The 10 Best Live Music Venues in Illinois!

Finding that perfect music venue for your taste in music with an ideal atmosphere can be a challenge, but it sure isn’t in Illinois. Home to the Windy City and musical roots as deep and rich as they get, Illinois is fortunate enough to feature exciting live music spots all across the state. With world-class lineups and an overall musical experience you’ll never forget, here are the 10 best music venues in Illinois.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago, IL

Enjoy some of the most acoustically perfect sounds at the Symphony Center in downtown Chicago. Whether you prefer classical performances, bluegrass, or jazz, it all sounds amazing at the Symphony Center. The inside of the Symphony Center is an architectural wonder, making it worth a visit.

Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL

A newbie in the Chicago music venue world, Lincoln Hall consistently books high quality performers and features clear sightlines and superior acoustics from all areas. The warm, inviting interiors combined with quality food and pleasant staff makes Lincoln Hall the perfect destination for the entire evening. Although this isn’t a grungy music club, you can get “down” here.

The Curve Inn, Springfield, IL

Aside from being awarded the “Best Beer Garden” four years in a row, The Curve Inn is also a live music venue featuring an eclectic menu from blues to pop. They feature the area’s best performers along with live DJs until 3 a.m. You can engage in dart tournaments at The Curve Inn, as well. 

Metro, Chicago, IL

If you don’t mind expensive drinks, Metro is the place to be in Chicago for a wonderful music experience. Metro is known for featuring bands about to break big, and they always have a well booked list of shows. Get there early to enjoy a great view from the balcony or get a close-up spot next to the stage.

Mandel Hall, Chicago, IL

This premier concert venue owned by the University of Chicago features stunning acoustics in a classic Victorian interior. The concert hall seats nearly 900 audience members and is equipped with superior lighting and sound systems. The Mandel Hall is the ideal venue for open recitals and classical concerts.

Boondocks Pub, Springfield, IL

As the largest live music venue in Central Illinois, Boondocks Pub in Springfield features some of the best national and local acts. The Academy of Country Music recently awarded this venue “Nightclub of the Year.” If you enjoy live country music, Boondocks Pub is the place to go. 

The Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL

Located in the Ukrainian Village of Chicago, The Empty Bottle is a comfortable and cost-effective venue featuring underground music in a casually lit environment. Expect sizable crowds, especially on Mondays, when they host free shows ranging from downtempo electronic music to skull-crushing metal. Paid shows rarely exceed $10 at this venue.

City Winery, Chicago, IL

If you prefer sit-down shows, City Winery is your best bet. This intimate venue features a large lineup of performances ranging from theatricals to rock, pop, jazz, and soul. The environment is so cozy, it feels like the artist is performing in your own living room. 

The Hideout, Chicago, IL

The hideout is all about intellectual freedom and creative artistic expression. Located inside a 100-year-old prohibition-area home, The Hideout is a small, history-laden venue where anything can happen any night. Legally open since 1934, this rebel club features punk rock, indie rock, and alternative country.

Double Door, Chicago, IL

Everything sounds great at the Double Door in Chicago. Although the venue itself is interestingly structured, the acoustics are always pitch-perfect and there are no dead spots. Double Door also has consistent lineups nearly every night of the week and is conveniently located next to public transportation.

View more Illinois Live Music Venues.
Share your favorites!
Illinois Search
Best Things To Do Near You
Best Things To Do Near You

Phoebe Hunt

7:30 PM
Destihl, Normal, IL
Learn More

Stars & Guitars

6:30 PM
Braden Auditorium, Normal, IL
Learn More


4:00 PM
Washington Five Points, Washington, IL
Learn More

Joe Hermes

7:30 PM
Castle Theatre, Bloomington, IL
Learn More
Show More
Best Places To Go Near You
Best Places To Go Near You
1501 Morrissey Drive, Bloomington, IL
Grady's Family Fun Park consists of 12 Batting Cages, 21 Go Karts, 16 Bumper Boats, 16 Bumper Cars, an 18 hole Deluxe Miniature Golf Course, a Vide... Read More
1000 Monroe Drive, Bloomington, IL
Our goal is to raise $130,000.00 to help keep the Mansion open, but we can't do it alone. Your donation/membership in the David Davis Mansion Found... Read More
1304 West Washington Street, Bloomington, IL
Upper Limits offers something for everyone. From our 65' silos, main climbing area of overhanging terrain, outdoor boulder, 110' outdoor wall, and ... Read More
1515 West Chestnut Street, Bloomington, IL
The Bloomington Skatepark is a fantastic combination of skating elements that cater to all different styles of skateboarding. Designed with a conti... Read More
801 North Main Street, Normal, IL
One of the most challenging skate parks in Central Illinois, the Fairview Park Skate Park offers a variety of obstacles and ramps. Featur... Read More
101 East Beaufort Street, Normal, IL
Our Mission : The mission of the Children's Discovery Museum is to inspire the love of learning through the power of play. Our mission is accompl... Read More
2929 East Empire Street, Bloomington, IL
Mission:To educate, entertain, and inspire through collecting, preserving, and displaying aircraft, artifacts, and memorabilia about aviation and s... Read More
101 S. School Street, Normal, IL
The ISU Planetarium offers a variety of programs coordinated with preschool, elementary, middle, and high-school course work. In addition, the Plan... Read More
1110 Douglas Street, Normal, IL
Mission: To provide the citizens of Central Illinois with quality professional theatre utilizing first-rate talent and provide theatre artists a m... Read More
27585 Kentuckiana Road, Mackinaw, IL
Kentuckiana Kampground is the place to be for a great family weekend of fun!Throughout the season, May-October, activities such as bingo, flea mark... Read More
1351 Airport Road, Lincoln, IL
Mission Statement: To establish a collection of hestoric, and classic, aircraft, for Museum display as symbols of our Aviation Heritage.  Educ... Read More
1400 Primm Road, Lincoln, IL
The park is located south of the Administration Center on our Railer Way site. Built in 2007 though the generosity of the community, the park is op... Read More
675 State Route 116, Metamora, IL
Home of the museum complex, the Illinois Mennonite archives, and the historical and genealogical research library of the Illinois Mennonite Histori... Read More
110 W Howard Street, Pontiac, IL
The Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum features thousands of artifacts and memorabilia related to Route 66 - The Mother Road.... Read More
18142 4-H Park Road, Pontiac, IL
About Us:Since 1930, groups of volunteers have hosted an agricultural fair in Livingston County. This year the group, members of the Livingston Cou... Read More
Show More
Select a Illinois town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you