Where to find live music for a Sydney date

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If you and your date have a mutual interest in music, you’ll find somewhere that will make the perfect date location:

Oxford Art Factory

When OAF opened, the buzz surrounding the music venue/gallery/bar was huge as it was one of Sydney’s only small-scale dedicated music and art spaces. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that it changed the face of live entertainment in Sydney, and it remains right at the forefront.

Oxford Art GalleryImage source

Goodgod Small Club

Sydney’s hottest small bar programmes the best of international and local acts. Its CBD location means that you can stop by for drinks after work (it opens at 5pm Wed-Fri and from 6pm on Saturday), grab a hotdog or a pulled pork sandwich and stick around for the gig or DJs.

FBi Social

If you like your indie music really indie, the volunteer-powered radio station opened their own venue upstairs at the Kings Cross Hotel, hosting the best of emerging music. If you’re an official FBi supporter, flash your membership to receive 10% off drinks and impress your date with your musical knowledge.

The Metro

A great medium-sized space, the Metro’s interior belies its George St location – it has a far more artistic and ground-roots vibe than its more polished neighbours, like Ivy just a few blocks away. Its programme reflects this commitment to artistic merit.

A gig at The Metro in SydneyImage source

The Factory Theatre

Where once was a dirty warehouse is now a theatre/music venue in Marrickville – where those who pine for the erstwhile grit of Newtown can still find the anarchic spirit and rough artistic gems. Nearby is the Red Rattler, which also hosts the occasional album launch and gig.

Manning Bar

Despite being Sydney University’s student bar, anyone can go to its publicly advertised music gigs. There’s a huge range of sounds, from death metal to indie rock. They’re not necessarily regular, but you never know – your date’s favourite band might just show up there. Wander up Glebe Point Rd for a coffee to debrief.

The Sandringham Hotel

This South King Street watering hole has seen a few facelifts in its time, but its gigs are a mainstay of the inner west music scene. You’ll find sets of an afternoon and most nights, many of which are free. Head to nearby Thai restaurant Newtown afterwards to complete the night.

The Basement

If jazz is your bag, the Basement will always be your first port of call. You’ll find the peak of local and touring jazz and blues acts, along with the odd cabaret act as well. Top the evening off with a wander around Circular Quay.

The Hordern Pavilion

Longtime Sydneysiders will remember the Hordern as part of the old Easter Show venue, but instead of New South Wales’ best livestock, these days it plays host to some of the best touring and local bands, from Midnight Oil to Nicki Minaj, AC/DC to The xx. Snag a pair of tickets to an upcoming gig for a date with a music lover.


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