You can’t have a music scene without providing places to hear music. From pint-sized bars to massive entertainment venues, Columbia is awash in concert venues that attract a remarkable variety of musicians.
Just steps away from a variety of hotels as well as dozens of bars and restaurants, the 18,000 seat, state-of-the-art Colonial Life Arena is South Carolina’s largest concert arena. “The quality of acts coming to Columbia really improved when Colonial Life Arena opened in 2002,” says tk concert promoter. “Artists really like the venue, too, which means they’ll come back and tell their artist friends about it.”
Two Columbia venues are notable for their remarkable acoustics. Built in 1988, the 2,254-seat Koger Center for the Arts hosts performances by the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra as well as artists like James Taylor and the Vienna Boys Choir. Open since 2014, the W.W. Hootie Johnson Performance Hall had its acoustics designed by JaffeHolden, whose resume includes Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
Then there’s the Township Auditorium, which was built in 1930 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Fully renovated in 2010, it has hosted everyone from Tony Bennett to Widespread Panic on its historic stage.