Music & Nightlife

The Cincinnati region has a rich music heritage that took off when Cincinnati’s WLW-AM became the first radio station in the country to broadcast at the maximum power of 50 kilowatts. With broadcasts that could be heard from Toronto to Florida, WLW became “the nation’s station” and Cincinnati became a hotbed for artists who wanted their music heard across the country.

Music studios began building up around Cincinnati including King Records, where Chubby Checker, James Brown and Bootsy Collins recorded hits; and Herzog Studios, which made Hank Williams famous, among others.

Through the years, the Cincinnati region has contributed such diverse musical acts as The National, the Isley Brothers, Afghan Wigs, Rascal Flatts, 98 Degrees, Blessed Union of Souls and Walk the Moon.

enter image description here Photo credit | Matt Steffen

Today, dozens of live music venues can be enjoyed throughout Cincinnati and range from hangouts, taverns and clubs like MOTR, Northside Tavern, Dee Felice Cafe and The Blind Lemon; to intimate performance spaces like the 262-seat Ludlow Garage; to 3-story performance halls like The Southgate House Revival and Bogarts; to concert theaters and event centers like The Taft Theater, The Madison and the Lawrenceburg Event Center; to 15,000+ venues like the outdoor amphitheater Riverbend Music Center and indoor U.S. Bank Arena, both located on Cincinnati’s beautiful riverfront.

We also take advantage of our expansive green space to host a variety of music festivals every year ranging from mainstream to up-and-coming-artists, including: Bunbury Music Festival; Cincinnati Music Festival presented by P&G; UBAHN FEST; MidPoint Music Festival; to name a few.

For those with a passion for LPs, music stores dot the region like Shake It Records; Everybody’s Records; Plaid Room; Mole’s Record Exchange; Black Plastic (in Northside and in Over-the-Rhine); Another Part of the Forest; Herzog Music; Phil’s Music, Books and More; Sugarcube Records; C & D Record Bar; and Torn Light Records.