Vermont is well known for green pastures, hiking trails, awesome mountain outlooks, skiing, snowshoeing, maple syrup, fresh air… and excellent places to hear live music. So, if you are ever in the Green Mountain State looking for good vibrations, don't fret. Just keep this list in mind, fuel up the car, and go.
Higher Ground is an all-ages live music venue with three bars, staging, national and local music acts, and DJ nights. Reviews claim it is a “great venue with very accommodating management” and “a very helpful staff.” Unlike other venues it the area, it has managed to keep a reputation as the safe place to have a good time since it opened its doors.
A long-standing music landmark on Main Street in Burlington, Nectar’s restaurant and bar has hosted such musical acts as Phish and Grace Potter. The building itself oozes Vermont history, having been a grand two-story restaurant/lounge called the Hi-Hat, which featured an opulent chandelier that still hangs over the main room today. In 2003, Nector Rorris, now in his late 60s, sold the business to the present owners who promptly purchased the entire building to ensure this landmark live music venue will continue to pursue its mission of “fresh music served daily.”
Featuring an intimate setting and a revolving door of popular local bands, DJs, comedians, open mic nights, and live entertainment, The Monkey, as it is affectionately known by guests, is “a sweet little music venue.” As a bonus, they serve great food and carry one of the best selections of microbrews in the area.
Cellist David Wells and pianist Janet Wells founded the Yellow Barn in 1969. What started as a summer retreat for David’s students at the Manhattan School of Music, transformed into something truly special. This venue is constructed specifically with performance chamber music in mind. Generally, the space is utilized as a concert hall, but the Yellow Barn is ultimately the perfect space for all ages to enjoy great music.
What started out as The Sugar Shack is now the Pickle Barrel, and it is the only venue on this list that touts a car crashing through its front door as part of its storied history. Whatever its history, though, it now boasts state-of-the art audio and lighting systems for a new is old look and feel. For over three decades, the Pickle Barrel has been serving up top acts on Killington Mountain, and, with four bars, three levels, two stages, and a free shuttle service, it is definitely worth the drive.
This opulent 1913 theater offers concerts, lectures, live performances, and vintage film screenings. The Paramount underwent restoration in February 2000 and rebounded to assume the role as valuable community resource in historic downtown Rutland. Join the Paramount Theatre in celebrating community and creativity today.
Built in 1907 as a combination music hall and parish house, the Chandler is one of the best-preserved period theatrical interiors in northern New England. Built with acoustics in mind, sound easily reaches every part of the 575-seat venue. And the natural light allowed by the grand, massive windows about the historic hall play the perfect host to an art gallery. Both the music hall and gallery are handicap accessible.
So, that’s the list, although you might be surprised to know that Vermont hosts a few seasonal amphitheaters as well—if big, outdoor music venues are your thing. The Stateside Amphitheater in Jay, the Mountain Top Inn and Resort in Chittenden, the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, and the University Heights Amphitheatre in Burlington are all in-use outside music venues in Vermont. So, the next time you are in the Green Mountain State and need a live music fix, don’t worry. Just consult this list and ease on down the road.