There’s nothing more exciting than going to see good musicians perform live. As a former resident of a small town, I’m used to having one place to catch shows. Now that I live in Columbus, I’m blown away by the choices available to me. The following is my list of the Top Five Music Venues in Columbus.

The Newport

newport music hall

Newport music hall

This historic venue is a fantastic place to go for live music. This converted movie theatre has been entertaining rock ‘n’ roll fans since 1984. Located conveniently on High Street, this venue is smack dab in the middle of Ohio State’s campus. With a fully functional bar inside, Newport is perfect for college students. The stage is very large and there is plenty of standing room for spectators. The venue typically draws famous musicians and bands, so it’s best to pre-order tickets if you don’t want to miss out on a sold out show.

Lifestyle Communities Pavilion

Lifestyle Community Pavilion Concert

The Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, more commonly known as the LC, is located in the arena district. This venue is an ideal place to catch high profile musicians all year round. The LC has an outdoor amphitheater as well as an indoor stage. Nearly twice as many people can attend shows here– meaning they have an atmosphere similar to music festivals. If you enjoy large concerts with plenty of dancing and moving around, I highly recommend the LC.

The Basement

The Basement Concert

The Basement

The Basement is a smaller concert venue located right next to the LC pavilion. The basement is great for times when you want to catch a more intimate show. The basement breaks down barriers between the stage and the crowd allowing for an up- close-and-personal listening experience. The Basement also has a full bar like the Newport, but it has more frequent shows great for live music junkies.

The Bluestone

Concert at The Bluestone

The Bluestone

Located on E. Broad Street in a 115 year-old church turned music hub, this venue is a great place to see a mix of smaller bands from different genres like country, R&B and electronic. What makes this venue so unique is its character—stained glass windows, cathedral ceilings and a layout that feels both open and intimate. It can also be rented as a venue space for events like weddings and parties. If you’re interested in live music in a unique setting, Bluestone is worth checking out.

Skully’s Music Diner

Skullys Music Diner

Skully’s Music Diner

Also located on High Street, Skully’s is in a prime location for college students and Columbus locals.  One major thing that makes this venue unique is that it’s a fully functional diner! This means you can pick up some great food during the show. Not to mention that shows here are very enjoyable. The stages here are raised platforms in large open areas blurring the lines between large and small shows. In the warmer months, spectators can enjoy an open courtyard behind the stage. Skully’s is very versatile. Not only do they have concerts, but they also host themed parties with rocking DJs.


If live music is your thing, Columbus music venues offer a little something for any concert goer. Where do you like to see a show? Comment below!

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