Hair down! Dancing shoes on! Vinyl digging hands ready! You call yourself a muso? Well, here are the best places to explore in Sydney, from beloved music venues to pop-culture extravaganzas.
Big stages equal big music icons, right? The 5500-seat Hordern Pavilion or ‘The Hordern,’ has been around since 1924, now known for major dance parties and rock concerts. Also a century old, the beautiful art-deco Enmore Theatre showcases world-class comedy, and the coolest music acts from Coldplay to Lana Del Rey. For serious pop à la Katy Perry and Backstreet Boys, look no further than Qudos Bank Arena.
But don’t overlook Sydney’s smaller music venues. Great for up-and-comers, indie artists and gritty fun. For a diverse program of tunes and laughs, check out The Metro Theatre, Oxford Art Factory (stick around – it turns into a nightclub!) and The Factory Theatre.
The best bars and pubs with live music? You probably wouldn’t guess the Marrickville Bowling Club, a great showcase of local labels. Located in the heritage-listed Paramount Pictures Building in hip Surry Hills, Golden Age Bar is also full of music surprises from pumping electronic to mellow singer-songwriters. Other great contenders include The Vic, Botany View Hotel and The Bank Hotel. Just visit their sites for the latest happenings.
In Sydney CBD, look out for long-running Red Eye Records (est. 1981!) and Birdland Records (est. 1991!) for huge, diverse ranges. Into jazz? Birdland is for you. Then go hideout in Mojo, a winning small bar that doubles as a treasure box of rock vinyl. Booze, tunes, rock ’n’ roll, they say!
15 minutes away is alternative hub Newtown. And of course, you’ll find gold nuggets and bargain oldies here. You’ve got neighbourhood favs Egg Records and Repressed Records boasting the coolest newest, collectables, rarities and fan merch. Next town over in Erskineville is another goodie, Revolve Records. When you’re done digging, why not slip in for a show at Enmore Theatre? It’s ‘round the corner!
For something unique and fun, enter pop-culture haven, Madame Tussauds Sydney. Madame Tussauds first opened over 200 years ago, wowing people around the world with extraordinary wax sculptures of celebrities, superheroes and world leaders. And whaddaya know, there’s an MTV Music zone!
Get to know local legends like INXS lead singer, Michael Hutchence, and pop princess, Kylie Minogue. Or be starry-eyed over Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. As an interactive attraction, Madame Tussauds Sydney goes beyond selfie-snapping. Here, channel your inner Adele in the recording booth and bust some moves on the dance floor.
Madame Tussauds Sydney has so many more incredible interactive zones that’ll leave you star-struck, loosened up and giggled out. Be wise and book your tickets online to save up to 20%. You’ll also get to ditch ticketing queues at the entrance.