Arts & culture,
Gigs, gigs and more gigs: We take a look at the best live music venues on the Gold Coast
May 18, 2021
Gold Coast’s music scene is as diverse as its people. Feel like a breezy Sunday sesh overlooking the twinkling ocean? How about some outdoor opera on a balmy summer night? Bring the family along for a picnic under the stars as legendary musical acts strut their stuff across stages around the city, or kick back with friends and a local brew while you check out some of our incredible homegrown talent. In our dynamic, ever-growing city you can explore an evening of world music in funky little art spaces or mosh along like it’s 1999 at your local night market.
From grungy dive bars where punks shake the walls to massive stadiums overtaken by global superstars, we’ve rounded up a dozen of the most outstanding local music venues on the Gold Coast.
What Vinnie’s Dive Bar in Southport lacks in size, it makes up for in attitude. A real feast for the senses, Vinnie’s Dive lives up to its name with battered furniture sitting between walls papered ceiling to floor with posters and other fascinating rock memorabilia. Several times a week the friendly, hard rocking team at Vinnies consistently pumps out live and loud acts across their stage, hosting plenty of touring acts like DIVER and Shatter Brain while also supporting the local scene with gigs from Baltimore Gun Club, Atticus Chimps, Girl and Girl and many more. Rock up, and rock out.
The hidden jewel of Currumbin, Dust Temple is a multi-purpose art space that hosts some of the most eclectic musical offerings you will find on the Gold Coast. Flamenco, jazz, a cappella, strings, blues, folk, roots, and experimental: if there’s a genre for it, then Dust Temple has hosted it. With performances by international musicians as well as plenty of national and local talent, Dust Temple is a hub for the true music lovers.
Situated in Burleigh’s popular Justin Laneway, NightJar is one of Gold Coast’s must-do back-alley dive bars. The place centres around drinks and music, with live music from local artists like Kate McKay, Brett Gannon and Benny O’Dwyer hitting the stage four nights per week and a DJ on Tuesday ‘Hospo’ nights where cocktails are king. Keeping things humble, there’s no kitchen, but you can order from your fave local Burleigh restaurants and munch on while you’re chair dancing to some of the coolest cats in the scene. One of the hottest (and hardest to get into) spots on the coast.
Vinnie’s Dive Bar
Coolangatta gets a look in here, with classic rock ‘n’ roll and burger bar Eddie’s Grub House well deserving of a mention. There’s always something happening at Eddie’s, with live rock and blues being the mainstay genres on the stage, including a mix of originals and covers, and even karaoke for the locals who feel like being a rock star for the night. Acts at Eddie’s have been a diverse as Ben Amor, IVORI, Purple Zain, and finger-picking guitar legends Cadence. Burgers, beers, and bangers. What else could you possibly want?
The passionate team behind Mo’s Desert Clubhouse has fought hard over the years to maintain their unique warehouse smack back in middle of the Burleigh industrial area. Strongly supported by the local community, this mixed events space is run by artists for artists, and holds markets, a second hand store and macrame classes, as well as plays host to a podcast studio, meeting rooms, rehearsal space and videography services. All of this compliments the regular twice weekly gig schedule at this Burleigh gem, which sells out more often than not. Musically, Mo’s has played host to Hussy Hicks, Bobby Alu, and blues master CW Stoneking, to name just a few. They’ve quickly become a beloved southern mainstay.
Sitting atop the ever-popular Currumbin RSL, award-winning Soundlounge hosts original local, national and international touring artists with standing capacity of over 600 people. Soundlounge has boasted an incredible array of acts over the years, including Sarah Blasko, Angus & Julia Stone, Ash Grunwald, Kate Miller-Heidke, Phil Jamieson and more. Best part? Its location means you can pop downstairs for a delicious dinner on the water before your show. If you’re a live music lover on the Gold Coast, you’ve got a fond memory or twelve from Soundlounge.
Eddie’s Grub House
Mo’s Desert Clubhouse
The Burleigh Brewing Co has come a long way since its inception, but it’s always managed to bring in the crowds for live music. Open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the shiny Burleigh Brewing Co Taphouse in Burleigh’s industrial hub attracts punters by the busload for chilled out local tunes by solo artists like Ondre Davis and James D’Khan, alongside some fresh weekend brews, of course. It’s the perfect spot to uncover some homegrown talent.
Gold Coast’s first night market, Miami Marketta has proved its resilience and flexibility over the years, with a massive 1400 person capacity in the laneway and an indoor space called Studio 56 catering for up to 550 people, as well as a regular stage setup during the ever-popular weekend markets. The varied spaces on offer in the venue and the team’s passion for live music means there’s always something interesting happening. Big name acts like Cat Empire, UB40 and The Growlers have strutted across the Marketta stage, but the team is also constantly supporting local and emerging acts on the regular free Friday and Saturday markets. Eat, dance, repeat. And bring the kids, too.
The Cooly is one of the Gold Coast’s longest-serving and most iconic live music venues, with its upstairs bar playing hosts to some of Australia’s – and the world’s – most beloved touring acts. Baby Animals, Superjesus, Thirsty Merc, Hoodoo Gurus, COG, Resin Dogs and Eskimo Joe have headlined at the Cooly stage, and there’s always some kind of live music from local and near-locals acts happening over the weekend, so you can get your live music fix. You’re not a local if you haven’t been to a gig at the Cooly. Long may she reign.
Burleigh Brewing Co
Metricon Stadium has held some iconic events over its 30+ year history, including a KISS farewell tour, the Gold Coast leg of the Big Day Out, a sell-out show by everyone’s favourites, Foo Fighters, and the closing ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. February 2020 saw 40,000 people pack Metricon Stadium to see Queen + Adam Lambert bring the house down, and excitingly, 2021 will see global rock royalty Guns n Roses take to the stage in November. Metricon is the largest capacity venue on the Gold Coast with all the facilities of a world class stadium, and has certainly made its mark on the international touring circuit.
Located on The Spit at the Gold Coast, Doug Jennings Park is the perfect destination for outdoor events, with unbeatable views, ample parking and easy access. This makes it an ideal spot to host markets, concerts, DJ sets, and the upcoming For The Love Festival in August, featuring Flight Facilities, Mallrat, Cosmo’s Midnight, Running Touch and more. You can’t beat the central location, either.
There is no other venue anywhere in the world like HOTA’s Outdoor Stage, with its living green roof, glittering Surfers views, ample lawns and eye-catching design. This sleek amphitheatre opened with a bang with an unforgettable show by Tim Minchin and has been going from strength to strength since, featuring headline concerts by Neil Finn, Six60, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Ministry of Sound, as well as range of genre-bending events, musicals, operas and an eclectic array of world music under the stars. With the capacity to be set up theatre style for sit down events or the opportunity to hold over 3,500 standing fans, it’s both a stunning and versatile addition to our ever-growing venue offerings here on the Gold Coast.
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