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You will be missing out if you don’t check out some of the best live music in Bali after dark. The live music scene in Bali is getting bigger and better, with international artists performing alongside local bands playing both original songs as well as covers. Indonesian musicians, singers and songwriters are some of the best in the world in my opinion, combining serious technical expertise with a level of creativity and passion that’s hard to find in such abundance elsewhere.
The Orchard Bar & Restaurant
The best live music venue in Bali by far is The Orchard Bar & Restaurant in Seminyak.
The Orchard is an English-style pub tucked away behind Jalan Seminyak (Jalan means Road in Indonesian) but is easily accessible. You wouldn’t think an English pub would be the place to find the best local bands and artists, but it’s true. Almost every night of the week the owner Graeme hosts some of the most extraordinarily talented musicians both locally and overseas – check out their artist wall of fame for a taste of who has played there. It has gained a well-deserved reputation for great live music, so be sure to schedule some time to drop in.
Monday is jam night and is gaining a well-deserved reputation, especially with visiting artists, for being a muso’s night where a mix of accomplished professionals along with the occasional outstanding amateur gets to show their skills on the best stage in Bali.
Hosted by Rheta Ahreta it’s rapidly turning into one of the best live music nights on the island. Tuesday is singer/songwriter night where again an invited cast of original artists get to showcase their talents. Thursday is “Rock ‘n’ Soul” with a reputation among local and visiting musicians that often get called up to jam with the headline act. This is as far from an in-house band playing their nightly repertoire as you can get, and is guaranteed not only a great night out but the chance to see some very talented musicians playing under pressure among their peers.
Saturday is host to the now famously known “Marmalade Sessions” with the well-know The Island Souls headlining the best rock night in Bali. You can see the upcoming events calendar on their website.
The best live music in Bali can be found on Gang Baik Baik accessed off Jalan Nakula, it’s only a 10-minute walk from Bintang Supermarket in Seminyak.
Old Man’s is a bit of an institution in Bali. Located right next to Batu Bolong Beach it’s one of my all-time favourite spots for taking guests for an afternoon on the beach followed by sunset and the legendary happy hour.
They have half-price between drinks between 5-6pm every day – get the espresso martini or a cold-ish Bintang – while waiting for the band to set up and see if you like them before settling in or moving on. Don’t be disappointed if the queue is long during happy hour, as it’s very popular and the bartenders tend to work slowly. Understandable considering how cheap the drinks are, so don’t be annoyed. Enjoy it, and check out the fantastic sunset while you’re waiting.
They have a great events calendar on Facebook which tends to be updated regularly.
Laughing Buddha Bar
The best venue for live music in Ubud, Laughing Budhha Bar is a bit of an institution in Bali. It’s not a huge bar, but the intimate feel only improves the atmosphere as the bands are literally performing right in front of you. There isn’t a bad seat in the house but it definitely pays to either get there early or make reservations because it fills up fast.
Their restaurant and tapas menu is pretty good with a full line-up of cocktails made by some very competent bartenders.
Some of my favourite bands play regularly at Laughing Buddha. Unb’rocken is rapidly and deservedly gaining a reputation for laying down some truly talented blues and rock, both covers and originals regularly on Monday nights. And do not miss Ika and The Soul Brothers playing an amazing night of funk and soul on Friday nights.
Hard Rock Cafe
One of the biggest live music venues in Bali is Centrestage at The Hard Rock Cafe, located along the beachside strip in Kuta at the beginning end of the long one-way road adjoining the beach.
They have live bands playing Sunday through Thursday from 9:30 PM – 1:00 AM and Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30 PM – 2:00 AM.
If they had a better website I would link to it for upcoming events, but finding out what’s on for any given night is a bit of a moving target. Go along and chance your luck. And if you get the chance to see Ika and The Soul Brothers grab it with both hands.
Venue: Hard Rock Cafe
Adress: Jalan Pantai Kuta, Banjar Pande Mas No.1, Kuta, Bali
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 11:30-01:00
Ryoshi House Of Jazz
Upstairs at this great little Japanese restaurant on Seminyak’s main street is the home of jazz in Bali. Ryoshi has live artists performing Monday and Fridays only.
Yes, there really is a place called L.O.L. Bar. Another great live music spot in Ubud, L.O.L has bands performing six nights a week, predominantly reggae, blues and hard rock. If you’re an aficionado of reggae then you have to come here and check out the local reggae musicians.
It gets busy around 8:30-9pm so if you want a prime table beside the dance floor then best to get there for dinner earlier.
While hosting regular DJ’s they also have live bands playing and is well worth the time to check it out. Chances are if Old Mans doesn’t have live music The Lawn will. It’s easily found. Located in Canggu just across the road and 50m down a laneway from Old Man’s.