We know what you're thinking: Does Miami even have five music venues for local acts?
The answer, our skeptical friend, is yes. It was actually hard for us to narrow this list to only five places. Because, while it may come as a surprise to the average club hopper, Miami's got a thriving underground music scene and there's plenty of places to go jam out to 305 talent.
We've selected some Miami classics and some newbies. Here are Crossfade's five best venues for local acts.
OK, obvious choice. Our most recent Best of Miami pick for the top local music venue has quickly become a staple of the scene. Performers love performing here, and fans love the intimate vibe of the small NE 14th Street spot. The Nest has also become a frequent stop for touring acts, like Daedelus. This may be your best bet if you're looking for a laidback place to chill till closing time.
An intimate club that's not only a good place to catch some great Miami acts, but also world-renowned artists. And the joint's got swag couches too. It's like kicking it in your living room, dude. The Bardot folks are known for hosting killer musical performances, and they don't discriminate on genre either. From indie bands to DJs and rappers, this spot is unmatched when it comes to quality and diversity.
A casual Design District hangout that's hosted many of Miami's finest, The Stage's actual stage is pretty small, but that just gives performers an excuse to occasionally wander into the crowd. There's always bands rocking out here, and Miami musicians have named it as one of their favorite places to play. National acts, like Ghostface Killah and St. Vincent, often hit The Stage when looking for a more intimate venue for their most dedicated fans. There's a huge dance floor, couches to get your rest on, and an outside area to catch your breath.
Putting together a list of the top local music venues in Miami without mentioning Churchill's Pub just wouldn't be right. Even though the club has undergone a recent change of ownership, the effects on the pub's bookings have been minimal. At least, so far. This NE Second Avenue hideaway is a legendary rock joint where plenty of iconic bands got their start. It's grimy, it's grungy, it's loud. In the era of megaclubs and EDM, it's good to know that there's still a place to mosh to hardcore, punk, and metal.
See also: Churchill's Pub: An Oral History
This is not your typical live music venue. It's a record store, in a time when people don't buy records. It's a book store, in a time when people don't buy books. It's also a buzzing hive of creativity. Night to night, you might catch entirely different kinds of performance, from noise to comedy. But Sweat brings in live bands every week. Performing at this Little Haiti hub has become a rite of passage for Miami artists. And the shop's annual Sweatstock festival always highlights the best music in the 305. Now that's local love.
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