Local music scene in Madison, WI

Who to look out for + where to find them.

Guitarist and drummer playing on stage

Sex, Fear performing a basement show at Harrison House.

Photo by @sexcommafear

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Between the Alliant Energy Center + FPC Live venues (Think: The Sylvee, Majestic, and Orpheum), Madison is a must-play city for major artists.

While the big names are always a pleasure to have in town, the local music scene in Madison is just as rich and vibrant, and they’re always in town. You can often find live performances happening at smaller venues, local parks, events + festivals, yard shows, and bars.

📍 Where to find local artists

Lisa Link Peace Park | Tucked away on State Street, this spot is popular during street fairs + is always booked through the summer months. The natural amphitheater set-up is perfect for live performances.

Yard + Basement Shows | While this isn’t a specific venue, the music community in Madison puts on full-production backyard + basement shows. See multiple local bands get together to jam out and play their hits. Ask around in your community or keep tabs on local artists to catch a show.

The Rigby Pub | Keep your eye on the event schedule of this eclectic pub to catch shows from some of the artists we list below.

👥 Who to look out for

Sex, Fear | This post-punk band focuses on creating brooding and angular music while retaining a sardonic sense of humor + playfulness along the way.

RAF and Company | Presenting a contemporary fusion of pop, rock, and jazz — this band seeks to redefine what it means to be a musical healer by blending the lines between spectator + performer.

Kat and the Hurricane | Every genre. Every gender. This queer pop/rock group’s music will make you sad in the best way possible.

Excuse Me, Who Are You? | This up-and-coming midwest-emo band has an EP releasing next week. Keep your eyes out for “About That Beer I Owed Ya” out Oct. 28.

Next time you’re in the mood for a killer concert or want to explore a new side of Madison, keep these local artists in mind. That way, when they’re headlining at the Alliant Energy Center someday, you can say you were there from the beginning.

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