5 killer free gigs happening in Sydney this weekend

Where two years ago I may have been writing an article lamenting the death of live music in Sydney, lately that hasn’t been the case at all. In the last year the city has lifted the game, and these days you can’t go a single weekend without being torn between a few great shows – free gigs in particular.

To help with your option paralysis – or perhaps make it worse – here are five great free gigs in Sydney we’ll be checking out this weekend.

5 free gigs happening in sydney dani hansen pyjama sundayz
Photo: Dani Hansen

Feeling like a healthy dose of live music this fine weekend? Check out these 5 free gigs happening in Sydney town.

Bay Sounds – Sunday 1 March, The Golden Sheaf

The first of a three-gig series happening at The Golden Sheaf, Bay Sounds is one of the bigger free shows happening in the city this weekend. Come by from midday on Sunday for a full afternoon’s worth of music from Philadelphia Grand Jury, Sunscreen, Pyjama Sundayz, Vast Hill, Hedy Lamarr, and local East-side jazz group Princeton Parker Plays.

You can also enjoy DJ sets from SCABZDJ Goodboy, and Happy DJs. It’s a full day affair, so make sure you drink your milk before heading in.

DETAILS: Sunday 1 March, 12pm-10pm – The Golden Sheaf, Double Bay – Details

Mardi Gras Parade & Parties – Saturday 29 February, Oxford Street

Watch out, Saturday is going to be a big one. If you’re up for a party, this is where you want to be. The official Mardi Gras Parade will be rolling down Oxford Street and Flinders Street from 7:30pm, but you’ll have to get there earlier if you want a great spot.

This year over 200 floats and groups will be taking part in the parade, in varying degrees of fabulous-ness. Afterparties will be happening all over, including at Kings Cross Hotel, Goros on Mary Street, Hordern Pavilion, and just about every other venue in Parade range. If you’re looking something in art world, 74-76 Oxford Street will be decorated by an OUT NOW exhibition for Bonds all weekend, a project collecting portraits and videos of over 50 queer Australians.

DETAILS: Saturday 29 February, 7:30pm – Oxford Street and Flinders Street, Darlinghurst – RSVP

The Laurels – Thursday 27 February, The Lansdowne

Everybody knows Thursdays are officially the weekend now, and I’ve got a truckload of Friday morning hangovers to prove it. This particular Thursdee, Sydney psych mainstays The Laurels are finishing up their February residency at The Lansdowne Hotel in Ultimo – a modern live music Mecca if ever there was one.

The band have recently finished up their third album and they’re road testing it the way they know best, on stage. Get in for your first listen of the follow-up to their acclaimed 2016 LP Sonicology and a damn good time. They’ll be supported by Melodrones and Misty Lanes.

DETAILS: Thursday 27 February, 9pm – The Lansdowne Hotel, Ultimo – RSVP

On The Rise – Thursday 27 February, The Bank Hotel

A co-production between booking agency Niche Productions and local brewery Young Henrys, On The Rise #3 will host Raj Mahal, Hoodzyy, taka perry, and Ms. Thandi at The Bank Hotel in Newtown.

Entry is free with an RSVP, so make sure you hit the link below if you plan on attending.

DETAILS: Thursday 27 February, 7:30pm – The Bank Hotel, Newtown – RSVP

Shady Pines Saloon 10 Years Birthday – Sunday 1 March, Shady Pines

This coming Sunday the infamous Shady Pines Saloon turns 10 years young, and they’re celebrating with a fat party. Doors will open at 4pm with live music from Cruizin’ Deuces, Extension Chord, and the Sweet Jelly Rolls kicking off an hour later at 5.

Peanuts and whiskey will not be in short supply.

DETAILS: Sunday 1 March, 4pm – Shady Pines Saloon, Darlinghurst – RSVP