Whether you’re grooving to your favourite Aussie bands as they rock out a country pub or stumbling upon intimate gigs in tiny beachside venues, the Great Ocean Road’s live music scene always delivers the good vibes. Here are some of the best spots on the coast to catch a show, discover new talent or simply enjoy some sweet tunes for your Sunday sesh.
The Last One Inn is all about the simple pleasures in life – good food, drinks, friends and live music of course. Grab your crew and head down to this airy and recently refurbished ‘70s beach shack overlooking the Anglesea River. The Inn fires up with live music on weekends, think cool DJ sets, indie artists, Latin sounds and even BYO vinyl nights. The tunes are best enjoyed with cocktails and share plates from the South American–inspired menu. Happy hour margaritas are calling your name.
Nourishing pub grub, cold drinks, friendly staff behind the bar and the buzzing sounds of a live band in action. Nothing beats the atmosphere of a local pub. Head on down to Hotel Warrnambool on weekends and you’ll often catch a rock gig or emerging Aussie band taking the stage. Soak up the chilled Sunday afternoon vibes at The Warrny (as it’s known to locals) while you enjoy a pot of beer or glass of wine and a woodfired pizza.
The Bomboras Beach Bar pops up on The Esplanade every year for summer, overlooking the beautiful blue waters of Torquay. The only bar located right on the beach, the views here are pretty spectacular. This open-air bar is family-friendly and dog-friendly with live music turning up the good times multiple nights a week. Gigs here are relaxed and intimate, you might even find yourself chatting to the artists between sets and putting in a request or two. It’s the perfect spot to kick back with a seltzer and some grub from the food trucks out front, while the kids have a boogie.
Brews and views with a soundtrack of live music, what could be better? The Brewhouse is a craft beer haven overlooking the beautiful Apollo Bay foreshore. Catch free live music on weekends as you taste your way through the Brewhouse’s lineup of more than 100 craft beers. Kick back in the massive beer garden, try independent and local drops like Prickly Moses, and enjoy sets from some of the coast’s best local talent. If you’re craving a bite, the bistro menu showcases local produce from the Otways region.
Tucked behind this heritage-listed bluestone hotel is the Lawn Bar, a hidden gem beer garden loved for its live music sessions on the lawn. Find a spot on the sunny deck or spread a picnic blanket out on the grass. Either way, you’ll have front row seats to the tunes from local acts. Grab a cocktail and a platter box from the bar or order some tasty street snacks from the rotating lineup of food trucks.
Embrace the beach-to-bar lifestyle at the Torquay Hotel where locals and travellers mingle in the massive sun-soaked beer garden. The iconic pub is the Surf Coast’s home of live music, attracting some of the biggest names in Aussie music. Some of the talented folks making their way down to play the pub this year include Hockey Dad, Holy Holy and The Rubens. As well as headline gigs, the pub also hosts acoustic performances and local DJ sets every week if you want to shake it out on the dancefloor.
A night of live music is just what the doctor ordered, so why should cities get all the good gigs? The Sound Doctor is a group of local music lovers inviting artists to play epic shows on the Surf Coast. Past acts to grace the Doc’s stage include the likes of Aussie legends Archie Roach, Clare Bowditch and Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, and there are big things coming in 2022. The group also supports young and local artists through performances and workshops, so you’ll be helping shape the next voices of the Surf Coast, too.
Can you hear that? It’s the sound of a good time at the heritage-listed pub Mac’s on the Portland foreshore. Swing by the Sandbar on Friday and Saturday nights when talented musos entertain the crowds late into the night. The lineup features local, regional and touring artists. Come for the free gigs, stay for a feed of fresh locally caught seafood in this lovely and historic hotel.
Set the tone for your weekend with a soundtrack of live music by the coast. Let us know what incredible local talent you discover in our bars and beer gardens.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.