It’s impossible to spell Spartanburg without “art.” And, nearly every night downtown, it’s impossible to walk around the city without encountering the sounds of live music.
So, keep reading for your guide to all things music in the Hub City.
The City’s longest-running weekly event brings music to the heart of downtown on Thursday nights, with bands and performers from multiple genres taking the stage each week.
On Friday nights, the City of Spartanburg also hosts a set of concerts on Morgan Square. Most recently, these performances were Flashback Fridays, celebrating music of the past 40+ years as performed by local and regional artists.
Best of all, these events are totally free, and they’re a great opportunity to grab dinner or a drink downtown.
The focal point of the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District (only the second in South Carolina), the Chapman Cultural Center.
A 65-member professional orchestra, Spartanburg Philharmonic was founded in 1928 to connect the county to music and music history across the region. Spartanburg Philharmonic offers three music series: Zimmerli (full symphony concerts), Espresso (chamber music), and Bluegrass. Performances are held in Spartanburg’s historic 1489-seat Twichell Auditorium in Zimmerli Performance Center at Converse University, and at the Chapman Cultural Center’s 476-seat Theater.
The Little Theatre offers musically-inclined residents to take part in live performances, tackling well-known classics and Spartanburg-centric twists on other musicals and plays. And the Youth Theatre aims to provide high-quality, “for youth, by youth” productions to serve as educational programming and community outreach in support of the arts.
Delaney’s Irish Pub hosts live music featuring local band several nights per week, providing the perfect accompaniment for a cold drink and their menu full of Irish and Southern classics sure to hit the spot.
FR8yard, South Carolina’s first fully-outdoor biergarten, hosts live music nearly every day its open, from performances on weeknights to day-concerts and jam sessions featuring multiple bands on the weekends. FR8yard also hosts an aptly-named “Pass the Mic” series with a featured artist or band and a rotating musician host. The second half of the night lets performers jam out with FR8yard’s backing band.
Main Street Pub brings live bands, local DJs, and karaoke performances to the downtown music scene. Open late-night, Main Street hosts two karaoke nights each week (Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 PM to 2 AM) allowing anyone who feels to the music to belt out a tune or two.
Nu-Way Restaurant & Lounge, Spartanburg’s oldest bar, is also one of downtown’s oldest music venues. With an intimate setting thanks to no formal stage, music takes on a different, up-close kind of charm at Nu-Way, especially on Thursdays, which are the bar’s classic jam night with music going through closing time.
RJ Rockers Brewery is well-known for its Thursday, Friday and Saturday music performances, with a stage only a few feet removed from its beer taps. But on Wednesdays, Spartanburg’s first craft brewery hosts an open-mic night encouraging local singers and songwriters to showcase their talents.
There’s no better way to dig into the significance of Spartanburg on music history than walking the Music Trail, which winds through downtown with placards highlighting important musical figures who are from, or got their start in, Spartanburg.
Stops along the Music Trail include local icons The Marshall Tucker Band and Pink Anderson, a legendary blues artist who, along with his own significant achievements, inspired the name for legendary rock band Pink Floyd.
Whether it’s a City event, taking the stage at a local mic night, or enjoying live performances on the streets of downtown, Spartanburg definitely deserves mention as a leading Southern music city.