As far as music goes, Charleston artists of all genres are getting a voice, and touring acts are being drawn into the Holy City to play on a variety of stages. From hundred-cap spaces that support underground hardcore and hip-hop artists to the biggest stadium in town that draws in the industry stars, these are the venues that are integral to the local entertainment scene.
The Royal American
Original music thrives at The Royal American, a Morrison Drive bar with cornhole and a patio out front and a tiny bar-attached stage inside that's become a second home to several local bands. The New Orleans-themed decor and red lighting casts a late-night glow on rum punch drinkers and sweaty dancers spilling out onto the porch.
North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center
Without the North Charleston Coliseum, Charleston wouldn't get the large-scale touring stars that we do, from Taylor Swift to Ed Sheeran. The biggest venue in the Lowcountry seats 14,000 and its neighboring smaller venue The North Charleston Performing Arts Center draws in other popular acts, Broadway shows and dance and arts performances that can fill 2,000 seats.
This West Ashley dive bar with gourmet hot dogs, a small stage and an outdoor deck features bands from pop to rock to punk to hardcore. It's a true neighborhood watering hole and an authentic intimate space to catch both local and traveling acts.
Volvo Car Stadium
This tennis stadium-turned-outdoor-music-venue on Daniel Island is integral in drawing in some big touring acts, from Kacey Musgraves to ZZ Top.
Charleston Music Hall
This downtown seated venue appeals to all generations with the kinds of music, comedy acts and movies it draws in. The Music Hall also grants local groups opportunities on its stage in addition to artists on tour.
The jams on the deck are a unique treat at this James Island venue with both indoor and outdoor stages. Jam bands, rock artists and funk and jazz outfits play here regularly.
This newer venue on Azalea Drive appeals to the smaller, DIY artists who might not be getting stage time in other spots around town. It has hosted "Weirdo Wednesdays" for fire spinners in addition to hip-hop artists and indie bands.
There's nothing like this space in the Lowcountry, where folks can gather in the great outdoors to listen to country, Americana and folk bands strum every Wednesday night. It's also expanded to offer shows in other spaces around town, including downtown, Mount Pleasant and Summerville.
The beachfront staple has been around since 1972 with its outdoor volleyball court, outdoor sunset concerts and rocking indoor stage. Fruity drinks can be consumed along with lively performances from renowned musicians.
This venue, which hosts many all-ages shows, is an entry point to the music scene for some young fans in the Lowcountry. There are many contemporary artists that grace the downtown standing-room venue.
It's a place for symphonies and operas, for elevated dance troupes and jazz performers. This beautiful downtown venue for the high arts is a big draw of the Holy City.
Hosting party and cover bands to keep the groove going all night long, this East Side neighborhood bar with a speakeasy feel has become a place for drinking, dancing and having a grand old time with a diverse crowd of people.
Kalyn Oyer writes about cultural issues and events for The Post and Courier's Charleston Scene.