5 of the best spots to catch free live music in Sydney

From smooth jazz to classic rock n’ roll, Sydney punters are spoilt for choice when it comes to catching some free live music any day of the week.

Despite the controversial lockout laws, ye olde Sydney town is still home to an abundance of venues where you can enjoy a free set. After an arduous selection process, we’ve hand-picked five of the best spots to snag a free gig in this city. Drumroll please…

flight to dubai free live music gigs sydney
Photo: Dani Hansen

With an array of free live music hotspots across Sydney, you certainly don’t need a fat wallet to catch a show in this town.

The Bank Hotel, Newtown

You’ll find The Bank Hotel right in the beating heart of Newtown. The pub has something for everybody to enjoy, with free sets from the best up and coming Sydney bands every Tuesday, then more music over the weekend. The Bank’s Wayards space is perfect for weekly shenanigans outside the lockout zone.

The music rolls on all through the week, so keep an eye on their website for upcoming gigs.

Photo: Dani Hansen

Yulli’s Brews, Alexandria

At Yulli’s Brews, live music pairs well with a $5 schooey. Technically speaking, the Alexandria venue isn’t a pub, it’s a brewery. You won’t find a spot more in touch with the community than this one, with an abundance of free local music and comedy sets to enjoy.

The massive warehouse space is set in right in the heart of Alexandria’s industrial backblocks. Sit back, smash a delicious meal, and wait for the amps to switch on.

Photo: Lachie Townsend

Venue 505, Surry Hills

Surry Hills’ iconic Venue 505 is a jazz oasis for locals and visitors alike. Venue 505 started up as an underground performance space and has gradually earned its rank as one of the top 150 jazz clubs in the world.

The club offers free gigs almost every night to ensure that punters have constant access to some of the best new Australian content. The atmosphere is infectious, and you’re guaranteed to be welcomed with open arms into a community of jazz fanatics.

Photo: Venue 505 via Facebook

The Little Guy, Glebe

There’s nothing little about The Little Guy’s impact on the live music scene in Sydney. Many consider The Little Guy to be one of the friendliest bars in this whole damn town. It’s a comfortable environment with free popcorn and live music on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

Enjoy a craft beer and challenge your mates to a round of music bingo from 7pm on Thursdays.

Photo: The Little Guy via Facebook

Vic On The Park, Marrickville

This list simply wouldn’t be complete without a special spot for The Vic on the Park. Nudged outside of the lockout zone between Newtown and Marrickville, The Vic one of the most popular local haunts for punters (and their four-legged friends too).

Throughout winter they’re putting on a ton of free shows as part of a campaign called See Sound, so head to their website to check it all out.

Photo: Vic On The Park via Facebook

Honourable mentions to Frankie’s, Oxford Art Factory, The Newsagency, Freda’s, Lord Raglan, Camelot Lounge, and The Bald Faced Stag Hotel.

While there’s lots to celebrate, the government’s lockout laws have taken a broad sweep at the live music scene, with hundreds of venues shutting their doors over the last few years. Many venues have amped up their live music in response, but they need our support. Head out and find your new favourite spot this week.