If you’re a fan of music, you’ll know that live performances offer something that recorded music doesn’t. It adds a measure of energy and authenticity, and it also provides an opportunity for a closer connection between the musician and the listener. Listening to live music is also a great way to have fun and enjoy an evening. Whatever your reasons for listening, here are some of the best places to enjoy live music in Galena, IL. And, if you’re looking for other things to do while in Galena, our free Vacation Guide is a huge time-saver!
How to Experience Live Music in Galena, IL
Visit a Restaurant
If you’re looking for somewhere where you can find entertainment, top-notch food, and a classy though welcoming atmosphere, Log Cabin is the place for you. This restaurant has a lively piano bar on Saturday nights—order a drink and stay for a while! If you plan to eat here, it may be a good idea to get a reservation beforehand. Thanks to the quality, the Log Cabin tends to be busy!
For a restaurant with a laid-back atmosphere and delicious food (late night or otherwise), try Embe! This gem tucked away on Galena’s Main Street features live music every weekend.
Relax With a Drink
If you’d like somewhere more casual where you can relax with a beer and some pub fare while enjoying live music, the following Galena bars offer nightlife in unique settings.
The Cornerstone | Live Music Wednesday-Sunday
If you only visit one bar while in Galena, make it the Cornerstone. You’ll find live music here on some weekdays as well as the weekends. In addition, local musicians like to come here, and spur-of-the-moment jam sessions are not uncommon! There’s a full bar, a wide selection of beers, a pool table, and a dart board, so you’ll have everything you need to have a good time! The Cornerstone is a bit of a hole-in-the-wall, but this lends a relaxed, intimate atmosphere to the venue.
Live Music Friday-Sunday Afternoons at Council Hill
Council Hill Station is another unique gem among the bars in Galena. Step inside the old general store or barn and drift back in time for a while. This is a great place to spend some time in conversation with others while enjoying a drink and live music from local musicians.
If you are in search of a refreshing glass of craft beer, head on over to Galena Brewing Company! Local history influences their award-winning brews, many of which bear names of historical figures. Stop in to see what they have on tap—it changes throughout the year as seasonal beers are made available.
Discover fantastic drinks and a fun atmosphere when you visit Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape. Everything about this bar is top-notch, from the excellent service to the creative cocktails and lively music. The vibrant atmosphere at Miss Kitty’s makes for a great place to go on the weekend!
Attend a Concert
In addition to restaurants and bars that provide live music year-round, Galena also enjoys concerts and music festivals throughout the year. A popular local festival is the Galena Festival of the Performing Arts. It began as a celebration of classical music but has since expanded its repertoire to include diverse genres including jazz, Celtic, bluegrass, folk, and more. This festival takes place during the second week in July each year.
Find Something Exciting and New to Add to Your Musical Itinerary with Every Trip This Way
It’s fair to say that Galena is a destination that calls to travelers with a passion for history and scenery in equal measure. This locale is rich in stories and vistas that make a trip memorable with every booking. The versatility that visitors find within the boundaries of Galena also extends to its ever-growing music scene. Much to the delight of those who are looking to define their Galena getaway through performances, impromptu musical experiences, and stops that pair the best of flavors with musical fun—there’s no shortage of options to choose from! Diversifying that music-focused itinerary in Galena is a breeze when you know where to start looking. The following are a few more of the many options that are sure to provide an incredible audible experience when you’re next in the area!
Live at the Plaza
There’s nothing quite like a stroll along Main Street when your travel plans bring you to Galena between June 2nd and October 13th. This time of year, downtown is celebrated in musical style every Thursday night between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Those who head this way will find themselves immersed in a space where food vendors and local performances collide in harmony. It’s a pedestrian-friendly and admission-free event that highlights talented local artists while visitors can simultaneously check out the local galleries, eateries, and boutiques alike.
While this musical event is a fan favorite amongst locals and visitors alike, there’s even more to look forward to in 2022! Between May 26th and September 29th, those looking for a family-friendly experience complete with street musicians, fun performances, and the beverage and food selection to match will find it at Live at the Plaza! This new addition to the city’s lineup is hosted at Green Street Plaza at 110 Green Street on the last Thursday even of each month. While the performances are sure to please, the atmosphere is vibrant and every Live at the Plaza event has a specific monthly theme as well. In June, Live at the Plaza celebrates diversity and inclusion while September’s performances will revolve around Hispanic Heritage. Those who drop by to enjoy the fun before the series comes to an end will have access to amazing Latino vendors on-site as well as musicians bringing the best of Latino musical culture front and center. During Live at the Plaza, the Galena Downtown Business Association partners with the event to ensure a variety of Main Street businesses also stay open late. Event participants will find that businesses run a variety of promotional deals and options to win prizes in the spirit of musical fun! It’s an event you certainly won’t want to miss out on.
Enjoy Time Taking in a Show at Galena Brewing Company
Beyond the savory menu selections notoriously found at Galena Brewing Co, this is an incredible destination for those who are looking to pair flavor with live performances! Located at 227 N. Main Street, Galena Brewing Company is a great place to settle in with friends and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere where it’s just as easy to offer up a house draft as it is to pair an import with bar bites. The Galena Brewing Company enjoys extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm. It’s during these times that guests can count on enjoying a variety of performances that happen within the brewery’s spacious hall. Casual musical presentations have been the standard at Galena Brewing Company over the past 9 years and the scene is still going strong! While the stage welcomed large 10-person bands once upon a time, these days, you’re more likely to encounter smaller, acoustic acts to create a welcoming environment for everyone that’s suitable to the acoustics in the setting as well.
Reservations aren’t required to make the most of these performances, simply show up early to get a great seat and settle in for a musical treat. In addition to live music, the Galena Brewing Company also hosts weekly karaoke sessions and trivia nights. Be sure to keep an eye on their event calendar for updates to the schedule and special additions. Upcoming shows at the Galena location in September 2022 include Tony Walker, The Danny Parker Project, and Shekinah King just to name a few.
Check Out Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape
Looking for a truly unique, delicious, and endlessly entertaining place to take in a showing Galena? Make your way to Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape for an experience you won’t soon forget! Situated at 242 N. Main Steet, Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape is open Monday through Friday from 4:00 pm until 1:00 am and Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 1:00 am. This dual cocktail lounge and entertainment hall is a perfect place to sit back and relax with a martini while taking in a show with friends. The venue is located right in the heart of downtown and if you swing by on a Saturday before 3:00 pm, you’ll be right in time to take advantage of the Build Your Own Bloody Mary Buffet! Food is served up at Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape until 1:00 am every morning and some of the menu highlights here you’ll want to try include the cheese and meat tray, bruschetta, salmon wrap, and the seafood platter! Of course, if you have a sweet tooth to satisfy and you’re hoping to make a night of it with a focus on desserts, that’s never a problem at Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape. Guests are invited to order up everything from homemade pie to what’s known as The Sexy Dessert—a whipped cream, chocolate, and fresh strawberry concoction that’s sure to satisfy the tastebuds.
The cocktail menu at Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape adds a flavorful twist to every visit. The specialty martini menu ranges from options like the lemonade shake-up and cherry-tini, to a pomegranate mix and cosmopolitans too. The dessert martini list is designed to impress with selections like coconut cream pie, truffle, butterscotch, and chocolate covered cherry all acting as option highlights!
While the cocktail menu is a must-try, those who head this way do so as much for the libation as the entertainment. A stop at Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape isn’t an experience in straining to overcome vivacious crowds. Instead, it’s a relaxed affair where you can sip a drink and enjoy talented locals as they take to the stage in style. Live entertainment is on the lineup every weekend night beginning at 9:00 pm and shows on Sundays come with homemade Sangria to match! Hoping to try out your own skills on stage? Head this way on Sundays at noon when open mic hour is in full swing.
While enjoying a drink and show at Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape is always a fun social experience, private gatherings can also be booked in advance. With a reservation, guests booking experiences of this type can match gourmet appetizers with specialty drinks and have everything served up by a personal bartender. Music can be infused into the moment as well, creating a great night for everyone!
Relax at Farmers Guest House
You will be within walking distance from some of the best music in Galena when you stay at Farmers Guest House! Our charming historic inn is in the heart of downtown, just steps away from Main Street. Since Galena is a small town, walking from place to place is a fantastic way to explore, so making Farmers Guest House your first stop ensures that your vacation will be off to a great start.
Additionally, Farmers Guest House has a long-standing tradition of greeting guests which began over 150 years ago, in 1867, as the Farmers Home Hotel. A stay at Farmers Guest House is an experience in Galena’s history. From the rooms named after the wives of Civil war generals to elegant decor, our inn is the perfect balance of authentic Galena charm and modern amenities. Beyond comfortable beds and luxurious Whirlpool tubs, we host a scrumptious breakfast every morning for our guests, and evening WineTime, ensuring you will get the most out of your retreat.