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Top five Canberra venues to get your local entertainment fix

By Nicola Sheville - 31 May 2017 6

Look, it’s not always an easy life when it comes to entertainment in Canberra. The entertainment scene is not as big a thing here as it is in major cities like Sydney and Melbourne, and it’s hard to find a way to keep track of musicians, artists and bars who actually reckon Canberra is a place worth investing in.

Despite this, Canberra is surprisingly full of music, karaoke and fantastically fun times for those who know where to look. So here are the top five places to check out in reverse order:

5. Harmonie German Club

Okay, so the name doesn’t scream ‘music venue’. But this Narrabundah club delivers not only a myriad of tunes, but a monthly offering of Canberra Blues Society Jams.

The club has hosted some great acts, including Lloyd Spigel, Psycho Zydeco, The Groove Kings and a whole lot more. The place supports Canberra bands and gigs on a massive scale and will never disappoint.

4. Polish White Eagle Club

Another one of those names that don’t do the venue justice. Some fantastic gigs have been played at this venue, including Canberra’s favourite all-female punk band, Glitoris.

Other reputable gigs have been Slow Turismo who have been shown some great love in local publication, BMA Magazine, Brother Be and so many more. This place is definitely one of those to keep an eye on because their acts will never fail to impress.

3. King O’Malley’s Irish Pub

If you’re looking for the best place for free and local, look no further than King O’s. A long-time staple of Canberra’s music scene, King O’Malley’s not only offers some great musicians, but also a weekly Irish Jam Session that focuses on traditional Irish tunes – just as an Irish Pub should.

The atmosphere is always fun and the location is great for making your way to other venues in the city. King O’s is a long running business in Canberra for a very good reason.

2. Transit Bar

So a little biased on my end because it’s one of my personal favourites, Transit Bar is one of the most amazing places for not only local music, but other Australian acts, Karaoke and a whole lot more.

Transit has been host to a myriad of local and international acts, and are sure to sell out their venue with fantastic gigs.

1. The Phoenix Pub

Despite my obvious love for Transit Bar, I can’t bill them above the amazing Phoenix. Phoenix cares so much for their own, providing a homely space and incredible local bands, trivia nights, comedy sessions, karaoke and local independent film screenings.

It’s not hard to see why The Phoenix is so incredibly loved in Canberra. In my opinion, it would be hard to determine what Canberra’s nightlife would be like without this amazing venue.

Photo: The Phoenix Pub from lovethephoenix.com

What is your favourite local entertainment venue? Let us know why you like it in the comments.

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6 Responses to
Top five Canberra venues to get your local entertainment fix
Roksteddy 7:32 pm 01 Jun 17

The Front

Rover 7:20 pm 01 Jun 17

Great list! The German Club* has a long history in the Canberra music scene – it was the place to see bands in the 1970s. Peter Garrett says it’s where Midnight Oil played one of their first gigs, supporting Skyhooks.

This Saturday night, it’s hosting a Battle of the Bands, with Zackerbilks, Urban Drover, Violet Faye, and High View competing for a $1000 paid gig (and they’re all being paid to perform). Tickets are $10 at the door. http://harmonieclub.com.au/events/battle-of-the-bands.aspx

*Disclaimer – this may or may not be my favourite place in Canberra.

Nicola Sheville 7:09 pm 01 Jun 17

Josh Mulrine said :

I like the George as well in Gold Greek. There used to be Sing-for-your-supper on a Wednesday night. http://www.georgeharcourt.com

I’m a big fan of the George, it tends to be my family’s go-to pub. I’ve never really seen much of the entertainment there so I’ll have to check it out for sure!

Nicola Sheville 7:07 pm 01 Jun 17

Elias Hallaj said :

Nice list Nicola! I realise it’s a ‘top 5’ so you could not keep adding names, but I would also add Smith’s Alternative. Have seen some great live performances there over the years and it’s often surprising how big a crowd they can squeeze into such a cosy venue.

Smith’s is also great! I’ve had some great nights out at Smith’s. Such a nice venue with a great atmosphere.
It was difficult choosing between some of the venues, but a lot of people don’t really know that Harmonie has monthly blues jam sessions, or that the Polish White Eagle club has weekly gigs.

Elias Hallaj 5:53 pm 31 May 17

Nice list Nicola! I realise it’s a ‘top 5’ so you could not keep adding names, but I would also add Smith’s Alternative. Have seen some great live performances there over the years and it’s often surprising how big a crowd they can squeeze into such a cosy venue.

Josh Mulrine 4:11 pm 31 May 17

I like the George as well in Gold Greek. There used to be Sing-for-your-supper on a Wednesday night. http://www.georgeharcourt.com

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