Best Venues to Watch Local Bands in Athens, GA

Athens has all the right components for a perfect college town: the University of Georgia is based here, there are plenty of fun activities to pass the time between classes, plus great bars and live music. If you're visiting Athens, or considering classes at UGA, here's what you need to know about the local music scene and where to catch shows.

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40 Watt Club

40 Watt Club is synonymous with great live music in Athens. For artists who don't want to play the bigger venues, they come to the 40 Watt Club for an intimate setting, great stage setup, and enthusiastic audiences. Past famous headliners have included R.E.M., Neutral Milk Hotel, and My Morning Jacket, but local artists frequent the stage too.

The World Famous

People rave about The World Famous on all points: great food, good prices, intimate setting, and awesome live music. In particular, the chicken & waffles pair well with local rock bands that frequent the stage. They also host comedy nights from time to time.

Curtis Fockele via Flickr

Little Kings Shuffle Club

Super intimate, Little Kings hosts live artists – and not just in music. They have occasionally had burlesque nights on the schedule, and "rock trivia" is a weekly occurrence. Of course, they're also happy to have local bands and DJs on stage too, and frequently.

The Foundry

Located within the hip post-college Graduate Athens complex, The Foundry is a live music venue that reminds you it's okay to mature and still support local bands. They host regular "Tiki Tuesdays" to remind you what it's like to feel young, along with artists performing literally everything: bluegrass, Celtic, country, and funk – they host it all.

Hendershot's Coffee

At one point a gas station, Hendershot's now does double duty: it's a caffeine pit-stop for students who need a fix before class, and hosts open mic nights, comedy evenings, and plenty of live music spanning every genre. Whether you're craving jazz (try Jazz Thursdays) or some soulful acoustic, Hendershot's events calendar is packed with plenty of options.

Valerie Stimac is a roaming writer and loves intimate venues for concerts. You can find her writing on Travel + Leisure, AFAR, and Roads & Kingdoms, as well as her blog, Valerie & Valise.