Rock On! 10 Best Live Music Venues in Hong Kong

Live music in Hong Kong falls into four main categories.

At the top of the program are the major venues, seating hundreds and the natural port of call for international orchestras, pop stars and the like, whose very name is enough to ensure seats sell out in a trice.

Secondly are the bars and restaurants – such as Grappa's Cellar in Central – which stage live music by professionals, be it jazz, easy listening or indeed anything which will accompany patrons' drinking and dining.

Thirdly are the more informal places, usually a pub, which attract enthusiastic amateurs who like to play a particular brand of music and whose friends usually flock to give them some support. Perhaps The Wanch, in Wan Chai, is the prime example.

Lastly – and least of all – are alternative venues, well out of town, which stage alternative music for up and coming bands and performers.

Hong Kong is more famed for its business acumen than its cultural offerings, but a healthy live music scene is a sure sign that there is another side to the city rather than simply making money. And when it comes to the amateur performers, it's amazing how many of them are holding down a regular job wearing a suit from nine to five.

Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Nobody has ever accused the Cultural Centre of being architecturally beautiful – in fact it's nicknamed The Ski Slope. But inside the acoustics and other details are all top-notch, making this a performance mecca. Built on the site of the...  Read More

Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

The Academy for Performing Arts – almost always known as APA – is a typical Hong Kong success story. Squeezed onto a triangular site near the harbor in Wan Chai, it sits above the MTR railway – so the architect had to cushion it on a bed...  Read More

Grappa's Cellar
Photo courtesy of Grappa's Cellar

Grappa's Cellar bills itself as The Home of Live Entertainment in Hong Kong, with jazz, rock and comedy acts visiting regularly from around the world to perform. Some big names that have performed here include Georgie Fame, Lee Ritenour, José...  Read More

Photo courtesy of AsiaWorld-Expo

AsiaWorld-Expo is the biggest purpose-built indoor seated entertainment arena in Hong Kong with a maximum capacity of 14,000. This state-of-the-art complex, opened in December 2005, is located at the centre of an extensive and efficient air,...  Read More

Hong Kong Coliseum
Photo courtesy of HK Coliseum

Since its official opening on 27 April 1983, the Hong Kong Coliseum has established itself as one of the most popular multipurpose indoor stadium in Hong Kong for international spectacular entertainment programs and pop concerts. Shaped like...  Read More

Peel Fresco
Photo courtesy of Peel Fresco

SoHo is one of those areas in Hong Kong which have just grown up all by themselves. A few years ago it was simply dull backstreets – but with the construction of the outdoor escalator numerous bars and trendy boutiques have sprung up to take...  Read More

Ned Kelly's Last Stand

A traditional jazz band takes the stage nightly at Ned Kelly's, which also offers a lively ambiance and a good selection of classic pub food. The club has happy hour specials and an Australian menu that showcases culinary favorites like meat pie...  Read More

Fringe Club
Photo courtesy of HKTB

Upscale avant-garde entertainment is the focus at the Fringe Club. The club's award-winning renovation of a former dairy warehouse have left it with two theaters, two art galleries, a photography gallery, rehearsal space and studios, a fine...  Read More

Wan Chai

Having been feeding the locals with mind-bending gigs for more than 25 years, The Wanch is an institution of live music. This is said to be the longest running livehouse in Hong Kong. Shows are on every night from 6pm on weekdays and 4pm at...  Read More

Hidden Agenda
Photo courtesy of Hidden Agenda

Hidden Agenda started out in 2009 when a couple of post-80s music lovers came up with the idea of transforming a band practice room in an industrial building into a live house for indie music. It soon became a local band scene's hot spot, and a...  Read More


Meet Ed Peters

Ed Peters has been based in Asia for most of his adult life, and counts Hong Kong as his second home. While he lives in a farming village on one of the outlying islands, getting to the city center...  More About Ed

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