Musician playing a guitar at a live music event in Lexington, Kentucky

If you love catching live music shows, Lexington is the place to be. On any given night you can find venues with bands playing everything from rock to country, bluegrass and more. If you’re looking for some great tunes to go along with your bourbon and beer, these are some of the best places in Lexington to hear live music. 

Manchester Music Hall

Housed in a historic building in the Distillery District that was once the Old Tarr Distillery warehouse, Manchester Music Hall brings in bands from all over the nation. The venue has a large stage, lots of space to accommodate crowds, and a full bar. They host special musical guests on a regular basis, as well as fun events like speed dating, dances and comedy shows.

899 Manchester Street, Lexington, KY 40508

T: (859) 537-7321

The Burl

The Burl is another Lexington live music venue set in a historic building. Once a loading dock for Texaco Oil, the 1926 building still has its original wood frame and ample space for all types of shows. Nearly every night of the year there’s a show going on here, from pop diva dance parties to reggae shows, 80s nights, outdoor parties and more. 

375 Thompson Rd, Lexington, KY 40508

The Green Lantern Bar

This local institution has been pleasing crowds for over 60 years with cold beers, casual vibes and live music acts. You can expect an eclectic mix of genres that could range from indie rock, to punk, heavy metal and bluegrass. Swing by for a show or one of their special events like karaoke night, holiday parties and bingo games.

497 W 3rd St, Lexington, KY 40508

Tin Roof

Set just steps from the University of Kentucky campus, Tin Roof is a BBQ joint that supports live music and musicians. From Thursday to Sunday, bands and DJs throw down as crowds gather for beats, beers and bar food. You can catch up-and-coming musicians as well as established local talent. Other happenings include music bingo, silent discos, and karaoke.

303 S Limestone, Lexington, KY 40508

T: (859) 317-9111

Al’s Bar

The vibes are laid-back at Al’s Bar, a dive-style spot on the corner of Limestone and Sixth. Bands play most nights of the week and include local favorites like Coastal Satellites and Bear Medicine. The bar offers up creative cocktails and craft beers, and the kitchen serves up tasty bites like banh mi sandwiches and chicken wings.

601 N Limestone, Lexington, KY 40508

Elixir Downtown

Elixir is known for their specialty cocktails and live music shows. They aim to support local and regional musicians from Kentucky who are doing interesting things, so you’ll find everything from electric jazz fusion to blues, soul and more. The roster is always changing, so there’s always something new to groove to.

249 W Short St, Lexington, KY 40507

T: (859) 309-2248

Rupp Arena

Best known as the home of the Kentucky Wildcats, Rupp Arena is also a fantastic live music venue. The arena can hold up to 20,000 people, so it should be no surprise that this is where some of the biggest music acts play when they come to Lexington. Past acts have included Lizzo, Kenny Chesney, and Lil Wayne.

430 West Vine St., Lexington, KY 40507

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Posted by Hill Parker on
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