Downtown Draws Crowds

Downtown, thousands of college students from UNCW and Cape Fear Community College descend on the central city music scene with regularity and frequency, fueling the tremendous popularity of live music. Coupled with the tourists, Marines from Cape Lejeune and regular residents, it makes for a lively situation.

On-street parking places can be harder to find in the evening than in the daytime, but several conveniently located downtown parking decks and lots are available 24 hours a day.

Because of North Carolina’s unique and somewhat outdated liquor laws, the popular music scene is a bit more complex than in many other cities. If a music venue – for example, a restaurant and lounge – derives most of its revenue from food, there are no restrictions on accessibility.

However, if a music venue gets most of its revenue from liquor sales or offers no food, it must function as a private club. Not to worry though, you can buy a membership, effective in three days, for a very nominal sum, and you can be admitted immediately as a “guest” of a member.

Some of the jumping downtown venues, including those known as dance clubs, usually offer rock or some variation thereof.

Throughout the greater Wilmington area, the nature of the music scene is similar to downtown except for the large clubs. Many of the entertainers and groups appearing downtown also appear at other locations around the city or in suburban and beach venues on other nights.