Best Venues to Watch Local Bands in Richmond


Richmond is home to a variety of small venues, bars and coffee houses where you can listen to local and regional musicians while enjoying great food and drinks with friends. Whether you're a fan of jazz, blues, country, classic rock or pop, you'll find it playing somewhere in the capital city. We've collected a few of our favorites right here.

The Camel
The Camel features a full line-up of local and regional bands from genres that include jazz, bluegrass, rock, alternative rock and southern country as well as sketch comedy and open mic nights. Born Crooked and Rear View Mirror are part of the Blues & Brews series. A Beers & Banjos series includes the Slack Family Band and the Cary Street Ramblers. Other bands include The Devils Workshop, Big Mama Shakes featuring Gang of Thieves and Silent Psychic and the classic rock sound of Horsehead.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Kick back with a seasonal brew while enjoying the sounds of regional and local Richmond bands. Hardywood holds new brew release parties as well as a variety of special events where you can gather with friends and listen to bands such as the J. Smith Quartet jazz band, the psychedelic rock grunge of the Milkstains and the Tin Pan Alley, pop and soul sound of the Samson Trinh Trio. Other local Richmond bands include Fat Spirit, Camp Howard, Recluse Raccoon, Spooky Cool and Manatree. Hardywood also holds an annual Richmond Bluegrass Festival in September.

Capital Ale House
Capital Ale House hosts a variety of music events such as Folk Fridays, Oktoberfest celebrations, cabaret shows and acoustic nights in the outdoor patio Beer Garden. Bands include local singer and acoustic guitar player Rick Hollowell, the Squirrel Nut Zippers (from North Carolina), Tim Reynolds and TR3 (from Charlottesville) and the bluegrass sounds of Seldom Scene. Capital Ale House has three Richmond locations (Downtown, Midlothian and Innsbrook) as well as one in Fredericksburg and one in Harrisonburg. The Music Hall is located beside the Downtown location.

Ashland Coffee & Tea
Located in the railroad town of Ashland, just north of Richmond, Ashland Coffee and Tea offers a blend-your-own tea bar, an on-site book exchange and a listening room with great local and regional bands. A wide variety of bands and solo acts perform nearly every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Bands include Thom Shepherd and Coley McCabe, Sweatbelly and Fort Defiance. The Songwriter's Showdown is a songwriting and vocal competition that takes place on Tuesdays. Homegrown Wednesday features local Virginia musicians.

Sandy has lived in Richmond for more than 25 years. She writes on lifestyle and travel topics for AFAR and Somewhereinthesand.com.

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