Small but mighty – dance your way through Sydney’s best live music venues this weekend!

We all know that Sydney isn’t short of space when it comes to live music venues. And, just as eclectic as Sydneysiders can be, so too is the city itself thanks to some of the truly iconic and beautiful music venues. With everything from Enmore Theatre to the City Recital Hall and, not to forget the world-renowned Sydney Opera House.

However, all those these large-scale venues are iconic in their own right, Sydney has a reputation for small live music venues. Unique, surprising and proudly independent, these venues are a hotspot for artists and listeners alike to express, enjoy and pay tribute to their love of local music.

So, if you’re ready to dance your night away, check out these mighty small live music venues in Sydney this weekend!

<strong>Lazybones Lounge Restaurant & Bar</strong>
Image supplied.

Lazybones Lounge Restaurant & Bar

When we think of Marrickville, we think of bars and bustling restaurants. However, Lazybones Lounge Restaurant & Bar is a top spot for live entertainment. With a downstairs whisky bar, velvet furnishings, hanging chandeliers and a collection of antiques and mannequins lining the walls, this unusual location is a thriving nightspot thanks to its favourable lineup of bohemian-like music artists. Plus, with a deli counter and extraordinary bar menu, you’ll find a reason to never leave.

More info

294 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville, NSW 2204
<strong>Mary's Underground</strong>
Photographed by Ben Savage. Image via Destination NSW.

Mary's Underground

When you think of Mary’s Underground, the first thing that comes to mind might be the iconic burger shop in Newtown. And you wouldn’t be wrong there. Led by the same iconic team, Mary’s Underground by Mary’s Group in Sydney’s CBD is a haven for all things rock and roll. Featuring a shuffled mix-up of artists across nearly all genres, Mary’s Underground is as exciting as it gets when it comes to the best live music venues in Sydney. And, if you’re not watching an emerging artists, you’ll most likely be tapping your feet along to swanky tunes of the in-house jazz band all whilst sipping on a cocktail. Name a better night out.

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29 Reiby Pl, Sydney, NSW 2000
<strong>Oxford Art Factory</strong>
Photographed by Anna Kucera. Image via Destination NSW.

Oxford Art Factory

Housing over 5,000 music fans on a weekly basis, although Oxford Art Factory isn’t technically considered small, we thought that they were still worth the mention as one of Sydney’s best live music venues. Hanging off Oxford Street in Darlinghurst, Oxford Art Factory has hosted an impressive lineup of both Australian and international artists. Think Lady Gaga, Gang of Youths and much more. Unlike others, what makes Oxford Art Factory standout as one of the best live music venues in Sydney is their thriving location in the heart of Sydney’s LGBTQ+ scene, meaning they welcome all!

More info

38/46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
<strong>The Vanguard</strong>
Photographed by Ken Leanfore. Image via Destination NSW.

The Vanguard

It comes to no surprise that Newtown’s The Vanguard has made this list as one of the best small live music venue in Sydney. Nestled within King Street, The Vanguard is all about good food, live music and burlesque cabaret. The ultimate destination for dinner and a show, we recommend checking out their website and booking ahead for your next night out. Whilst you’re here, be sure to try the Perfect Lady Grey made with gin, earl grey tea and creme de peche, yum!

More info

42 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042

Wanting to experience the true charm of Sydney’s nightlife? Check out this guide to the 5 Best Restaurants with Live Music in Sydney. Or swing through this list of the 5 Best Burlesque and Cabaret Shows in Sydney.

Feature image: Oxford Art Factory, Sydney. Photographed by Anna Kucera. Image via Destination NSW.
This article was first published on October 12 2017. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on November 15 2023.