Picture this: it’s a Friday night, you’ve got nothing to do, and you’re thinking about that one friend’s insta story who is always at the coolest gigs. Push that FOMO aside because that could be you! This is your ultimate guide to 10 of Brisbane’s best live music venues!
So grab your docs and headbang your way to your nearest venue this weekend. The ultimate guide of the Brisbane Live Music Venues is now at the tip of your fingers.
If you’re visiting Brisbane or just haven’t had the chance to experience Brisbane’s music culture, treat this list as your weekend bible to good times, good music, and good memories.
If you are looking to see a band before they blow up, The Zoo is where you’ll find both upcoming artists and big-name acts. The venue is decked out with its own Zoopreme Pizzeria that is open until 2.30 in the morning so you can always count on them for your midnight snack. In 1992, the venue was built from the ground up, providing a much-needed performance platform for touring artists and local musicians.
“The Zoo will have something to whet your aural whistle” – The Zoo
If you’re a fan of blues, jazz, soul or funk, the Doo-Bop Bar is perfect for you. The venue is two levels with a piano bar on the ground floor that promotes a sing-along vibe and has internationally proclaimed pianists and singers, and a basement bar below. The basement bar has big wooden beams and exposed brick walls, adding to the overall ambience and good vibes.
With live music and a well-curated drinks list (including a guitar you can do shots off of), Brooklyn Standard definitely does provide an experience. Brooklyn has been awarded the Best Live Music Venue in Australia in 2015, 2019 & 2021 at the Australian Bar Awards. To enter you have to find its dim-lit brick cellar that can be accessed by a secret door located on Eagle Lane. Bands of all different genres get play at Brooklyn whether they are Funk, Soul, Rock’n’Roll, Mariachi, Rockabilly, RnB or anything in between, there is something for everyone. And if that hasn’t sold you already, their American-inspired food menu from sister venue Fat Angel will have you hooked!
“If the music is too loud… you’re too old” – Brooklyn Standard
This particular venue has quite the history. What was once a Church is now a stomping pit for hardcore alternative music lovers. If you’re worried about leaving your dog at home, no stress, The Brightside often hosts dog-friendly parties so your furry friend doesn’t have to miss out on the metal bands you love. They have a list of different themed nights including music trivia, karaoke, and sing-along opportunities.
‘This deconsecrated house of God and Fortitude Valley icon is now a place for those who worship at the altar of hardcore, metal, alt-rock/indie, punk and neo-psychedelia – Kobes 2014
The well-known Tivoli is an indoor theatre, restaurant, music venue, and event space. Hosting big-name acts from Paul Kelly and Missy Higgins to Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. The Tivoli Theatre was originally built as the Adams Bakery in 1917. It was later used to store rare books, but with Expo ’88 reverberating in the city, the building was transformed making it arguably one of the most beautiful event spaces in Brisbane.
Suzie Wongs Good Time Bar
Take a trip through the vintage fridge door that leads directly to the beloved Suzie Wongs. The venue has quite a unique vibe of a Hawaiian beach bar and grungy surf shack. Think live music and Pina-Coladas and you have the right idea. Suzie’s is truly a ‘good time’ bar, with a solid five nights a week of live music and good vibes. The music has something for everyone with bands playing everything from rock’n’roll to country and blues. And you have to check out one of their PAM AM Sunday seshs to get lei-ed!
‘Who the F is Suzie Wong?’ – Suzie Wong
Lefty’s Music Hall
Oh, Leftys: the bar quite like no other, inhabiting the old Barons Labour Hall. Lefty’s is a step back in time where wild-west meets vintage elegance, known as Brisbane’s own Honky-Tonk. Just as you’d imagine in a venue as rich in its history as this one, even the drinks list is heavily inspired. Think whiskey and top-heavy beers as the go-to, and their very own signature apple whiskey cocktail. This is definitely a bucket list item if you’re a country fan, and don’t forget to keep your eye out for the secret Mermaid Bar while you’re there.
Arguably harder to find than a speakeasy, Greaser is well and truly worth the mission. With Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey as its sponsor and an American-style menu, Greaser is always a fun, and messy, time. The graffiti-covered brick walls are a maze that lies in the original underground cellars of the hotel and is home to the music loving brisbanites that will soon be climbing to the top of the music charts. And if you’re still umming and ahhing, Greaser is equipped with its own pool tables that you and your friends can battle it out on!
‘It’s gritty, its grimy, its Greaser’ – Greaser
The Sound Garden
The two-story venue, The Sound Garden, amazes everyone who enters with its seven-metre tall indoor tree, Grand staircase, skylight ceiling, multiple bars and alfresco areas. The Sound Garden hosts bands with all different styles from jazz and blues classics to rock’n’roll bangers every night. On each table, you’ll find repurposed vinyl as their menus for both food and drink, how cool is that?! The perfect place for a casual drink with friends and a bite to eat.
Okay, let’s just start off strong with the fact that The Triffid has a dog-friendly area! Now if you’re not already sold by that, the Triffid’s rich history will bring you in. What was once the WW2 commercial hanger is now a unique garden and decadent space for its community. Your new go-to place for Sunday beers and Friday night shenanigans, the venue has hosted both large and small acts including, but not limited to, Mallrat, Dune Rats and Allday.