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Give these Louisville live music venues a listen

We’ve made a concerted effort to orchestrate this roadmap, so you can focus on finding the artists you adore.

The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

Whitney Hall is located inside the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, where you’ll find the Louisville Orchestra.

Photo by Steve Grider

Table of Contents

Hear that? It’s the scintillating sound of Derby City’s live music venues, beckoning you to a performance you’ll never forget.

The concert scene is truly unmatched in our area — from the KFC Yum! Center arena to the intimate setting of Zanzabar, there’s a stage for any type of tune. To get to know them all, you must do three things.

Put your hands in the air, wave ‘em like you just don’t care, then lay your eyes (and ears) on our guide.

Arenas

KFC Yum! Center | 1 Arena Plaza
Capacity: 22,090
When the biggest national touring acts come to town — think Barry Manilow, Aerosmith and Elton John — they make a stop here.

Freedom Hall | 937 Phillips Ln.
Capacity: 18,749
As the second largest indoor venue in the city, Freedom Hall in south Louisville hosts nationally touring acts from musicians to rodeos.

LOU Palace 1

Inside the Palace Theatre, the ceiling is painted to look like a night sky, fooling you into thinking the concert you’re attending is under the stars.

Photo by LOUtoday

Theaters

Louisville Palace | 625 S. 4th St.
Capacity: 2,800
Louisville’s majestic Palace Theatre features a range of musical acts, including established hit-makers as well as up-and-comers. Pro tip: Arrive early to take in the architecture, which dates to 1928 — you’ll feel transported to the Italian Renaissance.

Brown Theatre | 315 W. Broadway
Capacity: 1,400
Built in 1925, the Brown is adjacent to the historic hotel of the same name. It hosts nationally touring musicians, as well as performances from the local arts community — including the Louisville Ballet.

Whitney Hall| 501 W. Main St.
Capacity: 2,377
Located in the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Whitney Hall is the largest of the three venues in the Kentucky Center network, all hosting a variety of musical performers, including the Louisville Orchestra. It’s also home to PNC Broadway shows.

1

Waterfront Wednesdays are held annually through the summer.

Outdoor Spaces

Iroquois Amphitheater | 1080 Amphitheater Rd.
Capacity: 2,348
Nothing says “summer vibes” in Louisville quite like a warm evening concert at this South End amphitheater. Built in 1938 during the Great Depression, the venue underwent a major renovation in 2003 to bring it up to modern standards. Fun fact: it is the official amphitheater of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Big Four Lawn | 1101 E. River Rd.
Capacity: ~3,000
Since 2002, public radio station WFPK has hosted its freeWaterfront Wednesday summer concert series at this public park on the banks of the Ohio River, bringing in indie and alternative acts from around the country.

L&N Stadium | 2550 S. Floyd St.
Capacity: 60,800
While most often used for Louisville Cardinals football games, L&N Stadium also sets the stage for high-profile music stars, like Beyoncé and Kenny Chesney.

Concert Halls

Old Forester’s Paristown Hall | 724 Brent St.
Capacity: 2,000
This venue has the feel of a nightclub, with a couch-lined balcony and dueling bourbon bars on opposite walls. It also has a wide, general admission floor, so arrive early to get a spot close to the stage.

Headliner’s Music Hall | 1386 Lexington Rd.
Capacity: 700
In business since 1998, this venerable club hosts rock, metal, acoustic, hip-hop, and alternative bands. Over the years, many acts — like My Morning Jacket and Kings of Leon — played this venue on their way to bigger fame, so see a show here and you can say, “I saw them when...”

Mercury Ballroom | 611 S. Fourth St.
Capacity: 900
Located next door to the Louisville Palace in downtown Louisville, this venue’s historic building offers Late Gothic + Tudor Revival-styles of architecture.

LOU_Zanzabar_Z_Bar_NOV2023

Known by locals as “Z Bar,” you can get an up close look at performers at Zanzabar.

Photo by LOUtoday

Bars + Restaurants

Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar | 230 E. Main St.
Capacity: ~100
There’s live music six days a week at this downtown blues bar, so pull up a stool and order a drink — they’ll be jamming on stage into the wee hours.

Zanzabar | 2100 S. Preston St.
Capacity: ~400
Known by locals as “Z Bar,” the stage at this Saint Joseph neighborhood spot hosts nationally touring acts for intimate performances. Pro tip: hang around after the show to test your skills at one of the best collection of pinball machines in Derby City.

Number 15 | 121 W. Main St
Capacity: ~200
This “social hall” offers live music on a stage set beneath a large window overlooking Whiskey Row — quite the backdrop for the slew of local artists and entertainers who play here seven nights a week.

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