The 9:30 Club -- which got its name from its original address -- 930 F Street, opened in 1980. The Washington, D.C. block on which it sat was still scarred by the 1968 riots. It was filled with peep shows, drug dealers and people who lived dangerously, walked quickly -- or did both. The cramped 200-person capacity venue was notoriously smelly, rat-infested and had a big pole that blocked the view -- but was unmatched in bringing punk, go-go, rock, soul and alternative music to the otherwise staid nation’s capital.
The 9:30 Club created a scene, a family, an allegiance to great music, great musicians, and great fans. Though it was tiny in size, it drew acts like Nirvana, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bo Diddly, Iggy Pop, R.E.M., Public Enemy, Nine Inch Nails, Billy Idol, RUN DMC, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Isaak, Buddy Guy, Fugazi and Black Flag.
Busting out of its tiny confines, the 9:30 Club moved in 1996 to a 1200 capacity venue transforming what was once a gospel radio station and before that, a jazz club owned in part by Duke Ellington, into what Rolling Stone now calls “The Best Big Room in America.”
Located in an unmarked building at 815 V Street, the 9:30 Club is the most attended club of its size in the world. It’s been named Night Club of the Year by Billboard and Pollstar more times than any venue. And it’s still the place bands aspire to play and music fans love to attend – a destination for locals and people across the country for 36 years.
Gracing the new location have been legends such as Al Green, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, and James Brown; recently discovered acts like Adele, Drake, Sturgill Simpson, Ed Sheeran; and arena acts looking for an intimate club to play such as Justin Timberlake, Jack White, Pink, the Smashing Pumpkins and Foo Fighters. With its perfect sightlines and incomparable sound system, it’s no wonder fans return for their next dose of rock, hip hop, punk, pop, alternative, country, comedy and indie. And now it’s opening its doors to you -- and “Live At 9:30.”