There is no shortage of incredible music venues in Washington, DC, with several independent powerhouses playing host to major international DJs and live acts that perform in a host of musical genres.
The biggest DC music venues are clearly The Verizon Center – which doubles as a major sports complex – and FedEx Field over in Maryland, and both are where the largest touring acts normally set up stage.
But it’s the smaller live music venues in DC that really highlight this city’s musical prowess. The District’s music history extends back to the 1920s, when the city’s U Street Corridor was known as the “Black Broadway” thanks to its preeminent jazz scene, and U Street is still the best place to drop in for live music at any number of venues.
Places like 9:30 Club, Black Cat, DC9, and of course the seminal U Street Music Hall, which is considered by many to be the top independent music venue in the whole country, are all found along this popular nightlife stretch. DJ duo Thievery Corporation seems to have a hand in all of them, as well as Eighteenth Street Lounge, which is a stellar spot to catch the latest underground DJs on the scene.
Jazz and blues aren’t left out of the mix, whether at Blues Alley in Georgetown or the institutional Madam's Organ set amidst the liquor-fueled chaos of Adams Morgan. Meanwhile, punk, ska, reggae, and lots of eclectic live music permeate up-and-coming H Street at eccentric haunts like Rock & Roll Hotel. No matter what music you are looking for, Washington, DC music venues have a ticket with your name on it.
Bar / Live Music Venue