The Best Live Music Venues in Sydney

Updated 1 month ago


Sydney has its share of legendary live music venues, with places like the Enmore Theatre and the Hordern Pavilion still going strong. Smaller rooms, on the other hand, have had a much tougher time, and for a while it felt like we were losing more of those spaces than we were gaining. Thankfully there’s been an uptick in bars and pubs flying the flag for live music, supporting local and international acts, and – of course – the punters who come out to see them. These are our favourites around town.

  • There are only a handful of live music venues in Sydney deserving of legendary status. This two-in-one spot below Oxford Street – styled after Andy Warhol’s NYC warehouse in the ’60s – is surely one of them.

  • Established in 1925, The Lansdowne Hotel is one of the city's most iconic live music venues. Everyone from Billy Eilish to You Am I has graced its stages, and the pool-inspired rooftop is where you want to be at sunset. It’s also one of few pubs left where you can grab a solid feed for under $20.

  • The pokies are gone and Big Buck Hunter is in. The Duke lives on with local beers, "stiff and strong" cocktails and upscale pub grub – think chicken liver pâté on toast, puffy breads stuffed with mortadella and a fancy steak.

  • The Mary's Group snagged the old Basement space in Circular Quay and continued its legacy as an inner-city hub for live music. They've also thrown in a burger joint with the Mary's signatures: 'burgs, fried chicken and natural vino.

  • This worn-out boozer copped a refresh in 2023 – but it’s still devoted to booze, bands and pub grub like chicken schnitzel, Guinness-laced shepherd’s pie and smash burgers. Come for weeknight specials (including “curry and a can” Tuesdays) and live music Wednesday to Saturday.

  • A classic sports pub in the city’s inner-west that revitalises a legendary space for the next generation of Sydney’s drinkers.

  • Cocktails, salty snacks and niche cinema, all in one place.

  • A Solotel-owned pub with its own cocktail bar and band room.

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  • A classic community club turned live-music space, with pub-style food and accessible drinks on the menu. Catch live contemporary acts, plus comedy and trivia inside the spacious, eclectic bandroom.

  • Bring your dog, play some basketball. This pub is all about community.

  • A ’90s-inspired small bar.

  • After a makeover inspired by New York’s dive bars, this late-night icon is open till 4am seven nights a week. Head in for after-work drinks and topnotch hot dogs, or party till the wee hours to five-hour sets by local and international DJs.

  • This classic, family friendly pub pours local brews and could have the greenest beer garden in the inner west.

  • The Union ranks among Sydney's best craft beer venues, with 22 taps and even more bottles of both Australia’s finest and oddest (plus some innovations from overseas). Grab a tasting paddle and sample the wares in the lively front bar or the homey bistro out back.

  • A stylish interior, a lengthy cocktail list and live music every night of the week

  • Bringing experience from Employees Only, Frankie’s Pizza and Spice Temple, this speakeasy has cracking cocktails, DJs till late and live music most nights of the week. Find it in the former Freda's space in Chippendale.

  • A big, old raucous pub set back from the beach in Bondi.