Athens Spotlight: Music Scene

If you are a fan of live music, then the Classic City is the place for you! For decades, many aspiring musicians have started their career here in Athens by performing at local restaurants, concert halls, bars, and the famous Georgia Theatre and 40 Watt Club. Several renowned bands such as Widespread Panic, the B-52s, and R.E.M. found fame after performing in Athens, inspiring many other talented artists to try and do the same. No matter what day of the week, a variety of live music can be found all over Athens. Next time you are looking for live music, check out any of the legendary Athens venues and restaurants, and you can be sure to find a show to attend. 

While Covid-19 has affected the music scene slightly here in Athens, there are still plenty of opportunities to attend a live show safely on a smaller scale. The Georgia Theatre, one of the most prominent music hotspots in the Classic City, is unfortunately still closed temporarily due to the coronavirus. While everyone has missed it immensely, the Georgia Theatre has begun rescheduling shows for this spring and plans to reopen in the near future. Once it opens its doors again, you can find live music almost every night inside the theatre and almost every weekend up on the rooftop bar overlooking downtown Athens.

As we await the Georgia Theatre to reopen, other smaller venues are already back in business. If you enjoy jazz music, Porterhouse Grill has live jazz playing every Wednesday night from 6 to 9 PM. Grab some friends and enjoy a delicious dinner while listening to some classic tunes. If Wednesday nights aren’t good for you, you can also find live jazz at Athentic Brewing Company every Thursday evening at 6 PM. Try out a new craft beer and be entertained by lovely jazz music. Don’t worry – the performers wear masks and are socially distanced from you.

If you are a fan of dinners and a show, make a reservation at Hendershot’s downtown for a Friday or Saturday night at either 6 or 8:30 PM. With this reservation, you will be able to enjoy a unique A La Carte menu and a live music show by the southeast’s finest musicians. Due to social distancing, only 16 seats are available for each show time to ensure the safety of all the guests and staff. To save your spot, make your reservation early!

Open-air, live music can also be found at Saucehouse BBQ most weekends. Enjoy sitting in the beer garden next to a campfire and listen to various bands play live on the stage. The food and drinks are tasty, and it is definitely a fun place to spend your Saturday. Southern Brewing Company is another great outdoor spot to revel in a cold craft beer and some live music. Every Tuesday night, Funky Bluester performs live from 7-9 PM. On most Friday and Saturday nights, other talented musicians perform as well. Check out the Southern Brewing Company’s upcoming event calendar here.

Other great restaurants, such as the Local 706 and Marker Seven, also have live music from time to time. Follow local Athens restaurants on social media to see when they will be hosting upcoming shows and events!

To honor the awesome and historic music scene in the Classic City, the Athens community created the Athens Music Walk of Fame in September of 2020. To see the plaques of honorary inductees plastered into the sidewalks, check out the map here and take a walk through downtown Athens. You can see the plaques of many legends who got their start in Athens, such as the Drive-By Truckers, Pylon, R.E.M., and Elephant 6. This Walk of Fame is a great way to cherish all the amazing past, present, and future musicians from Athens, Georgia.