The Best Places to See Live Music in Sydney

Sydney’s nightlife and music community has taken a bit of a beating over the last few years, but I’m here to say that it’s far from dead. There are still plenty of places that you can go out (almost any night of the week) and see a great band or two. Here’s a list that only just scratches the surface...

Golden Age Cinema and Bar - Surry Hills

We know that Golden Age has an incredible film program, but did you know that they also have a music program that’s just as good (if not better)? Most Friday and Saturday nights you can head on down to the bar, and once it hits about 9pm, the curtain is pulled back and reveals a stage with the artist ready to perform. 

Mary’s Underground - Circular Quay

The folks from Mary’s Burgers have taken over what was once known as The Basement, a Sydney institution in the music scene. They now offer music almost every night of the week covering a huge range of genres, and a pretty incredible menu to match. 

107 Projects - Redfern

If bars and pubs aren’t your thing, head to 107 Projects in Redfern. They regularly hold gigs, often for all ages, and is a safe and inclusive environment. They also run an exhibition space down stairs featuring only the best local talent. 

Image Credit:  107 Projects

Image Credit: 107 Projects

Marly Bar - Newtown

An absolute institution for Newtown with a very tasty menu. Gigs here are free and the room is always packed out. If you want to see which bands are taking Sydney by storm, heading here on a Friday or Saturday night is a pretty safe bet. It also has some of the best stage lighting at any pub in Sydney. 

Image Credit:  The Marly

Image Credit: The Marly

Freda’s - Chippendale

Freda’s caters for everyone, one night it might be heavy rock, the next straight electronic. It’s also one of the few smaller venues in Sydney that has an actual stage. Freda’s regularly runs art exhibitions too, making it a hub for Sydney creativity. 

Image Credit:  Freda’s Bar

Image Credit: Freda’s Bar

Petersham Bowling Club - Petersham

A proudly pokies free pub, the PBC (as it’s known to the locals) is as inner west as you can get. There’s two band rooms, pretty impressive for a small venue. If you’re lucky, you’ll be there on a night that has both rooms roaring. With a great selection of local beers on tap, and a yummy menu, you can’t go wrong for some Sunday arvo tunes. 

The Bank - Newtown

Up for a mid-week boogie? Head upstairs at the Bank to Waywards for some of the best local music. This intimate venue means that you’ll have a front row seat to some of the best music Sydney has to offer. It’s right next to the station too, so you’ll be home in no time.

Image Credit:  The Bank

Image Credit: The Bank

The Vic on the Park - Marrickville

Heading down Enmore Road leads you to The Vic on the Park. This pub is dog friendly, need I say any more? Also, free live music. Life doesn’t get any better than that really, except that it does. Weekends means that they have a BBQ grill on the deck. One of the best pubs in Sydney, I’d dare to say. 

Image Credit:  The Vic on the Park

Image Credit: The Vic on the Park

Frankie’s Pizza - CBD

Head to Frankie’s if you want some good, old fashioned rock’n’roll. Grab a slice of pizza while you’re there, it’s pretty good. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the 70s New York underground as you walk through the front restaurant and enter the band room. If you’re lucky, you may even find Dave Grohl sipping tequila again...

Image Credit:  Frankie’s Pizza

Image Credit: Frankie’s Pizza

The Lansdowne Hotel

Last, but certainly not least, is The Lansdowne. After taking a brief hiatus (and almost being knocked down and becoming a dormitory), the Lansdowne is back with a fresh band room upstairs, and a grungy stage downstairs. You’ll see everything here from local acts to international bands touring. It’s also another venue with a great menu. 

Image Credit:  The Lansdowne

Image Credit: The Lansdowne

Samuel McEwenComment