Live Music Guide to Wollongong & Illawarra. Find Live Music Venues, Bands and Gigs Near Me

If you love live music, there is no shortage of wonderful venues in Wollongong and the Illawarra to catch the freshest up-and-comers, beloved local talents and big-name international acts. Whether you’re in the mood for something mellow or up-tempo, Wollongong has you covered. Read on for the ultimate guide to the best spots to find the gig, grab a drink and (rediscover?) that groove is in the heart…

Want to find more live music & gigs? Here at What’s on in Wollongong we list upcoming Live music, theatre and arts events this week, weekend or month. Including the long weekend live music extravaganza, check the bands playing at the Winter Wine Festival June 8th 9th at Crooked River Estate.

Centro CBD – fine dining, events, live music, function centre 

Centro CBD is an Events and Functions Centre right in the heart of Wollongong CBD. This gem of a venue is a fine dining Italian Restaurant that pulls double-duty as an intimate live music and performance venue. The venue specialises in ‘Up Close and Personal Concerts’, where you can relax and dine at the comfort of your own table with a bottle of wine and friends and enjoy listening to your favourite artists in a great acoustic environment. Their Sorrento Room comfortably seats and audience of 200, so you’ll never be far from the stage. Check out their upcoming live music events here.

Fine dining, events, live music, function centre : Centro CBD

Seeker Brewing

Popular for a reason: Seeker Brewing, Unanderra

Unanderra’s coolest warehouse vibes with live music gigs! My pick for your next Sunday sesh. The house band gets very funky from 4-6. Still a bit of a local secret, Seeker Brewing is conveniently located in the industrial part of Unanderra. Their team are all sweethearts and you can really feel the love for the local culture and good vibes in everything they do. They have a selection of 12 taps, a pool table and a basketball hoop. Their program of regular live music gigs definitely understands grass-roots cool in the local music scene – lots of world music, fusion funk and experimental. Long summer arvos, woodfired pizzas and an incredible range of craft beers = good times. Don’t just take my word for it, check them out HERE

Woonona Bulli RSL

Live Music Sundays at Woonona Bulli RSL!

Join WBRSL for lunch and live music, every Sunday from November! Woonona Bulli RSL Club is located in the centre of the northern suburbs of the Illawarra and sits between the escarpment and the ocean. Whether you’re after fun family dining, a great place for drinks and catch up with friends, their new Brasserie (open 7 days for lunch and dinner) menu has been winning locals over in the Illawarra for many years. Click here for what’s coming up on their Live Music Sundays!

Five Barrel Brewing

Hip folks frequent the Taproom at Five Barrel Brewing, Wollongong

Five Barrel Brewing is a family-owned and operated brewery in the Illawarra that established themselves in 2015. Live Music | Every Saturday from 5:30pm + Sunday Soul Sessions – Live Music (last Sunday of the month) – stay tuned to their Facebook page for live music events and acts coming to the brewery.

Along with expertly brewed beer, their taproom features their Five Barrel Food Truck, with a huge range of crazy-yummy burgers with gluten-free and vegetarian options. There are always new events happening at the brewery with long-running Jazz Sundays, live music festivals, new beer launch parties, community nights, tap takeovers and more. The vibes are relaxed, its a real catch-up spot and the demographic skews towards younger folk. These guys get very busy, so I recommend booking ahead if you have a group.

Wests Illawarra

Live Music Guide to Wollongong & IllawarraWests Illawarra

Wests Illawarra’s brand-new live entertainment schedule is here! From Jazz Night to Karaoke, there’s something fun for everyone! Entry is free. Ticketed Music shows start from just $20, so it is cost effective way to see some incredible live music at Wests Illawarra.

Local musicians perform live every Friday evening from 6:30pm-9:30pm in The Lounge.

SATURDAY LIVE ENTERTAINMENT – Jazz, DJ, Piano Bar & Karaoke! 7:30pm-10:30pm.

  • 1st Saturday: Jazz Night
    Enjoy the cool sounds of Paul Winn Trio
  • 2nd Saturday: Live DJ
    Performing a range of hits from the 80s to Now
  • 3rd Saturday: Piano Bar 
    Relax to the chill vibe of our local solo pianists
  • 4th Saturday: Karaoke!

Click here to learn more!

Bundanon

Free, live music in the serene surrounds of Bundanon

Relax at Bundanon just one hour south of Wollongong (it is worth the trip!). Enjoy afternoons at Ramox Café and enjoy live music from South Coast musicians, local wines or treat yourself to a signature Bundanon cocktail. 

Over a series of weekends Bundanon has curated a program of free live music by South Coast musicians. The chefs at Ramox Café have created a specialty Bundanon tonic, brewed with botanicals sourced from the Bundanon site, served exclusively at these events.

Wolf & Woman Distillery, Bellambi

Sunday Sessions, live music and great food at Wolf & Woman Distillery

Based in the Northern suburbs of Wollongong, Wolf & Woman Distillery is a multi-award winning, family owned and run warehouse micro distillery crafting single malt whisky and artisan spirits. During the summer season, Wolf and Woman Distillery run family-friendly Sunday Sessions with food and live music. The sessions are run once a month from 1pm – 5pm. Featuring a special cocktail for the day and free icy poles for kids.

Stay up to date with all their events and live music updates via their FB page here.

Steamers Bar & Grill

Airy interiors and water views at Steamers Bar and Grill, Wollongong

Join in every Tuesday & Thursday for live acoustic music by some of the gong’s best artists at Steamers Bar & Grill.

There’s nothing better than grabbing a drink and a meal with mates and listening to some great acoustic music. Showcasing a variety of talented local musicians every Tuesday & Thursday night from 6pm, this is the ideal spot to enjoy some incredible acoustic music. Their favourite artists perform a chilled acoustic dinner playlist – all the atmosphere of live music at an easy conversation level. 
CLICK HERE for their upcoming live music events.

The Balgownie Hotel

Local’s favourite, The Balgownie Hotel

The historic Bally. We’ve got a lot of love for this local gem. The views are incredible, the interior is only recently renovated and there’s always something happening down at the Public Bar. The crowd are mostly locals, and always a real mix of ages. The bistro serves up a wonderful variety of pub favourites, and they’ve got cheap mid-week lunch deals.

They have live music every Friday and Saturday and Band Night once a month – perfect to set the mood while you’re having a drink with friends or celebrating a milestone. Keep an eye out here to see who’ll be performing next – CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT’S COMING UP

Monthly Band Nights – Second Saturday of every month at The Bally! Band Night starts at 9pm, is completely free entry and open to anyone over 18. You are welcome to book a table if you want a certain spot or want to come in for a meal beforehand – but are also welcome to just walk in.

The Fraternity Club

A great mix of all your favourite music in one great place, The Fraternity Club, Fairy Meadow

Maybe not as well known as others on this list, the Fraternity Club is highly recommended for music lovers. They host free live music literally every weekend! They always have a good mix of bands and musicians among other events in their Friday and Saturday night line up. The vibes are relaxed and enjoyable. All of their Saturday night music is free from 8pm in their Sunken Lounge. Check their website for Friday night music for a mix of your favourite cover bands. 

Waves – Towradgi Beach Hotel

Waves – Live Music Venue attracting awesome bands and covers

Tucked away at Towradgi Beach Hotel just 10 mins North of Wollongong, is Waves. An atmospheric venue for live music, with capacity for over 1 thousand, it attracts some well known names across the year. Some of the gigs are open to under 18’s, so take your mates / teens and rock on together! Most bands play on Saturday nights here. We did hear that epic rock legends, Grinspoon are heading there way this year…

The Music Lounge Wollongong

Magic in the air at The Music Lounge and Bar, Wollongong

Large enough to have party vibe and attract well known artists, small enough to stay intimate. The Music Lounge is Wollongong’s premium live music venue! Renowned enough to attract world class acts and with its own bar (essential of course!) This ‘underground’ spot is tucked away inside the Wollongong Town Hall. Always atmospheric, with attention to detail – the mood lighting and acoustics level up at The Music Lounge. Demographic is generally determined by the gig.

Check out the upcoming gigs, live entertainment and bands and book in advance – CLICK HERE

Anita’s Theatre – Thirroul

An delighted audience applaud at Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul

The gorgeous Anita’s Theatre is the cultural hub of vibrant Thirroul Village. This enormous performing-arts venue has all the old-school charm you could wish for, and proximity to plenty of local restaurants and night spots to make for a great night out. The venue started out life as a Cinema in the 1920s, and has since gone through many changes! Now a versatile theatre, Anita’s hosts big name touring musicians, comedy acts and film screenings. They attract a wide variety of both artists and audiences, check out their upcoming line-up here

Wombarra Bowlo

Sunset sesh at The Wombarra Bowlo

Long time supporters of local live music, the Wombarra Bowlo is a great spot to get your fix of tunes in an open air setting. Their line up is always something fresh! From DJ parties to mini-festivals, home-grown favourites to Big Names – the Bowlo brings in big crowds. Traditionally very popular with locals, the demographic here shifts depending on who is playing. On the whole there is a good mix of people, and a very welcoming vibe. Drinks are cheap, food is delicious. Their events are all ticketed events so jump on the website for more information and tickets – https://www.bowlo.com.au/whats-on

Beaches – Thirroul

A big night brewing at The Beaches Hotel, Thirroul

Probably best known for showcasing fabulous tribute bands, like the Fleetwood Mac show, The Beaches Hotel is always a great place for live music on Saturday nights. It’s a vibrant spot and you can yourself have a whole night out here. Guaranteed to get you in your nostalgic feels with their impressive selection of professional cover bands from all over the state. The crowd skews a little older here, and they love their music. People go off at Beaches! Some of the events have a cover charge and others are free so always best to check the website for the full line up and tickets.

The Shellharbour Club

A fun night on the dancefloor at The Shellharbour Club

Saturday Night Live Music! Dust off your dancing shoes at The Shellharbour Club, pull up a seat in the Lounge and enjoy some electric live music, alongside some delicious refreshments from one of their many bars. Click here for their upcoming and regular live music acts.

The Illawarra Hotel – Wollongong

The beautiful art deco facade of The Illawarra Hotel, Wollongong

The Illawarra Hotel is somewhat of an institution in the ‘Gong and it’s now better than ever. With live music Friday’s and Saturdays, the urban independent pub is a rare beast, and with its strong community focus, The Illawarra is a champion of the live music scene.

Usually on Fridays and Saturdays they feature two acts – The line ups are a healthy mix of DJs and bands, starting early from 6pm on Fridays and 5pm on Saturdays. Their website has the full line up so you can plan ahead. (And on Saturday nights if you just can’t leave there is always a DJ on til late.)
The Illawarra Hotel also have your Sunday Session sorted with talented acoustic performers from 3 – 6 pm. There is no better cure for Monday-itis than a cruisy music filled Sunday arvo.

The Servo Truck Food Bar – Port Kembla

Open air, good times — at The Servo, Port Kembla

If you haven’t been to The Servo – get there! This is a fabulous collective initiative put together by passionate Port Kembla community members. It is a very inclusive and diverse venue, with a big outdoor area where kids and fur kids are very welcome. There is an ever changing roster of food trucks so you will never get sick of the food! These guys have a very varied program of live music as well as other entertainment, from hard thrash metal to bluegrass. All under the watchful eye of the huge beautifully lit Servo mushroom. Yep, not a typo. It’s a thing. And it’s magnificent!

The Figtree Hotel

The amazing Emily Markham is a regular performer at The Figtree Hotel

Live music Saturday nights. Right on the Highway at Figtree you can’t miss the Figtree Hotel. It’s a big space with a welcoming courtyard, and plenty of ambiance to soak up. Not in the least of which is the Gigtree at the Figtree Hotel. Every Friday and Saturday night from 8pm you can enjoy a meal from the Bistro (The Brisket Burger is pretty special!), while you sit back and enjoy the tunes. A regular at The Figtree is the amazing Emily Markham. This very talented woman has the voice of an angel. She has recorded in Nashville and we are very lucky to have her living local so we can enjoy her all to ourselves! – Check out their upcoming events here!

Mount Kembla Village Hotel

Up on the mountain – The historic Mount Kembla Village Hotel

This is a glorious old pub, that has been beautifully restored. There is a fantastic beer garden that is surrounded by huge white birch trees. Perfect in summer, and with an outdoor fireplace, not too bad in winter as well! In the warmer months, the Sunday show is perfectly placed on a small stage in the beer garden. In the cooler seasons you can find the tunes in the welcoming front bar. Being big supporters of the live music scene you can catch local entertainers at Mount Kembla Village Hotel on Friday nights from 7 – 10pm and Sunday arvo’s from 2 – 5. While you are there grab a pizza from the Wood Fired Oven – they are seriously delicious!

La La La’s, Wollongong

Get a bit weird with it at Wollongong’s alternative culture hub: La La La’s

Well, gigs nearly every night! Get your pool game on upstairs and enjoy some tasty (and cheap!) snackies at La La La’s while downstairs hosts diverse artists and bands. Self-described as ‘part dive bar / part live music venue’, this joint is always inclusive and LGBTQIA+ friendly. There is a dedicated dance floor for those who want to dance and get close. The music is LOUD so when the bands are on, conversation is not possible! Crowds here can skew towards the younger side. This spot is the heart and soul of the buzzing music scene in the Gong.

Click for the upcoming Gig Guide and to buy your tickets (it is generally OK to pay on the door if they don’t sell out)

Uni Bar

UniBar at UOW: Not just for students!

One of the biggest and most popular live music venues, The UniBar at the University of Wollongong is definitely not just for students!

Their line up is a fabulous blend of internationally-renowned musicians, local bands, artists and comedians — a big mix of genres and demographics keeps things interesting. The atmosphere is always inclusive and welcoming. Since they book names your younger mates and family might be keen to see, just note that anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian 25 years and older.

Pickled Poet – Thirroul

Jazzy Sunday sessions at the Pickled Poet, Thirroul

If laid back acoustic tunes are more your style, accompanied by an excellent selection of wine and tapas then The Pickled Poet is for you.

They bring local live music every Friday and Saturday night from 6pm and a sensational Sunday Session from 5pm. All acts are in the courtyard, but don’t be discouraged on a cooler night – they have heaters! This welcoming and intimate environment is perfect for listening to original sets by renowned local acts. Sundays can usually be counted on the have a bit of a jazzy vibe if that’s your jam. The crowd here is very hip, mixed ages. Walk-ins welcome or reserve a table online.

Dicey Rileys Hotel

Dicey’s is the only Irish Pub in Wollongong. It’s a diverse crowd, vibey and a great venue for bands and DJ’s. Plus has pool tables and great food. If you like your gigs from the middle of a busy dance floor, this venue is for you! Most gigs are on Friday & Saturdays, visit the what’s on pages here.

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