Exploring the Vibrant East Nashville Neighborhood Music Scene

east nashville

The East Nashville music scene is known for its vibrant, eclectic music community centered around various small venues that host live local talent every night of the week.

Over the past decade, this area has developed into one of the hottest places for live music in not only Nashville, but the entire country.

History of the East Nashville Music Scene

The East Nashville neighborhood has long been a hub for counter-culture movements like music.

Going back to the 1960s and 1970s, it’s fostered a quaint folk scene when many musicians and artists flocked to the area seeking affordable housing.

Venues like the Slow Bar, Radio Cafe, Family Wash and Beyond the Edge helped establish East Nashville as a place for indie bands and singers looking to get their start playing small intimate shows for locals.

Notable Music Venues

Today, some of the most popular spots to catch local concerts in this historic neighborhood include:

  • The 5 Spot: This lively neighborhood bar books great local and national alternative bands every night of the week. The gritty dive bar atmosphere makes for an eclectic and memorable show.
  • The Basement East: Part of a larger brand of Basement venues in Nashville, The Basement East brings in high-quality national and local underground bands spanning all genres to its intimate concert hall.
  • The Building: The Building uniquely houses three different venues under one roof – The Green Room, Kat’s Cafe, and Red Room. You’re guaranteed to discover superb new talent at this innovative concept.
  • American Legion Post 82: This historic spot features shows by veterans almost every night, ranging from rock and roll to bluegrass played by talented musicians.
  • Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge: Just east of Five Points in, Dee’s has established itself as one of the best honky-tonk lounge in Music City to catch country and rockabilly bands and solo artists.

east nashville live music

There are also recurring backyard concerts hosted by residents that bring the community together to showcase Nashville’s emerging artists for free.

Genres Represented in the East Nashville Music Scene

While Nashville is predominantly known for producing country stars, the diverse mix scene prides itself on diversity.

At any given club or bar in the neighborhood on the weekend, you may catch artists and bands playing:

  • Alternative rock
  • Indie pop, rock and folk
  • Punk rock
  • Blues
  • Bluegrass
  • Americana
  • Rockabilly
  • Jazz
  • Eclectic genre fusion shows

You never know what sound you’ll experience during the p.m when you visit Nashville on the east side. Local lineups push creative boundaries and resist mainstream expectations of the music reputation.

Why East Nashville Neighborhood Attracts Musicians

Several key factors come into play as to why East Nashville has nurtured such an explosive local music community:

Affordable Housing: Ever since the 1960s/1970s, musicians have flocked to the east end for cheap rent as opposed to downtown’s rising costs. Affordable housing allows artists to pursue their craft while building their careers. Many artists even operate home based record labels in East Nashville to promote developing talent.

Eclectic Culture: This place is a haven for creativity and nonconformists of all kinds — including musicians. The clash of cultures and diverse residents foster the kind of open, experimental environment that allows unique sounds to emerge organically.

Small Venues Galore: A high concentration of funky bars, intimate clubs and basement rooms provide ample stage opportunities for East Nashville artists night after night. Budding musicians can find venues booking local talent almost every night for very small cover charges.

Community: The East Nashville community rallies around supporting and promoting local and indie musicians. Neighbors come out frequently to see emerging bands allowing them to build devoted local followings organically from the ground up over time through word-of-mouth buzz around the neighborhood.

east nashville music venues

How to Experience Live Music Around the Eastside

If you want to see what this creative community is all about, make a night — or several nights — out of exploring the diversity the local talent:

See Who’s Playing Tonight

Check venue sites like The 5 Spot, The Basement East, Dee’s Cocktail Lounge or The Post to browse upcoming show lineups. You may discover your new favorite band.

Go Bar Hopping

Bar hop during happy hour to catch glimpses of various bands around Five Points, Lockeland and Riverside. Soak in the lively atmosphere and mingle with locals. Don’t forget your dancing shoes.

Attend Backyard Concerts

Poke around Nashville on weekends to uncover backyard shows often advertised by handmade flyers or on community boards. These DIY concerts give you a peek into the indie scene.

Talk to Locals

Strike up conversations with neighbors, bartenders and musicians to get insider tips on up and coming bands and off-the-beaten-path shows. Locals love sharing their favorite hidden gems. Don’t forget to check the lcoal neighborhood guide as well

Savor East Nashville Creative Spirit

While you explore bands, don’t miss out soaking in the vibrant culture, food and art galleries woven throughout this eclectic community. Let the creative spirit inspire you as it has for generations of musicians.

East Nashville Nurtures Tomorrow’s Breakout Artists

Part of what makes East Nashville such a thrilling hub includes that opportunities abound to discover talents on the rise. Artists like Paramore, The Black Keys, Margo Price and many more sharpened their talents playing here.

You may catch the next big act in a tiny corner bar or packed backyard house show thanks to the neighborhood’s devoted support of emerging bands. The accessibility and intimacy facilitate organic career growth.

Over a beer, cocktail or cup of coffee, soak in the sounds of East Nashville’s most unpredictable and electric music scene happening in venues every night. Let the talented musicians move you as they foster community and chase artistic dreams.

Picture of J. Scalco

J. Scalco

J.Scalco isn't your average artist. He's a melody-slinging actor and spotlight-stealing musician. With a voice that chills and a presence that commands, J.Scalco weaves indie, pop, and rock into emotional tapestries onstage and off. From anthemic rock to whispered acoustics, his music bares a raw authenticity that lingers long after the final note. When the curtain rises, J.Scalco's characters leap off the page, captivating audiences with his nuanced and powerful performances. J.Scalco isn't just an entertainer, he's a storyteller, using his art to explore the human experience in all its messy, beautiful glory.