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Davis, California

Friday, May 17, 2024

Attend local live music events

Show your support for Davis’s music scene that showcases a diverse range of up-and-coming artists 




With mainstream artists like K-pop group BTS and Drake and large concerts like Coachella and Rolling Loud, many are ready to drop hundreds (or dare we say, thousands of dollars for resold tickets) to see musicians of their choice. While the temptation to splurge and set your sights high to hear Taylor Swift sing [insert favorite song here] is almost too common in this day and age, it’s worth looking closer to home to support local artists, one of which might become your new favorite band.

Davis has a long-standing history of fostering rich live music. From cozy coffee shops to bustling outdoor venues, the city offers a diverse array of spaces that accommodate both intimate performances from student bands like MONDAIJI and larger-scale concerts like the Zero Waste Concert in Central Park. The city’s music scene caters to all tastes, embracing everything from jazz, funk and R&B to indie pop, folk, rock, hip-hop and electronic music. This eclectic range ensures that there is something for everyone, making Davis a community that celebrates all genres of music.

The COVID-19 pandemic had an especially detrimental impact on the live music industry, so we should share our support to local artists and spaces whenever we can. This includes something as simple as streaming their songs on Spotify to help them gain traction. When attending free concerts or performances, some artists may ask for donations — we strongly encourage everyone to offer this support. If you are unable to make a donation, showing up to their events, posting on social media or promoting them through word of mouth are also great ways to endorse growing artists.

Local shows, for example, are a great way for students to engage with small traveling artists and local musicians, many of whom are students. Turtle House, the highly adored blue house on Second St., has been a hub for entertainment and creativity for many years, serving as a platform for musicians from all backgrounds to perform. In fact, Turtle House, in collaboration with The California Aggie’s Arts Desk, will be hosting a Couch Concert later this evening that includes a talented lineup of bands, consisting of Agraria, Mom Cars and Godfuck!. This is a great opportunity to not only support the venue and these groups, but also to enjoy a Friday night out while exploring new music.

Even if going out solely to watch local artists and bands play does not interest you, the farmers market in downtown Davis has been hosting their seasonal Picnic in the Park series every Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. until Sept. 13. It will feature live music from a local band, a wide variety of food vendors and local farm-grown produce and ingredients to purchase. It’s the perfect spot to knockout some grocery shopping, grab a hearty meal and have an evening picnic with family and friends all while enjoying live music in the background.

Attending these performances is a great alternative — often cheaper or even free — to mainstream concerts. Because they are smaller, audience participation is more intimate and integrated into the experience. Additionally, the plethora of live local events in Davis year round allows everyone to get involved in subcultures within the community and find people who listen to or play the same genres of music as them.

In a small college town like Davis, the vibrant music scene can sometimes go unnoticed or unheard of. But it serves as a nurturing ground for emerging local talent. With its proximity to the university, the city attracts a diverse pool of young musicians eager to showcase their skills and creativity. Local venues like Turtle House, Central Park and the Quad often provide a platform for these aspiring artists to perform, helping them gain exposure and build their fan base. So it’s important that we give them that recognition and support to ensure that live music, a very special and intricate part of the cultural tapestry and student life here in Davis, can continue to flourish.


Listen to our playlist of local bands here.


Written by: The Editorial Board