in Nashville offer free shows or low-cost tickets. The 5 Spot and The Family Wash are two such venues that offer affordable live music options for those on a budget.

For aspiring musicians, it’s worth noting that many of the venues outside of Broadway offer open mic nights or other opportunities for local talent to showcase their skills. The Bluebird Cafe and Douglas Corner Cafe are two such venues that are known for supporting and promoting new artists.

Overall, Nashville is a city that truly lives up to its reputation as the Music City. With so many incredible live music venues to choose from, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.