By DALEY JENNINGS
The music community of downtown Fredericksburg is severely underappreciated for a plethora of reasons. One reason is because it is difficult to know where to go over the weekend by word of mouth. Here is an unofficial guide to venues in downtown Fredericksburg.
The Bourbon Room
First up on our list is the Bourbon Room at 216 William Street, which is a 21 and up establishment that has its fair share of music shows upstairs, where its dance floor can double as an unofficial stage for their acts. While it’s a little cozier than other venues on this list, the sound set up and even stage to audience floor gives a more personal entertainment when seeing the acts that are featured there. Past notable acts include Kwallah tha God and $inbad.
Another place that features live music is the downtown coffee shop Katora at 615 Caroline Street, which is a good place for new musicians to build community with other Fredericksburg musicians. Katora gives them a safe space to perform and used to hold Fredericksburg’s first ever recording studio, which has since shut down. However, that does not stop some of Fredericksburg’s most promising acts from performing shows in the upstairs of the café. Unlike the Bourbon Room and 718 Venue, Katora does not serve alcoholic drinks so it is open to people of all ages who enjoy good music. Katora does not have a stage, so shows are played in the room in the upstairs of the coffee shop. It is a rather small space, with limited seating. Besides that, Katora also hosts a plethora of events, such as Mario Kart championships on Wednesdays.
KC’s Music Alley
Next up is KC’s Music Alley at 1719 Princess Anne Street, which doubles as a polka dancing studio, but is also known for hosting the majority of Fredericksburg’s punk rock acts. Unlike the cozy feeling of both the Bourbon Room and Katora, this venue has a wider and bigger space for more audience members, as well as an actual stage for the act as well as their equipment. This place is suitable for a more traditional approach to a concert, and is better for louder and bigger acts, featuring bands such as For the Broken and Clearview.
718 Venue at 718 Caroline Street is an unusual venue set above an inn in downtown Fredericksburg. It’s one of the fancier setups as it is usually used for weddings. The venue shows its versatility when set up for music. Because it is spacious, it is able to hold a full show, most notably and recently holding the Richmond-based band Plastic Nancy.
The Flipside Lounge
The Flipside Lounge on 1000 Charles Street is a kava bar open to all ages which creates the bar-style vibe while actually being alcohol free. This venue has a calendar of upcoming shows on their website. Coming up on the calendar for Kava is “Punk Rock Show” on Saturday, Feb. 1, featuring Sumner Part, Good Grief, Alpha and Personal Crisis.
Pimenta at 1108 Caroline Street mostly hosts open mics, but musicians sometimes decide to overtake that opportunity for an impromptu concert, so this venue also still deserves a shout out. While it may not be the best place to scout for live music, it can give students the opportunity to try out live stage performances for themselves if they have an interest in that. While its not as professional as other venues, as it does not have a set type of show, it’s much more accessible when it comes to both watching and performing in the venue. Pimenta is a more low energy place for people who just want to vibe and relax, rather than focusing on an act that’s in front of you or on a stage above you.