Columbus’ Five Best Music Venues
By Meg Berno

Columbus’ Five Best Music Venues

On any given night in Columbus you can catch a live performance from a wide range of artists such as up and coming local bands to internationally famous rock legends.

Here are Columbus’ five best live music venues:

Newport Music Hall

Located in the heart of the Ohio State University district and bearing a distinctive marquee, the Newport is Columbus’ longest running music venue.

The Newport Music Hall was known as the State Theater when it first opened in the 1920’s as a movie theater and the building retains much of its original decor such as a balcony and molding around the stage. Several beers are available on tap as well as pizza from Mikey’s Late Night Slice.

Upcoming shows at the Newport include Cold War Kids in April and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in May.


While I am not the biggest fan of the EXPRESS LIVE!’s  indoor concert area, I love attending shows held outside at this indoor-outdoor venue. The outdoor stage is set at the foot of a grassy slope, which means you get a good view from everywhere — even in the back.

EXPRESS LIVE!’s outdoor stage opens up during the spring and summer. 

Skully’s Music-Diner

Skully’s draws in the crowds with its distinctive bright neon sign, and with its themed nights such as the always fun “Ladies 80’s” dance party where women enter for free and DJs play hits from the eighties and nineties.

Skully’s also hosts an eclectic calendar of touring bands across all genres. 

Wexner Center

The innovative performing arts calendar at the Wexner Center for the Arts offers the chance to hear notable contemporary musicians as well as artists and genres you may never have come across otherwise. An added bonus is that you can check out an exhibit before the show.

Nationwide Arena

Nationwide Arena

Yes, the Nationwide Arena is generally home to NHL league Blue Jackets games, but it is also a great venue as far as big arenas go. Nationwide Arena (or the Schottenstein Center) is the place to catch bigger names that come through Columbus. 


What are your favorite music venues in Columbus?


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About the Author

Meg Berno is a freelance writer and Marketing Coordinator with the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau. Meg graduated from Miami University with a degree in Strategic Communications. Outside of work, Meg enjoys photography, writing and finding new places to explore in Ohio.