Venue Review: 9:30 Club – Washington, D.C.

The 9:30 Club, although officially named Nightclub 9:30 but affectionately called the 9:30 Club, opened on May 31, 1980, on 930 F Street NW. A lot has changed since then including its location the surrounding the neighborhood, and the city in general. The one thing that does remain constant in Washington DC is the legendary status and clout that the 9:30 Club deservedly earned.

9:30 Club

815 V Street Northwest

Washington, DC 20001

Venue URL:  930.com

Capacity: 1200

On January 5, 1996, the modern day 9:30 Club opened its doors on 815 V Street in the former WUST Radio Music hall.

A whos-who of artists have graced this venue in its storied 30+ year history including tour kickoff's, album releases, surprise appearances, legendary live album recording and videos, and just about everything in between. This venue is hands down the most storied, celebrated, and frequented venue in the region.

The venue is so beloved that many upcoming acts are told by friends and locals alike "You know you have made in DC [musically] it when you make it to the 9:30 Club." DC Music Review has witnessed artists family members telling this to a musician or two. Other musicians have told DC Music Review "I have been waiting my whole life to have a 9:30 Club cupcake!" The infamous cupcakes are delivered each morning fresh to the venue and are sold to customers but left in each green room as part of the venue welcome to an artist.

The 9:30 Club has been named "Nightclub of the Year" by National Publication Pollstar 11 times and has frequently been the top-selling club in the US, and in 1993 was named Rolling Stones #1 Big Room In America (source). .

In what was once the coat check area on the main level now stands the "9:30 Hall of Records" which tries to catalog in album form every headlining act that passed through its hallowed halls.

If you love music and you live in or travel through Washington DC, you will no doubt spend unforgettable nights of music at the 9:30 Club.

Performance Calendar

Performance Calendar

Performance Calendar


Please make sure to view DC Music Review's 9:30 Club Venue event calendar.

Essential Information

Essential Information

Essential   Information


Seating

Seating

Seating


Almost all performances are standing room only. Concertgoers can sit down on either side of the balcony level so long as they do not mind sitting on painted concrete floors.

There is seating available in the VIP section. Depending on the performance VIP seating is available. In many other cases, you must belong to the 9:30 Club's Friends-with-Benefits program.

There are a few seats also available in front of the balcony level bar.

Tip: If you want to ensure you get seats then you should go to the balcony bar when the house doors open. Please make sure there is not a piece of tape in front of a barstool. Those seats are reserved for individuals who pre-arranged seating because of an injury or limitation (the venue has a list of these individuals so do not even try to rip the tape off because you will find yourself out of a seat that way.)

Accessibility

Accessibility

Accessibility


The venue does not have any elevators however,

  • For those in wheelchairs, accomodations can be made on the main level of the venue. 
  • For those individuals who can climb a flight and a half of stairs assigned seating can be arranged in front of the balcony level seating. These seats are available on a first-come first-serve bassis.

Anyone with special needs should call the venue's main number (202) 265-0930 in advance to make arrangements.

Stage, Lighting, & Sound

Stage, Lighting, and Sound

Stage, Lighting, 

 and Sound


Sound

The venue boasts an exceptional sound system and there are no known "dead spots" or sub-par sound spots in the venue.

Lighting

The in-house lighting system is truly dynamic and wonderful. 

The venue is large enough to accommodate additional lighting systems provided by the artist of the evening.

The 9:30 Club accommodated The Motet's light system in 2017.

Food

Food

Food


The venue has a small kitchen on the main level on the left side of the venue space at the far side of the bar. The menu can be viewed here.

Drinks

Drinks

Drinks


Coffee

Balcony Level:  There is a coffee bar right next to the stairs on the balcony level. If you love espresso or other caffeinated drinks, you have found your new favorite spot in the venue.

Bars

Main Level:  There are two bars on the main level of the venue - one at each side of the stage.

Balcony Level:  There a single bar on the balcony level. This bar is at the very back of the venue and is approximately 10 feet above the balcony level in a "crow's nest"

Below the Venue:  Backbar DC is located below the venue and is accessible by a set of stairs leading down right behind the main entrance and below the stairs leading up to the Balcony Level.

Restrooms

Restrooms

Restrooms


Main Level:  There are two bathrooms (1 Men / 1 Women) on the main floor of the venue in the back hallway.

Balcony Level: There are two bathrooms (1 Men / 1 Women) on the balcony level of the venue.  The men's room is on the staircase side beside the Coffee Bar. The women's room is in the opposite corner of the balcony level.

Vending

Vending

Vending


Vending can be found at the back of the main performance space between the bar and beside the soundbar.

If entering the venue pick the first set of doors to your right to go to the merchanise booth.

Coat Check

Coat Check

Coat Check


The coat check can be found at the very top of the venue to the left of the balcony bar. If you take the main stairs all the way to the top, you will find the coat check.  

Coat check is cash only and $2 per item.

NOTE: The coat check is closed during the warmer months of the year. The coat check is also FREE to those with a 9:30 Club Members with Benefits.

Pre & Post Show Options

Pre & Post Show Options

Pre & Post Show Options


DC Institutions

Ben's Chili Bowl (http://benschilibowl.com): If you are visiting Washington, D.C., and you want to go to a "DC Institution" look no further than Ben's Chili Bowl located five blocks away from the venue 1213 U Street NW. This DC Institution opened in August 1958 and has been satisfying customers ever since with their Half-Smokes and Chili-Dogs ever since. Ben's has kept up with the times including healthier options including a turkey and vegetarian versions of their classics.

Pre-Show

The Satellite Room is right next door to the 9:30 Club. You can order food or drinks before a show. The venue has both bar seating and booth seating available. DC being DC this restaurant/bar has hosted some televised programs including a 60-Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels where patrons went hushed as political wonks listened with baited breath while drinking their Happy Hour Special "Dark and Stormy" drinks.

Note: If you are vegan, this is an excellent food option only feet away from the venue.

If you are looking for a fun sit down Sapporo Ramen restaurant near the venue for some pre-show dining options look no futher than Haikan.  If you are familiar and a fan of Daikaya right across from the Capital One Center downtown then you will be happy to find Haikan just around the corner from the 9:30 Club. You can see their full menu here.

The American Ice company is a wonderful bar and restaurant just a block away from the 9:30 Club. This establishment has a wonderful selection of beers and a full menu ranging from small bites to entrees. When it is warm outside, make sure to take advantage of their outdoor seating.

Post-Show

There is no shortage of places to eat and drink after a show at the 9:30 Club. You can either return to the Satellite Room or American Ice Company or walk down U Street and stop in at any one of the restaurant and bars that dot the U Street Corridor. Many of the establishments we listed in the pre-show section are also open into the wee hours of the morning.

Getting There

Getting There

Getting There


Entrance

The venue is located on the corner of V Street and 9th Street Northwest.  The box office is located just to the right of the glass doors.

Parking

Parking

Parking


Street parking is available but can be quite limited due to time limitations on parking meterss or Parking Zoning (Zone 1 & 2 - based on the street you park).

There are several parking options available. 

Venue Parking

There is limited (and monitored) venue parking next door to the venue on 9th Street NW. Since parking is limited, we recommend purchasing a parking pass along with your tickets.

Venue parking is located at:  2150 9th Street NW. 

Parking is $20 in advance, $25 cash night of show.

Note: The parking lot does not open to the public until one hour before venue doors.

Public Parking

Street parking is available around the 9:30 Club but it is limited.

Parking is available on 8th Street NW in the Atlantic Plumbing Building (2112 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20001).  as well as on the corner of 8th & V Street NW as well as a few other parking lots in the area.  )We recommend that you 

Spot Hero:

DC Music Review has partnered with SpotHero to provide you discounted parking options. Using this link by SpotHero you can find discounted prepaid parking close to the event.

Electric Vehicle Parking

A single Tesla Charging Station is available in the Atlantic Plubming Building Public Parking.  There is only 1 charging station available so availability is spotty.

2112 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Public           Transportation


The closest Metro Station to the venue is U Street / African-American Civil War Memorial.  There are two exits to this station.  Please follow signs to the 10th Street exit.  The 9:30 Club is only a two block walk from this metro station.

Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Additional

Resources



Disclosure: 

DC Music Review was not paid, nor compensated to write this review of this venue nor any other entity contained therein. All opinions are based on our first hand experience of this venue.

DC Music Review has an affiliate program with SpotHero. By using this service you help DC Music Review provide content to you.

About the author

Jason Herman

A 24x7 member and Photo Editor of DC Music Review. Jason has been passionate about music since his earliest days and is especially excited about the music scene around his adopted hometown, Washington DC. With over 35 Grateful Dead and 80+ Phish shows, and countless music festivals under his belt, you can find him at concerts around the country but especially in his adopted hometown of Washington, D.C. Before turning his lens to music, Jason followed professional cyclists around the U.S. Domestic Circuit to the tallest mountains in Europe.