We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Gold Coast nightlife. And the best side dish to your margarita and taco combo? Some good old fashioned live tunes.
Whether you’re a weekend arvo kinda guy or a Friday night groover, the GC has got something to get your foot tapping, minus the 80s cover band. From crooning wine bars to head banging mosh pits, we can’t get enough of the diversity on offer when it comes to top spots for live music. So, start warming up peeps, here’s a swag of the best live music venues on the Gold Coast.
A fave among locals; swill, chomp, drop and lock at Miami Marketta. This epic joint is always bringing us something new but one thing remains the same, killer live beats every Friday and Saturday ‘til late. With big acts like Vera Blue and Urthboy rocking out on their stage in the past, get your weekly dose of music at this seriously rad venue.
Sound Lounge At Currumbin RSL
Ahh, Currumbin. With your pristine rock pools, lapping ocean and, wait for it, fist pumping good tunes taking the rock-o-meter to a whole new level. The Sound Lounge has gotta be one of the best live music venues on the Gold Coast. We mean, who doesn’t love a casual trip to the RSL accompanied by meeting a cutie on the dance floor? Cha-ching.
Heading north? NightQuarter is a must on the list of best live music venues on the Gold Coast. Twilight markets, workshops and toe tapping treats are always on offer at Helensvale’s own giggin’ paradise. The Screaming Jets, Baby Animals and The Living End reckon it’s alright, so we do too. Plus, check out local acts every Friday and Saturday for next to nothing ($3 a pop and kids under 12 are free).
Mo’s Desert Clubhouse
The new kid on the block is absolutely killing it among the best music venues on the Gold Coast. Set in Burleigh’s industrial estate, Mo’s Desert Clubhouse has already hosted international acts, set up a rehearsal space and literally couldn’t get any more ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ if it tried. Rock out with thrashing bands, your groovy new mates and drums filled with cactuses. What could go wrong?
True to its name, Hidden Groove is tucked away ever-so-neatly down an alleyway. Arguably Tugun’s best kept secret, Hidden has made a name for itself with their scrumptious array of delectable tapas selections and assortment of cocktails on their fancy dinner menu. Wine degustations, burlesque, live bands, anything goes at Hidden. Check out their website for gig days and times before heading out and showing the locals in Tuges what you’ve got.
Every Sunday (3pm ‘til 6pm), these sun-loving chillers are bringing you the goods. Bundle up your dog, grab a cocktail and hang out at the grooviest place in Southport—Cafe Catalina. Once you’ve gulped down your refreshing drink, hit the D-floor for acoustic tracks and local bands kissing the weekend goodbye with you.
Outdoor festivals are what we live for and at Advancetown Hotel, every darn day feels like one. A brisk 20-minute drive from our Gold Coast homeland, lap up some rays and get jiggy with live music at this breezy hinterland location. Hosting some epic acts such as Gold Coast’s own Maddison Kat, fit with a horns section, Uptown Funk covers, Cake faves and more. Take the scenic route and bring in the weekend right.
Eddie’s Grub House
This grungy mixing pot of whiskey, fried chicken and heart breakers has your evening boogie set to a tee. Head down to Eddie’s Grub House on Tuesday’s for Jam Night, Fridays for live tunes and basically any other night of the week to have a jolly cracker of a time in Coolangatta’s best rock’n’roll bar known to man.
Feeling like checking out more of a cosy, intimate gig? Sofar Sounds has this to offer and so much more. Set in a mysterious location emailed to you a day before the event, schmooze with local musos in the comfort of, well, we don’t know. But if the rave global reviews are anything to go by, you’re in for a goodun.
An OG contender among the best live music venues on the Gold Coast, Elsewhere is not just about DJs. This throbbing hot-spot is a hub of alternative electronic tunes, a Saturday Night Fever-style dance floor and delightfully gorgeous hipsters, which has also welcomed the likes of local star Amy Shark, Faker plus more.
A faithful local drinking hole, catch live acoustic acts downstairs, electrifying psychedelic shows upstairs and the occasional festival filled with all of your faves on the rooftop. We’re talkin’ Grinspoon, DZ Deathrays and Butterfingers to name a few previous guests. Grab a schooie, your parmy-loving mates and head down on any given Friday, Saturday or Sunday for some seriously cool gigs at Miami Tavern's Shark Bar.
The Cambus Wallace
Whiskey Wednesdays, Blues Tuesdays, these guys are all about mixing moody tunes with even muddier grooves reminiscent of a getaway to New Orleans. At The Cambus Wallace, check out regular bands donning self-playing drum kits, gritty bass lines and harmonicas galore. Pull up a stool and yoho your way into a night of pure nautical bliss.
8th Ave. Terrace
Did someone say Sunday sesh and live tunes? You’re talkin’ our language. Known for their gourmet dishes, extravagant cocktail menu and a view in Palm Beach making you sigh ‘you little beauty,’ the guys at 8th Ave. Terrace host a mixed bag of artists every Sunday, too. Deny Mondays too-soon arrival the right way, by heading along to one of the most chilled places to enjoy live music on the Gold Coast.
Iron & Resin Garage
Rumbling Harleys, piping hot coffees and live tunes every Sunday morning from 9am really gets our motors running, and makes Iron & Resin hands down one of the coolest live music venues on the Gold Coast. Secretly, we love the purr of a two wheeler and let’s be real, brekkie burgers as big as your head just go hand in hand with living life in the fast lane. Raw and edgy, the rock-blues combo of Iron & Resin’s local acts are worthy of a phoar or two.
The Coolangatta Hotel
Gracing our southern foreshore, The Cooly Hotel is one of the top spots for live music on the Gold Coast, for sure. There’s something about walking straight from the sand dunes into the pub that really gives us holiday vibes and everybody knows that sea salt hair is best swished in front of a stage. With big acts like The Preatures, The Rubens and Thirsty Merc hanging out at The Cooly Hotel on the reg, check out this joint if you’re serious about catching live shows worthy of an autograph.
Burleigh Brewing Co.
The legends at Burleigh Brewing Co. know what’s up. That’s why delicious food trucks, mesmerising live art and hollering music on at least one day of every weekend is a given. If you’re serious about beer, this one’s for you. Check out the taphouse and watch a coupla bands in the arvo before boogying away your worries. Those moves will make you stiff competition in the next dance off. Or maybe that’s the brewskies talking.
So guys, Surfers is totally making a comeback. And you don’t have to be a schoolie with a six pack of cruisers in your handbag to actually have a good time. These days, it’s filled with seriously cool new spaces, one of which being Steampunk. Get busay on Friday and Saturday nights by grabbing a $10 espresso martini and busting out to some local acts like Katie Who, Ryan Gittoes and Andy Penney.
Duh, one of the top spots for live music on the Gold Coast is…the markets! Doing a fab job of providing a platform for local musos, we can’t get enough of wafting soulful tunes during our morning rack rummage. Burleigh’s The Village Markets, Palm Beach Farmers Markets, The Green Marquee or anything by Gold Coast Design Collective, just to name a few epic spots where you can catch live tunes every weekend alongside your bargain veggie haul.
Ready to hit the best music venues on the Gold Coast? You’re going to wanna check out these vintage stores for some bangin’ threads first.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List