Top Fives: Live Music Venues in Adelaide


Editors Note: If you don’t like Adelaide (please give them a chance), we also have guides on Sydney and Brisbane‘s live music scene!

There’s nothing we here at PURPLE SNEAKERS love more than a daily dose of live music. Local, domestic or international – we love it all. If we’re not busy doing our thing behind the screen, chances are you’ll find us at one of our many beloved live music venues, soaking up the musical talent (and let’s be honest, probably a drink or two).

A little while ago, we shared with you our top five picks of the greatest live music venues in both Sydney and Brisbane, but now the time has come for us to share with you the wonders that lie amongst the sweet city of Adelaide. Contrary to popular belief, the Adelaide music scene is bursting at the seams with emerging talent, and is something that can only be described as a growing force to be reckoned with.

Home to countless local artists of all genres, a night out in Adelaide is rarely short of a live act, so we thought we’d give a special shout-out to all these local venues that allow us to fuel our (possibly unhealthy) live music obsessions.


Home to one of our favourite Friday night parties Cats, it’s no secret that Rocket Bar is rated extremely highly here at Purple Sneakers, and for good reason. Hosting acts such as TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS, BASENJI, KILTER, PANAMA and WILLOW BEATS just in these last few months alone, it’s safe to say that every night at Rocket is destined to be a good one.

Located in the city’s West End, this intimate venue is extremely hard to fault. With its killer audio set up and retro interior, it’s makes it difficult to compare to any other Adelaide venue. The perfect mix of live bands and DJ sets attracts such a diverse crowd of music lovers, ranging from anything electro the indie-rock, and the weekly resident DJs do a fantastic job of keeping the party going into the early hours of the morning, if that’s what you’re into.

To top it all off, Rooftop Bar, located directly above Rocket, is the perfect place to chill out and kick back with a cocktail (or other drink of choice) if the hype of downstairs becomes all too much.


Thanks to Adelaide movement ‘Fourwords’, Rhino Room has been known to host a rad party from time to time. Aside from showcasing a range of South Australian talent, both national and international acts grace the line-ups of Fourwords parties on a regular basis. Some of the more recent acts to take to the stage are NICOLE MILLAR, SAMPOLOGY, THE KITE STRING TANGLE and SHIGETO.

Also known as one of Adelaide’s favourite comedy destinations, Rhino Room is equipped with a unique set-up where live acts are situated upstairs, hip-hop beats spun downstairs and a cozy beer garden ideal for mingling. What more could you want in a venue?


Chances are if you’re a live music-lover here in Adelaide, you would’ve spent countless nights getting sweaty at The Thebby, or Thebarton Theatre to those who have not yet established a personal connection. As one of Adelaide’s most prestigious music venues, with a large stage, spacious floor-space and seating, this is often the obvious destination choice for larger national and international acts looking to make a splash on their headline tour. The Thebby was also home to Adelaide’s Spin Off Festival in 2013, showing just how versatile this venue can be.

All we can say is great sound, great set-up and even better atmosphere – the kind of venue where memories are made.


Any regular Adelaide partygoer will know that Jive is the home of all things indie. With its chilled out lounge vibe, Jive is the perfect place to chill out with beer in hand and lap up your favourite indie band. Whether its ANDY BULL, THE PREATURES or NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE, this venue will provide you with an intimate experience with some of the nations finest musical talent.


Over the last 20 years, The Gov has established itself as one of Adelaide’s leading live music venues. Unlike the other venues mentioned, The Gov is open to the public on a daily basis, and provides people with the opportunity to hear some of Adelaide’s finest musical talent in a relaxed setting. Whether it’s witnessing local talent in the front bar, or enjoying a sold-out international gig in the main room, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Hosting anything from Aussie cool-cats STICKY FINGERS, to the sweet electronic sounds of BONOBO, The Gov has got you covered.

Special mentions also to go out the Adelaide Uni Bar, who do a killer job of combining campus life and live music, and new kids on the block Pirie & Co. Social Club, who are without a doubt an up-and-coming premier live music destination.

Words by Clare Mingorance