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Hear it live, locally

Newtown has always been known across Sydney as a meeting point for creatives from all walks of life, so it’s really no surprise that there’s a heap of Live Music venues floating around! We’ve rounded up some info on some of the best + put together a little gig guide for you.

Waywards @ Bank Hotel

Nestled in the middle of Newtown, upstairs at the Bank Hotel, you’ll find Waywards. This lively venue fits approximately 250 patrons and hosts a heap of live music every Friday and Saturday - these ticketed events run until 10:30 pm, followed by free events until 3 am! Waywards is also home to Birdcage every Wednesday night, one of Sydney’s longest-running LGBTQI parties, first hosted in 2012.

Looking for a laugh? Waywards also hosts ticketed comedy events every Monday and once a month on Tuesdays, they dedicate one of their comedy nights to a local charity each month. We can’t think of a better reason to get amongst it.

Tokyo Sing Song @ Marly Bar

Found underneath the Marly Bar, Tokyo Sing Song is home to a massive roster of monthly events every Friday and Saturday. Hosted by some of Sydney’s best promoters - whether you’re into techno, dubstep, trance, drum & bass - there is something for everyone each month! In the past year, Tokyo Sing Song has welcomed acts including Hoodzy, Dave Nunes (NL), Human Movement, Lucille Croft, Kilter, Latifa T, Jiqui, Sippy, and many, many more!

But it’s not all about the big guns; Tokyo Sing Song pride itself on giving opportunities to local, up-and-coming talent - whether it’s hosting a DJ’s first gig or supporting live acts to put on their first show - they are all about supporting the local creative community. You’ll also be taking in all of this incredible sound through a Pioneer XY Series sound system which is second to none.

Bootleggers @ Kelly’s on King

Level 1, 285 King St, Newtown -

Past the Guinness drinking crowd, upstairs at Kelly’s on King, you’ll find Bootleggers - a live music venue small enough to make you feel like you’re part of the show but big enough to put on solid gigs (e.g., Horrowshow, Hayley Mary). Bootleggers run a mix of ticketed and free events throughout the week, with a rotating monthly roster of big names booked every Friday and Saturday.

Set vs Set is a monthly band comp, with weekly Thursday night heats, that gives budding artists a chance to play to a crowd and fine-tune their craft under the direction of the in-house master sound engineer. Winners can receive cash prizes, secure ticketed gigs at Bootleggers, and gain access to mentorship and coaching opportunities by industry professionals. 5b5b (5 Bands 5 Bucks) is another format that showcases 5 bands on one night. Spots are reserved for up-and-coming bands that show promise but don’t yet get exposure to live crowds. Best of all? It’s only $5!

Photo: Tom Wilkinson

Lansdowne Hotel

2-6 City Rd, Chippendale -

While the main stage has been host to legends such as Amyl and The Sniffers, Wet Leg, and Billie Eilish, it’s events such as the weekly Graveyard shift that have seen the boots of local grunge, rock and punk bands stomp across the ground floor stage, cementing their place in the heart of Sydney’s music scene. It’s not all mullets and leather - our stages have seen it all, from thumping techno nights, all day queer parties to cabaret and everything in between, all are welcome to The Lansdowne Hotel.

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