Discover Concerts on the Square

Concerts on the Square is not just live music, its an experience. Learn how to live it up like a local.

Learn More

Concerts & Live Music

Finding live music in Madison is never difficult. From classical music to karaoke, jazz clubs to fresh-air venues, festivals to symphonies. You won’t want to miss the musical aspect of the arts & culture scene in Madison. See a calendar of this week's shows ›


Madison’s music scene has made its mark on the world. Drummer Butch Vig of Garbage got his start in Madison — as did the careers of bands that recorded at Vig’s Smart Studios: Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Everclear and Fall Out Boy, to name a few.

Unfortunately, one musician’s end was made famous in Madison: Soul legend Otis Redding died when his plane crashed into Lake Monona in 1967, just three days after recording his best-known hit “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay.”

To this day, many notable musicians have made their homes in Madison, including James Brown’s former drummer Clyde Stubblefield. Acclaimed jazz bassist Richard Davis, who has a long list of performance and recording credits with stellar artists including Sarah Vaughan, Eric Dolphy, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, John Lennon and Miles Davis, was a professor at UW-Madison for more than 40 years.


If your formula for finding great music is finding the spots where locals go to listen to a live show, you won’t want to miss the variety of venues that make up Madison’s mix. You’ll find music events happening every week.

Madison's oldest theatre, Majestic Theatre, opened in 1906 and is a beloved venue located just off the Capitol Square. From admired performers, to themed dance parties, a fun time and a great view is guaranteed at this intimate theatre.

The Orpheum Theater is a live performance and music theater centrally located on State Street making it a centerpiece of downtown Madison. This large yet intimate theatre style-venue has hosted an abundance of nationally renowned musicians.

Located in the heart of Willy Street is Cafe Coda, Madison's premier jazz space. This beloved jazz club owned by jazz legend Hanah Jon Taylor offers and up close and personal live music experience with it's bar and food options and cozy seating.

The Sylvee is Madison's newest music venues where up-and comers and beloved favorites put on shows you won't forget. Whether you like to enjoy live music in the general admission standing room, seated in the balcony or from a cozy VIP suite, every concert go-er can be satisfied. 

Celebrating it's 20 year anniversary this year, High Noon Saloon is a music venue that hosts up-and-coming local and touring acts as well as larger beloved bands. Along with their indoor venue space, their rooftop patio offers free live music during the summer. 

North Street Cabaret is a music venue on the North side of Madison dedicated to the presentation of roots music. The space offers a variety of music genres including jazz, blues, bluegrass, gospel, traditional country, folk, Tejano and so much more. 

Along with being the home field for the Madison Forward FC soccer team, Breese Stevens Field has played as host to many well known artists. This outdoor venue offers the best spot for a concert on a summer night.

Liquid Madison is a busy and successful college-town indie music venue. Located on University Avenue, Liquid is nationally recognized for their quality electronic music. Regularly hosting DJs and EDM artists, this 18+ club with get you out and moving. 



The Memorial Union Terrace is considered to have one of the best views in Madison — and it’s made even better with music! Pull up a sunburst chair, grab a bite to eat and listen to live music while seated on the popular stone patio located alongside Lake Mendota.

The Monona Terrace features two summer music series events on its rooftop: Concerts on the Rooftop and Dane Dances, Enjoy free live music while watching the sun set over sparkling Lake Monona. Along with it's rooftop concerts, Monona Terrace hosts Candlelight Concerts in their lecture hall showcasing classical versions of today's biggest artists.

Bringing your own blanket is the best way to reserve your seat for Concerts on the Square, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s six-week, Wednesday night concert series.


When it’s warm outside, we love to celebrate with food and music festivals. From Memorial Day to Labor Day and every week in between, it’s easy to fill your calendar with multi-day music events.

Brat Fest – A Madison tradition that kicks off summer, including local and regional acts along with one of the Midwest’s best menu items: grilled brats!

Sugar Maple Music Festival – This family-friendly, two-day outdoor festival celebrates traditional music and dance through performances, educational workshops and interactive jam sessions.  Grab your dancin’ shoes and experience this summertime event held at Lake Farm County Park.

Taste of Madison – As summer winds down, four live stages spaced all around the Capitol Square heat up with local and regional acts that perform throughout Labor Day weekend. A perfect mix of eating and live entertainment!

Make Music Madison – Every year on June 21st, Madison comes alive with sound. Free outdoor performances across the city are a wonderful way to welcome summer. 

Atwood Fest – One of Madison's hippest neighborhoods comes together for their favorite annual music festival. Food and craft vendors abound in an artistic, and delicious, weekend of fun. 

La Fête de Marquette – This iconic summer festival is free and features dozens of musical acts, fare from local restaurants and a movie under the stars. 


Festivals and Fairs

Looking for Madison, WI, festivals & fairs for your 2024? These events are sure to top your...

Farmers' Markets

In Madison, we love to shop for and cook with our own produce. Not convinced? Our bounty of daily...

Madison Tours and Tastings

Your guide to all the best tours in Madison, WI is here. Book an experience that fits your vibe from...

Theater & Performing Arts

Orchestral masterpieces at the concert hall. Booming bass down the street. That’s just a taste...

Submit Your Event

Our event calendar is filled with events and activities for all to enjoy while visiting Greater...