The Best Live Music Venues in Memphis

Kate Harrington

With blues influences all over the city, and most importantly on Beale Street, Memphis is one of the best places to experience live music. With the ghosts of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and B.B. King, Memphis’s live music scene is pretty unbeatable.

Beale Street, Memphis

1. Mr Handy's Blues Hall

Mr Handy’s Blues Hall

Mr Handy’s Blues Hall is one of the oldest (and smallest) venues on Beale Street. It’s strictly dedicated to blues, and the talent is held to a certain high standard. There’s a full bar, and photographs of famous and local blues musicians, past and present, line the walls. The space is pretty small, but it makes for an intimate show. Mr Handy’s Blues Hall, 182 Beale St, Memphis, TN, USA, +1 901-528-0150

Mr Handy's Blues Hall Juke Joint | © Jasperdo/FlickrMr Handy’s Blues Hall Juke Joint | © Jasperdo/Flickr

2. Levitt Shell


Levitt Shell at Overton Park
(c) Nick / Flickr
Levitt Shell is a outdoor amphitheater that offers over fifty free concerts throughout its season. This venue is a seasoned venue with the likes of Elvis Presley playing shows throughout its time. It’s situated in the Midtown area of Memphis, and the big white amphitheater usually lights up (literally) with the live acts. Free, the visuals and great music make Levitt Shell a no-brainer.

3. Earnestine & Hazel's

Earnestine & Hazel’s

Earnestine & Hazel’s is pretty simple: a bar & grill with live music and a jukebox. This bar is no-frills and casual with its run-down décor. It’s a little western and a little dive-y. The drinks are reasonably priced, and, paired with live entertainment, going to the bar becomes an event. Earnestine & Hazel’s, 531 S Main St, Memphis, TN, USA, +1 901-523-9754

4. The Buccaneer Lounge

The Buccaneer Lounge

The Buccaneer Lounge is the dive bar for live talent. Treating their musicians incredibly well, there’s live talent every night. And the Buccaneer is set up for enjoying the music with a large stage and surrounding tables. However, there’s also a full bar area that enables a free space from the music. Reasonably-priced drinks accompanied with a great food menu, the Buccaneer is the dream country music bar. The Buccaneer Lounge, 1368 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN, USA, +1 901-278-0909

Buccaneer Lounge | © Sean Davis/FlickrBuccaneer Lounge | © Sean Davis/Flickr

5. The New Daisy Theater

Movie Theater, Music Venue, Theater

Another music venue located on the historic Beale Street, the New Daisy Theater is almost a century old and a century wiser with their track record. The exterior of the New Daisy looks like an 80s movie theater, with a big red canopy announcing the bands. Inside, the venue looks like an ordinary venue, with a big stage and wide area for the crowds. There’s also a prominent bar in the area making this the space for bigger bands. Friendly to all ages.
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