The real ‘Music City’ is a little bit further east, but music lovers will find that Downtown Raleigh offers a plethora of options when it comes to music venues.

Whether you prefer large venues that host well-known artists or smaller, more intimate venues where you can discover your new favorite band that no one else has heard of yet, Downtown Raleigh has it.

Check out our top 5 favorite live music venues around Downtown Raleigh:

Red Hat Amphitheater

Named for one of Downtown Raleigh’s most prolific employers, Red Hat Amphitheater is an amazing outdoor venue that holds about 5,000 people. There’s not a bad view in the house, even if you turn away from the stage, you’ll be treated to a great view of Raleigh’s spectacular shimmer wall. Red Hat Amphitheater has hosted acts such as Blondie, Garbage, Steve Miller Band My Morning Jacket, M83, Glass Animals and Third Eye Blind. Since it’s an outdoor venue, most of the concerts take place during the spring/summer/fall months.

Lincoln Theatre

Lincoln Theatre is one of my personal favorites when it comes to live music venues! They host many different types of concerts, but I associate this spot with rock music! My favorite Lincoln Theatre shows include The Darkness and Steel Panther. It’s a mid-size venue with an upper level and a lower level. Most shows are general admission, so if you there early, you are sure to snag a spot with a great view. I like to get a bird’s eye view from the upper level myself!

Deep South the Bar

Deep South The Bar is another favorite of mine. My friends and I even gave it a nickname – Dirty South! Not because it’s dirty, we just feel like it’s a great name for a music venue. Deep South hosts local bands, open mic nights and even themed nights such as Emo Night.

Pour House Music Hall

The Pour House has been a Raleigh staple for live music for over 20 years! This small venue has hosted incredible acts over the years, including Mutemath, Dark Water Rising, The Hell No and the Jason Adamo Band, a local favorite.


With a capacity of only 100 people, if you are lucky enough to get into a show at Slim’s, you are guaranteed an up close and personal performance! If you need a break from the crowd, head upstairs to the lounge.

Other great music venues in Downtown Raleigh include Kings, Neptunes and the recently opened Imurj. If you are visiting one of these live music venues for the first time, please keep in mind that some of them are considered clubs under North Carolina Law. This means you may be asked to purchase a membership in addition to your ticket for the show. Call beforehand so you can be prepared and enjoy your evening out!

So what are some of your favorite music venues in Downtown Raleigh? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with the Downtown Raleigh Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN