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Something for everyone : Finding your new favorite band at an 18-and-over venue 

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Don't ever let anyone convince you that there isn't a great live music scene in San Luis Obispo and its surrounding cities.

There is something for everybody. Whether it's well-known touring bands, local singer-songwriters, indie music, DIY, or punk, you will find something that you like.

However, a lot of the music experiences around here are geared for those 21 years of age or older—which can be a problem for thousands of young students looking to groove, mosh, and more.

Luckily, there are plenty of spots to find music for the 18-plus crowd. Here's a list of my favorites.

click to enlarge GET DOWN WITH THE LETDOWNS There's a seemingly endless stream of live music in SLO County, especially with all-ages venues like Dark Nectar Coffee in Atascadero hosting local acts like the Letdowns for a night of good times. - COURTESY PHOTO BY LUCAS THEAKER
  • Courtesy Photo By Lucas Theaker
  • GET DOWN WITH THE LETDOWNS There's a seemingly endless stream of live music in SLO County, especially with all-ages venues like Dark Nectar Coffee in Atascadero hosting local acts like the Letdowns for a night of good times.

All ages

Dark Nectar Coffee

5915 Entrada Ave., Atascadero

Who knew this cozy coffee shop hosts some of the wildest shows in the county?

Tucked away in the heart of downtown Atascadero, Dark Nectar is the new kid on the block, and it's making itself known with some of the most unique lineups and audiences in the scene.

Whether you're catching local hard-core punk acts or a touring European black metal band, there is plenty to mosh to. Keep up with their shenanigans on Instagram @darknectarcoffee.

Liquid Gravity Brewery

675 Clarion Court, San Luis Obispo

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this place. There is something about the wide open space it has, and the range of bands it supports, coupled with the local food trucks that make an afternoon, evening, and even a brunch one hell of a time.

Find out what's happening there on Instagram @liquidgravitybrewingco.

Satellite of Love

1335 Walker St., San Luis Obispo

If you ever wanted your local "Tiny Desk Concert" fix, this is the place for you. From acoustic singers/songwriters to jazz poetry nights to touring rock acts, nothing quite beats seeing a band play in front of bookshelves (I don't make the rules, that's just how it is).

Keep up with the happenings on Instagram @asattelliteoflove.

Bang the Drum Brewery

1150 Laurel Lane, No. 130, San Luis Obispo

This is a lovely little hidden gem tucked away in San Luis Obispo. The unique architecture combined with the sheer amount of variety in song (and pie) is just the icing on the cake for this family-friendly venue.

With acts ranging from local and touring to open mics to karaoke nights, they have you covered for when the family is in town or you're just ooking for a comfy night.

Find out what's happening this week by checking out @bangthedrumbrewery on Instagram.

click to enlarge ROCK OUT, RINSE, REPEAT(ER) All-ages venues like Dark Nectar in Atascadero (pictured here hosting local act Repeater) bring the fun for music fans of all ages and tastes. - COURTESY PHOTO BY AIDEN DILLON
  • Courtesy Photo By Aiden Dillon
  • ROCK OUT, RINSE, REPEAT(ER) All-ages venues like Dark Nectar in Atascadero (pictured here hosting local act Repeater) bring the fun for music fans of all ages and tastes.

SLO Brew Rock

855 Aerovista Place, San Luis Obispo

This place rocksliterally and figuratively. An awesome blend of venue, eatery, and variety, The Rock boasts an experience that will please any music fan, any day of the week.

Sometimes it's a local act that has taken flight and is opening for a touring band, other times it's a reggae or country legend. Most of you will see a show here (or already have) but it's worth including, just in case you didn't know about it.

Keep up with the musical madness on Instagram @slobrewlive.


21 and over

Barrelhouse Brewery Co. Taproom

1033 Chorro St., SLO

I love this place. From the staff to the cool underground secret vibe, to the bands, and especially the beer, it's hard to beat for me and I've found many a cool band, person, and tune down in the basement.

Keep up with on Instagram @bhbcslo.

click to enlarge FIND YOUR FAV Looking for a place that has live music? SLO County has you covered—from Dark Nectar (pictured here hosting the debut of local act Typewriter) to SLO Brew Rock, and beyond. - COURTESY PHOTO BY AIDEN DILLON
  • Courtesy Photo By Aiden Dillon
  • FIND YOUR FAV Looking for a place that has live music? SLO County has you covered—from Dark Nectar (pictured here hosting the debut of local act Typewriter) to SLO Brew Rock, and beyond.

Frog and Peach

728 Higuera St., SLO

I feel like every person, whether a student or just a resident, should catch a band here at least once. It's such an iconic spot in local culture and the variety of acts they have will be the perfect start (or end) to a great night out.

BA Start

647 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo

One of the newer faces to the scene is a spot with endless entertainment: BA Start bar and arcade.

Part bar, part arcade, they host DJ parties, local acts, and more to keep anyone happy for the entire night.

Find @bastartarcadebarslo on Instagram. Δ

Reach Staff Writer Adrian Vincent Rosas about all the venues he forgot to mention at [email protected].

Readers Poll

Do you think the SLO County Board of Supervisors should have gone against their policy that states funding for independent special districts should not result in a net fiscal loss to the county?

  • A. Yes, the housing and job opportunity the Dana Reserve is bringing is important
  • B. No, it's giving special privileges to the Nipomo Community Services District
  • C. I trust them, they know what's best for the county
  • D. What's going on?

View Results

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