Visit Richmond – A Virginia Musical Mecca

Richmond, Virginia’s lively nature is one that is forever present. As the Virginia state capitol, Richmond holds strong to its unbelievably vast culture and history. When looking to visit and stay in the city of Richmond, consider exploring its rich artistic culture. The city’s creative side continues to thrive and it shows no signs of stopping. There’s fine arts, and of course the city’s musical side. These beloved bars and outstanding live music venues make Richmond a Virginia musical mecca.

Richmond: A Virginia Musical Mecca

Beloved Local Bar

Virginia Musical Mecca. Hip-Hop Show at Strange Matter
Hip-Hop Show at Strange Matter

In order to experience the best of Richmond’s music scene, start at this beloved local bar. The ambiance is intimate. The food and drinks are cheap and continue to pour until the wee hours; and the audience, highly engage, no matter the artist.

One of those places is Strange Matter (SM) – a mid-sized local bar that doubles as a musical venue. It hosts all sorts of local musical events in all genres. I’ve personally seen Hip-Hop shows, electronic dance music shows, and rock shows by local and regional artists; and all of them were worth the price of entry. The average ticket price is around $20, but you can also find plenty of good shows at the $10 range.

Veggie Burger at Strange Matter. Virginia Musical Mecca.
Veggie Burger at Strange Matter

SM also serves plenty of good food (including vegan options); so much so that you’ll want to come to the venue just to eat! Order their vegan Reuben sandwich or try one of their juicy burgers with a tray of fries. SM sits at 929 W Grace St, right in the heart of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) main campus. This beloved local bar makes Richmond a Virginia musical mecca.

Live Music Venue

Pop/Rock Band at The National. Virginia Musical Mecca.
Pop/Rock Band at The National

If what you’re looking for on the other hand is a place where you can jam out with tons of people and see bigger-named artists, your best bet is to catch a show at The National. Established artists like rapper Pusha T, rock band The Wombats, and heavy metal band GWAR all played at The National. When you see a show here, expect to see bustling crowds filled with high-powered energy; the type that will consume your body and soul in a good way. Speaking from experience, you should ready your vocal pipes and put on your dancing shoes when you see a show here.

The National is located at 708 E Broad St – about a mile from VCU’s main campus. Ticket prices depend on the popularity of the artist but generally range from $15-$50.

Richmond earned its stripes as a Virginia musical mecca thanks to its very active live music scenes. From local bars that double as small to mid-sized venues, to arena stages that hosts some of the region’s established artists, you won’t have any trouble finding a show that suits your musical fancy. Seek out local hip-hop during your stay in Richmond or branch out and explore the blues.

This article was written by Vos Tyler and edited by Iris A.

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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