From the historic 7th Street Blues Walk of Fame to regular drum circles at the Lake Merritt pergola, Oakland is a city that moves to a musical beat. Oakland is blessed with several large performance venues, including the Fox Theater and Paramount Theater in Uptown, and the Oakland Arena near the Coliseum BART station. But it’s Oakland’s smaller spaces where local tastes and homegrown talent are on full display. A visit to one of these cozy clubs is a great way to enjoy the unique musical culture of The Town!

  1. Crybaby
  2. Eli's Mile High Club
  3. The New Parish
  4. The Soundroom
  5. Yoshi's
  6. More Events

Crybaby: An extravagant Victorian-style bar forms the centerpiece of this sleek, dark, mid-sized venue in the heart of Oakland’s Uptown entertainment district. Crybaby is nothing if not varied; touring artists and DJ nights run the gamut from hip-hop to indie-rock to Latin pop. A state-of-the-art digital sound system, back patio, and 400-person capacity make it a popular venue for label showcases and long-running local dance parties.


Eli's Mile High Club

An old-school blues club turned old-at-heart dive bar in Northwest Oakland’s Bushrod neighborhood, Eli’s Mile High Club serves as a performance space for punk and rock bands, and, occasionally, as an art gallery. Sister venue Thee Stork Club in Uptown also leans toward rock and punk music: indie bands and surprise shows from local legends make up much of the packed calendar. Both clubs host DJ and karaoke nights in addition to live music, and include patios.

The New Parish

For hip-hop and pop fans, the New Parish books up-and-coming, local and legendary artists alike in their breezy Uptown location. Like several other venues in Oakland, New Parish’s indoor-outdoor layout takes advantage of the California climate. Dance parties, performance art and comedians round out the club’s offerings.

The Sound Room

The Sound Room is a non-profit performance space run by a couple who started out by hosting visiting jazz musicians for home-based concerts. The custom-built venue, just north of Downtown Oakland, offers a friendly space and appreciative crowd to jazz and world music greats and up-and-comers alike.


Since 1979, Yoshi’s has presented respected jazz and pop musicians to Oakland audiences alongside Japanese-fusion cuisine and colorful cocktails. Old-school hip-hop artists and 1960s rock legends round out an eclectic lineup that plays the tiered, 330-seat nightclub. Reserve a table timed to your concert to enjoy an East-meets-West menu that’s sure to please.

Performers at Yoshi's Oakland

More Events!

There are many other ways to see music in The Town. Oakland's monthly First Friday street party includes bands as part of the festival and in bars along the route. Every Friday during the dry season, OMCA hosts an evening event with food trucks and a performance, usually musical. Annual summer festivals with large musical lineups include Lakefest in June, Mosswood Meltdown in July, and, in September, Oakland Pride and Hiero Day.

See all that The Town has to offer! Check out our Digital Inspiration Guide and start planning your trip!