A guide to the best music venues in CU


By Kiran Bond, buzz Editor

Champaign-Urbana has a vibrant music scene and many venues that host all kinds of music and live acts. 


Canopy Club 

Located in the heart of campus at 708 S. Goodwin Ave. in Urbana, Canopy Club hosts a wide variety of events and artists. According to its website, the venue has hosted artists like Fall Out Boy, Snoop Dog and Smashing Pumpkins. 

The venue has three setups for shows: a small stage near their bar; the small hall, a smaller version of the large setup which provides a more intimate setting; and the theater, the full-size venue that hosts large sets. 

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Canopy Club also hosts themed nights like Latin Night, Swift Me Away, Nintendo Rave and K-pop Night.

Notably, the venue is hosting indie pop band Peach Pit on Aug. 1. 

A full event calendar can be found here.


Rose Bowl Tavern

Dubbed “Urbana’s home for music and drinks since 1946,” the venue-slash-bar has an impressive lineup of regular performers. Located at 106 N. Race St., the venue usually hosts one to three musical events per night. 

Most events are jazz or folk groups, but the venue also sees open mic nights, trivia nights and musicians of all genres. 

A full event calendar can be found here.


Krannert Center for the Performing Arts 

A University-run venue, the KCPA hosts many musical events on its five indoor stages. It also has an outdoor amphitheater. 

At 500 S. Goodwin Ave. in Urbana, the KCPA hosts performances of many musicals and choral, orchestral and band performances, as well as various touring musical acts. 

According to the KCPA’s website, the block-long building’s history began in 1962 when the Krannert family made “a large contribution to the University of Illinois and chose to build a performing arts center because they believed that to experience the arts was ‘one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences people can enjoy.’”

The KCPA opened in 1969 and has been hosting music ever since. 

A full event calendar can be found here


Virginia Theatre

Owned and operated by the Champaign Park District, the Virginia Theatre hosts a wide variety of events including the annual Roger Ebert Film Festival

The venue, established in 1921, is located at 203 W. Park Ave. in Champaign and regularly hosts movie screenings, musical performances, recitals and more. 

The venue is hosting American rock band Three Dog Night on July 13. 

A full list of events can be found here.


The Space

The Space is a new restaurant and music venue located at 1 E. Main St. in Champaign. The venue has hosted bands like OTNES and Emily The Band.

The Space also has a food menu, though all menus are “subject to our whims and thus constant change,” as listed on the venue’s website.

The owners of the venue also sell many kinds of hot sauce, titled “Weird Meat Boyz sauce.” 

The venue’s upcoming shows can be found here.

Huber’s West End Store

Huber’s is a tavern that regularly hosts live musicians. According to its website, Huber’s is family-owned and all are welcome.

The tavern, at 1312 W. Church St., also offers food and drinks along with video gaming and darts. 

A list of upcoming events can be found here


Neil St. Blues

A local restaurant that sporadically hosts live music events, Neil St. Blues has seen drag shows, tribute concerts and soul, reggae, Motown and blues concerts. 

According to the restaurant’s website, it offers Southern-style cuisine.

Upcoming events can be found here.


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