When Spotify just isn't cutting it.
When Spotify just isn't cutting it.
There are a great many things to get amongst on the GC, and these days, a thriving local music scene is undeniably one of them. And we can all agree, if there’s one thing that takes kicking back with a frosty refreshment to a whole new level, it’s getting your ears around some sweet tunes while you do it.
From dank, hidden indie dive bars to classic pub-style serenades for the whole fam to vibe to – whatever genre you’re in the mood for, there’s bound to be a venue to match.
Hound & Stag
The new kid on Arundel’s block has been hitting all the right notes since they slid open their enormous barn door late last year. Hound and Stag is now the GC’s largest combining craft brews and live music, and honestly, how could you go wrong with a combo like that?! The regular array of gigs, open mic nights and 90’s nights are the big old auditory cherry on top of an excellent atmosphere, brew-pub bites and endless frosty beverages here, folks.
Where: 13 Wrights Place, Arundel
One of Queenland’s largest AFL clubs, Southport Sharks is a family-friendly gem that’s more than merely a haven for footy fans to wet their whistles. With multiple venues and areas built-in, this Babushka doll vibing spot always has something going on, including live acts every weekend if you’re in the mood to groove. Every Friday and Saturday night, there’s an assortment of free gigs going down, from retro RnB shows, classic pub rock to tribute acts to get those toes tapping. Might we suggest first swinging by Mozza Mozza, apparently carb-loading is important before strenuous activity.
Where: Cnr Musgrave and Olsen Avenues, Southport
We can always count on our local dive bar to deliver us the very dankest of gigs, and Vinnie’s Dive does exactly that. Championing our local music scene, they’re no strangers to big alt/indie names such as Dear Seattle, DZ Deathrays, Wil Wagner (The Smith Street Band) The Bennies and Regurgiator gracing their small but mighty stage – in addition to karaoke and themed tribute nights. We think this review sums it up best: “It’s dark, the floors are sticky, the toilets seats are occasionally broken, the beers are icy cold and the staff are the best people you’ll ever meet.” Get down there for great times and even better gigs (just leave the flimsy pluggas at home).
Where: Shops A & B, 44A Nerang Street, Southport
When it comes to finding live acts and having yourself a good time on the central Gold Coast, you’ll be hard pushed to look past The Avenue in Surfers Paradise. From comedy nights, drag shows, DJ’s, karaoke and themed evenings, there’s something going down at The Avenue each and every night of the week.
Work week got you feeling flat? We recommend Tunes on Tuesday or Feel Good Friday’s to recharge with some dance therapy and pulse-pounding beats. Those vibes will be back on track in no time.
Where: 3-15 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Should you arrive by jet ski or by Uber, it doesn’t matter. Surfers Pavilion is your one-stop venue in the heart of Surfers Paradise for drinks, eats and catching a live DJ set or two. And not just any disc jockeys either; The Stafford Brothers and Peking Duk have both played to jubilant crowds here in recent times. Currently, the wheels of steel are spinning Thursday and Friday evenings and all through the weekend: perfect long weekend territory.
Where: 30/34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
The Home of the Arts is certainly doing the heavy lifting to finally elevate the arts and culture scene here in our section of Queensland. From intimate, indoor performances to the homegrown darlings and headline acts routinely taking one of Australia’s best outdoor stages – the variety of shows are as varied and vibrant as its technicolour exterior. For an impeccable way to kick off the weekend, it’s hard to go past Fridays on the Lawn. Grab a blanket, acquire a drink from their lawn bar, and relax in their sophisticated sun-kissed setting whilst being serenaded by some stellar local talent to celebrate the end of the working week.
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Open Tuesday to Sunday for your listening pleasure, Den Devine feature jazz and blues artists from a talent pool right here in our city. This intimate, hidden venue is well-known amongst live music fans, so we definitely recommend booking in advance to nab a seat. Grab a some eats and sips from their serious selection of whisky (the perfect accompaniment to some moody blues) and the equally stacked Mediterranean menu, and vibe to a selection of the best performers on the Gold Coast six nights a week.
Where: 15 Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Garden Kitchen & Bar at The Star Gold Coast
When it comes to star-studded acts and internationally recognised music performances, The Star Gold Coast is the place to grab a seat in a full-blown theatre and experience music as it was intended.
To keep you bopping in-between headline acts, there’s also live and free tunes going down on the reg, in the open air ambience of Garden Kitchen & Bar’s Live on the Lawn series. Every weekend, the beats come courtesy of DJ’s, soloists, and if you time it just right, the likes of world-class powerhouse vocalist, Lisa Hunt on select Fridays. Goosebumps incoming.
Where: 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Having duly stamped its authority on the Nobby Beach bar scene as the place to go for frolic fuelled nights, these guys will have you rocking out until the wee hours with a live band or DJ every night of the week. The venue also offers new bands the chance to get themselves out there, so keep an eye out for fresh talent!
Where: 2245 Gold Coast Highway, Nobbys Beach
Build it, and they will come… though it’s not clear in this analogy if the ‘they’ should be the steady stream of stellar, live music acts, the hungry hordes, or adoring music fans. Either way, this iconic laneway has established itself as a cracking spot for many things, including one of the best places to catch a gig on the GC.
From 5pm every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, Miami comes alive with foods from all around the world mixed with local blues, jazz and independent artists. A hotspot doing some solid heavy lifting to attract incredible national and international acts as they tour the country – Be sure to keep an eye on their gig calendar; tickets always sell out fast!
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
Burleigh’s original back alley after-hours haunt is always an epic time. Nightjar is known for late-night revelry and an often stellar line-up of weekly live music. With drink specials aplenty, come and enjoy local acts as they take to the floor and keep the swinging yet sultry atmosphere going long into the night.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Mo’s Desert Clubhouse
Burleigh’s multi-use music, space hire and events hub, Mo’s Desert Clubhouse is a melting pot of goings-on and a principal meeting place for muso’s, movers and shakers and music lovers across the GC. The industrial-style venue is outfitted with a fully stocked bar and equally stacked gig guide, so refer back often and make sure you pencil in a date with Mo’s Desert Clubhouse ASAP.
Where: 6/36 Central Drive, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Town Hotel
A fresh af new look is not the only thing Burleigh Town Hotel is boasting these days, also ‘drumming up’ a very solid live entertainment schedule studded with emerging bands and popular Aussie acts to get your ears around. There’s DJ’s and acoustic artists bringing tunes to the beer garden most weekends, along with with Punk, Motown and Pop themed tribute shows – where you can hit the d-floor to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Robbie Williams and queen Kylie (gold hot pants optional).
Where: Tsipura Drive, Burleigh Heads
This gem is a favourite among live music fans, having hosted a slew of local, national and international icons — but it also remains one of our best-kept secrets. Find your way down to Currumbin RSL, where, hidden just above, Soundlounge hosts acts from folk soloists and DJs to rock and roll bands. Listening to fantastic live music can be a hungry business, but this venue has you covered with food options, including pizza, an a la carte restaurant and bar snacks.
Where: 165 Duringan Street, Currumbin
The Coolangatta Hotel
Whether you’ve been catching world-class waves or lounging in the afternoon sun, Coolangatta — and specifically the Coolangatta Hotel — has long been known as one of the best for rounding out a perfect afternoon with live music. Being one of the Gold Coast’s largest live music venues, this OG frequently features both national and international touring bands and DJs on any given weekend. In between catching your fave big names, rock out to live, local tunes every Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun.
Where: Cnr Warner Street and Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Words by Kellie Leader.
What could be more Australian than spending a sunny Sunday afternoon with mates indulging in a slew of drinks and generally celebrating life? It’s a given right to live it up on a Sunday no matter what the week is!
Because if you’re going to that Monday morning performance review/toolbox meeting a little worse for wear, where do you go to stretch out the weekend just that little bit longer? We’ve rounded up the places that embrace Sunday frolics and are the perfect way to round out the week.
Very few places offer a better view and, therefore, a better Sunday session option than Burleigh Pavilion. Right on the ocean in the heart of bustling Burleigh Heads and offering both a sit-down (The Tropic) and more casual menu paired with all of the lovely sips and buzzing atmosphere: there’s no way you’re not having a good time at ‘The Pav’.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
If you haven’t been to the multi-million-dollar entertainment precinct in Surfers Paradise, can we ask what rock you have been living under? The rooftop venue is a behemoth day and night club with a multitude of seating options around several pools, and always has a stellar line-up of DJs on rotation. All-day Sunday Sesh, here you come!
Where: 21a Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
The Hood 4221
We know RNB Fridays are a thing, but why can’t we coin the idea of a Sunday spin-off of nothing but epic 80’s/90’s songs playing? And if this sounds like your sort of Sunday (welcome to the group) you’ll get exactly that at The Hood. Hot tip, order The Hood Cosmo to get things started! Because Sunday sessions were made for cocktails, not the other way around!
Where: 10 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach
Justin Lane Rooftop
Quite possibly the alfresco place to be, not only on a Sunday but any day of the week. The rooftop bar is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny afternoon, lavishing your eyes with views of the Burleigh foreshore and stunning Gold Coast skyline. Oozing personality, this Burleigh Heads institution never disappoints!
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Aviary Rooftop Bar
This venue takes care of your Sunday sessions with everything your heart could desire. Think imaginative cocktails, authentic Italian Pizzas, and live entertainment between 4-8pm every Sunday. Get comfortable — you’re going nowhere.
Where: Mantra at Sharks, Melia Court, Southport (next to Southport Sharks)
Arrive by boat or jet-ski and slip into an oasis of sublime food, decadent cocktail jugs and a generally all-round good time! Take things slowly with oysters and champagne on high tables or turn it up with on-tap frosé on the decking area. A guaranteed good time will be had here.
Where: 30-34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Nineteen at The Star
Looking to round out the weekend at the fanciest rooftop bar on the entire Gold Coast? Look no further than Nineteen at The Star. Perhaps you should treat yourself to an indulgent meal on the restaurant side and then head over to the bar for kick-ons overlooking the city and the ocean. There’s a stunning drinks menu (yasss), and the bonus is, you get to dress up and that cute new dress you bought!
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
Garden Kitchen & Bar
Wind down the weekend at Garden Kitchen & Bar, where lazy afternoons meet steamy nights. Think live tunes on the deck, flirty banter on the lawn, frosty drinks at the bar, and tasty bites… all the ingredients for an A-grade Sunday session in our book.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach
As if you needed any more encouragement to hit up Nobby Beach on a Sunday. This rooftop stunner is one of the leading places to sip drinks and mingle in the afternoon sun on the GC. Backed by an incredible Floribbean/South American-led menu and exclusive Champagne packages, Sundays have just been elevated a notch.
Where: Upstairs, 2215 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
Want to keep it casual and not spend the big bucks? Head to Food Works in Burleigh’s James Street, stock up on cheese and crackers, pick up a bottle of wine and make your way to Burleigh Hill for a Sunday session Burleigh style. Simples!
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Ok, so if it wasn’t already obvious enough, the main point of a Sunday session, is to have a session. Period. So why not distillery-hop or better yet, grab the crew and settle in at one of your favourite local distilleries? Guaranteed to have your favourite drinks flowing, your local watering hole should be the OG Sunday session spot. So go on and get into the spirit!
Where: Multiple locations
Nothing quite compares to being perched in the sun on a Sunday arvo sinking your favourite amber ale. And being on the GC we are spoilt for choice of where to do exactly that. Lucky for you, we have a handy list of where to get a quality Sunday session underway. Yipee-IPA!
Where: Multiple locations
How could we create a list of Sunday sessions and not include our beloved surf clubs?! Look, we all have our favourites, and for the most part, they are all amazing places to grab frosty beers, tuck into some great and often modestly priced food, whilst enjoying a relaxed and uncomplicated atmosphere. And what about the views! There’s far too many to mention here, but everyone has their unique attraction and they equate to being one of the best ways to spend a Sunday arvo.
Where: Multiple locations
You know The Star Gold Coast for its insane restaurants and nightlife (yes, we’ve seen you carving up the floor at Atrium Bar before), but what about as the home of entertainment? A gem in the heart of the Gold Coast, The Star is THE place to be if you’re looking to mix food and fun. There’s so much more than just dumplings for days, so get the whole family or your friends together because there’s shows for theatre lovers of all ages that’ll leave you laughing and boogie-ing the night away. BRB – we’re going to brush off the ballet shoes to relive our dancer days. Here’s our pick of the best shows on offer this month.
Disney Princess – The Concert
Dreams Do Come True…Literally! Pretty sure we’ve all dreamed of being a Disney princess at one stage or another, so The Star are sprinkling some movie magic on those dreams with Disney Princess – The Concert. Sit back and celebrate your favourite Disney sounds performed by an incredible quartet of Broadway, TV and film icons – if you close your eyes for a moment it’s almost like you’re actually a princess for a hot minute. This one is selling quickly, so get in quick. The best available tickets are $99.90
When: Saturday 30 September
Dirty Dancing In Concert
You’ve seen the movie, you’ve tried the moves in your living room, now it’s time to take the excitement up a notch! “Dirty Dancing” is hitting the stage at The Star Gold Coast, and it’s not holding back on the hip-shaking, heart-throbbing action. Get ready to relive the heat of the summer of ’63, while Baby and Johnny bring their iconic moves to life following by a band encore playing your favourite Dirty Dancing tracks. We promise watermelons will be harmed, but the d-floor might be set on fire! Tickets start at $80.55.
When: Thursday 28th September
Sleeping Beauty – Royal Czech Ballet
Who needs a prince charming when you’ve got a ticket to Sleeping Beauty at The Star Gold Coast? The Royal Czech Ballet are sure to leave you spellbound in this classic fairytale favourite, so you won’t want to sleep on this one. It’s the timeless tale of a princess taking the world’s longest snooze (sounds nice tbh) before she’s woken by a handsome prince, enjoy being transported to a magical realm as the dancers take to the stage in the most incredible costumes. Tickets from $88.00
When: Sunday 8th October
The Rocky Horror Show
Hold onto your fishnets and brace yourselves for a wild ride! “Rocky Horror” is storming The Star Gold Coast, and it’s a party like no other to celebrate 50 years of the show. Get your wildest outfits ready, because this cult classic and one of the world’s favourite musicals is all about throwing norms out the window. Sing along, laugh until your sides hurt, and let your inner eccentric shine. Dr. Frank-N-Furter would approve of the dance moves and the wild energy that’s about to take over the stage. Tickets from $69.90
When: Saturday 2nd – Saturday 23rd September
Words by Jacqueline Bojanowski.
STORY SPONSORED BY THE STAR GOLD COAST
The Star practises the responsible service of alcohol. Guests must be aged 18 years or over to enter the casino. BET WITH YOUR HEAD, NOT OVER IT.
Ever since The Collective burst on to the Southern GC eats scene a few years back, we keep coming back like moths to flame, or in this case the glow of a warm festoon light illuminating the irresistibly impeccable vibes of rooftop surrounds. Combining all the best bits of market style eats with all the magic of laid-back alfresco restaurant dining – the genius concept of combining five restaurants under one roof has long since been a respite for the indecisive among us, and a source of merriment for, well, the entire Coast.
Our go-to for getting friends and fam together, no longer do we have to heed the objections of that one friend with the palette of a toddler, or whatever whacky diet our Aunt is trying this month, because with 5 different cuisines to pick from e.v.e.r.y.one is happy. The only thing we’re left to fight over in the group chat is trying to narrow down a date that suits everyone, and unfortunately, The Collective can’t help us with that (nor our cousin’s terrible taste in memes).
What they can help us with however, is an experience that’s a worldly culinary feast for the senses. As if we need any more reasons to get along to The Collective, they’ve just treated us to a brand new menu, and since we’re ever the overachievers when it comes to all things eats and sips, we’ve taken it one step further with suggested cocktail pairings #forscience. It’s like a round-the-world-holiday for your tastebuds and we’re all invited.
The Italian Job
The first stop on our itinerary and also for satisfying eats that feel like a warm hug for your soul, The Italian Job. Much a-doughed carby bases provide the heavenly vessels for which to build upon all the rich tomato, garlic and herb laden sauces, coupled with the savoury and salty notes of aged cheeses, mushroom, cured meats, truffle flavours, and a *chefs kiss* for good measure because it’s always made with love. Round out all those iconic Italian flavours with something more traditional like an Aperol Spritz, or a cocktail that reads like a nostalgic love letter to Italy – The Marching Mellow. Again with the obligatory addition of Aperol to bring the complex, bitter notes, vanilla and sugar to balance and lime to brighten.
Try with: Marching Mellow – Aperol, Sweet Vermouth, Lime, Vanilla, Sugar, Foam, Charred Marshmallow
This metaphorical round the world trip just gets fetta and fetta. Next stop, Mazi for a whole lotta Greek goodness. How did we get souvlaki?
Flavour-packed proteins balanced with the likes of olives, halloumi and creamy fetta to pack a savoury, salty punch – coupled with tangy tzatziki, lashings of lemon and peppy herbs to add that fresh zing we crave. Continuing the zesty citrus flavours and cutting through some of salty savoury richness, we’d suggest pairing with a Peach Cobbler for a refreshing and fruity sip reminiscent of a Greek Island summer vaycay.
Try with: Peach Cobbler – Grey Goose Peach, Lemon, Peach, Coconut, Foam, Zest
Are you feeling Luckies, punk? Our stomachs certainly will be after an American diner style feast. Think, beefed up, cheese laden American classics finished with bacon, onion and indulgent sauces like creamy ranch and maple glazes. We’re proposing you lean in to the indulgence with a cocktail that’s a nod to the ultimate adults-only choc shake. What could be more American than that? An upsize, perhaps?
Try with: The Big Lebowski – Zubrowka Vodka, Baileys, Kahlua, Vanilla, Chocolate
If it’s wok-your-socks-off Asian fusion you’re in the mood for, Umami never fails to rice to the occasion. We’re so(ba) obsessed with notes like – wasabi, ginger, sesame, sticky honey, vinegar, that tug-o-war for tastebuds we can never get enough of – sweet and sour. Which is perhaps unsurprisingly where our adoration for a perfectly balanced cocktail also comes in. We’re tipping the People’s Punch with the smoky-richness of dark rum, coupled with sweet (apple, tropical fruit) and sour (lemon, pineapple) notes worthy of standing on its own, while still complementing all those bold Asian flavours.
Try with: People’s Punch – Dark Rum, Goslings Black Seal, Pineapple, Apple, Lemon, Tropical Fruit
We’re not sure if this counts as a pit stop for LA, or for Mexico, but when the LA style tacos are this delicious.. who really cares? Let’s chalk it up to two birds, one stone. Think all the quintessential flavours synonymous with Mexican cuisine – zesty coriander and jalapeño laden salsas, smoky chipotle, and sharp tequila and lime with a Californian street style twist.
It’s only fitting to suggest another hybrid creation to wash down all that deliciousness – the Tommy Batanga, combining the OG iconic duo of Mexican cocktails – Tequila and Lime, but topped with a cola for an unexpected, yet zingy twist that just works.
Try with: Tommy Batanga – Patron Silver Tequila, Cola, Lime
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
When: 12pm until late daily
Words by Kellie Leader.
STORY SPONSORED BY THE COLLECTIVE.