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Something Fun to Do in Minneapolis? Take in Live Music at These Great Venues!

Guitarist on stage for background, soft and blur concept

If you’re looking for things to do in Minneapolis and you’re huge fan of live music, then you’re in just the right city. One thing that stands out about the Minnesota music scene is its diversity. It’s a detail that’s best reflected in the city’s music venues, which attract acts from around the world. Here are five spots to take in a live show the next time you’re in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

First Avenue

Rock and roll live group

One of the country’s top music clubs, First Avenue, is housed in a former Greyhound bus depot in downtown Minneapolis. You may recognize it from Prince’s 1984 movie Purple Rain. Today, this iconic venue hosts a range of well-known local and international acts in its Main Room as well as in the smaller 7th Street Entry. Upcoming shows include Kamasi Washington, Descendents, and Hot Chip. Be sure to take a photo next to the wall of stars before you head in to the venue.

Cedar Cultural Center

Located in the Cedar Riverside district near the University of Minnesota campus, the Cedar Cultural Center is committed to supporting emerging local artists and featuring musical acts from around the world. One of the great things about this venue is the diverse crowds it attracts — from new immigrants to baby boomers. The eclectic programming includes multiple genres such as folk, indie, experimental, bluegrass, Americana, and jazz, making it one of the most interesting music-related things to do in Minneapolis. Grab a bite to eat before the show in one of the neighborhood’s renowned eateries like The Red Sea or Acadia.

Dakota Jazz Club

Sax Player

The upscale Dakota Jazz Club serves foodie-friendly fare (come hungry!) and craft cocktails to jazz lovers from around the metro area. This Nicollet Avenue hot spot welcomes top acts from around the world including Sérgio Mendes, Gloria Gaynor, and Eddie Palmieri. Table seating on two levels offers prime views and acoustics in this intimate venue.

The Armory

If a large-scale, high-energy concert venue is what you seek, look no further than The Armory. This spot has quickly become one of the hottest venues in Minnesota, offering standing room only concerts by acts like The Raconteurs, Social Distortion, the Head and the Heart, and Minnesota’s own Lizzo. In addition to general admission tickets, the Armory offers a premium experience including private suite and table reservations.


Banjo player in the country band

If chef-driven live music venues are a thing, then Icehouse is at the top of the list. Located in the former loading docks of Cedar Fuel and Ice, this one-of-a-kind restaurant/bar/concert space is the perfect spot to take in a show and enjoy a phenomenal meal (at a reasonable price). Menu items of note include Kung Pow Cauliflower, Bacon Agnolotti, and Duck Egg Lemon Meringue. If you’re looking for things to do in Minneapolis on a Sunday, be sure to stop by the Revival Brunch to enjoy the musical stylings of local and national acts.

Have you been to any live music events in Minneapolis? What group did you see? What did you think of the venue? Let us know in the comments section.

About the author

Jen Westmoreland Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing ( and Bouchard Design Co. (

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