Sydney’s Best Bars For Live Music

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Sydney features a bunch of great spots to catch some of the city’s best up and coming bands, provided you know where to look. We’re going to take you on a tour of the best bars to catch live music in the Harbour City. Who knows, you might just be able to catch the next big thing before they become exactly that.

The Vic on the Park, Marrickville

Located in Sydney’s inner west, The Vic on the Park has a range of music-themed nights including a local songwriter night on Tuesdays and blue and roots night on Thursdays. The vibe is relaxed and friendly with a range of delicious local craft beers and tasty bistro style dishes available for you to enjoy between acts. The bar opens up to a parking lot like area in the back with a basketball hoop and plenty of luxurious corners to enjoy a beer in the afternoon sun. If you want to catch a beer and a band in Sydney, you really can’t do much better than a visit to The Vic on the Park.

Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst

Modelled on Andy Warhol’s Factory in 60’s New York, Oxford Art Factory is a Darlinghurst institution and one of the major players on Sydney’s live music scene. There’s no such thing as a dull visit to the Oxford Art Factory, which often plays host to some of the hottest local and up and coming international acts. Head to the Oxford Art Factory and you can expect to enjoy a unique, cultured music line up, combined with sometimes confronting yet endlessly fascinating art exhibitions and just overall good disco vibes that make it the perfect place to go to if you want to dance the night away.

Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice, CBD

This has become one of the CBD’s favourite beer dens and Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice (simply known as Frankie’s by the locals) has increased its commitment to supporting live music in recent times. Rock, blues and punk bands dominate the schedule from Thursdays to Sundays. Frankie’s is one of the few places where you can still enjoy the party till 3am (provided you’re in by 1:30am) in the CBD and the selection of pizzas and frozen margaritas are the perfect accompaniment to your new favourite band. If you’re looking for live music in a rock ‘n’ roll setting, check out Frankie’s.

The Bald Faced Stag, Leichhardt

It’s one of the oldest pubs in Sydney at the moment, and it only takes one visit to see why it’s been around so long. The Bald Faced Stag is now your ‘go to’ pub for local and international punk, hardcore and metal bands and will definitely give you a night that you won’t forget. It’s got more of a traditional pub vibe than some of the other selections on the list, so head there if you feel like some great local live music in a relaxed atmosphere.

The Newsagency, Marrickville

Just across the road from The Vic on the Park, The Newsagency is easy to miss, but it offers an intimate arts space supporting a range of predominantly acoustic singer-songwriters, and giving them a comfortable space to show crowds what they can do. Once the Sydney Fringe Festival comes around in September and October the Newsagency comes alive and hosts a range of fascinating shows that really show just how incredible a performance space it is, and how impressive some of the local acts are. For a quieter, but still memorable night, it’s definitely worth checking out The Newsagency at other times of the year too.

Union Hotel, Newtown

Much in the same vein as The Bald Faced Stag, the Union Hotel is an old-school pub that’s experienced a rejuvenation as a light music venue and it’s one of the most reliable spots in Sydney to head to for original live music on a Thursday or on your weekend. An added bonus of a visit to the Union Hotel is their craft beer selection which is one of the most impressive collections in town. If you want somewhere to enjoy a schooner and a brand new band, head down to King Street and check out the Union. 

Midnight Special, Newtown

This dark small bar is one of the best new places in the inner west and hosts comedians, singer-songwriters and bands (split over the two sides of the room) and everything in between. Gigs are often announced with very short notice, so make sure you regularly check the Midnight Special website or social media pages to see if there are any interesting acts coming up (hint: there usually is!)