After a day of skiing, hiking, and fishing in Bozeman, it’s time to relax. Luckily for Bozmanites and visitors alike, there are quite a few music venues to unwind and enjoy live music that can cater to any taste, from opera and symphonies to country and rock.
Picking the best of these venues is an almost impossible task. Locals will defend their favorite music joint to the last breath, and the topic is a favorite for barroom debate.
To help you decide on the best live music venues in Bozeman, Montana, we have put together a list of some of our favorites.
Best Live Music Venues in Bozeman, Montana
The Ellen is the most historic venue on this list and has been a fixture in the Bozeman theater and music scene since 1919 when the doors first opened.
It quickly became a well-known stop on the Vaudville circuit and has brought talent from all over the country to Bozeman.
Today it is easy to feel like you stepped back in time when entering this beautiful venue. Stunning crown molding and gilded carvings make this building a royal ambiance.
The Ellen boasts of a diverse lineup of genres and often features world-renowned musicians and bands. In the last year, they have hosted Tim Kliphuis and Jimmy Grant playing Great Gypsy Jazz Duet and Talisk, a popular Scottish band, to just name a few.
More than just music resides in this theater, and locals can find some sort of entertainment every day of the week from film festivals, classic movie nights, and musicals.
Located in the middle of downtown, this venue is surrounded on all sides by local restaurants to make dinner with a show an extremely walkable reality.
2. The Rialto
Another historic venue, The Rialto first opened its doors as a music venue in 1924 after the post office and storefront built in 1908 were vacated.
This venue has been renovated multiple times. Most recently, it was reopened in 2018 after standing dormant for ten years.
The new space offers a large variety of events in three unique spaces, the Burn Box, the Black Box, and the Light Box which each offer their own unique ambiance.
This variety allows concert-goers to have different experiences for each show they attend making this venue feel like three spots all wrapped up into one.
The Rialto has hosted many acts, which tend to lean towards rock and alternative music, although folk and country are often commonly on the stage. Bands such as Tommy Castro and The Painkillers and Bozeman’s own Kitchen Dwellers please crowds among the bright, choreographed lights where concertgoers can mosh or hang back by the drinks.
Speaking of drinks, this venue also has an outstanding bar that is always stocked with beer, wine, and unique craft cocktails, which, coupled with its proximity to downtown, allows for easy walking to other bars and restaurants.
The Rialto also rents out its rooms for private events, making it a fun and classy location for parties and receptions.
3. The Filling Station
Sticking to its roots in 1976, the Filling Station serves as a rowdy rock venue conveniently located on the road down from Bridger Bowl, allowing music enthusiasts still in their ski boots to see a good show on the way back to town.
One of the things that makes this spot so great is the consistency of acts. With live music every Friday and Saturday, regulars at the Filling Station can always have plans to see a band every weekend.
The Filling Station is renowned for showcasing local and regional talent, allowing Bozeman artists to have a unique place to perform and show the community what they can do.
Without an official website, the Filling Station operates primarily through social media and word of mouth to get the word out about their shows and through Chickenjam West, a local production company.
With good food, cheap drinks, and great jams, this local favorite allows all of the flavors of the Bozeman music scene without breaking the bank.
4. The Elm
One of Bozeman’s newest music venues, The Elm, has already become a favorite due to the diversity of performances and a large dance floor that allows concert-goers to let loose on the dance floor.
The Elm opened with the eight-time Grammy-nominated band Death Cab for Cutie playing in September 2021 and kept the show going with a power-house lineup.
Both the interior and exterior of this building reflect the pride Bozeman has in its unique architecture and design, adding another one-of-a-kind building to the town.
Despite being a new venue, the following and acts that The Elm has brought to town have already made it a community favorite, one that often sells out quickly, and is certainly worth checking out to see more famous bands than some of the other venues on this list have in their lineups.
One could be forgiven for thinking this intimate venue was just a live radio station, but that mistake could cost a person one of the most unique musical experiences in town.
With a capacity of just 50 people and only four to six shows each month, Live from the Divide allows concert-goers to hear American roots music in a 100-year-old building near the old railyard.
Located on the Northside of town tucked in a neighborhood surrounded by breweries this venue doesn’t look like much from the outside, this unassuming facade plays into the charm.
Live from the Divide makes attendees feel like they are in on a secret. The nearby breweries including Bozeman Brewing Company and Mountains Walking Brewery place this venue in the perfect spot for a night beer and personal show.
Live from the Divide was recently renovated and can now be rented for gatherings of all kinds, from private shows to business events, making it the perfect place to plan a party or to see a band so close that it feels like they are playing in your own home.
6. The Jump
For a taste of mostly country music and rock and the opportunity to get away from the bustle of Main Street, The Jump offers music goers a laid-back location full of food, live music, and dancing.
With regular events such as Two-Step Tuesdays and Western Swing Wednesdays that offer dancing teachers and music, this venue offers more than just live music and is a fun spot any day of the week.
The Marketplace is a store selling a wide range of products, including books, spa supplies, and the work of local artists and artisans.
The Gastropub features hearty meals that include wild meats and a wide selection of appetizers allowing people visiting this venue only to have to go to the Jump for the full experience of dinner, drinks, and a show.
The Jump is a slightly out of town venue that brings the heart of the Bozeman and surrounding communities together for a good time with a wide variety of activities.
Not quite in Bozeman, but a list of the best music venues wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include Pine Creek Lodge. This gem of an outdoor venue. In located in Livingston and is a quick 45-minute drive from downtown Bozeman.
For those willing to brave the highway to get there, Pine Creek is a fantastic outdoor venue that hosts many bands, including local favorites Pinky and the Floyd, that play at this location every summer. Many other well-known bands have passed through the trees of this venue, such as the Young Dubliners and The Jayhawks
With beer, wine, and burritos, this venue in the heart of Paradise Valley is the perfect spot to enjoy all of the natural beauty of Montana while listening to music in the great outdoors.
If the drive back to town isn’t on the agenda for the night, then concert-goers can camp at the many tent sites or rent one of the six cabins on-site and watch the show from their porch.
There are also shuttles to and from the venue on concert days, making this a good pick for music lovers who want to have a few drinks and a safe ride back to town.
Pine Creek Lodge is also dog friendly, so there’s no reason to get a pet sitter or worry about Fido the whole night.