Indianapolis Music Venues: Plenty of Places to Play

Indianapolis music venues are spread all throughout the Circle City. On any given weeknight, you can walk around downtown Indianapolis, the suburbs, or any Indianapolis cultural district and find tons of places to hear Indianapolis music. There’s a lot of different types, too; from the tradition laden stage of The Vogue to the slick sounds of the Chatterbox Jazz Club, there’s a place for every Indianapolis band to strut their stuff.

  31 Bar & Grill in Indy is a fun place to kick back a few and listen to music, one of the many great Indianapolis dancing bars and downtown clubs. They have a good jukebox and also offer some of the most popular live music in Indianapolis on Fridays and Saturdays.
  8 Seconds Saloon At the 8 Seconds Saloon in Indianapolis, there’s a main bar, a snack bar and a portable bar, pool tables and almost 2,000 square feet of dance space for maximum enjoyment of the top of the line bands that appear there.
  Adobo Grill Choose from the downtown or Indianapolis Northeast location. This fabulously popular Mexican restaurant has live Mariachi music every Thursday night, an International Dance Night on Fridays and Salsa music till three in every Saturday.
  AJ’s Lounge The first of every month, AJ’s Lounge features live music. With free off-street parking and an out-of-the-way location, this lounge can be the perfect escape from the typical downtown Indianapolis bar scene and slick restaurants.
  Ale Emporium This extremely popular Indianapolis bar in hommage to sports is also one of the city’s most active live band venues.
  Apres Jack’s – If you’re looking for a place to get away from noise and energy of downtown Indianapolis, a place with dim lighting, drinks any liquor connoisseur would drool over, and a chill ambiance, the place to be is Apres Jack’s, a martini and cognac bar located on the north side of Indianapolis.
  Basile Opera Center is a former Greek Orthodox church that has been turned into a performance center. The facility is located just north of downtown Indianapolis and serves as a much needed home-base for the Indianapolis Opera Company.
  Big Car Gallery presents regularly changed art shows, special activities for holidays, Indianapolis music events and other live arts, and a youthful flair pervades it all.
  Birdy’s Bar & Grill in Broad Ripple Village claims to be “Rock & Roll’s Nesting Grounds.” As the name implies, they present regular live music on the rowdy side featuring several bands a night, making them a favorite draw for Indianapolis music.
  The Bishop – This relatively new Bloomington bar is a great spot to hang out; a huge beer menu, cozy interior, and unpretentious music area make The Bishop a perfect compliment to the wealth of bars, clubs, and music venues in Bloomington.
  Blu Lounge, in vibrant downtown Indianapolis, is the perfect martini bar to unwind, listen to music, or spoil yourself and some friends in a private VIP lounge with elegant bottle service to your table. The wide range of signature Indianapolis music includes reggae, hip-hop, mixes and more.
  The Bluebird – The Bluebird is a historic music venue in Bloomington, Indiana that also sponsors local arts and restaurants; the bar also features a weekly Battle of the Bands and a Karaoke night.
  Britton Tavern – In Fishers, Indiana, there are several spots where you can pull up a stool, grab a brew and watch some live Fishers music, but nowhere features more Indianapolis bands than the Britton Tavern.
  The Casba – Dark, smoky, and slightly edgy, The Casba is a popular pillar of Indianapolis nightlife that brings its own unique atmosphere to the Circle City.
  Chatterbox Jazz Club is located in the middle of the Mass Ave Cultural District across from the Murat Theatre and the Athenaeum, The club features live jazz five nights a week, and three of the nights are without a cover charge.
  Clowes Memorial Hall is a highly respected all-around performing arts facility in Indy. They offer education in the live arts, world-class entertainment, and events hosting.
  The Coachman Restaurant and Lounge in nearby Plainfield offers a well-rounded menu of favorite American dishes, an extensive spirits list and live music every Saturday night with the likes of “Katphish and Da Bottom Feeders.”
  Conseco Fieldhouse is the home of the National Basketball Association’s Indiana Pacers and the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Indiana Fever. The venue attracts not only major sporting events, but also major theatrical shows and concerts.
  The Emerson Theater prides itself on hosting local music acts every Friday and Saturday nights. National acts perform as well, always during the week, just less frequently. According to the theater’s homepage, this house of music is “central Indiana’s largest all-original, all-ages music venue.”
  ES Jungle – Thrash metal, angsty punk, blast beat hardcore, sludge rock, and other genres your grandma can’t stand are usually featured at ES Jungle, an all ages, D.I.Y. Indianapolis music venue,  so bring your earplugs and your moshing boots.
  Fireside Brewhouse has live music twice a week and a DeeJay dance night on Saturdays. Thursdays it’s Jazz, and Fridays various Indianapolis music groups set this joint rockin’. Located just South of the inner city in the suburb of Greenwood.
  The Harrison Center for the Arts houses Gallery Number 2, a spectacular place for special meetings, art and music shows and retreats.
  Howl at the Moon is well-known in downtown Indy as party central. Live entertainment every night is enhanced by “Showtime,” in which the house staff leads the audience in a pre-choreographed routine to popular songs and jingles.
  Ike & Jonesy’s is the place to dance, drink, and listen to a great mix of live Indy music in downtown Indianapolis. The place is a cool blend of upbeat décor, great food, and world-class bartenders and wait staff.
  Indianapolis Civic Theatre – The Indianapolis Civic Theatre is widely recognized among members of the Indianapolis performing arts community as one of the largest and longest-running community theaters in the United States. For almost a full century, the Indianapolis Civic Theatre has been supplying noble aspirations, generating smiles and pulling at the heart strings of Indianapolis kids and adults alike, onstage and off.
  The Irving Theater – Since its reopening in 2006, the Irving Theater has quickly regained some of its early clout in the always evolving Circle City, a true testament to what a little hard work, imagination, and stubbornness can do for rebuilding a dream.
  The Jazz Kitchen presents a showcase of talented jazz musicians every week. According to Down Beat magazine, a long-standing and venerable jazz publication, the Jazz Kitchen is one of the top 100 jazz clubs in the world.
  At Kona Jack’s, you can catch live music with your meal several nights a week. Indianapolis music lovers will appreciate the diverse mix of some of Indy’s favorite artists, including Hoosier favorite Matt Roush, who frequently graces the stage with his guitar.
  Lazy Daze Coffee House – Lazy Daze Coffee House is the recipient of tons of awards from Indianapolis media outlets and coffee shop connoisseurs alike, mostly for its casual, inviting atmosphere and the wealth of Indianapolis events that take place here every weekend.
  Lucas Oil Stadium, in the center of downtown Indianapolis, is an enormous conglomeration of world-class stadium, viewing suites, concerts and convention space.
  LuLu’s Restaurant and Cocktails – On the north side of Indianapolis, LuLu’s Restaurant and Cocktails is the best place to go to live the Indianapolis nightlife dream without taking the traffic filled drive into downtown.
  LUNA Music – LUNA Music is an Indianapolis business that buys and sells records, CD’s, t-shirts, posters, limited edition memorabilia, and much more; in store performances by Indianapolis bands and musicians are commonplace here.
  The Luxor Restaurant offers authentic live flamenco music every Friday and Saturday night, with the added kick of traditional belly dancers, to go with their sumptuous Egyptian cooking.
  Mass Ave Wine Shoppe – Mass Ave Wine Shoppe is an Indianapolis business that promotes Indianapolis art in every way, shape, and form, from showcases of Indianapolis music to samples of some of the best wines from Indiana wineries.
  The Monkey’s Tale Bar is located in Broad Ripple Village and offers some eclectic and fun live music regularly. The Spring and Summer months are favorites at this venue, which has excellent outdoor seating and dancing under the stars.
  The Moon Dog Tavern and Restaurant is considered by many to be the hottest dining, dancing and overall fun club in Indiana. Live bands four nights a week.
  The Mousetrap – Voted the “best hippie bar” three years in a row by NUVO, The Mousetrap is the jam band headquarters of Indianapolis. Cheap drink specials, some of the best psychedelic jam bands in the city, and a laid back environment make this a really cool Indianapolis music venue.
  Mug Shots Cafe, in amped-up Broad Ripple Village, offers some great live music every Saturday night. ‘Karaoke with Norm’ happens on Wednesdays, and the juke is always full of music you actually like.
  Home to two world-class music venues, the Murat Theatre and the Egyptian Room, the Murat Centre is one of the most popular live music and Broadway production venues available in Indy.
  Old National Centre – The Old National Centre is one of the most historic and active Indianapolis performing arts venues. The Murat Shrine Temple, built in 1909, is now home to one of the most popular live music and Broadway production venues available in Indianapolis. Dubbed the Murat Centre until 2010, the building is now known as the Old National Centre and boasts gigantic towers, roofs made of copper, intricate brick patterns, stained glass windows and arched entryways and halls throughout.
  One of the rising stars among Indianapolis music venues is Radio Radio , a refined, casual concert venue that’s the headquarters for Indy’s growing underground music scene.
  At the Rathskeller Restaurant, you can experience the myriad of bands that make up the Indianapolis music scene, from blues to folk. Every once in a while you’ll even be able to catch some live polka music at the Rathskeller, a true treat.
  Rock House Cafe – There’s always something to do at the Rock House Cafe, whether you’re a pool shark, an Indianapolis sports fanatic, a sharpshooter (there are three dart boards spaced around the bar), or an active music fan.
  The Shelter House at Military Park underwent a major renovation to the tune of $700,000 in 2007. The park is home to frequent and ongoing Indianapolis events, including festivals, music concerts and other large public gatherings.
  The Slippery Noodle Inn has no pretenses. With no fancy tiling on the floor, no delicate sconces in sight on the walls, and no 1000-thread tablecloths, there’s nothing to distract you from enjoying the music, food, booze, and good company.
  Talbott Street Nightclub – The constantly evolving slate of performers and DJ’s here means that you’ll get a different musical experience every time you step in the doors of this always packed gay bar.
  TRU Nightclub – If you’re a fan of sweaty bodies, pulsing beats, and strong drinks, a late night at TRU Nightclub is probably the perfect Indianapolis thing to do for you.
  One of the top Indianapolis bars, The Ugly Monkey has three different areas to relax, have fun, and party with your friends in addition to a great food menu and lots of live music and events.
  Located on the northern reaches of Indy and the southern border of its suburb, Noblesville, the Verizon Wireless Music Center is the site of some of the most popular music concerts in the Midwest, attracting big names to the popular venue, especially country artists.
  The famous singers and bands that have taken the stage at The Vogue can’t be listed in their entirety, but it should be noted that Bo Diddley, The White Stripes, Johnny Cash, The Dave Matthews Band, and Bob Weir and Mickey Hart of The Grateful Dead have walked through the back entrance of Indianapolis‘ premier nightclub.
  Celebrating art forms from the African-American perspective, the Madame Walker Theatre Center showcases new and emerging artists, offers educational programs, including Youth-in-Arts, which inspires music, poetry, dance, and other art forms in children, as well as hosts a variety of live events from various performers.

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Indianapolis Music Venues

8 Seconds Saloon | Big Car Gallery | Birdy’s Bar & Grill | Chatterbox Jazz Club | Emerson Theater | Jazz Kitchen | Old National Centre | Radio Radio | The Vogue | More Indianapolis Music Venues

Indianapolis Bands

Amanda Overmyer | Cathy Morris | Flynnville Train | Gwen Stacy | The Elms | Haste the Day | Jennie DeVoe | Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s | Mudkids | Murder by Death | Sloppy Seconds | Straight No Chaser | More Indianapolis Bands

Indianapolis Musical Organizations

Arts Council of Indianapolis | Capital City Chorus | Ensemble Music Society | Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis | Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra | More Indianapolis Musical Organizations

Indianapolis Musicians

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds | Freddy Hubbard | Wes Montgomery | Cole Porter | James Spaulding | More Indianapolis Musicians

Indiana Music by City

Avon Music | Brownsburg Music | Carmel Music | Danville Music | Fishers Music | Greenfield Music | Greenwood Music | Martinsville Music | Mooresville Music | Noblesville Music | Plainfield Music | Westfield Music | Zionsville Music | More Indiana Music