Where to see live music in Brisbane

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Nothing beats the electric sound of an amp crackling right before your favourite act takes centre stage. Brisbane’s live music scene is working on its second act crescendo, ready for locals and visitors to tune in to the soundtrack to our city.

Music set to impress

Ready to rock to the setlists of some of your favourite acts? A night out at Brisbane Riverstage is just what your Spotify list called for. From breakout Australian acts to the inimitable sounds of Lorde, the stage on the banks of the Brisbane River is the greatest backdrop for memory-making concerts.

Queensland's oldest standing theatre has been reborn as Brisbane's newest venue for live music and performance in the heart of Woolloongabba. The Princess Theatre has been brought back to life by the local, live music legends behind The Tivoli and has a set list of impressive indie acts.

If your moshing days are done, make your way to the Queensland Cultural Centre in South Bank for a more relaxed evening in the company of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). Get ready to walk 500 miles with The Proclaimers as the twins visit QPAC for one night only, or travel back to the 1960s and the classics with a performance by The Beatle Boys.

Gigs for true music lovers

Brisbane’s built on the back of a love of live music and lays claim to being the stomping ground of some of Australia’s most well-known bands.

Dedicated gig-goers will know the walk up the stairs to the iconic The Zoo on Ann Street. This local institution celebrates 30 years of live music this year, paving the way for many local acts to take centre stage and playing home to international acts and their side gigs including the likes of Nick Cave and the Dirty Three, Silverchair, Powderfinger, Violent Soho, and The Pixies. For another walk down memory lane, dance like nobody's watching at The Tivoli with sets for all musical tastes from cabaret, tribute bands to indie electronica, and rock.

For a gig with plenty of character, consider the intimate stylings of Fortitude Valley’s Black Bear Lodge. This small but mighty venue offers music lovers RnB DJ sets to get your groove back, smooth jazz sets and new album launches so you can say, “I saw them play before they were big!”

Joining these iconic venues on the bill are newcomers like air hanger meets Newstead beer garden The Triffid, The Fortitude Music Hall and the saloon-stylings of Caxton Street’s Lefty’s Music Hall where you can indulge in old fashioned honky-tonk tunes and a soul-food menu. You’ll be filling your calendar with concerts to see faster than you can ask Siri to stream your new favourite artist on repeat.

Where to hear new music

It’s hard to find a more iconic venue than Brisbane Powerhouse. If this is your year to discover a new sound, spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon at Brisbane’s premier arts venue indulging in the spectacle of the weird and wonderful. Check out their calendar of comedy, music and more.

Southsiders, head to a show at SunPAC, in the heart of Sunnybank, where you can hear diverse musical performances from local and international artists. Keep grooving as you enjoy a meal at the array of restaurants in the area.

Where to see free live music

If your love of music has you investing too many pretty pennies in concert tickets, we’ve got the low-down on where you can find the best free live music in Brisbane.

Turn it up a notch with free live music every night of the week at Brooklyn Standard. Behind this secret laneway door you’ll find nightly funk, soul, rock and roll, rockabilly and RnB. Check their Facebook page for updates.

Want to stay close to home? Pack a picnic and lay a blanket down on a grassy knoll to enjoy one of our Bands in Parks events. 

It's only the beginning

Our live music scene is kicking off and it’s only the beginning. Plan your next Brisbetter adventure with inspiration from our explore page and discover more to see and do close to home.

On the go? Download the Brisbane app today to discover and share the best things to see and do around Brisbane.

Always follow Queensland Health advice when catching up in person. 

Related links

This article was updated in December 2022.

Editor's note: The featured content in Brisbane Explore is created to inspire residents and visitors to plan a day out exploring Brisbane and to buy local as part of the city's Economic Recovery Plan. Brisbane City Council disclaims any relationship with, or endorsement of, businesses featured in this video.

Come back regularly to check for new and updated content and don't forget to share your favourite places on Instagram using #Brisbetter!

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