Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette

Louisiana's Top Live Music Venues

To truly understand the appeal of Louisiana music, you've got to hear it live. Here's where to go to let the beat catch hold.

Louisiana is made of live music. The beauty of Louisiana’s musical tradition is that it's a participatory one. People of all ages and backgrounds dance, often in the same club to the same bands. The lines between the bands, the music and the audience are often blurred in the juke joints, honky-tonks and dancehalls of Louisiana, creating an energy you are hard-pressed to find anywhere else. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but pay a visit to these venues and you'll be sure to pass a good time.

Dancing at Buck and Johnny's in Breaux Bridge

Start your morning off right at Buck & Johnny's.

Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette

Gather with friends at the Blue Moon Saloon.

Jolly Inn

Hear unique sounds at the Jolly Inn.

Chris Thomas King at the Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall, Louisiana

Feel the rhythm at the Dew Drop Jazz & Social Hall.

Guide to Louisiana's Live Music Venues

Blue Moon Saloon


Blue Moon Saloon — part bar, part venue and part tourist hostel — hosts Lafayette's finest music seven days a week. Everyone from the young blood Cajun groups like Lost Bayou Ramblers to world-renowned groups like Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys tear into it on the Blue Moon's back porch. It's a guaranteed good time no matter who's on the bill.

Bootlegger’s Bar 


Bootlegger's features popular acts and a nice dancefloor with plenty of room to show off your moves. They host everything from DJs to country groups, zydeco performers and more in a rustic prohibition-era atmosphere. Sample dozens of flavors of moonshine (served in mason jars, of course) among recycled wood and whiskey barrels.

Buck and Johnny's

Breaux Bridge

Start your music adventure at Buck and Johnny's with a zydeco breakfast and end the night with rocking live music. Located on Breaux Bridge's picturesque main drag, this formerly abandoned car shop is enlivened as a multi-use restaurant and event space. Head to the Filling Station for a crisp brew and enjoy the open-air patio in between music sets — just don’t forget to wear your dancing shoes!

Dew Drop Jazz & Social Hall


The appeal of Dew Drop Jazz & Social Hall isn’t just in its music, but in the building itself. Constructed in 1895 by members of Mandeville’s African American community, the simple, unadorned wooden building once hosted New Orleans jazz musicians who took steamboats across Lake Pontchartrain to play. These days the community-oriented venue hosts traditional jazz concerts throughout the spring and fall.

Enoch's Irish Pub


Enoch's is a homey pub in Monroe that has been playing congenial host to area blues and folk musicians since 1980. Artists like Jerry Jeff Walker and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown have graced the stage that also hosts bluegrass and Irish music sessions. Like any proper pub, Enoch's is the kind of place you like to make your home base.

Fred's Lounge


On Saturday mornings, head to Fred's Lounge, where staff hosts the Cajun music radio show that has been running since the 1960s. It's a good time out in the Acadiana prairie. Don't be too shocked when the matriarch and widow of the club's founder, Tante Sue, takes a pull from the Schnapps bottle holstered to her waist and pops a piece of boudin to your mouth from a cardboard box as she makes her way around the dance floor.

J.O.S.H. Lounge


J.O.S.H. stands for Jazz, Old School and Heritage, and that's exactly what you'll get at this venue. Jam to talented performers playing the sounds of jazz, funk, reggae and more, take a dance class or simply enjoy the front patio seating while sipping on a signature cocktail. The atmosphere here is among the best in north Louisiana.

Manship Theatre

Baton Rouge

 As part of Baton Rouge’s Shaw Center for the Arts, the Manship Theatre features top-notch dance, theatrical and musical performances. This is one of the crown jewels of Baton Rouge’s cultural scene, notable for its diverse lineup — everything from Cuban and Motown bands to Grammy Award-winning musicians.

Panorama Music House

Lake Charles

Panorama Music House is a hot spot in downtown Lake Charles for music. Stop in any day of the week for amazing music, food and drinks in a cool atmosphere. This isn’t your typical Jazz Brunch spot: Panorama Music House hosts wacky events like Yacht Rock Brunch and Pajama Jams (yes, where you can jam out in your pajamas. It’s a judgment-free zone!). Hop on stage for Karaoke night or observe the talent from the balcony with a pizza or burger with panorama fries.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans

Get jazzy at Preservation Hall.

Catch live music at Tipitina's in New Orleans - Louisiana music

Catch soulful tunes at Tipitina's.

Shreveport Municipal Auditorium

Hear music where Elvis Presley performed.

Preservation Hall

New Orleans

There is no more traditional a jazz haunt than Preservation Hall, a sparse square room in the tourist riot of the French Quarter. Pull up a spot on the floor and prepare to find out what true New Orleans jazz is as the world’s finest practitioners of it play their hearts out every night of the week. Be prepared to tip at the end when those saints come marching in.

Ruby's Roadhouse


Located in Mandeville, on the north side of big ol' Lake Pontchartrain and a quick drive from New Orleans, Ruby's Roadhouse features big and local musicians. The sounds of New Orleans-style jazz and brass funk, as well as the Cajun tunes born from the bayou pour out of this simple little venue. The building is more than 100 years old, and has been known as a popular venue for African American performers since the 1930's. 

Shreveport Municipal Auditorium


In the mid-1900s, Shreveport emerged as a recording and entertainment hub – largely in part to its popular Louisiana Hayride live radio show, held in the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, which debuted on April 3, 1948. By 1953, the program was syndicated on the CBS radio network, expanding its broadcast to 198 affiliates across the country. In 1954, Elvis Presley played his first show there…and the rest is history. In fact, it was Presley’s last performance here on the Louisiana Hayride that prompted the show’s emcee to coin the phrase, “Elvis has left the building” in an attempt to appease frenzied fans who were shocked he would play there no more. Today, visitors can still attend shows and even take a tour backstage.

Teddy's Juke Joint


Teddy Johnson was born in the house that is now one of the last juke joints on Highway 61. At Teddy's Juke Joint, Johnson — donning his signature cape — holds court from the shrine-like DJ booth in the back, shouting to the crowd over blues and R&B records or summoning the band to the stage. A dizzying, Christmas-light-draped piece of living history, Teddy's is not to be missed.


New Orleans

A trip to New Orleans would not be complete without experiencing live music at Tipitina's. This jamming venue, located in an old warehouse off Napoleon Ave. and Tchoupitoulas St., was founded in 1977. The name Tipitina's was inspired by the song "Tipitina" by Professor Longhair who played at the venue until his passing in 1980. The venue has played host to so many New Orleans music legends, including Dr. John, the Neville Brothers and Trombone Shorty, who have all graced the stage at this standing-room-only venue.

Varsity Theatre

Baton Rouge

The Varsity Theatre is located near the heart of Louisiana State University’s campus. The college vibe is a big part of the Varsity’s charm — this is a popular spot for watching LSU football games — and with its packed performance schedule of rock, funk, blues and pop performers, there’s always something going on here. 

Learn more about music on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, or get inspired by Louisiana's diverse music and festivals.