Top Live Music Venues in Cape Town 2024

Harringtons live music

Cape Town’s music scene is as diverse as its people, and several amazing new live music venues have refreshed our post-Covid world in the Mother City. Whether you’re a jazz expert looking for outstanding concerts, a rocker after a wild night out, or a couple looking for a romantic evening of laid-back entertainment, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this list of top live music venues.

Naledi Masilo at The Blue Room
Naledi Masilo

The Blue Room

The Blue Room has become one of the most well-respected live music venues in Cape Town in recent years. One of the spaces within the Grub and Vine building on Bree Street, it attracts music lovers to the heart of the city centre with superior live music acts. Lineups are carefully curated – expect creme-of-the-crop jazz, soul, blues, and a range of contemporary styles by South Africa’s finest in a romantic setting. Highly-acclaimed chef Matt Manning provides superb dinner fare which can be enjoyed along with the show. Guests can choose to book for dinner, or the show only. Cocktails and tapas are also available.

Acts who have performed here include: Melorie Jane, Mark Fransman, Darren English, N8N, Hilton Shilder, Penelope Radsma, BLAQ, Chadleigh Gowar, Naledi Masilo

Where: 103 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre
When: Monday to Saturday 8pm – 10pm

Website: grubandvine.co.za | Email: hello@grubandvine.co.za | Tel: 087 153 5244

Cafe Roux live music venues Cape Town
Bottomless Coffee Band

Cafe Roux

Cafe Roux, situated in the Noordhoek Farm village, is known as one of the top live music venues in Cape Town. The establishment boasts reliable stage sound, a welcoming, family-friendly atmospshere, and fantastic food. South Africa’s most popular rock, pop, folk, and contemporary acts grace the lineups here, while newcomers are also accommodated one or two nights a week, and other events such as comedy nights add further variety. A generously sized play area for kids outside and open-air concerts over summer add further appeal.

Acts who have performed here include: Freshlyground, Jesse Clegg, Majozi, Auriol Hayes

When: Various
Where: Chapmans Peak Dr, Noordhoek Farm Village, Cape Town

Website: caferoux.co.za | Email: info@caferoux.co.za | Tel: 021 789 2538

Harringtons live music
Lea Venga

Harringtons

This luxurious and generously sized cocktail, tapas and jazz lounge at the heart of the city regularly hosts exciting bands, artists and duos, of various genres. Opulent decor, outstanding cocktails and a varied menu attract a crowd of city slickers and music lovers alike, and DJs take to the booth after the bands to keep the party going (Harrington’s is licensed until 4am). This is arguably one of the most popular venues among the 25 – 40-year-old bracket for enjoying a band and having a dance in the CBD.

Acts that have performed here include: Lea Venga, Nomadic Orchestra, Kujenga, Giuliette Price, The Swing Collective, Year of Dogs

When: Various
Where: 61b Harrington Street, Cape Town CBD

Website: www.harringtonstreet.co.za | Email: bookings@harringtonstreet.co.za | Tel: 078 916 7903

Miss Morena at Selective Live
Miss Morena

Selective Live

Selective Live sprung onto the scene a few years ago, and attracted music enthusiasts fast with its authenticity and diversity. Hosting both well-established and fresh talent across the board of jazz, Afro-beat, house, pop and contemporary, this venue is known for celebrating African culture through its live acts and DJs. Guests will also love the phenomenal 180-degree views  of Table Mountain from the large balcony. A well-stocked bar and affordable entry fees round out this exceptional spot.

Acts who have performed here include: Miss Morena, Lana Crowster, Kumodi Live, The Claire Röntsch Quartet, Tiana Amari, Ludwe Danxa Quartet, Lonwabo Diba Mafani (with Buddy Wells and Dane Paris), Sarah Anne Blake

When: Mon – Thu 9am – 4pm | Fri  9am – 9:30pm | Sat-Sun  12pm – 9:30pm
Where: 189 Buitengracht St, Gardens, Cape Town

Tough Guy Band at District
Tough Guy Band

District

District, the upstairs sister of Harrington’s, is one of the larger live music venues in Cape Town, and regularly hosts some of the city’s biggest acts. Younger crowds head here for a “proper big night out” to see rock, pop, punk, alternative, psychedelic and indie bands – followed by top-tier DJs. One of the things that District gets right is the fact that it’s just as much of a club as it is a live music venue, attracting both rockers and dancers, which is quite a feat. In terms of visiting a live music venue in Cape Town, this might be one to plan in advance, for a special occasion, or with a bunch of friends – you’re likely to be here into the early hours.

Acts who have performed here include:  Lucy Kruger and the Lost Boys, Retro Dizzy, Black Math, Tough Guy Band, Sueños

When: Various
Where: 189 Buitengracht St, Gardens, Cape Town

Website: www.harringtonstreet.co.za | Email: districtevents@harringtonstreet.co.za | Tel: 078 916 7903

Bam Bam at House of Machines
Bam Bam

The House of Machines

This welcoming venue, fondly known as THOM, aims to bring people from all walks of life together. The House of Machines is something of an elevated biker bar, but is also famous for its huge range of whiskeys, exceptional coffee, interesting apparel, and of course live music. The venue holds a special place in the hearts of many rock, pop, and electro acts, and provides an intimate and exciting space for engagement. Find live music here most days, including a songwriters showcase on Tuesday evenings, and DJ/producer slots on Thursdays.

Acts who have performed here include: Jak Thomas, Jack Parow, Jeremy de Tolly, Cece Vee, Nikola Vlok, Dukes of Note, Jono Tait, Dawn Brothers, Bam Bam

When: Mon 7:30am – 11.30pm | Tue – Fri 7am – 1am | Sat 9am – 1am
Where: 84 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town City Centre

Website: thehouseofmachines.com | Email: workshop@thehouseofmachines.com | Tel: 021 422 0946

Mojo Market live music venues in Cape Town
The Conquerors

Mojo Market

This huge and extremely popular indoor market in Sea Point is known as much for its live music as it is for its incredible variety of food. The market offers live music every day of the week, and the bands that play here are consistently good. The variety is also great – guest will find everything from salsa to African jazz to reggae to rock, and more. This is the perfect place to bring your mates visiting from overseas for a relaxed dinner or a Sunday lunch. Introduce them to some South African flavours paired with fine South African sounds. Entry to the market is free.

Acts who have performed here include: Loyiso Bala, The Conquerors, Hassanadas, Lize Mynhardt. Oceanico, Adamu da Silva, Ashweeta

When: Daily, 11am – 9pm
Where: 30 Regent Rd, Sea Point

The Commons live music venues in Cape Town
The Brother Moves On. Photo by Rosina Pencheva

The Commons

The Commons is an eclectic, interesting and respected live music venue in Muizenberg which regularly hosts some of the best jazz acts from around the country and beyond. Guests can also look forward to DJs, art exhibitions, and movie nights in this warm space. A wrap-around balcony overlooks the waves of Surfer’s Corner, providing the perfect spot for a sundowner before the show. Delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free food is also on offer, while cosy nooks with boardgames and books might make you want to arrive early or linger longer.

Acts who have performed here include: Bheki Khoza Trio, Maya Spector, Muneeb Hermans, Reza Khota, Amaeshi Ikechi

When: Various
Where:
 Surfers Corner, Beach Road, Muizenberg

Website: thecommons.co.za | Email: thecommons.muizenberg@gmail.com | Tel: +27 83 799 8294

BEAST at Armchair Theatre
BEAST

Armchair Theatre

This long-standing favourite among musicians and music lovers is situated in the heart of Observatory. One the oldest and most well-known music venues in Cape Town, it’s birthed many of the most famous South African bands over the years, and continues to do so. The stage also hosts legendary comedy nights every Wednesday evening (from 8pm) and popular karaoke nights on Thursdays (from 7pm). A big outside section with an open fire provides a relaxed space to catch up with friends and meet the musicians. Regular drinks specials mean you won’t break the bank on a night out here.

Acts who have performed here include: Beast, Peasant, The Man Motels

When: Mon – Thu 11am – 1 am | Fri 11am – 11.30pm | Sat – Sun 9am – 11.30pm
Where: 135 Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town

Website: ourarmchair.co.za | Email: info@thearmchair.co.za | Tel: 073 902 4976

Alma Cafe live music venues in Cape Town
Jenny & the Jameses

The Alma Cafe

Another historic Cape Town venue, the Alma Cafe was originally a family-owned corner shop which became a live music venue in 2009, owned and run by the Tait family. The collaboration of fine, home-cooked style dishes and live music birthed a welcoming, community-friendly and intimate space that is well known and loved today. Enjoy the highest quality folk, blues, rock and contemporary bands here while you sample hearty meals like lasagna, bobotie and honey-mustard chicken. Beer and burger evenings on Wednesdays offer free entry to watch two or three bands, while Sunday nights are a more formal affair with bookings needed.

Acts who have performed here include: Arno Carstens, Guy Buttery, Albert Frost, Koos Kombuis, Jenny and the Jameses

When: Open Weds – Sun 10am – 10pm, shows at various times
Where: 20 Alma Road, RosebankWebsite: www.almacafe.co.za | Email: bookings@almacafe.co.za | Tel: 021 685 7377

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