Although Orlando is most famous for its theme parks and tourist attractions, the City Beautiful is actually a major arts, music, and cultural destination. Countless musical acts have gotten their start in Orlando—including NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Matchbox Twenty, and the beloved metal band Death, to name a few—so, appropriately, the City of Orlando is absolutely jam-packed with music venues.
Whether you’re looking for a dive bar to check out local indie and punk bands or a pristine music hall to hear world-famous musicians, Orlando has a spot for every music lover. Grab your earplugs and read on to learn more about our favorite music venues in Orlando.
Home to the NBA’s Orlando Magic, Amway Center’s massive 20,000-seat arena hosts big-time musical acts, too—everyone from Billy Joel, to Ariana Grande, to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra have taken Amway’s stage. Amway is located in the heart of downtown Orlando, so parking can get a little hairy—but its location puts you in close proximity to some of the best bars and restaurants downtown has to offer.
If you want to stick to the arena, local favorites like Black Bean Deli and Gringos Locos Tacos have permanent booths in Amway Center, so you can refuel after a dancing the night away. Plus, One80 Skytop Lounge—Amway’s beautiful rooftop cocktail lounge—offers a 360-degree view of downtown Orlando and its surrounding areas.
Performing on The Social’s stage is the equivalent to performing at Pitchfork Music Festival to Orlando’s indie, folk, and alternative bands. In other words, it’s a pretty big deal.
A local favorite—and a solid place to catch alternative performances from all over the globe—The Social hosts musical acts and comedy performances on a nightly basis. The Social is standing room-only and can only accommodate a couple hundred concert-goers, but the small space and always-lively crowds ensure a super intimate concert experience.
If you’re looking for a low-key, locally loved place to catch local music in Orlando, be sure to check out Will’s Pub on North Mills Avenue, in the highly hip Mills 50 District.
Will’s Pub is pretty small—especially compared to some of Orlando’s more popular venues—but it’s jam-packed with local charm and both local and international bands. Plus, Will’s Pub offers a massive selection of international and craft beers (with over 16 draft beers on tap!) and plenty of bar games.
Want to double-down on music night? Lil Indies, located just next door to Will’s Pub, also hosts tons of musical acts—and has an impressive specialty cocktail menu, to boot.
Like Amway Center, House of Blues Orlando in Disney Springs has seen some pretty impressive acts. Think: Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Willie Nelson, and other totally eclectic performers. House of Blues Orlando offers a full bar and a southern, comfort food-style restaurant, so you can fill up before (or after) your concert.
If you want to check out House of Blues Orlando by day, don’t miss their Sunday morning gospel brunch. Who doesn’t want to be serenaded by a full-on gospel choir while they enjoy their eggs?
Soundbar—formerly known as BackBooth—is the venue indie high school kids would always try to sneak into with fake IDs—meaning, it has a long history in Orlando’s underground scene. Originally a beatnik coffee shop, BackBooth has become a permanent fixture in downtown Orlando, and a destination for music-lovers alike.
These days, BackBooth hosts both small and large acts, as well as infamous dance parties. What’s more, BackBooth’s impressive draft beer list is the largest you’ll find in downtown Orlando—but the bar offers wine and cocktails, too.
Built in 1921, The Beacham was originally a cinema—when much of Orlando was still farm land and dirt roads. Since then, it’s become a renowned concert venue in Central Florida.
Over the years, this cultural landmark has seen an amazing roster of performers, including Ray Charles, the Ramones, and the Police, and continues to host both regional and international musical performances. When The Beacham doesn’t have a concert on the calendar, the space transforms into a super fun, late-night dance hall.
Another bit of stunning architecture in downtown Orlando, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of performances, including musical theater productions, ballets, orchestras, and, yes, world-famous bands. The acts aren’t the only impressive thing about Dr. Phillips, either. The venue’s state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment makes every performance that much better.
Although Dr. Phillips isn’t quite as big as House of Blues Orlando or Amway Center, each auditorium provides a more intimate performance—and it’s stadium seating offers a perfect view from anywhere in the room.
Established in 1989, Tanqueray’s Bar is one of Orlando’s later night venues. But don’t let the set start time deter you—Tanqueray’s features live music every single night, and never (ever!) has a cover charge. Tanqueray’s skews more towards the punk, metal, and indie side of the music scene, but often has reggae and hip hop acts, too.
Our recommendation? Check out local acts at Tanqueray’s, then head to the nearby Courtesy bar for some seriously inventive cocktails.