The Gold Coast isn’t just about spectacular beaches and temperate weather. When the sun goes down, the city’s thriving live music scene gets ready to light up. Whether you’re a local or visitor, these music festivals and live gig venues are worth checking out.
Best live music festivals on the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast plays host to a number of exciting music festivals throughout the year.
Surfers Paradise Live
Running from 2 to 5 May 2019, Surfers Paradise Live kicks off with the Gold Coast Music Awards, which highlights the best of local artists. The four-day day-and-night extravaganza will showcase a diverse variety of musicians. Completely free for attendees, the festival takes place on the beachfront of Surfers Paradise.
This year it’ll be headlined by acts like The Living End, Jebediah, Daryl Braithwaite, and Chocolate Starfish. Visitors can take the opportunity to wander through the precinct and explore the Surfers Paradise Markets to make some fashion, jewellery, and photography purchases.
Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival
Located throughout the Broadbeach CBD on the Gold Coast, the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival will take place between 16 to 19 May 2019. The largest free music festival in Australia, Blues on Broadbeach has been running for over 18 years and has won numerous awards. Incorporating dozens of acts and 20 performance areas on the beachfront as well as the streets of Broadbeach, the festival’s location gives visitors the opportunity to sample the delightful menu at the local bars and restaurants as they enjoy the free music. 2019’s line-up include The Gypsy Kings, Cedric Burnside, and Kevin Borich Express.
Cooly Rocks On
If you’re nostalgic for the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, Cooly Rocks On is not to be missed. Held in and around the streets of the Coolangatta Foreshore and the Southern Foreshore Greenmount, Cooly Rocks on is a music festival combined with vintage car show. Running from 5 to 9 June 2019, Cooly Rocks On will feature more than 50 rock’n’roll bands along with more than 1,200 vintage cars. Feel free to browse the retro markets afterwards.
Groundwater Country Music Festival
Held between 26 and 28 July 2019, Groundwater Country Music Festival is Australia’s fastest-growing country music festival. This free beachside festival is, yes, all country, and it features some of the most exciting names in the Australian country music scene. Located throughout Broadbeach at various outdoor stages and venues, the festival’s 2019 line-up includes Lee Kernaghan, Becky Coles, and the Wolf Brothers. Attendees can explore the streets of Broadbeach and dine out at the numerous cafes and restaurants to the sound of their favourite country tunes.
Bleach* Festival is one of the Gold Coast’s most exciting music festivals, and it combines sport and art for a unique experience for visitors. Incorporating cutting-edge music, circus, theatre, dance, cabaret, and visual art, the festival runs over three weekends from 17 to 28 April 2019. Spread across 23 Gold Coast locations, the festival will feature 43 events celebrating the city’s most dynamic and innovative artists. Attendees will have a chance to explore different parts of the Gold Coast as they attend the different events.
Best live music venues on the Gold Coast
Visitors and locals alike are also spoilt for choice when it comes to live music venues on the Gold Coast.
Soundlounge, Currumbin RSL
The Soundlounge at Currumbin RSL is one of the best live music venues in the city and plays host to some of the best touring bands in Australia and from around the world. With a busy program packed with a great line-up just about every day of the week, live music lovers will want keep coming back to Soundlounge. The Currumbin RSL itself has an extensive list of bar and dining options, so you can enjoy fine food and drinks after a gig. If you enjoy a bit of gaming, check out the bingo, TAB, and raffles games.
Mo’s Desert Clubhouse
Mo’s Desert Clubhouse, located in Burleigh Heads, is a community hub for all music, art, creatives and industry-related crew. This relatively new venue has already hosted a number of international acts and currently features a busy program of local and international acts. Other than live gigs, the venue offers art exhibitions, yoga classes, and even coworking spaces.
If you’re looking for a more intimate live music experience, look no further. Hidden Groove is a wine bar in the Gold Coast suburb of Tugun, and as its name hints, it’s well hidden away, in an alleyway. Along with a busy live band program, the venue hosts burlesque shows and features an amazing tapas and cocktail menu.
The Coolangatta Hotel
Located on the famous Coolangatta beachfront, The Coolangatta Hotel is one of the best venues for live music in the city. Walk right in from the beach into the pub and enjoy music from top Aussie acts like The Preatures, The Rubens, and Thirsty Merc. Other than live music, the hotel is home to Crave Restaurant, which specialises in contemporary Australian and International dishes, light snacks, and hearty pub classics. You can also grab a drink from any of the three bars or hire one of the six venues for your function.
Steampunk is an eatery and bar located right in the heart of Surfers Paradise, and it regularly features local acts like Katie Who, Ryan Gittoes and Andy Penney. Other than live music, Steampunk is known for its one-of-a-kind drinks, great menu, and good atmosphere.
The Gold Coast’s music festival and live music scene is one of the best things about its burgeoning nightlife. Whether you’re visiting or you live in the area, you’ll want to make time for the fantastic festivals and live music venues. Catch a live band at The Cooly Hotel by checking out The Cooly Hotel’s gig guide.