Are you looking for a cozier alternative to Cincinnati’s spacious venues like US Bank Arena and Riverbend Music Center? If you prefer live music in a smaller space, consider some of these local picks that aren’t as expansive as other options in the area.
1. MOTR Pub
1345 Main St
The MOTR Pub puts a heavy emphasis on local performers and creative events. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, this is a great pick. Located in the Brewery District, this pub enjoys prime placement for a fun night out. There’s something on the stage almost every night of the week and shows are typically free, but only open to guests 21 and up.
2. Fountain Square
520 Vine St
Fountain Square is a popular spot for a variety of events. During cold weather months, you can visit the square for fun on the ice rink. When the weather warms, this becomes a popular venue for live music. The PNC Summer Series regularly brings popular performers to the square. In previous years, the lineup has included the likes of The Joy Formidable, Jess Lamb and We Are Scientists.
3. Northside Tavern
4163 Hamilton Ave
If you’re looking for original music acts and local craft brews, head to the Northside Tavern. There’s live entertainment on the stage almost every day of the week, and nearly all of the shows are free. Don’t miss Happy Hour Monday through Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.
2621 Vine St
Bogart’s is a stunning indoor venue for live music. It features three levels of concert viewing. The raised stage offers great views of the acts, and six bars keep the drinks flowing throughout the evening.
5. The 86 Coffee Bar & Concert Venue
2820 Vine St
The 86 Coffee Bar is a spacious hangout for everything from hot drinks and pool tables, to live music performances. You can get your groove on with Salsa Tuesdays, meet up with friends for Study Nights, or show off your own talent with Open Stage evenings. A diverse selection of acts hit the stage with prior performers including Slapshot, Nicholas Brehm, and Cody Coffey.
What are your favorite spots in Cincinnati for live local acts? Share your thoughts on our picks along with your own finds in Cincy in the comments section below.