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Where to Find the Best Live Music in Queenstown

Every now and then you need to head out into the dark of night and get a fix of … live music.

Although Kanye, Coldplay and Tay Tay don’t often stop by, and Radiohead, Rodriguez, and Jungle aren’t regularly in town, you will find the likes of Shapeshifter, Charlie Gibston, Connan Mockasin and a whole slew of underground DJs and musicians swinging by Lake Wakatipu to do their thing. Like any respectable town, Queenstown has a vibrant live music scene. You just need to know where the gigs go down.

We look at where to find the best live music in Queenstown.

The Sherwood

Opportunely perched on three acres of alpine slopes, The Sherwood matches it’s cracking views with seasonal soul food and talented musicians. These guys are all about unwinding and reconnecting, and for them, music is part of that.

Shenandoah Davis, Shayne P Carter, The Swan Sisters and the psychedelic pop dreamer from Te Awanga, Connan Mockasin, all have upcoming gigs.

The World Bar

Besides being the home of the revolutionary teapot cocktail, The World Bar wants to get you wiggling every single night of the week. Resident DJs Stubacca and Mitch P man the decks on the reg, and Midnight Express lays down acoustic indy covers each Sunday for the afternoon session.


This is The World Bar’s neighbouring sister spot, but is more the golden child to The World Bar’s black sheep (we say that in the best possible way). They are very different.

A fresh and airy space set in James McNeill’s 1885 cottage, Yonder offers specialty coffee, dandy brunches and a professional live music set up. You can catch local band, Cheat, there every Monday after 10pm for free, and a cocktail happy hour from 10-11pm.

Little Blackwood

Sitting in the famous Steamer Wharf Waterfront, the charmingly petite Little Blackwood is well known for having some of the best cocktails in town and for its super intimate gigs. Their mini concerts come and go like a flakey friend, so keep your eyes peeled and ears open and, if you catch wind of one, grab a seat, start a tab and enjoy the fact that only a handful of people will experience that moment.

If those four venues don’t tickle your musical fancy or scratch your itchy ears, check out Pub on Wharf, Loco Cantina, 1876 Bar and Restaurant, Pog Mahones or The Pig and Whistle Pub.

words by niall roeder

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