The best music venues in Singapore

The best music venues in Singapore

Whatever genre you’re interested in, Singapore has a huge range of music venues to catch live performances from your favourite bands, or stumble upon early gigs from the Next Best Thing. From jazz and classical to rock and indie, you’ll be sure to find a new favourite venue to enjoy the music you love.


Jazz fans will love the line up at this Dempsey Hill hangout (in photo), a hidden floor of an unassuming house in Tanglin. The bar and listening lounge here is the well-curated child of Peter Ng, a former jazz pianist and real estate broker who has created one of the most exclusive spaces to catch live jazz in Singapore. The venue is split into two spaces; a cosy jazz parlour that showcases the best in local talent, and a private space accessible by invite only. The music here is best accompanied by some of the alcoholic offerings created here, from traditional cocktails to one of the many classic whiskies stocked onsite.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

One of Singapore’s most peaceful music venues is the leafy slopes surrounding Symphony Lake in Singapore Botanic Gardens. The public space transforms into an open air concert venue on balmy nights, where performances are held on the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, which is located on a floating island in the middle of the lake. Concerts here are free, and feature a wide variety of high quality musicians. Future scheduled performances here range from Korean jazz, João Gilberto-inspired bossa nova and classic opera. There’s no more magical setting to experience talented performers than under the stars in this UNESCO-protected site.

Timbre@The Substation

Tucked away in the historic maze of streets around Armenian Street and next to beautiful Fort Canning Park, Timbre@The Substation is a live music venue that alternative music fans should make a beeline to. Housed in a charming shophouse, the venue has a casual and laid back vibe, and hosts live performances every night of the week, all celebrating local Singaporean talent. House bands 53A and Goodfellas ensure quality performances every day, while the open air area and ample greenery create a relaxed atmosphere. Stop here for a drink and bite to eat too, you can snack on truffle fries and buffalo wings to stay well fuelled.

Wala Wala Cafe & Bar

If you’re looking for a casual night out with great live music, Wala Wala Cafe & Bar in leafy Holland Village is a great place to visit. The venue also does great bar food, from their signature chicken wings to calamari, and wide selection of refreshing drinks. Head to the restaurant on the ground floor for dinner first, and then move up to the second floor when you’re ready for some live entertainment from the city’s best bands. What makes Wala Wala so special is its longevity - the joint has been running for more than 20 years, and holds a special place in the hearts of many Singaporeans, who remember coming here as teenagers. Performances here begin at 7pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. The venue is a short walk from Holland Village MRT station.

Hood Bar and Café

If you like to enjoy music with a side helping of art, Hood Bar and Cafe is a venue you’ll love. Located in the historic City Hall area, on the fifth floor of quirky shopping mall Bugis+, this bar is open from Monday till Saturday and prides itself on booking independent and highly talented local musicians to grace its stage. Genres here cover a huge variety, from bossa nova and jazz, to soft rock and metal, but you can be sure that what unites the line-up here is original tunes from local singer-songwriters. You’ll also love the decor here - the walls are splashed with street art from talented locals. If you’re peckish, the menu covers a great range of locally inspired bar food - like their customer favourites, the “har cheong” chicken wings - juicy fried chicken wings that have been dipped in tangy prawn paste.

The top five music festivals in Singapore

The top five music festivals in Singapore

Singapore’s calendar is filled with fun-filled music events to enjoy with your friends. From K-pop to jazz, the city's most hip venues host incredible performances from both world-renowned and beloved local artists. Dress to impress and get ready to dance the night away at one of Singapore’s highest rated music festivals, whether you choose to see acts on one of Sentosa’s sandy beaches, in the epic Indoor Stadium and truly get into the festival spirit at the Songkran celebration held at favourite waterpark Wild Wild Wet.

Sundown Music Festival

One of Singapore’s coolest festivals, Sundown is a three-day, two-night music extravaganza. Featuring only Asian artists, the event is a celebration of the best regional talent, from Japan to India, and South Korea to the Philippines. Genres represented here stretch from EDM to rock music, with 2019’s lineup featuring Grammy-nominated TOKiMONSTA and K-Pop superstars iKON. As well as music, the festival creates a visual and sonic feast for the senses, making the most of its bewitching setting on Sentosa’s Siloso Beach with interactive art installations and outdoor film screenings. It’s highly recommended to stay at Campville, a luxurious glamping venue, where you can ensure you never miss a performance due to its proximity to the site.

Hallyu Pop Fest (in photo)

K-pop fans need look no further - Singapore is the lucky host of Southeast Asia’s biggest K-pop festival, which features a huge lineup of Korea’s biggest stars. 2019’s event featured fan favourites Super Junior and Oh My Girl. Held at the Indoor Stadium in Kallang, it won’t just be performances you can look forward to, but also red carpet events and signings. Make sure you wander around the HallyuTown event, where booths celebrating Korean food, beauty, fashion and lifestyle make you feel like you’re shopping in downtown Seoul. The HallyuTown area also becomes the site of the festival’s most glamourous attendees at night, when the walkway hosts a red carpet and everyone’s favourite K-pop stars make an appearance.


Alternative music fans will love annual festival Baybeats, which takes place in the picturesque Esplanade area, around the lush Esplanade Forecourt Garden. Genres hosted here range from post-rock to folk, and the festival aims to showcase the best new innovations from regional musical talent. 2019 saw performances as eclectic as Japanese psychedelic-rock band Sundays & Cybele and Filipino hip-hop artist Ramengvrl. Taking place every August, make sure you visit to hear your current favourites and also wander between stages to discover your new favourite band. And the best part? It’s completely free.

Singapore International Jazz Festival

Since 2014, the iconic Marina Bay Sands has hosted the Singapore International Jazz Festival annually. Complementing the stunning architecture, past shows span multiple stages at the complex and featured internationally renowned artists like Lauryn Hill, David Foster and Esperanza Spalding. After watching performances, wander around the SING JAZZ Festival Village, an eclectic fringe event that features additional performances, often by talented local artists. Music here can be enjoyed free of charge, and ranges from swing jazz and latin to soul. Aspiring jazz musicians are also encouraged to enjoy the popular Jazz Academy located here, which hosts inspirational masterclasses.

Songkran Music Festival at Wild Wild Wet

One of Singapore’s best waterparks hosts a fun-filled music event every April. Wild Wild Wet, located in Pasir Ris’s Downtown East resort complex, fills the venue with the best new dance and electronic music. 2019 was headlined by Dutch DJ Quintino, highly rated as #25 of DJMag’s Top 100 DJs, and local dance music favourites like TINC and Delly. Watch everything from the Tsunami Pool, where you can dance and be cooled down by water jets, or dare to try one of their fun waterslides.The waterpark is lit by incredible lighting and visual effects and the space is scattered with water guns for those who really want to get into the Songkran spirit. Wash everything down at the craft beer bar by Beerfest Asia, and enjoy Singapore’s most authentic Thai food by local foodies Sawadeecup, who will be parking up their food truck.

Apps for staying up-to-date with local music

Apps for staying up-to-date with local music

Singapore’s music scene is at an exciting time right now, with lots of new local stars building their profile both globally and island-wide. To stay up to date with the best new music, whether you’re listening at home or seeing a live performance, there are a multitude of brilliant apps which will ensure you keep in the know. From globally renowned streaming service Spotify to local Singtel favourite AMPed, there are plenty of cost-effective ways to create playlists and share your favourite new tunes. For gig-lovers, international apps Eventbrite and Songkick will alert you to new gigs from your old favourites, whether you’re in Singapore or abroad.


No other streaming service is more beloved than Spotify, with its wide range of musical artists featured on the app, as well as handy sharing and recommendation features which are continuously updated. If you’re interested in discovering the next best thing in Singaporean music, be sure to follow Spotify’s playlist ‘Singapore’s Top Acts,’ which is regularly updated to include the best new releases. The app has incredible social features, includes music from both international, regional and local artists, and even has regular personalised playlists, like their ‘Discover Weekly’ and ‘Release Rader’ offerings - you’ll receive a new list of tracks from your favourites, or from artists Spotify’s algothirims suggest you might like, every week. Some might say it will change the way you listen to music.


For intimate gigs, huge concerts and everything in between, Eventbrite is a great place to check out. As the app’s content is produced by users, it means it’s a brilliant way for smaller indie musicians to promote themselves free of charge, and the app also has a ticket payment system, which is great for simplifying the ticketing process - simply bring your phone to show e-tickets on the door. Make sure you check Eventbrite to keep an eye on the best up-and-coming local bands, producers and singer-songwriters.


Offering a highly personalised service, Songkick uses accurate algorithms to work out the gigs you’ll be interested in, and produces an up-to-date feed of your favourite musician’s live performances in Singapore. Tickets are also bookable through the app, allowing you to manage your live music calendar in one place. Track your favourite artists and receive alerts by email about new gigs - you’ll never miss a performance again.


This homegrown music streaming service is run by SingTel, and focuses on a strong regional catalogue in order to put up a strong fight against competitors like Spotify. If you’re interested in discovering the best new local and regional music, this is one of the best ways you can listen to it. Free for SingTel subscribers, and available for others on different networks too, AMPed is recommended for those who want to support new Southeast Asian talent.


For East Asian music lovers, KKBox is another great streaming app to download. The service is focused on Mandarin-speaking users and is a Taiwanese company with fans all over the region. The company collaborates with Taiwanese record companies like Gold Typhoon and East Asia Music, and features many of their artists, including celebrated Mandopop artists like Jay Chou and Eric Chou. 40 million of your favourite tracks by regional artists await you!


If Bollywood music is more your thing, Saavn is the app for you. The streaming service focuses on regional Indian music, with over 50 million music tracks available in 15 different languages. The app also comes with great social networking features, like individual user profiles and easily shareable tracks. Saavn also partners with other great apps and home technology, like Amazon’s Alexa and Shazam, and has a great artist-in-residence program, as well as Artist Originals, releasing music from up-and-coming artists - the range of genres represented includes everything from electronica to neoclassical musicians.

Iconic record shops in Singapore

Iconic record shops in Singapore

The growing independent music scene in Singapore has meant that a number of great record stores have popped up in recent years, and passionate crate diggers are spoilt for choice by the venues they can find hidden treasures in. Since 2012, the number of record shops in the city has increased by a third, from 10 to 30, so it’s easy to find vinyl to match your own unique taste. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and search for your new favourite tune at one of Singapore’s most iconic record shops.

Red Point Record Warehouse

Filling more than 2,000 square foot of floor space, this iconic record shop is one of the best in the city. Located in the off the beaten track Toa Payoh neighbourhood, this store is home to more than 10,000 different vinyl, most of them vintage. Attracting dedicated music nerds from all over the city - and abroad - you’ll find it easy to spend hours digging through the eclectic crates at this out of the way venue. From Singaporean old timer hits to modern local indie music, you’ll be able to find a unique slice of music at this well-loved store.

Choice Cuts Goods and Coffee

Coffee and music lovers should take a trip to this unique venue while on a visit to the Lion City. In hip and historic area Katong, the store is located in co-working space MOX, after previously being housed in Serangoon. The shop is curated by DJ collectives Matteblacc and Blaccsmith, whose love for hip hop, funk and soul is well-reflected in the vinyl on offer. If you’re a fan of 80’s and 90’s hip hop in particular, make a beeline to Choice Cuts Goods. You’ll be able to browse with the scent of coffee wafting through the venue, which is also highly recommended, and there’s a small seated area if you’d like to enjoy it while listening to brand new tunes.

The Analog Vault

Those wandering around the historic City Hall area should make a pitstop at the Analog Vault, where not only vinyl is celebrated, but also all things analog - a huge array of independent fiction is on sale, much of it from local authors. You can also find music merchandise and technology, like turntables from a wide variety of brands. This Esplanade-based store stocks records from local and international artists, and both vintage and contemporary offerings. Genres from classical to electronica are all on sale here, so whatever your jam you’ll be sure to find a treasure to bring home.

Roxy Records & Trading

The type of record store that attracts true music geeks, Roxy Records & Trading is an old-timers vinyl shop hidden away in the slightly rundown Excelsior Shopping Mall in the City Hall neighbourhood. This joint has been open since the 70s, when brothers Paul and Richard Lim decided to create a dedicated space for their musical passions. This is one of the best places in the city to discover rare finds and to order in vinyl you can’t find anywhere else - new shipments from abroad, especially the US and Europe, arrive weekly. Aswell as records, you’ll find a wide variety of CDs and even cassettes lining the jumble of musical treasures along every wall.

White Label Records

Hip vinyl fans will love White Label Records, a stylish record shop located on the historic and pretty Ann Siang Hill Road. In fact, this venue can be better described as a vinyl store meets bar, as the place is open late (until 12am on weekdays and 1am on Friday and Saturdays) and drinks are sold for punters to enjoy while digging through their stock for the latest tune. Make sure you try their signature cocktail, a White Label Iced Tea, a version of the classic Long Island, but blending spirits with Goji berry syrup and Pu’er iced tea. Run by two DJs and a professional musician, you can expect live music held regularly in store - it’s so much more than a record store and could well become your regular.