Making music: Get in tune in Sydney

By Jay Chabon

Entertainment with a view, something for your mini maestro, a major event giving you an excuse to book a weekend stay at Y Hotels.

All this and more you’ll find in Sydney, with music at its core.

We consider ourselves all-round music lovers.

That is to say, we appreciate just about any form of melodic noise, given that we haven’t got much in the way of musical talent ourselves (that doesn’t stop us trying though).

So, when it comes to making musical memories, we’ve got beats for…

For free

Above: Free live music at The Opera Bar.
Above: Free live music at The Opera Bar.

Drink in hand, a gentle breeze blowing your hair, a harbour view dazzling before your eyes, with some subtle but sound-worthy live music hitting just the right note.

No need to pinch yourself and wake up, unless you’re anywhere but  the Opera Bar that is.

If this place weren’t already the ultimate place to while away the holiday hours, the addition of daily live entertainment more than makes up the score.

Expect everything from soul soloists, to R&B rappers and multi-genre groups.

You can usually expect the gigs to start about 6.30pm or 7pm most nights, with weekend matinees kicking off about 2.30pm.

For the opera lover

An opera about the ultimate opera destination, Sydney’s world-famous Opera House, by the nation’s flagship opera company – what opera lover wouldn’t love that?

Sydney Opera House – The Opera (The Eigth Wonder) tells the story behind the building of the iconic landmark.

For the 2016 production (the opera was previously staged in 1995 and 2000) Opera Australia is kicking it up a notch, holding the performance not in, but outside the Opera House, with the 100-metre wide Opera House steps transformed into an opera stage.

The site Sydney loves to love will be stage, set and subject!

October 28 – November 5

For the kids

Above: Babies
Above: Babies Proms orchestra.

OK, this is the last Opera House-themed gig, we promise. (Really, can you blame us?).

The kids get their turn to experience the magic of this magical music venue at a magical time of year when the Babies Proms orchestra sets Christmas classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to music for an audience of two to five year olds.

Babies Proms is an annual Opera House program of performances designed to inspire littlies to discover their inner musician.

November 26 – December 6.

For the rock god

Above: Guns N' Roses.
Above: Guns N’ Roses.

OK, so now we’re changing tune and we’re turning it up full volume on our air guitar to, wait for it … Guns N’ Roses baby!

You will want to not only book ahead for this one, but also start working out how you’re going to pay off that credit card bill, with the cost of tickets for the Sydney leg of the Guns N’ Roses: Not In This Lifetime Tour ranging from about $90 up to about $765 (that’s with a VIP party experience thrown in).

But “live and let die” we say.

It will be worth it to see whether Axl still looks good in tight white pants and if Slash’s hair is still guitar god-worthy.

Expect the riffs, rants and rock to be as legendary as ever!

ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park.

February 10.

For the pub goer

Above: Ladies enjoying themselves at The Hero
Above: Ladies enjoying themselves at The Hero of Waterloo Hotel.

We love a pub with live music (that’s a given), but throw in ghost tours, heritage landmark status, good grub and beaut beer and, well, we may need more than a little nudge to vacate the premises at closing time!

The Hero of Waterloo Hotel in The Rocks has a legacy, begun in colonial times, of providing good cheer to locals and visitors to Sydney. Cheers to that.

As for the music, expect live jazz, soul and R&B from house bands known to pack the dance floor each weekend.

For the true blue Aussie

Above: Loudfest. Image: courtesy of Sam MacDonald.
Above: Loudfest. Image: courtesy of Sam MacDonald.

Come November, Aussie music’s up-and-comers get a chance to shine alongside big names in the nation’s music biz.

ARIA Week brings a broad and eclectic range of showcases, curated performances, and conferences, including a popular ARIA masterclass, to Sydney.

“ARIA Week brings the music industry together and offers the community unprecedented access to Australian music in the lead-up to the ARIA Awards,” the organisers say.

Like all highly-anticipated things in showbiz, it’s all hush hush until a bit closer to release date.

Stay tuned to the ARIA Awards website for details.

Music fans can also watch their favourite artists arrive for the ARIA Awards at The Star on November 23.


Where do you go to hear great music in Sydney? Tell us in the comments section below.

// IS - 20240106 removed the comments