Where to see free live music every night of the week
Liven up your Tuesday with some old school funk or or get yourself through hump day at a mid-week gig. Whatever night you choose, there's plenty of free live concerts every night of the week to get you groovin', right across the city and its surrounds.
Upcoming gigs and parties
Twilight at Taronga
Twilight at Taronga presented by ANZ Concert Series, sees thousands of fans flock to the zoo for live music under the stars. The opening weekend in January will see Peter Garrett and the Alter Egos and Kev Carmody take to the stage. Two legends of Oz rock, Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons and the Sports, will join forces for a special concert during the opening weekend as well. If Aussie rock is your thing, then don’t miss the chance to see the recently reformed Killing Heidi, Jet and george as well as the Rubens and The Living End. If you're struggling for a Christmas gift idea then tickets to one of these shows might be just what that hard-to-buy-for relative would love. Ticket holders also get free entry to the zoo at any time of day on the day of the show and free return public transport options. As another bonus, the proceeds from Twilight at Taronga go towards the zoo's ongoing conservation work – specifically Wildlife Witness, which helps in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. Click through the dates and times tab to see the full line-up and book tickets.
Heaps Gay Pardi Gras
If you're more inclined to stay in the safety of the Inner West during the parade or after something a bit more left-field post-march then Heaps Gay's party is most certainly for you. Plying us all with another vibrant line-up, this year's Pardi Gras is three stages of queer artists, musicians and performers for you to sashay through. There's also a smooth operator's whiskey bar, a fortune teller for those understandably nervous about the future and lots of other technicolour surprises. Some of the musical highlights include the wonky pop of Dominic Talarico, the camgirl R'n'B of Kimchi Princi and the floor-filling selections of DJs Rimbombo, Del, Sveta and Low Ton. Check the full line-up here.
A marathon party completely devoted to all things Kylie Minogue is potentially the ideal way to dip your stilettoed toes into a Mardi-party experience. Featuring hours upon hours of just Kylie songs from obsessive DJ Argonaut, specially themed Kocktails (yes, really) and tribute drag performances, it’s a heaving, hotpant-clad testament to the pop princess’s influence in the LGBTQIA community. Dig out your best white pillowcase hoodie and don’t forget to do your sexercises, there’s bound to be some Michael Hutchence lookalikes spinning around.
Your guide to Sydney's music scene
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Shows to book now
Sing “Drive boy, dog boy, dirty, numb angel boy” and you’ll start a whole generation chanting the lyrics to one of Trainspotting’s cult classics. Underworld have continued to carve out their own rock and electronica sound over a 25-year career, which included a legendary performance at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. This show is part of the contemporary music program presented by Sydney Opera House, which includes Kasabian, Warpaint, Explosions in the Sky, the Stone Roses and Mary J. Blige.
Everyone's favourite '80s enthusiasts are heading out on tour following the release of their album Diplomatic Immunity. Expect sequins, dancing, costumes changes and new bangers from the synth-pop duo. Put it on the company Diner's Club Card and get to the Metro for maximum pleasure. Get there early and hear the Stranger Things theme tune remixed by Adelaide’s Luke Million.
Any aspirant highschool guitarist worth her salt will remember the shiver they got the first time they picked out 'B-E-B-E-B-E-B-E-B-E-B-E-down-up-strums'. Now, after more than half a decade between tours, The Pixies are returning to blast us with the simple magic of 'Where Is My Mind', along with tracks from their September 2016 album Head Carrier. This will be only the second time The Pixies have hit our shores without founding bassist Kim Deal (she's off releasing solo material). As with their Vivid shows in 2014, Deal has been replaced in the lineup by Paz Lenchatin, formerly of A Perfect Circle. She's been touring with the band since shortly after Deal left, and became an official member of The Pixies in July of 2016. Tickets go on sale September 2.
Byron Bay Bluesfest
Byron Bay Bluesfest is the hardcore music fan's festival consitently producing quality blues, soul, funk, rock and even hip hop line-ups. This year is no different. Headlined by the legendary Patti Smith, who will be playing her classic album Horses and backing it up with an acoustic show the next night, and R'n'B star Mary J. Blige, you can also catch Billy Bragg, the Lumineers, Mavis Staples, Buddy Guy, Jethro Tull and heaps more.
Mary J Blige
The ‘Family Affair’ and ‘No More Drama’ singer-songwriter has been touring almost every year since 1997, but has never before performed at the House. If you want to see the nine-time Grammy Award winner, tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday December 2.