14 of the best venues to catch live music in Sydney

Sydney’s live music scene is lit, most weeks there is almost too much on, how is a gal (or guy!) to choose?

This Sydney guide to live music spotlights some of the best venues to catch a live gig, offering up a diverse range of options for every taste and budget.

After an arduous selection process (because trust us, it was hard to narrow it down!), we’ve hand-picked 14 of the best spots to catch a free or budget-friendly live music experience in Sydney. From iconic landmarks to hidden pub gems, drumroll please…

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Image: DZ Deathrays / Dani Hansen

Sydney Opera House (Circular Quay): This world-renowned venue offers a world-class concert hall hosting everything from classical music to opera and contemporary acts under the stunning curation of Ben Marshall.

Enmore Theatre (Enmore): A Newtown art deco gem attracting the kind of big-name acts before they hit the stadiums and up-and-coming local artists – think Lil Sims and SZA just to name two.

Hordern Pavilion (Moore Park): This large-capacity Moore Park venue is perfect for catching big-name international artists and major dance parties.


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Oxford Art Factory (Darlinghurst): Sydney institution known for diverse live music events. Big enough to feel like it counts, and small enough to catch your fav band up close. The best of both worlds, what more can we say? Personal highlight, catching Jens Lekman in the flesh.

The Bank Hotel (Newtown): Enjoy free sets from up-and-coming Sydney bands every Tuesday, with loads more music over the weekend.

Marys Underground (CBD): located in the Sydney CBD, this lil live music venue lives where the iconic ‘Basement’ used to call home. With a dark and playful speakeasy decor, and burgers to die for (vegans – plant based options abound) it caters to a variety of music genres.

Waywards (Newtown): The Banks lil bro is one of the best venues in Newtown hands down, to say its a popular spot for local indie bands is putting it mildly. This joint is responsible for hosting some of the best nights in recent live music history.

Yulli’s Brews (Alexandria): This brewery pairs live music with the best vegan food on the planet, and even more delicious brews. They host free local music and comedy sets, and we are not kidding when we say, this is the place to be.

The Trocadero Room(Enmore): Brought to you by the crew that know how to make a space feel good, for example – Earl’s Juke Joint and Jacoby’s Tiki Bar – which is coincidentally next door) the venue is designed with a throwback feel, inspired by the original Trocadero entertainment venue that existed on King Street in the 1940s.


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The Little Guy (Glebe): A friendly bar with free live music on weekdays and Thursdays featuring music bingo.

Vic on the Park (Marrickville): A popular local haunt offering free shows throughout winter as part of their “See Sound” campaign.

The Lady Hampshire (Camperdown): located in Camperdown, this lil gem is known for its live music scene with a focus on local and upcoming artists. It’s a total pub vibe with a beer garden and pool tables.

The Union Hotel (Newtown): A classic pub with great gigs and a vast beer selection.

The Red Rattler (Marrickville): A non-profit venue offering a space for creativity to thrive, featuring everything from punk shows to burlesque.

The Chippendale Hotel (Chippendale): The Den at the Chippo Hotel hosts popular shows, while the main bar offers delicious burgers.

So, whether you’re looking for a free pub gig, a world-class concert hall experience, or something in between, Sydney’s live music scene has something to offer.

Get out there, explore these venues, and support the live music scene!