If you’re planning a trip to Australia’s sunny city of Brisbane and are a music lover, make sure to check out some of the many live music venues downtown and in surrounding suburbs. While Sydney and Melbourne are two of the more famous cities in Australia, Brisbane has grown into an impressive cultural hub over recent years and is now seen as the best spot in the country to see a wide variety of musical acts.
The city has a regularly evolving live music scene, a large number of venues, and sees not only local bands doing their thing, but many national and international acts. The other benefit of checking out the entertainment in Brissie, as it is known locally, is the affordable price. If you’re backpacking and on a tight budget as you work your way around Australia, you’ll still be able to check out plenty of live music venues in Brisbane that won’t break the bank. Read on for five awesome entertainment spots in the city to visit on your next trip, no matter your type of jam.
1. Brisbane Jazz Club
If you’re a fan of jazz music then make sure you head to the Brisbane Jazz Club at least once. Located in inner-city Kangaroo Point, in the shadow of the iconic Story Bridge and sitting on the Brisbane River, the Club not only provides great music but also fantastic views to the city. Jazz lovers are sure to appreciate the friendly, relaxed atmosphere that this Brisbane institution is known for, on top of the mix of local and international musicians.
The Club happens to be one of the longest-running jazz clubs in the world, and is even home to its own band and building. The Brisbane Big Band, a 19-piece ensemble, has called the club home since 1974. This top-notch musical venue is a community organized, not-for-profit venture that has a commitment to fostering an appreciation of jazz in all music lovers.
2. The Tivoli
Many tourists that plan trips to Brisbane end up staying in the funky inner-city precinct of Fortitude Valley. Located in this suburb’s Entertainment Precinct, The Tivoli is a live music icon and one of the most famous venues in Brisbane. The establishment was built back in 1917 and has since been restored in the classic art deco style.
The versatile venue hosts musical and other live acts from a diverse range of genres, including theatre, dance, and comedy; and also holds many corporate events, private parties, and weddings. The Tivoli is well-known in Brisbane for its elegant decor combined with state-of-the-art technical equipment, and as such is a draw for musical acts all over the world.
3. Brisbane Powerhouse
The Brisbane Powerhouse is Brisbane City Council’s top arts performance venue and a popular landmark in the city. A former power station, this New Farm institution is set in a pretty spot on the bank of the Brisbane River and also handy to popular New Farm Park.
The venue features regular free live entertainment, as well as big name musicians such as Gotye and Paul Kelly. Up and coming artists also flock here to grow their profile, and the Powerhouse is really a hub for a variety of creative acts. The venue hosts entertainment acts in the areas of theater, film, visual arts, and comedy, as well as regular festivals.
4. The Zoo
Another popular Fortitude Valley venue for music lovers is The Zoo, a rock-and-roll live music stalwart that is popular with the indie crowd. This haunt has a cool, grungy style and showcases both popular bands and smaller, local acts.
Tourists can listen to a diverse range of musical styles at The Zoo, with anything from folk, reggae, and acoustic sounds to hip hop, rock, jazz, and pop. The venue has been helping to develop musicians and visual performance artists for over 20 years now, and is the perfect spot to go when you want to be amongst hip music lovers.
5. Beetle Bar
One of the newer live music establishments on the Brisbane scene is Beetle Bar. This funky venue is located downtown and is quite easy to find, with a shiny rooftop beetle to distinguish itself.
Beetle Bar opened in 2010 and is the place to head for original live music in genres such as rock, hip hop, funk, electronic, acoustic, pop, country, and more. The club also provides affordable ticket pricing that suits a wide array of budgets.