Twenty One Pilots, Caamp, O.A.R., Rascal Flatts, Willie Phoenix, Dwight Yoakam and Bobby Floyd are just some of the musicians who got their start in Columbus. Before they were household names, they played on stages in Columbus, from outdoor venues to dive bars and from sold-out arenas to indie record stores. With a reputation as one of the country’s best undiscovered music cities, Ohio’s capital is inviting visitors and residents to experience its thriving music scene with the new Columbus Live Music Trail.

Launched today by Experience Columbus in partnership with the Columbus Music Commission, the Columbus Live Music Trail features more than 40 venues devoted to live music. While other cities and states have music trails celebrating the history of music and genres like bluegrass, blues and country, the Columbus Live Music Trail is one of the first of its kind. The trail represents a city’s contemporary music scene and highlights venues where you can listen to a variety of genres, including pop, punk, rock, rap, jazz, bluegrass and more. 

The Columbus Live Music Trail launches on the heels of the premiere of Poser, a psychological thriller set in Columbus’ underground music scene. Shot in Columbus, the film features real Columbus bands like Damn the Witch Siren, WYD, Mungbean and more. Directed and edited by Ori Segev and Noah Dixon, Poser was recently named a The New York Times Critic's Pick and can be seen in theaters across the country beginning this month. Fans of the film can visit Columbus and use the Columbus Live Music Trail to discover music venues featured in the film, like Cafe Bourbon Street, The Spacebar and The Basement.

"Music contributes $170 billion dollars per year to the U.S. economy, with music tourism as a substantial component,” says Bruce Garfield, Executive Director of the Columbus Music Commission. “We are excited to be partnering with Experience Columbus to highlight many of the wonderful live music venues that drive cultural and economic growth in our city. The Columbus Live Music Trail will be a great tool for visitors and residents to discover these venues and take part in the Music Columbus movement."

Some of the stops along the trail include Dick's Den, a famous jazz venue; Newport Music Hall, the longest continually running rock club in the country; Dirty Dungarees, a laundromat and bar; Natalie’s, where the food is as good as the music; and KEMBA Live!, a large outdoor/indoor venue featuring national acts. The trail is easy to use with a simple download to your mobile device and seamless check-in at each venue. 

Music producers, industry executives and even fans visiting Columbus for the first time often leave uttering the same four words— “I had no idea”—in response to what a great scene the city has, according to Garfield.

“I always love to see live music in Columbus,” says two-time Grammy winner Pete Ganbarg, President of A&R for Atlantic Records. “There is such a vibrancy to the scene, from the small clubs to the arenas and even the stadium. I know that I'll always see something exciting whenever I'm in town.”

In addition to the diverse range of music venues, Columbus is also home to some of the best independent record stores in the nation. Before catching a live show, check out shops like Used Kids Records, Magnolia Thunderpussy, Spoonful Records, Elizabeth’s Records, Lost Weekend Records and more.

Experience Columbus President and CEO Brian Ross says the Columbus Live Music Trail has the potential to bring in a new stream of visitors to the city. “Research shows that 61% of overnight visitors to Columbus take part in entertainment activities like concerts, which is higher than the U.S. average,” Ross says. “The new Columbus Live Music Trail showcases Columbus as a top destination for music lovers and will attract new visitors to explore our city.”

Kenny McDonald, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, says, “Music is, and always has been, a part of developing great cities. As the Columbus Region grows, so does its amazing music scene.”

Tom Katzenmeyer, President and CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, says arts and culture have always been an important part of the quality of life in Columbus, but the live music scene has blossomed in the past decade. “It is now not only incredibly diverse, but a significant contributor to our quality of life, our economy and our appeal to tourists,” Katzenmeyer says. “This trail is a great way for people to find all of Columbus’ amazing live music in one spot and have a lot of fun doing it.”

The Columbus Live Music Trail is one of numerous existing curated Experience Columbus guides to the best the city has to offer. Visitors can also explore the Columbus Distillery Trail, Columbus Coffee Trail, Columbus Outdoor Trails Pass, Short North Art Trail and CBUS SOUL Sculpture Trail.

To learn more about what makes Columbus’ music scene unique, check out this video. Explore the Columbus Live Music Trail at            

About Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is a city unlike any other. Vibrant and alive, Ohio’s capital is known for its open attitude, smart style and entrepreneurial spirit. Columbus' blend of neighborhoods, dynamic nightlife, noteworthy music scene, arts and culinary experiences, events, attractions and accommodations are all made unforgettable by the diversity of its outgoing locals who eagerly await and warmly welcome visitors. Columbus is proud to be selected as the host city for 2023 PCMA Convening Leaders, which brings together the world's business events professionals, and the 2023 U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting. Free travel guides, maps, online booking and detailed information are available at Visitor information is also available on Facebook:, Twitter: @ExpCols and Instagram: @ExperienceColumbus.

About the Columbus Music Commission
The Columbus Music Commission is dedicated to seeing Columbus become a globally recognized center for music and innovation. It is their mission to connect Columbus-area music makers, music commerce and community to engage in creating, performing, and promoting great music. They believe that through the support of music, we can help build richer, happier, more vibrant lives for the people of our community. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts
Leah Berger, APR, CTA, Experience Columbus: | 614-222-6145