The Mousetrap: Peace, Love, and Free Music

Broad Ripple Village is the Indianapolis cultural district of choice for artists, hippies, hipsters, musicians, and other Indianapolis arts purveyors, rivaled only by fellow cultural district Mass Ave. As such, it only make sense that the “best bar for hippies” (according to NUVO Newsweekly‘s annual Best of Indy poll) is located right on the main drag of Broad Ripple. The Mousetrap, an Indianapolis bar that books jam bands and only jam bands, is the legendary Indianapolis music venue that’s run by and for Broad Ripple Village residents.

Video of Mudkids performing live at The Mousetrap in Indianapolis


Founded way back in 1957, The Mousetrap has quite a history. It quickly became known for the delicious beef stew that the kitchen ladled up, and today the bar still serves the same 1957 beef stew recipe to hungry patrons. When you step inside The Mousetrap, you can easily see and feel why this Indianapolis attraction is routinely voted the number one hippie bar in the Circle City. The atmosphere is ridiculously laid back, with everyone taking it easy and enjoying a drink or two while jam bands noodle endlessly in the background.

What really makes The Mousetrap stand head and shoulders above the rest is its function as an Indianapolis music venue. Unlike other venues in Indianapolis like The Vogue or The Old National Centre, The Mousetrap only books one kind of band: jam bands. Lovers of Phish, Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, and other famous noodlers will get a kick out of attending an Indianapolis event at The Mousetrap. The Mousetrap books some of the best jam bands in the city, and residents come out in droves to see their favorite players improvise, sit in with each other, and show off their chops. A professional light show, complete with swirling patterns, video projections, and other psychedelic trappings round out every concert at The Mousetrap, making it a really cool place to see Indianapolis music.

Video of The Captain Midnight Band performing live at The Mousetrap in Indianapolis


Indianapolis bands that have played The Mousetrap include The Max Allen Band, Groovatron, Ladymoon, jazz musician Rob Dixon, Vinyl Soup, and The Macpodz. Want to get in on the jamming action? Every Wednesday, The Mousetrap features a Family Jam night led by Adam Catron of The Twin Cats; Wednesdays are a great night to see original jams by some of the city’s best. Perhaps the most hippie thing about The Mousetrap is that all, yes all, of their shows are absolutely free. There’s nothing better than peace, love, and free music.

Though psychedelic jam rock is the main focus of the Indianapolis nightlife in play at The Mousetrap, the bar also has several other attractions that keep people coming back. Homemade soups, the aforementioned beef stew, burgers, and other daily specials will fill up your stomach in a warm and fuzzy way that very few Indianapolis restaurants can. Dart boards, pool tables, board games, and even a weekly poker tournament keep things interesting at The Mousetrap, and you can always catch the latest Indianapolis sports on the several televisions scattered throughout the bar and the 120″ HD projection TV. Throw in a fairly large drink menu and plenty of room for jazzed up crowds, and you have a recipe for an incredibly successful hangout spot.

Video of Freekbass performing live at The Mousetrap in Indianapolis in 2007


The next time you want to chill out with your friends, head on over to Broad Ripple Village and catch a show at The Mousetrap. The number one hippie hangout in Indianapolis has earned its reputation after over 50 years in the business, and you can’t argue with that much experience. After a night at The Mousetrap, you’re guaranteed to leave refreshed, relaxed, and with a head full of rambling guitar lines. Downtown Indianapolis may be the most hectic and exciting place to spend a Friday night, but The Mousetrap is definitely the most chill.

The Mousetrap
5565 N Keystone Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220

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