Despite what other cities (read: Seattle) might like to think, Spokane does in fact have a thriving music scene. Nearly every genre under the sun is represented, and both local and national touring acts have room to shine. Here’s a look at a few venues doing their part to keep the music scene in Spokane alive.
If you’re looking for a cozy, but not too cozy, place to catch a concert, the Bartlett, 228 W. Sprague Ave., is the place to go. Caleb and Karli Ingersoll opened the 150-person-capacity venue in 2013, and it quickly became a favorite among music fans in Spokane. With benches lining the walls and string lights above the stage, the almost always all-ages venue is warm and inviting. The Bartlett has also done a lot to highlight local artists with events like Northwest of Nashville, Northwest of New Orleans and open mic nights.
The Big Dipper
You can’t miss the bright blue building on the corner of Washington Street and Second Avenue. Or, for that matter, the image of an ethereal woman perched on top of the venue’s namesake constellation. Following a stint as the home of the Empyrean Coffee House, the Big Dipper, 171 S. Washington St., was renovated and reopened in 2014. Since then, the venue has hosted both local and national acts as well as private parties. The venue also boasts a commercial kitchen and full-service bar.
Bing Crosby Theater
In its 102-year history, the building at 901 W. Sprague Ave. now known as the Bing Crosby Theater has been known by many names. When it opened in 1915, the building was called the Clemmer Theater. In 1929, it was renamed the Audian. Two years later, it became the State Theater, and after being closed for three years for renovations, the theater reopened in 1988 as the Met. The building has been called the Bing Crosby Theater since 2006. The 744-seat venue hosts concerts, comedians, film festivals, live and filmed theatrical performances and more.
INB Performing Arts Center
Formerly known as the Spokane Opera House, the INB Performing Arts Center is one of the few remaining facilities from Expo ’74. The 2,700-seat venue at 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. is like a chameleon, able to be reconfigured to host symphony, rock and country concerts, opera and ballet performances, musicals, conventions, lectures and more. The venue is also available for meetings, conferences, holiday parties and weddings, and orchestra, terrace and balcony seating means everyone has a great view.
The Knitting Factory
A staple of downtown Spokane, the 1,500-person-capacity Knitting Factory, 919 W. Sprague Ave., is one of the few midsized venues in town, hosting both national touring acts and local musicians. Those who can always be found at the Knit can purchase annual passes that include admission for two to every show at the venue as well as presale opportunities and occasional comps for other Knitting Factory Entertainment events. To get the best spot, those 21 and older can head into the venue’s restaurant before a show. The Knitting Factory is also available for weddings and receptions and private events.
Martin Woldson Theater
at the Fox
Over the course of its 86-year tenure at the corner of Sprague Avenue and Monroe Street, the Fox (now called the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox) has welcomed the biggest stars of music, theater and film. Nowadays, the venue at 1001 W. Sprague Ave. is probably best known as the home of the Spokane Symphony, though a diverse group of entertainers still grace the Fox stage. The theater recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of a major renovation, and shows no sign of slowing down.
Once housed just across the Monroe Street Bridge, the Pin now calls downtown home. Though open to a variety of genres, the Pin, 412 W. Sprague Ave., specializes in metal and rap and puts the spotlight on both local and national acts. The Pin also boasts 12 craft beers on tap, 10 LED flat screens, billiards and pinball.
From concerts to hockey games to monster truck shows, the Spokane Arena can handle it all. The Arena, 720 W. Mallon Ave., can hold 5,529 people in the Star Theatre, 9,916 people during hockey games, 11,736 during basketball games, and between 8,039 and 11,661 people depending on the concert setup. The Arena hosted country superstars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood in November 2017 for seven sold-out shows.
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