U Street Music Hall

Bar / Club / Live Music Venue
U Street Music Hall Founded by DJs, U Street Music Hall is the kind of club where brilliant lighting and thunderous beats rattle the clientele, and where everyone eschews bottle service and Top 40 in favor of uninhibited dancing. Washington, DC United States 38.917202 -77.027764
4.24 10
U Street Music Hall - Bar | Club | Live Music Venue in Washington, DC.
Collapse map / See photo gallery
+
Add to list
Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Founded by DJs, U Street Music Hall is the kind of club where brilliant lighting and thunderous beats rattle the clientele, and where everyone eschews bottle service and Top 40 in favor of uninhibited dancing. Almost every... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    Green, Yellow Lines: U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo

  • Phone:

    202-588-1880

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Daily approximately 7pm–3am; live shows until 10pm, followed by DJ sets
    Check venue for current lineup and hours

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth U Street Music Hall Review

The Scene

Founded by DJs, U Street Music Hall is the kind of club where brilliant lighting and thunderous beats rattle the clientele, and where everyone eschews bottle service and Top 40 in favor of uninhibited dancing.

Founded by DJs, U Street Music Hall is the kind of club where brilliant lighting and thunderous beats rattle the clientele, and where everyone eschews bottle service and Top 40 in favor of uninhibited dancing.

Almost every night outside the unassuming brick building, lines of party people wearing everything from cocktail dresses to Knicks jerseys wait to file down a flight of stairs and into the sprawling, subterranean hall.

Occasional graffiti art and performance posters make up most of the décor, while the spacious dance floor dominates the dark, bass-filled bunker, with the DJ booth on one end and a stage on the other.

Live bands whip patrons into a gyrating, sweat-drenched frenzy early in the evening, followed by deck-spinners cranking up the volume for the rest of the night, and a cork-supported floor ensures even the oldest music-inspired feet feel young.

Throngs of seasoned club veterans, young professionals, and kids twirling glow-sticks swarm the long bar, where tattooed and pierced bartenders dole out Natty Bohs and Jameson shots like they’re going out of style.

For anyone with a love of music and dancing, U Street Music Hall brings together a diverse crowd of energetic, upbeat Washingtonians in search of the hottest DJs and one the rowdiest pretention-free dance floors in the city.

read less
read more

Tip from Jonah:

U Street Music Hall (‘U Hall’ for short) was founded by Will Eastman and Jesse Tittsworth, two very successful local DJs. They made sure this place was made for music, and it arguably has one of the best sound systems in the city.

  • Crowd

    Artsy types, club goers, party kids, skaters, tattooed music fanatics, college and graduate students, and young professionals, 18 to early 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    DJs spin a mix of electronica, drum and bass, disco, techno, dubstep, and house. Punk rock and hardcore shows in the early evenings. Check calendar for schedule.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Limited menu of Asian-influenced dishes including chashu pork sloppy Joes, tofu pho-dogs, and chicken curry-stuffed bratwursts. Entrance granted to 18+ on weekdays at the door, 18 to 20 only with advance ticket on weekends.

    Venue has no set weekly hours – check schedule for opening times.

  • Prices

    Cover charge $0–$15. Small bites $5–$7. Beer $4–$7, wine $6, cocktails $6–$10. Coat check $2.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    As eclectic and diverse as the music: jeans, button-downs, shorts, band t-shirts, throwback jerseys, flat-bill hats, skate shoes.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights bring in huge crowds, resulting in long lines at the door and a packed dance floor.

  • Close By

    Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW) is a U Street institution with a bigger emphasis on live music, though it also hosts DJs during the week.

U Street Music Hall User Reviews

Average rating:
most relaxed club.
Leah Marie I. Aug 7, 2013
this is the place you go to when you don't feel like getting all dressed up and putting your heels on. It has a relaxed basement feel to it with fantastic music. ticket prices are super low considering the artists the host. Love it!
Looking for a Fun Night Out?
Sean F. May 30, 2013
This fun, comfortable, low-key spot is perfect to get your rage on. Especially suggested if Noveau Riche is scheduled to perform. Best dance party in DC. Cheap drinks, friendly atmosphere, all around fun times for fun people.
Sharing an excellent experience at U Street Music Hall
Carolyn B. May 29, 2013
The staircase leading the descent from street-level down to the dance floor was, I imagine, what traveling through a wormhole would feel like. Once at the bottom, the distinction between real and fantastical was difficult to determine. Washington, DC has never been known for its nightlife, but certain up-and-coming neighborhoods are starting to appear in national headlines. One of these areas in particular, downtown U Street , has been inching its way into the full spotlight over the last decade. Most of this publicity, however, hinges on the success of venue in particular: U Street Music Hall Coming up on the third year anniversary of it grand opening, U Street Music Hall is an underground venue that features artists ranging from live DJ’s to acoustic jazz musicians, though most events usually air on the electronic side. Seating is very limited; this is not a venue where I’d recommend catching up with old friends over a gin and tonic. Instead, at the bottom of the entrance staircase, is an intimate, darkened atmosphere and a 1200 ft2 wooden floor engineered for marathon dancers (underneath the wood is a cork base, which is nice on the knees for those who choose to boogie down until 4 AM, like me). Two rustic wooden bars frame the dance floor and provide customers with endless alcoholic drink options. Having lived in DC my entire life, I’d never once had been to this venue. Colorful posters plastered all around the city advertised a concert series entitled “Moombahton Massive” at U Street Music Hall. Opening night was on Wednesday, December 26, 2012; tickets were $8 in advance. Being a concert-goer on a budget, I often pounce on opportunities within my price range. But because the ticket was so inexpensive, I didn’t expect much from the artists. Headlining was DJ Nadastrom preceded by the opener, Sabo. At that point, I had never heard of either. Nadastrom consists of two guys, Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom. Both were born and raised in the DC area, but the bulk of their music production took off in Los Angeles (Nadastrom “About”). The electronic sub-genre of Moombahton was actually accidentally pioneered by the duo: once during a live set, Nadastrom decreased the tempo of a Dutch-house track down to that of a reggaeton track. In technical terms, the BPM was adjusted from about 130 to 110 (Patel 2011). And, as simple as that sounds, a new genre was born. Nadastrom further individualized their sounds by tweaking bass beats and synth timbres. Nadastrom also gave Sabo, a close colleague, a significant amount of credit for helping influence the development of Moombahton (Sol Selectas “bio”). I did my research, put on my party shirt, and was ready for anything that the Boxing Day gig could throw at me. Having pre-ordered my ticket, I not only got a better price but also happily avoided the entry line, which snaked around the block. The common bar service, somewhat cramped basement atmosphere, and matte black painted walls were no more impressive than any other clubs’ in DC, or anywhere for that matter. What rocketed me into a different realm was the incredibly loud, clear, and booming music. Ranked number two in the country for best sound system by Beatport, a leading licensed electronic music vendor, U Street Music Hall’s speakers quite literally packed a punch. Sabo was spinning on an elevated stage when I arrived at around 11:30 pm. Builds were satisfied by drops that easily melted into the next build. It was continuous instant aural gratification at its finest. But the immense bass reverberating within a confined space added a bonus physical indulgence as well. The effect achieved by their immense 20,000 watt surround sound technology mimicked that of moving through a viscous liquid. It felt like I was dancing in a pool filled with something with a texture similar to that of shampoo. Transitions between songs were absolutely seamless and completely undetectable. I couldn’t even tell when Sabo stopped spinning and Nadastrom took over the table. In fact, the next time I looked at my watch it was almost 3:30 AM. I suppose the cork-based floor really did go easy on the knees. Other concert attendees had a similar experience. The only aspect that detracted from this concert experience was poor ventilation. The temperature of the room rose continually throughout the night as more people crammed into the basement. It’s pretty accurate to say that the entire crowd was dripping with sweat, myself included. U Street Music Hall, however, obviously aware of this problem, placed self-service ice-water coolers at the end of each bar. For this, many were thankful. Myself included. Moombahton, still a young genre, was cordially celebrated that night. Colorful, tropical flavored beats blasting through a nationally renowned sound system greatly represented the continual growth of a modern music culture.
A Place Where Big Name Indie Artists Are Heard
Quinton K. May 19, 2013
I first came upon U Street Music Hall back in the summer of 2012. It was my first outing, as I was going to see Pursuit Grooves, Party Supplies & Onra, who happened to be the main & final act. U Street is located not too far from Chinatown in Washington, DC. U Street Music Hall has a nice place on U Street, right between fantastic restaurants and other music venues. The music hall itself is sort of hard to find if you've never been to it. You have to get out on the street and actually walk to venue, but even then you might pass by it. Its located underground and its sigh is very small. After you find the place, just make sure you have your tickets in advance (or you can buy at the door as well) or you won't get in, DUH! Walking down the stairs is a little long, watch your step, your head and keep a steady pace. After reaching the final step, you will turn left into a nice wide open, mostly, space. The first thing you see is a great bar, with nice drinks at decent prices. Staff is friendly and fast with service. The stage is kind of small for artists, but setting up is a breeze & its efficient enough so no worries. The venue is standing room only, which is not bad; I rarely see any older persons, outside of staff, in the venue. Acoustics are fine, not great, but fine for the venue. The artist to attendees ratio is great as persons can get right up close and personal during acts and also after acts are over with, conversing with artists is GREAT! Getting to U St Music Hall may be a hassle at first, but after you've been a few times, and if you have GPS on your phone, you will continue to come to this fantastic venue over and over again. A definite gem in the great city of Washington DC.
A Sanctuary for True Music Lovers
Stephanie A. Apr 30, 2013
After first stepping foot into U Street Music Hall over a year ago, I knew that this spot would forever be mine. When I first heard about it, there was a lot of talk that it was an "underground spot," meaning it was not well known and the people that went were legitimate fans of the music. I completely agreed! Upon entering the venue, you literally feel like you are walking down into the underground. There is a bar right at the entrance and another bigger one as you continue inside. There is a stage right by the entrance, one in which the brave and overly happy dancers can show off their moves to those below them. The atmosphere is one of care-freeness and with much love for one another. You can feel the connection with everyone because everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is dancing! There are always drink specials that are very affordable, especially in comparison to drink prices at clubs in DC. This is honestly a sanctuary for true music lovers who want to be surrounded by people just like them. A few side perks about this venue: there is never a dress code and there never will be (founder Eastman has made that very clear in the past). It's easy to pick out someone who doesn't quite fit with the scene because they are the ones way overdressed. There is also always free water at the corner of the bars, a luxury that social venues rarely offer. And lastly, it is 100% the type of spot that you can go by yourself and be guaranteed to leave with new friends!
YOUR Street
Lindsey R. Feb 17, 2013
This has got to be one of the most-reviewed places in the D.C. music scene, but I don't care. I'm a HUGE U Street fan. For a relatively inexpensive night, the amount that you get is just unbelievable. I've never been to a show on U Street where the fans weren't having as much fun as possible and the artist wasn't excited. The upper balcony is also a treat that you don't really see too often in venues like it- it almost gives a sort-of VIP feel and plus, the artist always thinks you're forgotten if you're up there so you're guaranteed to get a little shout out. The dress code isn't anywhere normal, which is another plus for me because my wardrobe consists mostly of funky clothes and I don't see it changing anywhere in the foreseeable future; everyone at U Street is always dressed as best as their freaky little closets allow, which has never made me feel like I was anywhere other than my own personal music heaven. Plus, as it brings in up and coming artists but no one that would sell out the Verizon Center, everyone who goes to a U Street show is guaranteed to be a legitimate fan. I'd say no matter what your plans are, or no matter what the show, you make it a top priority to get out to U Street ASAP. Plus, for a late-night bite to eat, you can always check out Ben's Chili Bowl after the show!!
Load more comments
Not sure where to go this weekend in Washington, DC? Sign up for our weekly email and get updates on the coolest things to do!

Book Now and Save at Hotels.com

Are we missing a venue or event?
Find your scene