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The best music venues in Sydney

See live music on some of the city's most loved stages

Photograph: Daniel Boud

Want to catch some live music? Whether it's a big name international or a local indie band, Sydney's got a bunch bangin' live music venues, ready to please your ears and entertain you

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 showcased a splashing of all-ages gigs while presenting a myriad of musical genres across every night of the week. Bravo!

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Oxford Art Factory

OAF bridges the gap between hangout and venue with 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.


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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. When the show's over, spill onto Enmore Road for dinner and a drink.

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Sydney Opera House

The pearly shells of the Sydney Opera House are synonymous with Australia's image – an iconic and irreplaceable part of Sydney's skyline. Their Music at the House program welcomes a myriad of genres from electronica to mod rock. Then, of course, there are plenty of opera and classical performances on every week.

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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 drink beforehand at the Fox and Lion. 

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Moore Park

Allphones Arena

It may be a bit out of the way – so planning your journey there and back is essential – but Allphones knows how to house a pop extravaganza. 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.

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Sydney Olympic Park

The Factory Theatre

With its not-so-flash carpets and RSL-like interior, the Factory 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.

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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.

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Circular Quay

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 hordes of punters and backpackers. Dancing, drinking (and a little chin stroking) lead you back into the working week in style.

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Bondi Beach

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. It's known widely as Sydney's house of jazz and blues, and boasts a friendly and unpretentious ambience.

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