There’s never been a more important time to support our local hospitality business’ and musicians for a dose of live music in South East Queensland. Whether you’re the mid-week beer sipping and knee-slapping type or the seltzer slurping weekend warrior: live music is here for us all. Across the Gold Coast, there are abundant options for you to get involved in live music, with a breadth of venues all with their unique personalities and offerings.
So tell mum not to wait up, and head out to these live music venues across our lively city (listed north to south)!
The largest AFL club in Queensland, Southport Sharks has been up and running since 1961. Every weekend they showcase local musical talent, including tribute bands and good old rock and roll (or maybe a spot of karaoke is more up your alley?). There are endless food options, but we suggest starting your night at one of the Gold Coast’s most northern rooftop bars Aviary and fuel up to power through those dance sessions.
Where: Cnr Musgrave and Olsen Avenues, Southport
Not ones to hang around, this Southport rockin’ bar has hosted over 700 live music events in their short lifespan, and on any given night of the week, there is always something going down. Vinnies is in every inch of the word a dive bar, and inside you’ll find walls decked out with album covers, and an overall moody, low-lit vibe where revellers dance up a storm.
Where: Shops A & B, 44A Nerang Street, Southport
When it comes to finding live acts and having yourself a good time in the central Gold Coast, you’ll be hard pushed to look past The Avenue in Surfers Paradise. If you don’t believe us, check it out for yourself; there is literally something on every night of the week. Feeling the work week getting the better of you? Then we suggest you hit up their Tunes Tuesdays or House Music Thursdays, but if you can survive till the weekend, you’ll be spoilt with a variety of live music and the best partygoing atmosphere.
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
Hard Rock Café
Climb the stairway to heaven and enjoy handcrafted cocktails, impossible to ignore thick shakes, and a freshly prepared Americana menu over an impressive local rock music guest list. Since the first live music performance (Sir Paul McCartney no less) in 1973, the Hard Rock Cafe chains have been the home of live music and this Surfers Paradise institution is no different. Not just a great way to start off your weekend, there’s also mid-week events like musical bingo to cure any hump day melancholy.
Where: Corner Cavill Avenue and Surfers Paradise Boulevard, 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 headline acts performing on one of Australia’s best outdoor stage to intimate gigs indoors, variety is certainly what comes to mind when visiting a HOTA show. They’ve now decided your afternoons deserve an injection of outdoor live music too, now presenting Fridays on the Lawn. With a host of local talent scheduled to celebrate the end of the working week, we suggest you grab a blanket, acquire a drink from their lawn bar, and relax in their sophisticated sun-kissed setting as you plot your moves for the weekend.
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 muisc fans, so we definitely recommend booking in advance to nab a seat. Grab a bev from their serious selection of whisky (the perfect accompaniment to some moody blues), a Mediterranean dish from their menu (it might sound like an odd fit, but trust us, the food is delish!) and make yourself comfortable as you’re treated to a fine selection of the best performers on the Gold Coast.
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. On the regular, though, you will find Garden Kitchen & Bar’s Live on the Lawn sessions a worthy alternative between headline acts. Each week they kick things off on a Friday evening and don’t let up until late Sunday night, with different music for every taste. Local band, McKenzie invite you to bop along to their Sunday residency with their energetic mix of feel-good pop-rock — a classic way to see the week out. Once you settle in, you’ll also be looked after with their dedicated lawn bar, and container kitchen, meaning leaving is one of the hardest things to do.
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
The Cambus Wallace
Jump aboard and set sail to a nautical-infused destination full of food, rum, and live music. The Cambus Wallace awaits you for a night filled with charismatic blues, raw acoustic sets, and finger flicking vinyl delights. Depending on your taste, take your pick and be sure you try at least one of their cocktails!
Where: 2237 Gold Coast Highway, Nobbys Beach
Open 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. And this isn’t all — the venue is one of the prime places to catch amazing national and international acts as they tour the country and drop by. 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
Combining events, gigs, workshops, yoga classes, and collaborative office spaces, Mo’s Desert Clubhouse is a melting pot of goings-on and a principal meeting place for the Gold Coast’s coolest movers and shakers. The industrial-style venue is outfitted with a bar and has a plethora of gigs lined up for the rest of the year. Make sure you pencil in a date with Mo’s Desert Clubhouse ASAP.
Where: 6/36 Central Drive, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Brewing Co.
Beer and music is an ensemble that will never die. Burleigh Brewery approaches their live music offering just the same way as they make their beer: balance, character and soul. Local acts are regularly paired with food trucks and your favourite brews from Friday through to Sunday. There’s also the occasional art show, movies under the stars and theatre performance for good measure. Oh and did we mention exceptional beer?
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
It’s one of the Gold Coast’s favourite live music venues, having hosted local, national and international acts — but also remains one of our best-kept secrets. Find your way down to Currumbin RSL, where 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 — is the place to round out a perfect afternoon with live music. Being one of the Gold Coast’s largest live music venues, this venue features both national and international touring bands and DJs on any given weekend. The vast space has long been famous for all types of weekend warriors to dance the night away — just don’t forget that Monday morning meeting.
Where: Cnr Warner Street and Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
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 — or in the case of a long weekend: get things started!
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 seen the news of this multi-million-dollar entertainment precinct having only just opened 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 already has a stellar line-up of DJs such as Brooke Evers and Little Fritter organised for summer. All-day Sunday Sesh, here you come!
Where: 21a Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Mermaid Beach Tavern
One of the city’s best-loved taverns is back — and what a makeover it has had. From comfortable dining options and breakaway spaces you can hire, to a fully dedicated sports bar and a perpetually sunny back deck area. Whether you’re with a lively crowd or the kids, the space caters for everyone — and all tastes — with ease.
Where: 2500 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid 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
This venue takes care of your Sunday sessions with everything your heart could desire. Think imaginative and moreish cocktails, a delicious modernised American diner-style menu, beer towers and more than enough screens displaying every sport known to humankind. Get comfortable — you’re going nowhere.
Where: 50 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Nineteen at The Star
After brunch comes the after-party, and that’s what’s up at the fanciest rooftop bar on the entire Gold Coast, Nineteen at The Star. Indulge in a boozy brunch 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, and you get to dress up in your prettiest frock too.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
Arrive by boat or jet-ski and slip into an oasis of sublime food, decadent cocktail jugs and a generally all-round good time! Likely one of the most eye-catching openings of 2021, this diverse venue offers different experiences for everyone. Take things slowly with oysters and champagne on high tables or turn it up with on-tap frosé on the decking area. There’s also a regular ticketed Sunday Brunch Club — or is that too early for you?
Where: 30-34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Fisherman’s Wharf Tavern
If you’re as old as us, you remember the good ol’ days of Fisho’s, well Sunday sessions are back. Nothing beats watching the sunset across the Broadwater, so Fisho’s is the perfect spot for a classic brew or cocktail and a nibble with friends. From 2pm-6pm there’s a live DJ on the deck with sax and bongo’s that are sure to inject some fun and entertainment into your Sunday. Of course, there’s always a tonne of sport on-screen to ensure you never miss your favourite team.
Where: Shop 40, 60-70 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
Hidden in plain sight, Bo’teku in Coolangatta are not only serving up yummy eats and a smashing cocktail menu but live music on Sunday arvos — all whilst overlooking the ocean. Meander in after some time on the beach and settle in for an afternoon well spent.
Where: Shop 6, 110 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
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 from two different menus… 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, and then this little number decided to come into our lives. This rooftop stunner has recently opened and, from the outlook, is primed to be a leading place to sip drinks and mingle in the afternoon sun. 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
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 equate to being one of the best ways to spend a Sunday arvo.
Where: Multiple locations
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
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Fan of a good old-fashioned surprise? We certainly are, so the news that highly anticipated Surfers Pavilion was due to open ahead of the Anzac Day long weekend, indeed sent us into a spin. Be prepared to get acquainted with the all-new Surfers Pavilion!
If you aren’t already aware, the chic new Surfers Paradise venue — on Ferny Avenue — has uninterrupted waterfront views and even boasts a substantial mooring site of 400sq metres, which although not quite complete, will be ready in the coming weeks. Meaning if you want to arrive by boat or jet ski, Bond-style — so be it!
If you aren’t captured by this open and airy space accompanied by dappled light from overhead shutters, then perhaps the classic-looking red brick feature walls and all of the plants might be your thing? Either way, this venue is going to give you ample opportunity to nail those perfect Instagram shots, drink in hand, of course.
The sprawling menu of fresh and locally sourced seafood is testament to the traditional take on ‘pavilion’ dining. The harbinger though, has to be the most impressive oyster and Champagne station you’re likely to have ever laid eyes on — where guests can intermingle with chefs and get the lowdown on all things edible. Keen to know what part of the South Coast your oysters came from? Ask away!
If this isn’t already enough, a wholly dedicated frosé bar is aptly positioned on the extensive outside deck area. Perfect for those who like to keep themselves amply hydrated whilst enjoying our beautiful Queensland sunshine and aquatic views. Everyone, right?
Once fully open, you’ll have the chance to arrive in style, enjoy a beautiful space with fresh food prepared by on-hand chefs, all whilst sipping Champagne, cocktails or perhaps frosé. And right in the heart of Surfers Paradise, no less. It almost sounds too good to be true!
To revel in the early opening of such a fabulous venue, Surfers Pavilion kicked off their very first Sunset Sunday (25 April 2021) featuring internationally acclaimed (but locally grown) DJs and producers, The Stafford Brothers. Yes, you read that correctly. What a way to start.
But don’t fret if you weren’t there for the opening weekend, from here on in you will be able to enjoy your weekend sessions with various DJs on the decks while the warm Autumn sunset bounces on the water beside you. This Sunday (2 May 2021) Stace Cadet will take to the decks to bring his house and electronic beats.
Head honcho Matthew Keegan, the Managing Partner at Artesian Hospitality, who operate the new venue, looks forward to welcoming you all down to Surfers Pavilion, “We cannot wait for our locals to come down and see the brand-new Surfers Pavilion… Get ready for one hell of a party”.
Where: 30/34 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise
When: Every Thursday – Monday 11am-late
Words by Alex Mitcheson.