Rockin’ in the Queen City: Cincinnati’s Top Concert Venues

Cincinnati is famous for a few things: hometown MLB hero Pete Rose and the Big Red Machine, Italianate architecture and, of course, Cincinnati chili. It’s also a bustling music hub that draws major artists to the Midwest along with its fellow Ohio sister cities like Columbus and Cleveland.

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Below, we run down all the information you need to know about the top Cincinnati music venues — from halls with more than a century of history in their bones to intimate stages that are standing room only and sparkling new developments that can welcome thousands of music fans at a time.

Bogart’s

bogarts cincinnati live music concert venue

Address: 2621 Short Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45219

Box office hours: Wednesdays & Fridays from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m., plus show days

When it comes to historic music venues in Cincinnati, you won’t do better than Bogart’s. Just one block from the University of Cincinnati, Bogart’s originally opened in 1905 as a vaudeville theater called Nordland Plaza Nickelodeon. After re-opening under its current name in the 1970s, the venue eventually expanded into a 1,500-seat concert venue by the early ’90s. Bogart’s has welcomed famed Ohio acts like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Machine Gun Kelly, John Legend, Tracy Chapman and more over its tenure as one of Cincy’s premier live music destinations.

Ludlow Garage Cincinnati

ludlow garage cincinnati live music concert venue

Address: 342 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220

Box office hours: Wednesday to Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m; Monday and Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. on show days

Part gastropub, part concert venue, Ludlow Garage Cincinnati is a hub for both the culinary and music cultures of the city. For over 50 years, the venue has seen industry greats like Santana, The Kinks, The Allman Brothers Band, Grand Funk Railroad, B.B. King, Alice Cooper and more cross its well-trod stage — making it an amazing destination for concerts in Cincinnati.

The Andrew J Brady Music Center

the Andrew j Brady music center live music cincinnati concert venue

Address: 25 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

Box office hours: Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., plus on weekday show days starting at 12:00 noon and weekend show days starting one hour before doors open

This newer venue opened in 2021 and boasts a 4,500-seat indoor theater with a floor and two balconies as well as an outdoor festival stage for 8,000. Located in The Banks neighborhood on the Ohio River, the music center is named in honor of Western Hills High School’s longtime orchestra and band director Andrew J Brady, who passed away in 2004. Foo Fighters, Kem, Louis Tomlinson, Gary Clark Jr. and St. Vincent are among the acts who have played one of the center’s stages.

Top Cats

 

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Address: 2820 Short Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45219

Hours of operation: Box office opens at 7:00 p.m. on event days

Top Cats has something for everyone — from its state-of-the-art music venue to expansive views from its patio, giant games, event spaces and more. Located just east of the University of Cincinnati and up the street from Bogart’s, the venue aims for its live music experience to bridge “the gap of historical Cincinnati music” with rising stars and the future of entertainment. Matchbox Twenty, Patty Griffin, Dead Kennedys, Muse and Fall Out Boy have all graced the stage at this intimate venue over the years.

Riverbend Music Center & PNC Pavilion

pic pavilion cincinnati live music concert venue

Address: 6295 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45230

Box office hours: Only during the summer concert season; hours vary

Located on the banks of the Ohio River, this outdoor venue is a longtime hit with all ages. Riverbend Music Center was originally built 1984 for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as an open-air amphitheater with a capacity of 20,500 (6,000 reserved pavilion seats and a general admission lawn that fits 14,500). Notable performances in its history include the Spice Girls’ 1998 Spiceworld Tour, the recording of Dave Matthews Band’s 2000 live album Live Trax Vol. 16 and Sting’s 2010 Symphonicities Tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Jimmy Buffett also played an annual show at the Riverbend every year from 1988 to 2022.

In 2008, the venue expanded with PNC Pavilion — an additional 4,100-seat pavilion adjacent to the box office — where a wide array of artists have performed, including Charlie Puth, Peter Frampton, Fall Out Boy and Alicia Keys.

Browse Cincinnati Concerts by Genre

AlternativeHip-Hop/RapPop
R&BCountryJazz
Dance/ElectronicLatinRock

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