Portland Nightlife: Get ready for fun and variety

Portland's reputation as a commercial and cultural hub is perhaps no more apparent than in its nightlife attractions. The live music and theater scenes are especially strong in neighborhoods throughout the city. Portland has proven to be a magnet for up and coming indie music groups who have built loyal followings as they perform from venue to venue. College students attending such local places of higher learning as the University of Southern Maine and the University of New England account for much of the fan base for these traveling troupes of musicians. Portland's cultural diversity shines in the vast offerings of musical acts which range from blues and soul to psychedelic folk, jazz, country, rock, metal, and punk. Many clubs have carved out their own particular niche among musical genres. For instance, Port City Music Hall is home to many metal, indie and punk performers. Meanwhile, many national folk, acoustic and bluegrass groups have graced the stage of the much beloved One Longfellow Square. True to Portland's roots as a working class city, you'll meet all sorts of music lovers at these destinations – from white collar upwardly mobile types to hipsters and artists and blue collar fans. When it comes to theater, many production companies have found welcome audiences in Portland. The breadth and depth of stage offerings in this city is truly remarkable. It ranges from the traditional Broadway presentations at places like the Ogunquit Playhouse to the daring and insightful stage productions of the Mad Horse Theatre Company in South Portland. No matter what your tastes in nightlife entertainment, you can probably find what you're seeking somewhere in Portland.

Empire Dine and Dance
Photo courtesy of Empire Dine and Dance


If you're looking to rub shoulders with Portland's hipster community, there is perhaps no better place to explore than Empire Dine and Dance. This venue features diverse entertainment offerings including bluegrass, jazz, blues, folk and soul...  Read More



One Longfellow Square has become one of the most dynamic, engaging venues for concert-friendly blues, folk and rock performances. Centrally located at the corners of Congress and State streets at the start of Portland's Arts District, this...  Read More

Port City Music Hall


Fans of progressive and indie-type music performances will find much to like about Port City Music Hall. This former Art Deco-designed department store was redesigned into one of the top music venue destinations in Portland. Just about any night...  Read More

The Space Gallery


The Space Gallery is a premier urban arts center committed to presenting new and progressive works to the Portland cultural community. A visit to this destination is a great way to become immersed in the latest and greatest offerings in the...  Read More

Inn on the Blues
Photo courtesy of Inn on the Blues


Blues in nearby York. This legendary live music destination is a magnet for national blues and soul performers touring the New England region. This is especially true during the summer, the top tourist season along the southern Maine coast....  Read More



The Portland Symphony is legendary for providing a diverse array of performances throughout the season (typically Sept-May). Their versatility and high degree of musicianship enables members to perform music ranging from pops concerts to Mozart....  Read More

Portland Stage


As Maine's largest professional, non-profit theatre company, Portland Stage has earned a well-deserved reputation for presenting original, cutting-edge productions as well as their own twists on stage classics and favorites. Many of these plays...  Read More

Ogunquit Playhouse


For generations, the Ogunquit Playhouse has been bring professional theater to Maine's southern seacoast with outstanding results. This is classic theater that was once a mainstay of summer beach vacations. The Ogunquit specializes in musicals...  Read More

Mad Horse Theatre Company


If you're seeking theater that provokes thought and emotion, look no further than the Mad Horse Theatre Company in nearby South Portland. This dedicated, professional theatre ensemble specializes in presenting compelling, even daring productions...  Read More

Big Easy Blues Club
Photo courtesy of The Big Easy Blues Club


Looking for the best in independent music in New England? Then the Big Easy should definitely be included on your list. This intimate nightclub setting welcomes some of the leading lights in blues, soul and rock music to be found in the region....  Read More