Nashville's Best Secret Music Venues

Live music in Nashville
Live music in Nashville | © rawartistsmedia / Flickr
Leena Kollar

Nashville, Tennessee, is widely recognized as the music capital of the United States, boasting a vibrant live music scene. While the city is famous for its prominent music venues, it’s worth exploring the lesser-known spots that showcase incredible talent. In this fresh guide, we’ll take you beyond the most popular venues and introduce you to some hidden gems where you can catch exceptional live performances. Prepare to immerse yourself in Nashville’s rich musical tapestry, discovering the captivating talent that thrives beyond the limelight.

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Acme Feed & Seed

With 22,000 square feet (2,042.8 square meters) and three floors of space, Acme Feed & Seed is a store, a honky-tonk, and a live music venue. The first floor is where you’ll find the Acme Farm Store, which sells Nashville-based artisan goods, along with communal tables where you can enjoy one of the 28 beers on tap. The second floor is a lounge that has a photo booth, lounge seating, televisions for watching sporting events, and a sushi bar. The third floor is where you can catch a great show at The Hatchery at Acme. Catch a breath of fresh air on the rooftop bar, which overlooks downtown Nashville; it also hosts dance parties and yoga classes.

Ri’chard’s Cafe

The small and intimate ambiance at Ri’chard’s Cafe, located outside of Nashville, makes it a perfect place to listen to live music. Emerging artists are welcomed on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and featured artists take the stage on the weekends. The café also hosts open mic nights and has songwriters perform on Sundays during brunch. Enjoy watching performers while you choose a meal from the menu, which has Cajun, Creole, and American food options.

The Family Wash

With a small stage set up next to several tables, The Family Wash bar and restaurant has been the place to hear live music in East Nashville for more than a decade. The atmosphere is intimate and laid-back, allowing performers to get up close and personal with guests. Many shows are free of charge, but there might be a tip hat that gets passed around. If you’ve still got money left after tipping the performer, there’s an all-day menu that has breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, as well as a few options for children.

Queen Ave

Located on Queen Avenue, this multi-purpose space in East Nashville books local musicians, as well as touring bands, in genres like hip-hop, indie rock, electronic dance, and other unconventional sounds. The lobby is open during all events and serves as a pop-up shop and art gallery. The owners of the venue plan on expanding it so that it will also have music classes, comedy shows, and fashion shows. Currently, the space is available for audio/video showcases.

The East Room

You’ll find some fascinating events at The East Room. In addition to weekly Sunday night comedy shows, the space hosts vegan Mexican buffets, dance parties, plus indie rock and punk band performances. Every Tuesday night is open mic comedy night, with bands booked in between.

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