The Ottobar is a rough-&-ready Indie-rock club hosting local & touring bands, DJ dance parties & special events. Growing up in Baltimore would be incomplete without a night at the Ottobar. The venue has changed greatly in its 23 years, from its humble origins as a tiny rock club downtown to its current two-story position in Remington. One constant is its dedication to the local community and music scene. Its supporters recently returned the favor by giving over $150,000 to a GoFundMe campaign to assist the pub in staying open. The renowned theater is back available for socially distant concerts indoors after keeping the terrace open for seven days with beer promotions, food trucks, and quiz evenings. The Ottobar, located at 203 East Davis Street in downtown Baltimore, debuted in September 1997 in the old Chambers nightclub premises. The venue’s limited capacity allowed an intimate showcase for live music and the occasional performance art.
National artists who performed included: The White Stripes, My Morning JacketLe Tigre, Fear, Bright Eyes, Lamb Of God, Death Cab For Cutie, Royal Trux, Jimmy Eat World, Blonde Redhead, Of Montreal Queens, Spoon, Of The Stone Age, Man Or Astroman, and Mastodon. It included local artists from the time: Denim Skeleton, Goliath, Third Harmonic Distortion, Oxes, The Oranges Band, and Lung. The 80’s Prom, Smiths/Morrissey Karaoke, Tiny Couch Night, The Death Of Vaudeville Night, Salute To Satan, and The Annual Outdoor Music Festival “Bourbon Street Anti Fest” were among the performances. On November 17th, 2001, the Davis Street Ottobar closed its doors. Ottobar reopened at 2549 North Howard Street in the same month, with the one and only Daniel Johnston. This new location was far more prominent and provided a much cleaner and more welcoming environment (for the first few years.)
So far, notable acts have included the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wye Oak, The Breeders, Drive-By Truckers, Dinosaur Jr, TV On The Radio, Maroon 5, KRS-ONE, Future Islands, Quiet Riot, Paramore, Celebration, Jonathan Richman, Dan Deacon, David Cross, All Time Low, At The Drive-In, Atmosphere, The Melvins, Wiz Khalifa, Beach House, Bouncing Souls, and Twenty One Pilots. Other spectacular nights include Ottobar’s Shrunken Head, Pet Weddings, Super Art Fight, Butcher Knife Throwing Contest, Ottobar Boys and Spelling Bee, and Girls Choir, Book Burning For Peace, and many others. Tens of thousands of bands and counting have performed at thousands of gigs.