50 Gaines School Rd. â€¢ 706-549-1010
High-energy cover bands dominate this friendly Eastside bar on the weekends, with a bent towards Southern rock and classic rock. Every few months the bar changes up its weekly offerings, often adding karaoke nights hosted by the Singing Cowboy as well as dance parties into the mix. 21+.
Amici Italian CafÃ©
233 E. Clayton St. â€¢ 706-353-0000 â€¢ www.amici-cafe.com
Wednesday through Saturday after dinner service has wrapped up around 11 p.m., Amici makes room for local rock, jam, Americana acts and more. 21+.
5 Harden Hill Rd. â€¢ Watkinsville â€¢ 706-769-2633 â€¢ www.ambedandbreakfast.com
Donâ€™t miss the annual Concerts on the Lawn series Mayâ€“October at this beautiful B&B. Pack a picnic, BYOB and enjoy an evening of music outdoors. Cover bands like Abbey Road Live and Sons of Sailors are certainly favorites, but there are plenty of original acts, too, ranging from world music to jazz to Americana. Shows are held on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday nights. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the music is always over by 9 p.m. All Ages.
The Bad Manor
346 E. Broad St. â€¢ 706-850-8500 â€¢ www.thebadmanor.com
When this club opened in 2010 it was strictly a rock club, but dance parties seem to have taken over. Hard rock bands still stop by on occasion, and the impressive stage, acoustics and lighting make this a great live music venue. But Friday and Saturday nights are all about wild dance parties and guest DJs. Note to dudes: that dancing platform is for ladies only. 18+.
Boarâ€™s Head Lounge
260 E. Washington St. â€¢ 706-369-3040
This is a party bar that caters to the college crowd. Cover bands seem to get the party going, but local solo artists, rock, funk and jam bands offer up original material as well. Friday night is your best bet for catching live music. If you want in on the action, try out their open mic night on Wednesdays. 21+
Buffaloâ€™s Southwest CafÃ©
196 Alps Rd. â€¢ 706-354-6655 â€¢ www.buffaloscafe.com
The Kingâ€”Athensâ€™ own Elvis impersonatorâ€”is the most frequent guest in the Big Back Room, but all kinds of cover bands have headlined, plus a few original country, jazz and rock bands, too. This is a great place to take the parents for dinner and entertainment in a cozy, clean, suburban-feeling environment. Individual tickets and tables can be reserved in advance. All Ages.
256 W. Clayton St. â€¢ 706-549-5577 â€¢ www.caledonialounge.com
Caledonia Lounge may embody the local scene better than any other club in town. From its wild diversity of acts to its intimate size, the Caledonia is Athens music personified. Tucked back behind the 40 Watt Club, it serves both as a proving ground for local bands and a stepping stone for mid-level touring bands. Shows usually start around 11 p.m. 18+.
The Classic Center
300 N. Thomas St. â€¢ 706-357-4444 â€¢ www.classiccenter.com
This venue hosts top-class recording artists in its elegant 2,000-seat theatre. If you want to see someone truly legendary, chances are they are playing here. This past year the Classic Center has welcomed B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Tony Bennett and Lyle Lovett, just to name a few. In the absence of the Georgia Theatre, the Classic Center has also opened its doors to some more funky talent and Athensâ€™ greatest success storiesâ€”like beloved party rockers The B-52s and jam band heroes Widespread Panic. All Ages.
115 Trade St. â€¢ Bogart â€¢ 706-543-9009 â€¢ www.myspace.com/clubchromeathens
This spacious venue out in Bogart has some real Southern charm, and the bands are often gee-tar driven with a bit of twang. Country and Southern rock are the name of the game here, with recent headliners including The Daniel Lee Band, Drivinâ€™ Nâ€™ Cryinâ€™ and Confederate Railroad. Tickets are sold in advance over the phone. 18+.
255 W. Washington St. â€¢ 706-549-4660 â€¢ www.farm255.com
The genius of having shows at Farm 255, one of Athensâ€™ favorite restaurants, is just that: itâ€™s already a great, popular place to eat. So, for the late night music lover, that means rarely paying a cover charge (donations are appreciated for touring bands). Bands vary in style and stature, from quirky local pop to big name rockers. Its patio is one of the best in town for outdoor shows, but you gotta wait for the dinner crowd to clear out to start rockinâ€™ (except on â€œPrimals Nightâ€ Wednesdays when bands play for the dinner set starting at 9 p.m.). All Ages (dinner shows), 21+ (late-night).
Flicker Theatre & Bar
263 W. Washington St. â€¢ 706-546-0039 â€¢ www.flickertheatreandbar.com
From poker to movie nights to poetry readings, Flicker does it all. The cozy little bar regularly hosts musical artists who share the venueâ€™s sense of coziness. Singer-songwriters, mellow pop and Americana are all standards, but donâ€™t be surprised by the raucous punk acts that also blow through. 21+.
40 Watt Club
285 W. Washington St. â€¢ 706-549-7871 â€¢ www.40watt.com
There is very little that can be said about the fabulous 40 Watt Club that hasnâ€™t been said before. The clubâ€™s legendary status has earned it name recognition across the U.S. and beyond as one of the first bastions of post-punk and new wave, along with New Yorkâ€™s CBGB and Californiaâ€™s Whiskey A Go Go. Thirty years and several relocations later, the club continues to host some of the hottest up-and-coming bands, welcoming both local and international acts from all genres of music. Recent sold-out shows include Beach House, Neko Case, Blitzen Trapper and Snoop Dogg. 18+.
Front Porch Book Store
102 Marigold Ln. â€¢ Winterville â€¢ 706-372-1236
This quaint shop in Winterville has a little stage set up outside that hosts bands during its Summer Concert Series and during the Marigold Festival. Expect mostly acoustic acts in the Americana, folk and country vein. All Ages.
215 N. Lumpkin St. â€¢ 706-850-7670 â€¢ www.georgiatheatre.com
Itâ€™s back! The Theatre officially celebrated its reopening in August 2011, two years after a devastating fire destroyed the building. Much care has been taken to preserve the historic 122-year-old structure while bringing it up to modern code. By all accounts the Theatre is better than ever, with impressive new amenities like a tiered, general-admission balcony and a rooftop restaurant. Weâ€™ve yet to see if booking will go in a new direction, but so far the calendar is packed with both local and national talent across all genresâ€”rock, jam, hip-hop, country and more. 18+.
1080 Baxter St. â€¢ 706-850-5858 â€¢ www.gnatslanding.net
On Wednesday through Saturday, diners are entertained by folk artists, acoustic guitar and rock covers by local acts and, occasionally, touring bands. All Ages.
195 Prince Ave. â€¢ 706-546-5609 â€¢ www.myspace.com/gobar
On the outskirts of the madness that is downtown lies Go Bar, a club that isnâ€™t entirely sure if itâ€™s a goofy dance club/karoake bar or the most trendy music club in Athens. Experimental pop and indie acts are common at Go, but the venue is no stranger to any style, from hardcore prog to acoustic sets. Somehow, this mix is all glued together by an affinity for regular late-night dance parties and Thursday night indie karaoke with Dr. Fred. 21+.
Hendershotâ€™s Coffee Bar
1560 Ogelthorpe Dr. â€¢ 706-353-3050 â€¢ www.hendershotscoffee.com
With a massive chess set on the patio and tables inside made of recycled doors, this charming coffee shop/bar/music venue is completely without pretense. The music is equally comfortable and unassuming, with regular acoustic folk sets mixed in with jazz of all types, as well as Monday night open mics. All Ages.
269 N. Hull St. â€¢ 706-543-8997 â€¢ www.highwirelounge.com
Although the elegant cocktail menu is constantly rotating, Highwireâ€™s music has made a name for itself based on consistency. Whether itâ€™s a Friday night jazz series, Sunday night indie-rock series or Tuesdays with progressive jazz fusionists Kenosha Kid, these weekly series allow regular attendees the chance to get into a habit outside of the standard work day. The shows are all free, and with some of the best mixed drinks in town, Highwire is the perfect place for happy hour entertainment. 21+.
2310 W. Broad St. â€¢ 706-353-7667 â€¢ www.hilltopgrille.com
At least a couple of nights a week this large resturant offers live music that includes singer-songwriters, jazz and rock cover bands. If the weather is nice, enjoy tunes on the spacious patio around dinner time. In the cooler months, bands play indoors by the bar. All Ages.
Little Kings Shuffle Club
223 W. Hancock Ave. â€¢ 706-369-3144
Anything goes and all are welcome at this laid-back, breezy bar. On a Tuesday afternoon, for example, Little Kings hosts the family-friendly Athens Farmers Market with acoustic Americana acts before turning over into punk rock night with greasy garage rock bands. This bar is also home to the AUX Experimental Arts Festival, the Athens Americana Festival, SlopFest and more, with bands performing indoors and outdoors on the colorful patio. Trivia buffs should stop by on Monday evening for the long-running Rock and Roll Trivia night. 21+.
243 W. Washington St. â€¢ 706-254-3392
Tucked in the back gaming area of the bar, youâ€™ll find a corner stage that hosts occassional local and touring acts of all stripes, although rock seems to be the favored genre. When the weather is nice and there are no competing tunes from Farm 255 next door, bands and DJs also set-up on the sprawling outdoor patio for al fresco concerts and dance parties. 21+.
The Melting Point
295 E. Dougherty St. â€¢ 706-254-6909 â€¢ www.meltingpointathens.com
Located in the Foundry Park Innâ€™s campus, just down the street from the Classic Center, the Melting Point is a largely different music experience from most of downtown. Seating is always offered, if not on the audience floor then on the two mezzanines, and a full dinner and drink menu is available. Performances vary from acoustic sets to local rock favorites to national acts, all encompassed by a more mellow, listener-friendly vibe. And for the creatures of habit, the venue hosts the Terrapin Bluegrass Series every Tuesday. Age Restrictions Vary.
New Earth Music Hall
227 W. Dougherty St. â€¢ 706-543-8283 â€¢ www.newearthmusichall.com
New Earth opened in 2009, the same year as the Georgia Theatre fire, and it helped fill a gaping hole left in the electronic, world music and jam communities in Athens. The large space allows ample room for dance shows, and bass-heavy dub DJs are a favorite here. With a regular line-up of nationally renowned beat-makers, a socially conscious attitude, all managed by members of locally beloved jam-dub band DubConscious, it looks like New Earth is here to stay. 18+.
No Where Bar
240 N. Lumpkin St. â€¢ 706-546-4742
This intimate pool hall across the street from the Georgia Theatre welcomes live music at least a couple of nights a week. The cover charge is never more than a few bucks, and the tunes are often funky, fun and predominantly of the jam rock variety. 21+.
396 Oconee St. â€¢ 706-227-1515 â€¢ www.nuci.org
Beloved musicianâ€™s resource center NuÃ§iâ€™s Space offers rehersal spaces and healthcare services for the numerous and often insurance-less musicians living in Athens. In recent years the nonprofit has reached out to local youth through Camp Amped, a summer and after-school program in which students are trained in music and music business by local musicians. Camp Amped final performances are put on after every session, and other all-ages benefit shows from local acts are held on occasion. All Ages.
The Office Lounge
2455 Jefferson Rd. â€¢ 706-546-0840 â€¢ www.facebook.com/OfficeAthens
Located in the Homewood Hills Shopping Center, this bar often hosts fundraisers and benefit shows for community events. There is also live music on the weekends from Americana and rock acts. If youâ€™re a novice looking for a stage, swing by the Thursday night blues jam hosted by The Shadow Executives and jump right in, or grab a mic on Wednesday for karaoke with Lynn, the Queen of Karaoke! 21+.
The Rialto Room
500 College Ave. â€¢ 706-363-8616 â€¢ www.therialtoroom.com
This elegant, candle-lit listening room in the basement of the Hotel Indigo offers pristine acoustics and a sophisticated atmosphere. This is the ideal space for showcasing singer-songwriters and lyricists in a songwriter-in-theround setup. The venue is used mostly for private events, although there are public concerts, particularly on busy game day weekends when the hotel is bustling. You can also find live music in the Hotel Indigo lobby every Thursday as part of the â€œLive After Fiveâ€ series. Age Restrictions Vary.
Terrapin Beer Co.
265 Newton Bridge Rd. â€¢ 706-549-3377 â€¢ www.terrapinbeer.com
Itâ€™s hard not to be a fan of Terrapin Beer. As a company, Terrapin sponsors numerous local events, including the annual Twilight Criterium bike race, embracing the community and, in turn, being embraced. As a venue, Terrapin offers the same kind of hospitality. Happy hour concerts are held outside the brewery on a manicured, dog-friendly lawn that is perfect for picnics and families. The live music is generally a mix of local and touring acts playing Americana or rock originals and classic rock and alternative covers. $10 gets you in the door with a souvenir glass and beer to fill it, or you can just come enjoy the tunes for free. All Ages.
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