Live music in Adelaide

The streets of Adelaide are alive with the sound of music.

Such is our love of music, in 2015 Adelaide was the first city in Australia to be designated a UNESCO City of Music. The designation is an acknowledgement of the breadth, depth and vibrancy of the city’s music culture, its international reach, its history and its aspirations.

Learn more about the UNESCO City of Music.

Where to see live music

Adelaide is home to an eclectic variety of musical talent, venues and festivals. You'll find something to match your mood playing every night of the week in one of over 80 live music venues throughout the city.

Let there be rock

Some of the best places to see independent and emerging artists are intimate venues such as the funky Jive, Fat Controller and the iconic Lion Arts Factory, electronic music at Rocket Bar.

The city also has a pumping pub scene, with many hotels and bars hosting live bands and acoustic sets. Check out The Grace EmilyThe Hotel Metropolitan (The Metro to locals), The Austral, The Exeter Hotel, or Crown and Anchor. There's also The Lion Hotel or Royal Oak Hotel in North Adelaide. Please note you must be over 18 to enter these venues.

Just on the edge of the city you'll find much bigger venues. In the warmer months, the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens becomes a spectacular backdrop for outdoor concerts. The Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Thebarton Theatre host major international touring acts. The multi-award winning Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, (but please just call them The Gov) offers a wide range of gigs and concerts.

On a classical note

The Adelaide classical music scene has a rich tapestry of offerings. Established in 1936, The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO) offers a diverse and colourful program throughout the year. You'll also find them providing orchestral support for the State Opera of South Australia, the Adelaide Youth Orchestra and Adelaide Chamber Singers.

The best venues to see these performances are the stunning Adelaide Town Hall, the Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre and the iconic Elder Hall.

Jazz in the City

If jazz is more your style, then escape to the remarkable speakeasy Nineteen Ten, where the sounds are as rich as the decor and the vocals as smooth as the whiskey.  

On a Sunday afternoon sit back and relax to the tunes of the Dave Black Quartet at the Publishers Hotel, or on Tuesday nights the Air Benders will get you grooving to their swinging, funky soul jazz at the Gilbert Street Hotel

Dancing in the streets

Buskers add to the colourful atmosphere of the city. From musicians to comedians and street performers, you'll find a diverse range of buskers throughout Rundle Mall and along some of the streets and laneways throughout the city. If you're thinking of busking, you’ll need a permit, but don’t worry they’re free and you can apply online.

In the warmer months, the council hosts Music in the Square, where you can get down to one of the city’s outdoor squares in your lunch break and groove to the sounds of Adelaide’s talented musicians.

Sing up a storm

There are many ways you can get involved  in the music scene in Adelaide. 

PubSing

If you've only ever sung in the shower then why not come out at a Pub choir event at The Duke of Brunswick

No karaoke solos here, you'll be singing along with a pub full of other wanna-bes, although it does help to have a bevvy or two under your belt for a little dutch courage. 

Open mic nights

If you'd rather shine on your own, then try the Open Mic nights at The Grace Emily and The Metro

Otherwise known as Billy Bob's BBQ and Jam, the open mic night at the Grace Emily is held on Monday nights from 9pm and allows you to play with, or without the backing of the house band. 

The iconic Metropolitan Hotel may be old, but on Tuesday nights you get to hear the newest talent in town when they open the stage for all to try. 

Jam sessions

Don't have a band but want to rock? Come on down to the Duke of York on Thursdays from 7pm for a jam session. Of course duos and bands are welcome too. The more the merrier!

Did you know?

Adelaide is the birthplace of numerous great Australian bands and artists, many achieving international fame: Cold Chisel, Little River Band, The Angels, Guy Sebastian, Sister Janet Mead, Masters Apprentices, No Fixed Address, Hilltop Hoods, Paul Kelly, The Superjesus, Jimmy Barnes, Sia Furler are just a few.

You can listen to local music on Play Pause Play