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Bars with free live music

Bars in Glasgow with free live music

Bars in Glasgow with free live music

As the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow has a lively music scene. Find out where to stumble upon free live music, from traditional to jazz, in city bars.

A few people smiling and dancing in a dimly lit cosy bar. Musicians can be seen jamming at a table behind them.

Traditional Scottish bars with live music

The Ben Nevis Bar

One of the city's best known Scottish bars is The Ben Nevis Bar with its Highland Bothy feel. Traditional music sessions run each Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday (8pm to 11ish), with a few core musicians and guests each week. Find out more at

The Snaffle Bit

Expect a friendly welcome and live music, ranging from traditional fiddle sounds to singalong guitar, on an ad-hoc basis. Visit

The Islay Inn

Scottish bands set up in the bar each Friday and Saturday evening in The Islay Inn to play a range of traditional tunes and well-known covers. Visit for info.

Musicians sit around a table in the corner of a bar playing a range of musical instruments.

Babbity Bowster

Built on the site of an old monastery, Babbity Bowster is a laid-back bar and restaurant with an open fire place. They run live trad music sessions each Saturday (3-6pm). Check out to find out more

The Park Bar

The Park Bar has been on the go since 1895. Expect an impressive selection of Scottish drinks and the chance to hear traditional musicians each Thursday to Sunday. Visit

Music at historic city bars

Two musicians play guitar on a small stage in the corner of a bar in front of a Scotland flag and a Catalan flag.

The Clutha

Named after the Gaelic word for the River Clyde, The Clutha is a Glasgow institution with over 200 years of history. Famous fans include the likes of Billy Connolly, Jimmy Reid, Spike Milligan and Frank Zappa, some of whom feature on a gigantic mural outside the bar. Follow The Clutha on Facebook to find out about their live music, which is on every evening.

The Scotia

Across the road from The Clutha is The Scotia. Founded in 1792, The Scotia has a history of radical politics and attracted performers such as Billy Connolly and Gerry Rafferty. Visit The Scotia’s website for more info on their live music offering, on every Wednesday to Sunday.


Macsorley's has been a local favourite for over 100 years. Just 2 minutes walk from Central Station, Macsorley's has free live music 6 nights a week (closed Mondays). Solo acts perform Tuesday to Friday from 7-10pm, while at the weekends, solo acts perform from 3-7pm with bands on from 8-11pm. Visit Macsorley's website for more info.

The State Bar

After 25 years, the State Bar Blues Night is the UK's longest continuously running weekly blues jam at the same venue and with the same house band. Follow The State Bar blues jam on Facebook to find out when to see them.

Live music at well-known restaurants and bars

A singer smiles while singing into a microphone. One person in the crowd can be seen taking a selfie of themselves and the singer.

The Butterfly and the Pig

The shabby chic city centre restaurant and bar run a range of free music evenings including: Open mic (Tuesday) Jazz evening hosted by a Glasgow Jazz group (Wednesday); Live music with a different band each week (Friday and Saturday). Keep up-to-date via The Butterfly and the Pig's Facebook page.

The Machair Bar

Sister restaurant to the The Ben Nevis Bar is The Machair Bar on Great Western Road. The modern Scottish whisky bar attracts talented musicians to perform at their 'Machair Monday' and 'Tuesday Trad' sessions (both from 8pm). Check out for details.

A person playing guitar and singing on a mezzanine level in a wood panelled bar. People are socialising in the bar space below.

Waxy O'Connors

With 6 bars over 3 levels, Waxy O' Connor's is a labyrinth of staircases and passages. You can enjoy regular live music in the Church Bar every Thursday to Sunday, from traditional music to well-known covers. Visit Waxy's Facebook page for details.

The Lismore

This beautiful west end pub with its stained glass windows and old-worldy feel is a lovely spot to relax in to live music. They have Tuesday afternoon jazz sessions (3-6pm) and Sunday sessions (5-8pm). Follow The Lismore on Twitter for details.

The Howlin’ Wolf

Live Blues takes place in The Howlin' Wolf 7 days a week (11pm Monday-Friday, 6pm-8pm Saturday and 9pm-1am Sunday). With table service from their American Whiskey Bar, expect everything from solo sets to full blues bands to their weekly and free Killing Floor jam every Sunday for your chance to play alongside their house band. Visit for info.

Avant Garde

The Merchant City live music bar and restaurant Avant Garde has a range of music on, including Saturday jazz and swing during the day followed by a free evening ceilidh. Visit Avant Garde's website to find out which rock, blues, jazz and ceilidh bands perform here.

A group of musicians around a table beside a fireplace play their instruments, including a keyboard, guitar, accordion and fiddles.


Stravaigin bar and restaurant hosts a trad night every Tuesday from 9pm. Enjoy a drink and a sharing platter while taking in the lively tunes. Visit to find out more.

Maggie Rock n Rodeo

The Merchant City bar has recently been refurbished and is now an old-fashioned honky tonk bar. Expect line dancing, live rodeos, a Buckin Bronco and free live music, Nashville-style. Visit

Dukes Umbrella

Cosy gastropub Dukes Umbrella hosts a weekly trad session every Thursday from 6pm, making it a great place to hear Scottish folk music. Check out Dukes Umbrella website for more details.

Sweeney's on the Park

This southside neighbourhood bar has live music to accommodate all tastes with the likes of informal jam sessions, Rat Pack swing bands and folk & blues. The full schedule is available to view on Sweeneys on the Park's website.

Music in city hotel bars

Iasg Restaurant at Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel

Iasg feature resident and guest DJs each weekend. Friday evenings (6.30pm-10.30pm) are house and disco fusion; Saturday (3pm-11pm) is Balearic disco; and Sunday (1pm-5pm) is chilled out brunch vibes. Visit Iasg's website for details on which DJs are performing this month.

A DJ smiles from behind a booth while people dance on the dancefloor. The room is dark with foliage and round paper lantern lighting from the ceiling.

Red Sky Bar at Radisson Red

Going to a gig at the OVO Hydro? Start and end the evening at Radisson Red with live music in the Oui Bar (5.30-7.30pm and 10pm-midnight) to coincide with each OVO Hydro show. Enjoy riverside views and DJs in Red Sky Bar every Friday and Saturday (7pm-1am) with acts like Johnny Mac & The Faithful, Kevin McGuire and Robin Ashcroft. Find out more about this rooftop bar at

Music on Glasgow's famous Sauchiehall Street

Nice N Sleazys

Nice N Sleazys is home to Glasgow's longest running open mic acoustic night, which runs on Mondays downstairs (8pm-late); meanwhile upstairs is their weekly Bad Mama Jam. You can also enjoy their Damn Smooth Jazz evenings on the 3rd Sunday of every month (6-10pm). Visit for details.


Box on Sauchiehall Street has live music 7 nights a week. They run a range of nights including, Big Box Jam with their house band on Sundays (11am-2pm); open mic night hosted by band members of Fatherson and Prides on Tuesdays; plus they have regular nights with popular local bands, such as Skyline (Thursdays), and Franco (Mondays). Visit for info.

Did you know that Glasgow's status as a UNESCO City of Music makes it one of 13 UNESCO sites in Scotland? In a world first Scotland's UNESCO sites have been brought together to form a trail - discover more about each of these 13 wonders and the UNESCO trail at

Article last update: September 2023

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