Live music in Adelaide

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.

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 JiveAncient World and Broadcast Bar or to see more established acts head to a larger venue like, Lion Arts FactoryHindley Street Music Hall or UniBar Adelaide. Electronic music can be found at venues like Rocket Bar and Rooftop, SugarElectric Circus and Divide Nightclub. Please note you must be over 18 to enter some of these venues.

The city also has a pumping pub scene, with many hotels and bars hosting live bands and acoustic sets. Check out The Grace Emily, The Hotel Metropolitan (The Metro to locals), The Exeter Hotel, or Crown and Anchor. There's also The Lion Hotel or Royal Oak Hotel in North Adelaide.

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.

Join the Grace Emily Hotel for the immersive jazz vibes of the Django Rowe Quartet's regular jam sessions on Wednesday's, or on Tuesday nights from 7:30 pm, the Air Benders will get you grooving to their swinging, funky soul jazz at the Gilbert Street Hotel. If you like things a little bluesier, head to Memphis Slim's House of Blues hosting live music 5 nights a week.

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

Sing your heart out on the main stage at the La Sing Karaoke Bar with your BFFs, or even your colleagues! 

For those wanting to shine on their own, La Sing holds regular open mic and Karaoke Bar events for self accompanied musicians to showcase their talent.

Open mic nights

If you'd like to shine on stage, then try the Open Mic night at The Grace Emily. 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.

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. Check out the City of Music Laneways across the city named after some of these icons.