Our lovely town Byron Bay is known for many things and one of them is definitely the live music. Australia’s most easterly town is breathing arts; photography, painting, writing (among many others). But none of these are as obvious, when walking around town, as the art of music. If you walk along Johnson Street (Byron Bay’s main street) and don’t come across at least 5 street musicians at any time of the day, then you must check for any signs of human life because that would probably mean it’s the end of the world already.
Besides the countless street musicians you will find music acts around the many bars in Byron Bar. You can walk into most bars on any random night and expect the best live performances. There are a lot of local talents, but the nice things about the town being situated between Brisbane and Sydney, is that a lot of foreign talents who are traveling along the East coast make a pit stop in Byron Bay because they know how badly ‘Byronians’ need live music.
I’ve listed below my 3 favourite hot spots in Byron Bay for live jams and highly recommend you go check them out, bop your head and wet your whistle over a locally brewed stone and wood beer.
Boasting the best backroom in Byron Bay, The Northern attracts some awesome bands and has a cool energy and vibe. You’re likely to be surprised by the space; a huge sound, huge stage, and huge bands are what you’ll find. The Northern also has a great front bar where you can have a change of pace and scenery, which makes it a really great night out.
The Beach Hotel
Feeling like you’ve washed up on the shores of Hawaii, the Beach Hotel is eclectic and cool for live music. The Beachy change it up, with often very mellow chilled beachy tunes, and then cranking it up for high energy dance and pumping beats. The Beach Hotel is basically one large venue, and they turn it up loud for a big crowd. There is an outside beer garden and a back bar where you can chill out if it all gets a bit crazy. The Beach Hotel is a solid night out with some great bands playing live often. Also, it gets some very high profile Australian bands just to add to it all.
A great little pub located on the railway line cutting through the town, The Rails is about as chilled as you’re going to get for live music. Close to town and full of locals, it’s the sort of place where you can sit and watch the stars above as you listen to folksy guitar driven live music and sit back and laugh with a bunch of good friends.
Then again sometimes the best live music is right under your nose. The Arts Factory Lodge has (besides all the guests just jamming around the property) a weekly talent show and once every two weeks there’s the Friday Night Showcase night, making sure that all the guests are treated to some surprisingly good music performances.