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Best live rock music venues in Hong Kong

By Localiiz 15 March 2019 | Last Updated 3 January 2024

Header image courtesy of @wanch87 (via Instagram)

Last updated by Lily Valette.

Hong Kong’s rock scene has come a long way. Fifteen years ago, gig options were few and far between—especially when it came to openings for smaller, local acts. Just four years ago, despite the industrious nature of a few diehards and the advent of social media unifying the local enthusiasts, the live scene took a huge hit caused by the pandemic restrictions. It’s not been easy, with rent squeezing making it difficult for the creative arts to blossom.

Nevertheless, we’re slowly moving from the precarious and burgeoning to the exciting and envy-inducing with new swathes of music lovers attending gigs and attracting huge international acts to town, something the city can be proud of. And, to cap it off, the city continues to strive to give a platform to some of the most exciting new local bands. Our city’s live music scene lives and dies on the success of its venues, so get along and show your support at one of these top rock venues. Rock on!

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Photo: @loststarslivehouse (via Instagram)

Lost Stars Livehouse

Okay, so this place isn’t strictly a “rock venue” (lots of places on this list aren’t, but shhh). In fact, it could be argued that despite the wide breadth of musical genres it accommodates in its live shows, Lost Stars Livehouse’s bread and butter lies in the food and beverages side of things. In fact, the team behind this live music venue has just opened a subsidiary vinyl-themed café called Mercury Rolls. But this good, dedicated live music venue is something worth shouting about (and shoe-horning). Even more exciting is that its live music sessions are so eclectic that it’s always interesting to go back and discover a new artist or genre—rock, instrumental, funk, R&B, folk, pop, tango… the list goes on. It’s a welcoming, fun venue that has a Friday-to-Sunday programme bursting with interesting shows.

Lost Stars Livehouse Bar & Eatery, Square Mile, 11 Li Tak Street, Tai Kok Tsui

Photo: @theironfairieshk (via Instagram)

The Iron Fairies

Now a nightlife landmark, The Iron Fairies is surely one of the busiest venues in Hong Kong. Open daily, famed for its enchanting décor, and revered for its mixology (cue the adjacent Mixing Room by Iron Fairies that quietly opened on Ezra’s Lane), the venue does its utmost to bring a well-rounded experience and has hired some of the best musicians as its in-house band. It’s a testament to how great these guys are in the scene when you consider how packed the venue gets on most nights, and yet we still end up going there on a regular basis.

The Iron Fairies, LG, 1 Hollywood Road, Central

Photo: MOM Livehouse (via Facebook)

Mom Livehouse

Now an oldie—but a goodie—on the scene, Mom Livehouse opened its doors in late 2018 and has been working relentlessly ever since. With its opening seeing legendary gig organiser Songs For Children (who has sadly stopped operating since then) bring together UK indie legends Yuck and local shoegaze darlings Thud, it was clear Mom means business. The venue itself is nice and shiny, but has an inherent underground rock club feel—it means you get the authentic experience without worrying about getting hepatitis. Mom has now solidified its place in Hong Kong and cemented its role as a platform for local talent.

Mom Livehouse, B39, 7 Seas Shopping Centre, 113–121 King’s Road, North Point

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Photo: @wanch87 (via Instagram)

The Wanch

As the original and arguably one of the best venues, The Wanch has been seminal for the Hong Kong live rock scene since it first opened its doors in 1987. Pretty much every local band in the city—big and small—has played here at some point. It was a dark day for all Hongkongers when The Wanch closed back in 2020, but a celebration was due when it announced its comeback to a bigger venue in 2022! This new space has all the characteristics of the truly unique live music venue that had become something of a community hub for gig lovers. With a live show every single night of the week, and the addition of a food menu, there’s no doubt this should be your first stop if you’re keen on checking out what Hong Kong has to offer in terms of live music.

The Wanch, 90 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai

Photo: Amazonia

Amazonia

Despite its reputation for the odd bit of cheeky soliciting, Amazonia more than deserves its place on the list. With live music seven days a week, and no cover charge, it positions itself somewhere between a live music mecca and an all-night party bar. Amazonia has two stellar house bands by way of Filipino six-piece Rapunzel, who specialise in reggae, pop rock, alternative rock, and punk rock covers, and the also Filipino six-piece Ice Box Band, who specialise in rock and heavy metal covers. If you like to mix your live music with some ridiculous dancing and heavy drinking, all while listening to anything from Soul Rebel to Master of Puppets, then look no further.

Amazonia, 15 Luard Road, Wan Chai

Photo: Rock Angel Band House

Rock Angel Band House

With Hong Kong’s music scene setting up shop primarily further south, the New Territories has suffered somewhat in terms of live music venues, compared to Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. As such, Rock Angel Band House may very well be the antidote for those who live close to the border. The owners have also decided to run the gamut of musical genres, hosting special showcase nights for everything from punk to gospel, with either no cover charge or a nominal fee. This is one venue well worth checking out if you fancy some eclectic live goodness.

Rock Angel Band House, 6/F, 607–608 Fonda Industrial Building, 37–39 Au Pui Wan Street, Fo Tan

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Dusk Till Dawn

Dusk Till Dawn is another one of the Wan Chai old guards that forms something of an unholy trifecta with The Wanch and Amazonia. Named after the Robert Rodriguez vampire flick of (almost) the same name, Dusk Till Dawn sports a very different kind of nightcrawler. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; in fact, this is one of the best places in the city to just let your hair down and potentially make some bad decisions. Best of all, its live acts belt out the very best in rock, pop, and metal covers seven days a week with no cover charge—so expect lots of joyously off-key singalongs.

Dusk Till Dawn, 76–84 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai

Insomnia

If our previous suggestions sound a little too “earthy” for your tastes, then perhaps the much more white-collar friendly Insomnia will appeal. Offering a trendier, more upmarket space in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, this chic cocktail bar has live music almost every night (usually with no cover charge). It’s less intensive than some of the others on the list, with the music falling more into the “party-pleaser” category, and space in the back if you just want to relax with the music serving as more of a periphery.

Insomnia, 38–44 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central

Photo: @theafterm (via Instagram)

The Aftermath

Brought to us by the folks behind All That Junk, this is more than just a bar that happens to have live music. It’s a dedicated venue, and thankfully, it’s an excellent one, with its retro and cool décor and laid-back atmosphere. Also hosting comedy, quiz nights, and even poetry, The Aftermath regularly organises live music events. With jamming singalongs, open band showcases, and acoustic open mics, it’s an alternative scene, a place that loves local talent and invites amateurs to step on stage and shine. This underground space is basically an open platform where you can catch some of the city’s best untapped talent. Get yourself down there if you are looking for a more intimate venue with a very chilled feel—ideal if you are not one for our noisier suggestions.

The Aftermath, Sunny Building, Lower G/F, 57–59 Wyndham Street Central

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Getting your tickets

Although lots of venues are happy for you to pay at the door, for some of the bigger gigs, you’ll want to get in early and sort your tickets. For the really big shows, head to HK Ticketing and for the smaller indie gigs, and just loads of cool events in general, check out Ticketflap.

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