These bars, clubs, cafés, lounges, and performance halls are popular live music venues in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area in all genres of music from rock to jazz to classical. Since we assume people prefer specific styles of music, we’ve arranged the list to help narrow your entertainment choices. We grouped the venues broadly by the main type of music genre they usually offer. But it’s just a rough guide. The groups are also arranged somewhat in order of loudness. Loud rock music venues are at the top and quieter jazz and classical music venues are listed at the bottom. But loudness can vary from one performance to the next. A rock band might play unplugged, and a jazz band can blow the place out on brass.
Either way, our big list is focused on venues that offer some free or low-cost events. Regardless of genre or volume, you can go with an open mind because you won’t have to open your wallet very much. You can also scroll down past the lists of live music venues to find a calendar of upcoming free and cheap music performances that we’ve already found for you.
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Rock Music Bars, Taverns & Nightclubs
These bars, taverns, and pubs are 21+ only, unless stated otherwise—a few have all ages shows. They all have beverages for purchase and most have food. Check the fine print before you make plans to confirm who is playing, any cover charge or ticket price, food menu, or other details such as holiday hours.
(Listed alphabetically by city. Seattle venues listed by zip code.)
Royal Bear Pub & Eatery, 35731 West Valley Highway S, Auburn, WA. Full menu and bar. Live music every Friday-Saturday. Usually no cover.
Anchor Pub, 1001 Hewitt Ave, Everett, WA. Cozy neighborhood bar with good food. Live music or DJs Friday-Sunday. Jazz jams some Wednesdays and Sundays.
Tony Vs Garage, 1716 Hewitt Ave, Everett, WA 98201 features bar food, cheap drinks, Monday open mic, and live music several nights a week with no or low cover charge (sometimes ticketed).
Emerald Queen Casino Bridge Nightclub, 5700 Pacific Hwy. E, Fife, WA 98424 hosts local bands every Friday and Saturday night with no cover charge. Plenty of dining options in the casino.
Red Dog Saloon, 18605 Renton Maple Valley Rd SE, Maple Valley, WA 9803. Restaurant Lounge and large Beer Garden with Horse Shoe Pits and Band Stage. One of the last of the old Road Houses. Full bar. Huge Beer Garden. $5 Steak Night. Karaoke Wed, Jam Session Thur, Live Music Fri.
Triple Door Musicquarium Lounge, 216 Union Street, Seattle 98101. Musicquarium lounge features happy hour specials from 4pm – 6pm everyday and live music most nights with no cover charge. Monday through Friday at 5pm and Thursday through Saturday at 9pm catch a live set of music from a rotating cast of the Triple Door’s regular lounge performers. The main stage showroom has full menu service and shows with an average ticket price of $20-$50; tickets are often discounted with advance purchase.
Blue Moon Tavern, 712 NE 45th Street, Seattle 98105. One of Seattle’s oldest and most beloved dive bars. No food, just baskets of peanuts. Live music most nights. No cover weeknights (usually) and $7-$10 cover Thursdays-Saturdays.
Kraken Bar & Lounge, 5257 University Way NE, Seattle 98105. Dive college bar. Live music most nights. Cover charge usually $7.
Skylark, 3803 Delridge Way SW, Seattle 98106. Full menu and full bar (ID required). Eclectic music styles. Live music Thursday-Saturday, $8-$10. Sunday usually all ages $5-$10.
Conor Byrne Pub, 5140 Ballard Avenue NW, Seattle 98107. Laid back pub featuring local music. No food, but you can bring food in. Live music Friday-Saturday, sometimes ticketed ($8-$15) and sometimes discounted with advance purchase or community donation.
Clock-Out Lounge on Beacon Hill, 4864 Beacon Ave S, Seattle 98108 is family-friendly until 8PM with a pizza menu. Shows start after 8pm, when it’s 21+ only. Live music (usually weekends, other nights it’s a mix of comedy, karaoke, and bands). Advance tickets online or cash only at the door.
Tin Lizzie Lounge, 600 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle 98109. Cozy, all-ages lounge with full menu, full bar, and live music a few nights a week (usually Sundays and Thursdays, sometimes other nights).
Parliament Tavern, 4210 SW Admiral Way, Seattle 98116 is a neighborhood bar featuring live music in a wide variety of genre (rock, jazz, bluegrass, etc.), plus strong drinks, movies, and some sports on the screens. Open Mic Mondays. Live music most other nights with no or low cover.
Crocodile, 2200 2nd Avenue, Seattle 98121. Seattle’s quintessential rock and roll venue. The Back Bar is all ages and has entertainment 7 nights a week including DJs and karaoke. Shows in the main lounge typically range from $15-$25 but can be more or less for some acts.
Tim’s Tavern, 602 N 105th Seattle 98133. Cozy neighborhood bar with pull tab gambling, outdoor patio, large HD TVs. Food includes sandwiches, dogs, nachos. Live music most nights, from no cover to suggested band donation of $5-$7.
Ozzie’s Place Bar & Bistro in All Star Lanes & Casino, 10710 Silverdale Way NW, Silverdale, WA 98383 features a variety of bands in a casual atmosphere with indoor/outdoor fireplace and and patio seating. Live music every weekend, no cover.
O’Malley’s Irish Pub, 2403 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406. Irish Pub Grub. Live music some weekends with local, regional, and touring bands. No cover.
Airport Tavern, 5406 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409 is a casual spot for music, pinball, trivia, paint & sip events ($25 includes canvas, paints, guidance, and tools), cocktails & beer, and food. Live music a few nights a week, no cover to $15. Some all ages events.
Dawson’s Bar and Grill, 5443 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409. Live Music 4-5 nights a week. No Cover.
The Plaid Pig, 5214 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409. Full bar with air hockey and billiards. Showcasing local, regional and national bands. Live music weekends and some weeknights.
The Valley, 1206 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma, WA 98421. Burgers, cocktails, and beer. Live music every weekend, sometimes more. No cover – $5 (suggested).
Lucky Liquor, 10325 E Marginal Way S, Tukwila, WA 98168. The 5-star dive bar. Better burgers and fish & chips. Heavy pours n cheap drinks. Live music most Fridays-Saturday and occasionally on weeknights; free or cheap cover varies with each band. Also known for pinball. All ages until 11pm.
World Music Cafés and Music Halls
Most cafes and performance halls have all ages shows. Cafés have food and music halls may beverages and/or concessions before, during, or after the show.
(Listed alphabetically by city. Seattle venues listed by zip code.)
Zola’s Café, 402 E Main St, Auburn, WA 98002 offers breakfast items, soups, sandwiches, salads, coffee, and tea, plus wine and beer. Free live music on Friday night.
Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave, Everett, WA 98201 opened in 1901 as the Everett Opera House and featured opera, theater, vaudeville shows, and motion pictures. Today, Everett Theatre offers a variety of headliner music acts, plus plays, comedy, sporting events, and movies.
Third Place Commons at Lake Forest Park Towne Center, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155. Open venue in the mall common area. Live local music Friday-Saturday. All ages, free events.
Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave (at Seneca), Seattle 98101 is a historic venue presenting hundreds of free and affordable civic and cultural events throughout the year, including many music events.
The 5th Avenue Theatre 1308 5th Avenue Seattle 98101, is one of Seattle’s venues for touring Broadway shows and one of America’s leading musical theater companies featuring original productions. The 5th Avenue theater offers day-of-show discount tickets to select performances during the season. You can also earn tickets to select performances by volunteering for The 5th Avenue Theatre.
Couth Buzzard Books & Café, 8310 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle 98103. Grab a cup of joe or a glass of wine or beer. Featuring live music events several days each week in the cozy community section of their store. All ages. Free or suggested donation.
Dusty Strings Music Store, 3406 Fremont Ave N, Seattle 98103 is a gathering place for instrument players and music lovers. In addition to instrument sales and music lessons, the Dusty Strings holds intimate concerts in the store.
Seattle Folklore Society, Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle 98103 presents all-ages concerts of acoustic, traditional, and contemporary folk music, and world music from many cultures. SFS folk music concerts include acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer, ukulele and other folk instruments. Most concerts are affordable, though not usually free or low cost.
Seattle Center Festal, 305 Harrison St, Seattle 98109 presents free, ethnic cultural festivals on many weekends throughout the year. At these festivals, you can enjoy live music performances along with cultural exhibits and demonstrations from cultures around the world.
Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle 98118 is a historic vaudeville performance hall that today is regarded one of Seattle’s finest sound rooms. The venue hosts a variety of acts, including burlesque, comedy, and musical acts in a wide range of genre. Some shows are free and many are affordable. Most shows are 21+ only.
Keys On Main in Seattle and Tacoma features the Dueling Piano Show with two grand pianos on stage. The musicians play and sing audience requests all night long, anything that’s been on the radio for the past 65 years is game from Bon Jovi to Billy Joel, Bruno Mars to Garth Brooks, Snoop and Dr. Dre. Thursday is no cover. Friday $5 cover. Saturday $10 cover. 21+ only.
Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 6th Avenue, Tacoma, WA, 98406 produces Broadway-style musicals. Each season, “Behind the Curtain” is a free preview presentation of each mainstage productions, including costumes, makeup, set, and music. TMP also provides free tickets for each production for Pierce County social service organizations to distribute to under-served individuals.
Folk & Acoustic Music Venues
Northwest Seaport is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime heritage of Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest. The Seaport’s historic floating fleet moored Seattle’s Lake Union Park includes the tugboat Arthur Foss (1889) and the Lightship No. 83 “Swiftsure” (1904), both of which have National Historic Landmark status. Northwest Seaport hosts monthly “sea chantey” sings to celebrate Seattle’s connection to the sea, boats, and those who sail them. Sea Chanteys and other maritime music include work songs and foc’sle ditties with great choruses that tie our present day maritime traditions and lore to those of the past. The call-and-response form makes these songs easy to learn and fun to sing for adults and children alike. Fun for folks of all ages! So come on board, sing, lead a song of the sea, join in on the chorus, or just enjoy the music. Admission is free but donations gratefully accepted to benefit maritime preservation. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. The chantey sings are usually held the second Friday of the month on South Lake Union.
Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle had 13 locations throughout the Market where buskers entertain. “Busker” is an English term for street performer. Painted musical notes mark the sidewalks where they stand. You’ll find a wide-ranging variety of entertainers performing with instruments and tools ranging from spoons and whistles, to puppets to violins, as well as a cappella. If you like what you hear or wish to take a photo, don’t forget a tip.
Selected Children’s Musical Shows
These are popular music and arts performers playing in the Puget Sound region.
Recess Monkey performs in Puget Sound locations. The family music band is comprised of three teachers who make kid’s music that grows out of their days in their classrooms. They are praised across the country for singable, danceable songs that parents enjoy as much as their kids.
Caspar Babypants performs in Puget Sound locations. Although widely known by his real name, Chris Ballew as the singer of The Presidents of the United States of America. Ballew performs solo as Caspar Babypants for children and families through improvisation and music. Many shows are free and others are very reasonably priced.
Jazz Bars & Music Lounges
Most of these locations have a full menu, though some lean towards appetizers and bar snacks. They’re generally more upscale than bars, taverns, and pubs. Some are more subdued than others. But they’re typically pretty laid back joints featuring jazz, blues, R&B, and soul sounds.
(Listed alphabetically by city. Seattle venues listed by zip code.)
13 Coins (Bellevue, Seatac, Seattle/Pioneer Square). Seattle institution. Upscale 24-hour eatery with piano lounge. Live music Friday-Saturday at all locations. No cover. Live music SeaTac Tuesday-Sunday, no cover.
Bake’s Bar & Bistro, 155 108th Avenue Northeast, Bellevue, WA, 98004. Restaurant and live music venue. Northwest menu, full bar, extensive whiskey list. No cover most Tuesdays-Thursdays.
Port Gardner Bay Winery, 3006 Rucker Ave, Everett, WA 98201. Relaxing venue. Wine and beer only. Snack menu. Live music Friday-Saturday. No cover charge.
Bleu Note Restaurant and Lounge, 6008 Mt. Tacoma Dr. SW, Lakewood, WA 98499. Full bar and food menu of burgers, fish & chips, and appetizers. Weekend strict dress code—dress to impress. Live music weekends and some weeknights. No cover early, late cover $10-$15.
W XYZ Bar in the Marriott Aloft Hotel, 15220 NE Shen Street, Redmond, WA 98052. Trendy hotel lounge featuring cocktails, snacks, and live music.
Triple Door Showroom, 216 Union Street, Seattle 98101. The main stage showroom has full menu service and shows with an average ticket price of $20-$50; tickets are often discounted with advance purchase. Musicquarium lounge (21+ only) features live music most nights with no cover charge.
The Terrace Lounge in Fairmont Olympic Hotel Lobby, 411 University St, Seattle 98101 is one of Seattle’s not-so-secret lounges offering classic cocktails, small bites accompanied by live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday featuring some of the best jazz, acoustic and soul artists in the Northwest.
Seamonster Lounge in Wallingford, 2202 N 45th St, Seattle 98103 offers live funk, soul, jazz, and Cuban/Latin music along with Northwest beers on tap, house-infused liquors, cozy atmosphere, and a covered outdoor patio area. 21+ only, open Tuesday-Sunday.
Vito’s, 927 Ninth Avenue (on Madison), Seattle 98104. Iconic restaurant and lounge on First Hill since 1953 features classic Italian menu and full bar with craft cocktails. Live lounge music most nights. No cover.
Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle 98118. Comfortable neighborhood feel with full bar and food menu. Wide range of music styles. No cover several nights a week, when musicians are compensated by your donation. Ticketed shows average $15-$20. You can usually save a few bucks with advance online purchase. The Royal Room is all ages until 10pm.
Matthews Winery, 16116 140th Pl NE, Woodinville, WA 98072. Locally owned winery tasting room. Live music Friday. No cover charge. Wines by the glass with limited snack menu.
Classical & Sacred Music Venues
These are much more formal live music venues, though some offer a wide range of music across all genres.
Kirkland Performance Center (KPC), 350 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033. Located in the heart of the city, KPC provides a breadth of performance arts: music, dance, theater, film, lectures, and more reflecting the diversity of the community. Check their ticket packages to save on entertainment throughout the season.
Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street, Seattle 98101 includes the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium (2,479-seata), Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall (536-seat), and Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center. It occupies an entire city block in the heart of the city. Benaroya hosts a variety of entertainment throughout the year and is home to the Seattle Symphony.
St. James Cathedral Music, 804 Ninth Avenue Seattle 98104. The cathedral presents a variety of sacred and classical music throughout the year. Some are a free will offering and some are ticketed concerts.
Christ Episcopal Church, 4548 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle 98105. Free monthly noontime concerts. Bring your lunch and enjoy am informal concert in the beautiful historic sanctuary right in the heart of the U-District.
Tacoma Arts Live (formerly Broadway Center for the Arts), , 901 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402 includes the Pantages and Rialto Theaters, Theater on the Square, and the Tacoma Armory hall. It is home to Northwest Sinfonietta chamber orchestra, Puget Sound Revels theater group, Tacoma City Ballet, Tacoma Concert Band, Tacoma Opera, Symphony Tacoma, and Tacoma Youth Symphony Association.
Selected Classical, Sacred & Gospel Performers
These are popular live music performance groups in the Puget Sound region playing in a variety of venues.
(Listed alphabetically by city. Seattle venues listed by zip code.)
Ladies Musical Club performs on the Eastside and in Seattle libraries, museums, and other venues. LMC presents classical music concerts from October through May. These intimate, one-hour, music programs are free and open to the public.
The Northwest Chorale performs in Edmonds and Seattle. They present two concerts each year, during the holiday season and in spring. They also sponsor a Messiah sing-along each year during the holiday season. Concerts are free to attend, donations are graciously accepted. All proceeds go to Northwest Harvest, Washington State’s nonprofit food bank distributor.
Kirkland Civic Orchestra performs on the Eastside and in Seattle. The all-volunteer classical symphony orchestra performs four free concerts a year in Kirkland. Other concerts are casual and affordably priced.
South Sound Classical Choir performs in venues in Puyallup, Tacoma, and other south Sound cities. The diverse musical repertoire that includes classical music from Renaissance to modern periods. Concerts presents concerts fall-spring. Many concerts are free or free-will offering; some are ticketed.
Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street, Seattle 98101 offers a wide range of programming throughout the year including musical performances in every genre, live speakers, and family programs. Some events are free, including:
- Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center free first Thursday.
- Community Concert Series throughout the year.
- A joyful celebration of lullabies every Mother’s Day.
- Family Connections program gives youth ages 8–18 free entry with paying adult.
- Free online Beethoven Festival from Seattle Symphony, June 22-29, 2020.
Compline Choir at St. Mark’s Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave E, Seattle 98102. A Sunday night tradition in Seattle since the 1950s. Based on Christian monastic tradition, the prayer chant service is performed a cappella by the all-male volunteer choir. Free event, but a free will offering is encouraged.
Compline Choir by the Vicars of Christ Church, 4548 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle 98105. A quiet and contemplative mix of traditional Gregorian chant with three-part men’s harmony sung a cappella. Free every Wednesday evening.
Phinney Ridge Gospel Choir at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle 98103 is an ecumenical choir who sings gospel music ranging from traditional to contemporary, spirituals, South and African freedom songs. They sing monthly at a church service and other concerts throughout the year.
Ravenna Strings I & II performs at Eckstein Middle School, 3003 NE 75th St, Seattle 98115. Quarterly concerts are free and feature both orchestras. The public is invited to attend and to enjoy refreshments afterwards.
Ballard Civic Orchestra performs in Seattle locations. The multi-generational orchestra emphasizes Latinx culture. BCO also supports its affiliated youth program providing free instrumental and orchestral instruction to under-served Latinx youth.
Rain City Symphony performs in Seattle locations. Their season runs September to June. Preview concerts are held at retirement communities. Quarterly concerts are performed in Lake City. All concerts are free.
Seattle Art Song Society performs in Seattle locations. Their concerts celebrate the union of texts and music, along with their commitment to social justice. Events are free and open to the public.
Total Experience Gospel Choir in Seattle. Found in 1973 by Pastor Pat Wright, the choir was disbanded in 2018.
Tacoma Symphony at Tacoma Arts Live, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402 is a metropolitan professional symphony orchestra with a volunteer chorus. Performances include classical concerts, holiday choral pops, and annual production of Handel’s Messiah. Most concerts are performed in the historic Pantages and Rialto theaters. “Mini Maestros” is Tacoma Symphony’s informal and affordable concert series for children ages 2 to 8.
Breath of Aire performs across Washington State. The Pacific Northwest choir draws people from all over the state who brings their signature sound and fresh approach to choral music. The choir sings at community and educational events, in churches, and performance halls.
Northwest Focus LIVE airs on Classical KING FM 98.1. Every Friday night at 8pm, listen to live studio performances by top local and visiting musicians, hosted by Sean MacLean. There’s also a library of past shows on in the NW Focus LIVE YouTube channel.
Music Colleges & Professional Organizations
Students are a great resource for the budget conscious music lover. The quality of the productions is generally very high.
Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle presents a variety of student performances throughout the year. Many concerts are free.
UW School of Music in Seattle offers free and low cost music performances throughout the academic year. You can also purchase The School of Music Notecard, which is a season pass to all concerts presented by the UW School of Music, about 100 per year. Note that seating for Notecard events is not reserved and not guaranteed, so arrive early.
Seattle Pacific University Music Events are held on the Seattle campus in the Nickerson Studios and E.E. Bach Theatre, as well as other venues in Seattle. These events offer a rich assortment of vocal and instrumental performances showcasing student and faculty ensembles and solo performers. Concerts are also available streamed. All campus concerts are free. Concerts at other venues vary in price.
Seattle Composer Alliance hosts a monthly meetup in various locations. This casual gathering is for composers, songwriters, someone who’s looking to work with a composer or songwriter, or anyone who just wants to hang out with composers and songwriters. The session is free and open to the public. SCA is a member organization created as a non-competitive community for music professionals and enthusiasts.
But wait, there’s more!
- Our big list of music festivals in Washington State.
- Here’s a list of 101+ always free things to do for fun.
- More free and cheap things to do every day: Greater Seattle on the Cheap event calendar.
- Still more ideas for frugal fun: Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page.
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Upcoming music events on our calendar
Listed below are music events of all kinds, from no cover gigs to concerts and outdoor festivals in every music genre. Featured Events are list first each day, highlighted by a photo. Featured events are unique or annual events that we or our advertisers don’t want you to overlook.
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Carole Cancler says
Thanks for letting us know, Luna. Appreciate it very much.
The Conway mused is now closed for good. A big loss for that area.