Cape Town Nightlife: 10 Best Live Music Venues

Cape Town is a day-time dream come true, boasting a variety of beautiful landmarks, iconic attractions and glorious natural wonders perfect for exploring and discovering. The Mother City comes alive in a whole new and exciting way at night! With a vibrant energy and electric vibe that fills the night air, you can’t help but want to experience everything the lively Cape Town nightlife scene has to offer.

The Best Live Music Venues in Cape Town

Live Music Venues in Cape Town

With a variety of hip hangouts, trendy rooftop bars, world-renowned restaurants and decadent nightclubs, the Mother City is home to a thriving and thrilling live music scene. If you want to enjoy the very best of what Mother City nightlife has to offer, here are the 10 best live music venues in Cape Town.

Café Roux


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Café Roux has undoubtedly established itself as a leading live music contender in Cape Town. Its original cool laid-back Noordhoek location has fast become one of the best live music venues in Cape Town amongst music lovers. And its newly opened City Bowl venue is quickly earning itself the same kind of status.

While it might be more urban chic and stylish than the chilled out Noordhoek spot, it boasts all the same cool vibes and incredible live music selection than its counterpart. The fact that this top Cape Town live music venue welcomes every genre of music with open arms, means there’s something for every live music lover to enjoy. Thus, whether you’re a fan of folk, acoustic or blues, or prefer something a bit more poppy, jazzy or somewhere in between, there’s something for you too.

The Crypt Jazz Restaurant


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Widely known as one of the coolest Jazz spots in town, a visit to the Crypt should be at the very top of every Jazz lover’s Cape Town to-do list. Situated under St Georges Cathedral, this venue offers live Jazz music five nights a week. The fact that it never has the same line-up two nights running keeps things fresh and exciting all the way through.

This cool Cape Town live music venue welcomes Jazz enthusiasts from all walks of life. Whether you enjoy the soothing jazzy sounds of traditional Jazz bands or consider yourself a fan of the up-and-coming rising stars of the Cape Jazz scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Although the Crypt is first and foremost a Jazz bar, it does offer a variety of food options and snacks to accompany performances.

Mercury Live


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Another one of Cape Town’s best live music venues is Mercury Live situated in the iconic neighbourhood of District Six. Although this edgy live music venue has gone through various stages of evolution over the years, Mercury Live has fast become one of the best places to see live performances in the Mother City.

Showcasing live acts that range from electronic acts, rock bands and hip hop, this District Six live music hotspot invites all music lovers to get in on the action. Regardless of which genre of music you prefer, a night out at Mercury Live promises to be lively, loud and one you won’t soon forget.Don’t be surprised if you find yourself partying the night away into the early morning hours!

Piano Bar


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Boasting a selection of live funk, soul, blues and jazz every night of the week, you better know you’re in for quite a live music treat when visiting this renowned Cape Town venue. Inspired by the swanky Jazz joints of New York City, the Piano Bar has established itself as one of the most sough-after music experiences and grooviest hotspots in the Mother City.

Besides showcasing some of the city’s best live music acts, the Piano Bar also gives local up-and-coming artists the opportunity to take the stage. You can therefore see rising local musicians showcase their talents every Saturday evening. In addition to being one of the hippest live music spots in Cape Town, the Piano Bar is also known for their cool atmosphere and top-quality food and drinks. You can also enjoy the soulful sounds of exceptional live music acts and a spectacular view of the Mother City.

The Waiting Room


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Situated right in the heart of Cape Town’s City Bowl, the Waiting Room is an urban-cool hangout and undoubtedly one of the best live music venues in Cape Town. Boasting everything from live blues, acoustic, rock, downtempo, funk and hip hop to anything up-and-coming and cool, the Waiting Room has a live music performance and genre of music for everyone to enjoy.

Besides being one of the coolest spots to enjoy live music in the city, the fact that it is located right in the Long Street action means the Waiting Room has also become one of the Mother City’s top nightlife spots. You can therefore party the night away on the dancefloor as some of Cape Town’s coolest DJ’s keep the action going as soon as the live bands finish. The views from the rooftop terrace are also said to be incredible!

The House of Machines


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The House of Machines is undoubtedly one of the Mother City’s trendiest spots and live music venues. The fact that it has sister venues in both LA and Niseko further highlights just how cool this Cape Town inner-city hangout really is. Boasting an incredible line-up of live music daily, its no surprise that the House of Machines has fast become a fan-favourite amongst locals and tourists alike. With its epic live-music line-up, trendy surroundings and vibrant atmosphere, this trend-setting Cape Town venue is also celebrated for their amazing craft beer, cool cocktails and local wine selection.

Alexander Bar


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The Alexander Bar, Café & Theatre is one of Cape Town’s most unique live music venues. It promises to make your time spent there well worthwhile. It’s all about the experience! If the vintage décor, intimate live performances, single malts, martinis and fine wine is your vibe, this captivating Cape Town live music venue is just your style.

The fact that the Alexander Bar boasts a fully equipped theatre upstairs means guests truly are in for an incredible time. Showcasing a range of intimate live performances ranging from live music, comedy, drama, readings and more, there is truly something for everyone. Be sure to check out the live jazz on Tuesdays and laid-back folk jams on Wednesdays.

The Nameless Pub


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The Nameless pub is a leading live music venue in Somerset West and you better believe they take their live music seriously. Home to an amazing outside stage, the Nameless Pub prides themselves on showcasing a range of music genres and talents. You can therefore expect some of South Africa’s biggest pop and rock acts, along with new talent from around the country.

The pub offers something for every music lover at heart! Besides epic live music performances, this cool Somerset West live music venue also screen sport, serve beer, and have braai facilities for those who want to enjoy a real authentic South African experience while enjoying some of South Africa’s top live music acts.

Jazz in the Native Yards


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This is without a doubt one of the best live music venues in Cape Town, and definitely one of the most unique and exciting too. Jazz in the Native Yards is a mobile blues and jazz gig that takes place in the backyards of Gugulethu. It’s every bit as epic as it sounds! Known as one of Cape Town’s largest informal settlements, Gugulethu is vibrant, lively and captivating, and this certainly applies to its music scene too.

Home to a thriving and thrilling live music scene, Jazz in the Native Yards have taken it upon themselves to support the local talent in one of the coolest ways. This is one incredible Cape Town live music experience that’s not to be missed!

Mama Africa


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Somewhat of a Cape Town institution, Mama Africa is a vibrant Long Street spot that welcomes locals and tourists with open arms. In addition to being a Mother City icon, Mama Africa prides itself on showcasing the very best of what the vibrant South African spirit has to offer. Besides an incredible selection of delicious South African inspired dishes and a lively atmosphere, Mama Africa has also established itself as a buzzing live music venue. You can therefore expect to enjoy the sounds of three different Marimba bands throughout the week. These uniquely South African sounds and warm welcoming spirit will be sure to make Mama Africa one of your Cape Town live music venue favourites.

These best live music venues in Cape Town promises to give you a night out in the Mother City you won’t soon forget. With a music genre, soulful sound and live performance for every music lover to enjoy, there is no reason why a night out at one of these incredible live music spots shouldn’t be next on your Mother City bucket-list.

What are your top picks for the best live music venues? Share your thoughts below and let us know. If you’re looking for places to stay or things to do in Cape Town, please let us know. We offer a wide range of places to stay and tour activities at the best prices. Contact us today and let us help you plan the perfect holiday that allows you to discover the best nightlife destinations and everything else the city has to offer.

About The Author: Bianca Bunge

I am a Cape Town based Travel Blogger & aspiring writer. Travelling is the ULTIMATE joy, it allows us to lose ourselves & find ourselves all at the same time, is there anything better than that? PURE BLISS!! And being a Travel Blogger allows me to share my love of travelling, especially my LOVE of Cape Town, with all of you. The Mother City truly did steal my heart, and perhaps she'll steal yours too! I also love the ocean, going on adventures & wine, I REALLY love wine! Join me on my mission to discover EVERY little bit of Cape Town, and what a glorious adventure it will be!
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