Best place to hear local music and bands

Briana Phillips, Reporter

The Kent Stage, located at 175 E. Main St. downtown, features a classical theater sign above its entrance. (Sydney Pike)

FIRST: Kent Stage

Locally owned and operated on East Main Street is the Kent Stage, home to live music and theater. 

The owner, Tom Simpson, said he enjoys having an irregular job where he gets to work with artists and young people. 

“We are the only nationally known venue in Portage County,” Simpson said. “We have tremendous acoustics and famous acts.” 

The Plain Dealer deemed The Kent Stage the best acoustic venue in Northeast Ohio and the Stage is home to the full-service bar All Folked Up. This venue hosts about 100 concerts a year as well as film festivals, plays and music festivals.

The Outpost is a local music venue located at 4962 SR-43 in Kent, Ohio. (Savannah Monks)

SECOND: The Outpost Concert Club

Off the beaten path, away from most of the Kent scene is popular event and live music venue, The Outpost Concert Club. The Outpost prides itself on being a popular venue that works with younger artists as well as hosting unique events regularly.

Promoter Fran Bishop works with newer bands to help them grow in popularity. 

“All the Kent students that see us and come out to The Outpost are always happy to find that its other college student or people around their age making music,” Bishop said.

Certain events such as Emo Night stand out to students because they are “one big house party,” Bishop said.  

This 18 and up venue is looking to shake things up with the addition of Club Nights every Thursday by housing some of the biggest DJs in Ohio.

– Erie Street Kitchen and Venice Café, located at 163 W Erie St in Kent, serves south-style food to community members of Kent, OH. (Savannah Monks)

THIRD: Venice Cafe

One of the original bars and most popular locations in Kent, Venice Cafe, is also known for its live music. The cafe is a more laid-back music scene with about three to four bands a month.

The Venice Cafe has been around since 1941, which is why manager Jeff Crowe said the historic value adds to the venue. 

Crowe is looking to increase the number of musicians playing in his establishment and gain more traffic.

Briana Phillips is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]