Where are the best places to take in a show in Asheville? You have many different options, from smaller intimate venues to larger historic theaters. Just like most things in Asheville, the options are varied and eclectic. Here are the best music venues in Asheville. NOTE: As with any of our “best of” lists, this is the tip of the iceberg and by all means not all of the great venues in Asheville. Give us a call if you have a question about a venue not listed.
Let’s start small…
The Grey Eagle is the place to be for a hip show from a band that you may have never heard of (but you totally should have). This is a truly intimate venue. There is a bar in the back to supply local beer. This venue is mostly standing room, but with bands like these you wouldn’t stay seated long anyway.
This big orange building is a landmark (symbolically and literally) to downtown Asheville. This is where the big names go to play a venue smaller than they typically play. From legends like Bob Dylan and the Smashing Pumpkins to Eighties cover bands, there is surplus of talent on stage. They also have a movie series, so you can see a classic with your friends.
This is a beautiful music hall located on the popular Haywood Rd in West Asheville. There are weekly series and one-off specials that are can’t-miss when in the Asheville area. The restaurant there is also top-notch, so go to the show hungry.
Even though these two aren’t explicitly music venues, special mention goes to:
Foggy Mountain is located in a smaller space downtown, and is first and foremost a delicious pub. The food is outstanding. However, it gets mention because there is nightly music that varies from Bluegrass, Jazz and Classic Rock.
Jack of the Wood is a Celtic Pub that has one of the most enjoyable Sunday jam sessions you can imagine. Locals congregate to play traditional Celtic music and drink beer. It’s incredibly casual: if anyone plays flute and flute is needed then they join in. The unity present isn’t uniquely Asheville, but it’s certainly a big part of what makes Asheville shine.
Now for the Big Players
Up until 2010, the US Cellular Center was known as The Civic Center. The largest music venue in Asheville will be the go-to not only for concerts, but also for larger conferences and trade shows. Here, experience the best acts that can be seen. These concerts include top-billed musicians, and so it should go without saying that tickets sell fast. Attached is the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, opened in 1975 with seating for over 2,400 people. This auditorium has had some of the best musicians in the world visit, including our Asheville Symphony Orchestra!
This 500-seat theater is non-profit organization geared towards the arts. It’s a gift toward the future of Asheville’s cultural events. This is more than just a music venue. Expect national traveling productions of dance, theater and the performance arts.
Another shout out to a non-traditional music experience: our street performers! Every Friday night at Pritchard Park, you’ll hear (and feel) the beat of the Drum Circle. Bring your percussion instrument of choice, cause anyone can join. If you find yourself downtown on another night, we have a rotation of talented street performers play outside the shops. You might just witness the next new thing on your visit here!
Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds offers one, two and three bedroom cabins, perfectly situated in a woodland garden. But don’t fear: you’re still only 5 miles from downtown Asheville. This means you’ll only be a short drive to the best music venues in Asheville!