9 Live Music Venues In Brooklyn, NYC

Kaycia Sailsman

New York is a center of the music scene, and Brooklyn has become a home to performing artists from around the world. While Barclays Center or the Brooklyn Center for Art and Music (BAM) always provide excellent music to their listeners, they can be a bit pricey. Here is a list of some venues you can check out if you want to be moved by live music in Brooklyn for a much lower price.

The Way Station

1. The Way Station

Music Venue

The Way Station, New York
© __MV__/Flickr
The Way Station is a bar and music venue that features an assortment of music styles, like folk, R&B, soul, indie rock, Latin and many others. At The Way Station, you can chill out, get a drink from the bar, and hear the sounds of 80 local, national, and international artists. Although there is no $5 cover charge, a hat is passed around in support of the musicians on stage.

2. Barbès

Bar, American

This performance space and bar is located in the South Slope area of Brooklyn, and it takes its name from a neighborhood in Paris, which is known for discount stores and home to a significant amount of people from North Africa. Two French natives who are long-time Brooklyn residents own Barbès. Barbès houses musical collections ranging from Mexican to Lebanese and Romanian to Venezuelan; this sort of diversity also carries over into their drink selections. The performance area, in the back, supports music, readings, and movies to a community of artists, allowing them the space to express themselves.

3. Knitting Factory

Music Venue

This venue was founded in 1987 and now has locations in Boise, Spokane, and Reno. It is part of a larger establishment called Knitting Factory Entertainment (KFE). Not only do they host clubs and promote concerts but also promote national tours and have produced the Broadway musical Fela! They also deal with a variety of national and international artists, allowing you to hear a diverse range of music. Tickets are available in advance and at the door; some are even free.

4. Jalopy Theatre and School of Music

Music Venue, School

© Al Ibrahim/Flickr
Jalopy Theatre and School of Music allows you to see other musicians perform and also explore your own musical talents. They have designated packages for viewing and performing, including open mic nights and instrument lessons. If you have children, there are lessons for them too. If you are interested, please check out their calendar of events and prices. Explore your musicality.

5. The Rock Shop

Bar, Nightclub, American, Pub Grub

Live Music
© Rémy Chanteloup/Flickr
This is the ultimate area for live listening needs, with access to the roof, downstairs, and upstairs. The venue is open from 5pm-2am, Monday-Thursday and on Friday from 4pm-4am. An easy access from Manhattan and the BQE, and a ride on the R train to Union Street will get you to this location. The Rock Shop has a calendar listing all of the bands that they have coming up, so get your tickets in advance.

6. The Paper Box

Music Venue

Open Mic Night
© Danny Ryder/Flickr
This independent music and art venue in East Williamsburg has hosted a variety of musicians, artists, film screenings, and book readings since 2012. The Paper Box has an all-accommodating atmosphere that welcomes musicians to use their space with the help of their experienced sound engineers, stage managers, bartenders and kitchen staff, and talent buyers. Check out their Spooky Mansion Halloween experience that runs from October 28th to October 31st; tickets are up for sale here.

7. ShapeShifter Lab

Music Venue

Open Mic Night
© Danny Ryder/Flickr
ShapeShifter Lab is a 4,200-square-foot venue located in the Park Slope/Gowanus area. The space can be used for musical artists ‘who are looking for a flexible place to showcase their work.’ The owner of this venue has a lot of experience touring as a musician, and he designed the set-up with amenities in sound, lighting, and layout, all of which can be suited to each artist that comes to play. The shows begin between 7pm and 10:30pm, but the ending time may vary. Check out their calendar of events for anything that may suit your interest.

8. Jazz 966

Music Venue

Open Mic Night
© Danny Ryder/Flickr
Every Friday night, come hear live jazz music at Jazz 966 in Brooklyn between Clinton and Washington. Come in and hear The Ed Quintet on November 7th, Kenyatta Beasley on November 14th, and Pucho and his Latin Soul Brothers on November 21st. The doors open at 7pm and the set begins at 8:15pm and runs for two hours; be aware that the sets might change without notice. Also, be prepared to pay a $15 donation.

9. Roulette Intermedium

Concert Hall, Theater

For the last three decades, this artistic space has provided a place where artists can make a name for themselves and go on to pursue what they love to do the most. What started at a Tribeca loft has shifted into Brooklyn and has become one of the main cultural epicenters for music, dance, and theatre. Thousands of artists have presented their work at Roulette Intermedium, so you know there is nothing too big or small for this venue. If you are interested, check out their calendar’s list of events for the rest of the year and get your tickets.

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