Time Out Sydney

Want to know Sydney's music scene at a glance? Here's where you need to look

The Metro Theatre

This baby's got all bases covered. Good sound? Check. Decent amenities? Check. A bar from which you can see the stage? Check. Another bar? Check. Since the early 90s, The Metro has been showcasing a splashing of all ages gigs while presenting a myriad of musical genres across every night of the week. Bravo! Sydney.

Oxford Art Factory

OAF bridges the gap between hang out and venue in style. The two rooms host socialites and punters, divided by a drawing room and two bars. It's well decorated and interesting, and the lighting's great. The bill brings in obscure hip hop acts and mainstream pop alike. Darlinghurst.

The Enmore Theatre

The Enmore has an old-world feel and offers a nice alternative to a trek into the city. There's seating, a mezzanine, parking and it's played host to some killer bands over the years - Modest Mouse to Wilco to Divinyls to Queens of the Stone Age - while providing killer comedy too. And when the show's over, spill onto Enmore Road for dinner and a drink. Newtown.

Sydney Opera House

As one of the most photographed and famous (if controversial) performing arts venues in the world, the pearly shells of the Sydney Opera House are synonymous with Australia's image – an iconic and irreplaceable part of Sydney's skyline. The Music at the House program welcomes a myriad of genres from electronic wizards to mod-rock heroes, then of course there's plenty of opera and classical performances on every week. Sydney.

Hordern Pavilion

The Hordern does the job when it comes to bigger audiences. Ample seating wraps around the huge standing area - it's just damn spacious. There are plenty of amenities, the sound suits big gigs and it's easy to get to. Catch a pre-drink at the Fox and Lion and grab a cab home with ease. Moore Park.

Allphones Arena

It may be a bit out of the way – so planning your journey there and back is essential – but the Allphones Arena knows how to put on a pop show. Formerly known as the Acer Arena, this Olympic Park mega venue has played host to some of the biggest rock and pop stars Australia has seen. Sydney Olympic Park.

Goodgod Small Club

Down the stairwell and past the booth seats of the DJ-dominated Front Bar lies the smoky club with the atmosphere of a barn. Shows here are early, ending usually at eleven when the dance nights start, so you have to arrive at 8pm to catch the first support. With the room fanning out towards the back corners, the mix here is not the best in town, but the bills are top-notch, choc-a-block with mostly local and some international acts. Order a sangria jug in true Spanish-Quarter-style and snag a spot towards the front. Sydney.

The Factory Theatre

With its not-so-flash carpets and RSL-like interior, the Factory Theatre is a blank canvas for all kinds of shows, from hot-ticket internationals to fairly big-name local bands. There is serious room to move around with a slightly tiered floor perfect for the vertically challenged. Beer selection is as basic as the décor but if you’re early you can always mix it up at the Vic on the Park around the corner. Marrickville.

The Basement

This one's for all the blues and funk fans out there. The dark but classy Basement hosts a great live performance. No matter where you're standing you can hear the music, see the band and reach the bar. A great musical experience, be it jazz, blues or rock. Sydney.

The Beach Road Hotel

The Beach Road serves all the eastern suburbs' indie needs. It comes to life mid-week with free bands, DJs and hoards of punters and backpackers. Dancing, drinking (and a little chin stroking) lead you back into the working week in style. Bondi.

The Vanguard

The trusty Vanguard is an intimate live music venue and restaurant that has long played host to the greats of Australian and international music. Almost vaudeville décor dresses the New Orleans-styled venue, whose owners were inspired by that beautiful, lived-in district of LA. Known widely as Sydney's house of jazz and blues, its friendly and unpretentious ambience has been on the radar of the Newtown set for a while. Newtown.


Sign up to our monthly music newsletter

First published on . Updated on .

The Baxter Inn

The Baxter Inn

Baxter Inn is the gussied-up inner-city sister of Surry Hills swill house, Shady Pines Saloon



A Sydney stalwart stands the test of time

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus