Portland may be best known for its indie music, but with a wide variety of dance clubs, the city has a rhythm that’ll get just about anyone moving.
Old Town Chinatown
Portland’s densest concentration of dance clubs is in the Old Town Chinatown nightlife district. Bars like Dirty Nightclub, the Southern-themed Dixie Tavern and outdoor-party-cum-piano-bar Barrel Room are at the epicenter, but lower-key dance lounge spots like Valentine’s also ring the area.
Running everything from DJ sets to local performers, Holocene has mixed music with visuals for a decade-plus, turning an old auto-parts warehouse into a 5,000-square-foot temple to art and audio. Its inner southeast Portland neighbor 45 East also rocks a converted industrial space, with an upstairs lounge and downstairs dance floor hosting frequent EDM shows.
Across town, The Goodfoot Lounge is where locals go for laid-back nights of festival-style stomping on the hardwood dance floor. Great for small music and big laughs, the two-level dance hall plays everything from funk to dub step, so long as it gets the crowd moving.
The big basement dance floor at the log-cabin themed Doug Fir Lounge gets plenty of traffic on its electro-pop and hip-hop nights, though most of the time the club stays true to the city’s indie rock ways with live performances.
Hosting regular queer dance nights, Killingsworth Dynasty is a go-to for dancing every night of the week.
On weekend nights, several blocks in the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood are closed to cars, making it easy to visit the area's many dance clubs and bars.
Portland comes alive after dark, with restaurants, clubs, theaters, concert venues and performance halls open late all over town.
Portland has no shortage of LGBTQ-owned and -friendly bars and clubs. Whether you're looking for a relaxing night with friends, a high-energy dance party or a drag show, Portland delivers.
Gaylabration is the biggest dance party and fundraiser of Portland Pride Weekend. In 2020, the event celebrates its 10-year anniversary with the theme “DecaDANCE.” Enjoy a special laser light show and DJs who keep the dance floor packed with uplifting sounds from around the world.
The Portland Art Museum provides free admission the first Thursday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m.
An evening of stand-up comedy, followed by dancing and play spaces. Hosted by Chris Smith and Ben Warren. Past comedians include Shane Mauss (appearances on Conan O’Brien, HBO and Comedy Central), Caitlin Weyerhaeuser (voted Portland’s funniest comedian), Simon Gibson, Todd Armstrong, Ben Harkins, Milan Patel, Becky Braunstein, Chris Johnson, Dylan Jenkins, The Real Hijinx, Amanda…
Portland’s homage to the luscious dance bands of a bygone era launches into its fourth year of producing dances every month. The 11-piece ensemble painstakingly recreates the sounds of the large society dance bands that were so prominent in the 1920s and ’30s, found performing on ocean liners and in the grand ballrooms of Art…
Shoot off water rockets, concoct chemical creations, and explore the wonders of OMSI with no kids in sight. Enjoy a glass of wine while learning about robots, tornados or fossils. Talk to a brewer about the science behind beer, or sample products from local artisans. Visit the new exhibit, Exquisite Creatures. All that and more…
Whether seen on HBO’s Treme or at their legendary Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While…
The Dance for Romance is a Valentine’s Day social dance for singles, friends, couples and partners. Enjoy award-winning live blues music and a professional DJ spinning pop songs you can dance to solo, grouped or partnered. Arrive early for one or more dance lessons or love life workshops, and throughout the night you can enjoy…