The Best Live Music Venues In Christchurch, New Zealand

Photo of Ayse Huseyin
13 October 2016

Christchurch, New Zealand is renowned for its live music scene. Home to its own symphony orchestra and opera company, the city also boasts a number of popular bands that are well-known on the live music circuit. The fun-loving and relaxed environment of New Zealand perfectly explains the culture of enjoying live music, and here we explore the most popular venues to discover and enjoy live music in Christchurch.

Christchurch, New Zealand | © Sharen/Flickr

Trevinos Restaurant & Bar

Trevinos Restaurant & Bar has it all: food, sports coverage, open fires in the colder months, and, most importantly, live music every Friday night. The style of music is generally contemporary, so those fans of new, undiscovered and modern talent will be in for a treat. Trevinos also boasts frequent performances from Vague As Bros, one of the most popular live acts in Christchurch, so definitely stop by for an excellent start to the weekend.

Trevinos Restaurant & Bar, 22 Riccarton Road, Christchurch, New Zealand, +64 3-343 5378


Darkroom is a performance venue that is cherished and vital to the community of Christchurch, as it was the first place to open after their tragic earthquakes. As a city that is still recovering from natural disaster, this space is an emblem for creativity in the wake of destruction. Free performances are put on every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, all showcasing local talent. Their gig schedule is eclectic, so stop by for a taste of something new and broaden your musical horizons.

Darkroom, 336 St. Asaph St, Christchurch, New Zealand, +64 3-974 2425

Dux Live

Bar, Oceanian, $$$
Map View
Dux Live
Dux Live | Courtesy of Dux Live
Dux Live offers an award-winning experience, as it is the winner of the New Zealand music venue of the year award in 2014. The local talent that plays here varies in genre, and so a pleasant surprise is always on the cards. Described by many locals as a fabulous place to party, this isn’t the place to chill but is definitely a great, intimate location to make memories. More than just music, however, the live venue takes it to the next level, with lights and an epic sound system. Don’t wait to have a night you’ll never forget.

Isaac Theatre Royal

Building, Theatre
Map View
A mural being painted on the side of the Isaac Theatre Royal
A mural being painted on the side of the Isaac Theatre Royal | © Jocelyn Kinghorn
This beautiful theater is another performance space, beautifully restored after the Christchurch earthquakes. As well as housing many of New Zealand’s performing arts companies, it stages a number of musical recitals and concerts throughout the year, along with an array of plays. The theatre can seat over 1,000 people, so a buzzing, lively atmosphere is guaranteed. The talents that perform are mostly home-grown, ensuring that a night at Isaac Theatre Royal is a night immersed in authentic New Zealand art.

The Astro Lounge

Adjoining with the Cook N’ With Gas restaurant, The Astro Lounge is an ambient and relaxing environment where diners can unwind. Live music is staged every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening, and Sunday afternoons. The large sofas make this the perfect place to comfortably sprawl and drink in the cool vibes and happy atmosphere. If you’re just having a drink as you wait for a dinner reservation, or need a friendly environment to take the edge off after a long day, The Astro Lounge is the place to be. For Dr. Who fans, they even have a Tardis on their door.

The Astro Lounge, 23 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch, New Zealand, +64 3-377 9166

Carlton Bar & Grill

Bar, Steakhouse, Pub Grub, European, $$$
Map View
The Carlton Bar & Grill is a purpose-built music venue that is dedicated to housing rocking local New Zealand talent. The Carlton Bar & Grill is a prime location for excellent food and great live acts every day of the week. The bar has an electrifying rock ‘n’ roll vibe, and, this paired with incredible New Zealand hospitality, good times for all are guaranteed. The Carlton boasts many loyal regulars and an ever-growing number of people who have newly discovered and loved their experience. Don’t hesitate to join them.

Horncastle Arena

The Horncastle Arena is the largest venue in Christchurch and the second largest in New Zealand, with a concert capacity of 8888 seats. It has been colloquially dubbed by some residents as “the horseshoe,” due to its unusual structural design. The arena has hosted concerts from some of the largest names in the music industry, including Guns N’ Roses, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen. For a life-changing concert to see a great musician in one of the most beautiful countries on earth, check their listings to see who is performing.

Horncastle Arena, Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, New Zealand, +64 3-339 3599

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