10 BEST Pubs in Cork with Live Music 2024

We are blessed when it comes to choosing the best Pubs in Cork with Live Music. Cork City pulsates with the heartbeat of live music in its vibrant pubs. Each venue offers a unique experience, from historic establishments to contemporary gems.

Cork is a vibrant City full of Irish Culture and heritage, shown in the number of amazing Pubs with Live Music. Whether you’re sipping a pint in a cosy corner or dancing to the rhythm, Cork’s pubs provide some of the best live music venues in the City.

With demand for traditional and modern bands, pubs often feature locally sourced talent, creating an authentic and dynamic musical atmosphere. If you plan to make a night of it, read my article on the where to eat in Cork and grab something unique to eat before a few drinks. While you are at it, make sure to read my post on my list of places that serve the Best Pub Food in Cork.

Best Live Music Cork City

1. Cyprus Avenue

Live music cork city
Photos via Cyprus Avenue

Since its opening in September 2003, Cyprus Avenue has emerged as one of the best locations for live music in Cork City. Evolving from a 230-capacity gem to a 500-capacity powerhouse in 2018, it magnetizes top-tier local and international acts.

The addition of Winthrop Avenue in 2019 introduced an intimate space for artists to flourish and emerging talents to shine. Nestled above the Old Oak, Cyprus Avenue crafts an unparalleled ambience where music lovers converge for an unforgettable experience.

From renowned performances to nurturing emerging talent, Cyprus Avenue embodies the soul of Cork’s live music scene, where every note resonates harmoniously with the city’s musical heartbeat.

Find what’s on in Cyprus Avenue.

2. The Old Oak

best pubs in Cork with Live Music
Photos via The Old Oak

The Old Oak in Cork City is one of those pubs that has to make it on any list of best pubs in Cork for live music. With its doors opening wide, this venue sets the stage for an immersive musical journey.

Renowned for hosting diverse acts, it weaves a tapestry of sounds that captivates audiences. Most nights, you will find live music, from DJs to live bands.

The ambience is electric, drawing patrons into a realm where melodies thrive. The Old Oak is a sanctuary for music lovers. 

Visit the Old Oak Facebook Page.

3. Franciscan Well Brew Pub

Cork Music Venues
Photos via Franciscan Well Brew Pub

The Franciscan Well Brew Pub isn’t just a haven for craft beer; it’s considered one of the best pubs in Cork for live music. Offering more than just a pint, this dynamic venue beckons with brewery tours, wood-fired pizza, and a vibrant array of live entertainment.

From storytelling sessions to the rhythmic beats of Jazz, indie tunes, and traditional sessions, the pub transforms most days into a live music haven. A harmonious blend of artisanal brews and diverse musical genres creates an unforgettable experience.

The Franciscan Well Brew Pub emerges as one of the best Pubs in Cork for Live Music, where the joy of craft beer converges with the magic of live performances.

See whats on at the Franciscan Well Brew Pub.

4. Clancy’s Bar

best pubs in cork for live music
Photos via Clancys

Clancy’s Bar in the heart of Cork City offers music seven nights a week. The soulful melodies echo through this lively venue, bridging classic rock to traditional Irish tunes.

The acclaimed Marlboro Bar within Clancys takes centre stage, offering an impressive lineup featuring Cork’s finest musical acts.

From intimate jazz piano sets to the energy of up-and-coming bands, it’s a nightly celebration of Cork’s vibrant music scene.

Ascend to The Sky Bar, the city’s favourite rooftop space at Clancys, where great music intertwines with an unbeatable buzz, creating an irresistible haven for live music enthusiasts in Cork.

See What’s On at Clancys Bar in Cork.

5. JJ Walshs

Live music in cork toight
Photos via JJ Walshs

Located on Oliver Plunkett Street, JJ Walshs is another excellent location for live music in Cork City. As a traditional Irish pub, it has swiftly become the heart of Irish music and nightlife.

The main Bar echoes with live music every night, creating a vibrant location for music enthusiasts. The venue’s charm extends to an authentic jazz and piano lounge, offering unique and intimate musical experiences.

JJ Walshs stands out as a must-visit. It seamlessly blends traditional Irish warmth with a lively nightlife, solidifying its position as a prime destination for those seeking exceptional live music experiences in Cork. This is one of the best pubs in Cork for live music in comfortable surroundings.

See all the events at JJ Walshs Cork.

6. Dwyers Of Cork

trad musc cork
Photos via Dwyers

Dwyers of Cork, is another fantastic choice and an easy addition to our list of best Pubs in Cork with Live Music. With tunes flowing seven nights a week, from 9 pm Monday to Thursday and 9:30 pm on weekends, Dwyers is the epitome of a music lover’s haven.

A table reservation promises a splendid evening filled with culinary delights, refreshing beverages, and a melodic journey. Dwyers offers a choice of traditional Irish melodies and summer dances to spotlight local talents and international acts.

Dwyers curates a diverse musical experience, setting the stage for unforgettable nights in the vibrant live music scene of Cork City.

See who’s playing at Dwyers of Cork.

7. The Gables

Traditiona Irish Music Cork
Photos via Dwyers

At The Gables in Cork, the magic unfolds the moment you enter. With Irish fiddle, bodhrán, and banjo filling the air, The Gables has become known as one of the best pubs in Cork for live music.

As lively knees bounce and feet tap in rhythmic harmony, the bar becomes a pulsating centre for musical enchantment. The taps’ gentle hiss signal the birth of fresh pints, embraced by a world where music echoes millennia.

The Gables is not merely a venue; it’s a sensory journey through Cork’s musical soul, offering a timeless experience where every note resonates with history and charm.

Check out the Gables Bar Gig Guide.

8. The Welcome Inn

Irish Music Cork
Photos via The Welcome Inn

The Welcome Inn in Cork, standing since 1845, is a living testament to the city’s rich pub culture. As one of the last traditional gems, it unfolds its historic charm daily from 7 am.

This early house prioritizes quality drinks over food, ensuring a focus on authentic pub experiences. Yet, its true appeal lies in being Cork’s primary destination for live traditional music.

Amidst the spirited atmosphere, patrons are immersed in the enchanting tunes that echo through the ages. The Welcome Inn is not just a pub but an enduring musical haven at the heart of Cork City.

A list of What’s on in the Welcome Inn.

9. Coughlan’s

Cork Irish Music
Photo via Coughlans

Coughlans, is an icon on Douglas Street with a history spanning almost two centuries, beckons as Cork City’s definitive live music haven. This unspoiled gem, steeped in time-honoured charm, enchants customers with its award-winning music venue status.

Beyond its heated beer garden and staff, it is hailed as the best on the planet. Coughlans emerge as a vital stage for comedy nights and a magnet for Cork’s finest local and international bands.

Its legacy unfolds in each chord and laughter, cementing its reputation as a cultural cornerstone and a timeless destination for outstanding live music experiences in the city.

Check out the Live Music Events in Coughlans.

10. The White Horse

White horse cork
Photos via White Horse Cork

The White Horse, standing since 1901 and revitalized in 2009 by Joe and Maura Carey, embodies Cork’s live music allure. This historic pub, now a premier establishment, boasts locally sourced gastronomy and a diverse beverage selection.

Upstairs, a spellbinding folk club venue hosts international and Irish artists crafting magical nights. Owner Joe Carey, who is deeply passionate about music, brings world-class musicians to the intimate setting of Upstairs at The White Horse.

Joe Carey has a musical legacy rooted in the band Jodavino and is also one of the founders of The White Horse Guitar Club. The White Horse venue resonates as a cultural gem, harmonizing history, gastronomy, and exceptional live music in the heart of Cork City.

Read The Whitehorse Facebook Page.

Trad Music Cork

Cork City is a vibrant hub for traditional Irish music, often referred to as “trad music,” with a lively scene that captivates both locals and visitors. Numerous venues in the city contribute to Cork’s rich musical heritage, providing an authentic experience of Ireland’s traditional tunes.

Among the esteemed establishments, The Welcome Inn stands out as a haven for live traditional music, offering a warm, inviting atmosphere steeped in history.

Another notable venue is Coughlans, which boasts a historic charm and proudly hosts traditional music sessions, creating an immersive experience for enthusiasts. Coughlans is recognized for its commitment to preserving Cork’s cultural legacy through diverse musical performances.

Additionally, The White Horse, with its intimate folk-club venue, is a prominent player in showcasing traditional Irish music. The cosy and enchanting atmosphere upstairs at The White Horse has witnessed magical nights featuring international and local artists. The White Horse has contributed to the city’s vibrant trad music landscape year after year.

These venues and their commitment to showcasing the best of traditional Irish music make Cork City a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic and immersive trad music experience.

Whether it’s the historic charm of The Welcome Inn, the cultural legacy at Coughlans, or the enchanting setting of The White Horse.

Cork City resonates with the soulful melodies and spirited rhythms that define Ireland’s rich musical tradition.

About the author
J.J. Sheridan
My Name is JJ Sheridan, born in Cork Ireland but spent most of my childhood in County Tipperary. I've been a Chef for a large number of years and have worked in a number of award winning restaurants. I love using local ingredients whenever possible in my food so that I can showcase the best of Irish. My passion is to share with you the best restaurants across Ireland from a Chefs perspective. For many years restaurants have been at the hands of the "food critic". Most of the time these critics will visit the same old restaurants and heap praise on them. Often forgetting about the smaller restaurants who are paving the way for Irish Cuisine. My Goal is to higlight all restaurants, especially the ones the so called food experts never visit and give you a complete list of the best Irish Restaurants to visit.

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