Byron Bay’s egalitarian spirit is best epitomised by its nightlife. With cruisy pubs, exuberant dance clubs, talented buskers, intimate cocktail bars and laid-back lounges, there’s something to suit every taste and desire.
Byron Bay Pubs
When it comes to humble pubs, Byron Bay is not short on options, with three to chose from right in the town centre. As the sun slowly sets on another glorious Byron Bay day, the best place to sip on a cocktail or enjoy an ice-cold beer and soak up the atmosphere is the Beach Hotel opposite Main Beach at the top end of Jonson Street. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Beach Hotel has plenty of life both day and night, with live music most evenings from around 9pm. Sunday afternoon sessions are always popular, and Tuesday night is Trivia Night.
Further down Jonson Street you can check out the latest gig at the Great Northern Hotel, which has the largest band venue in Byron Bay (The Backroom). Check out their flyers on the wall or local gig guides to see what’s on.
Also on Jonson Street, The Railway Friendly Bar, otherwise known as “The Rails”, is opposite the Community Centre alongside the disused railway line. Its open beer garden and intimate carriage bar give you an instant sense of belonging. There’s free live music most nights, and it’s know for its good-value meals.
Byron Bay Wine Bars
For a dose of sophisticated decadence, head to the Owl & the Pussycat Tapas Bar and Restaurant with live Blues, Jazz and piano music every night from 6pm. Otherwise, sit back with a perfectly-blended cocktail at The Balcony Bar & Restaurant and watch the passing parade of people as they wander down Byron Bay’s main drag.
St Elmo and Targa also offer refined wine bar experiences.
Byron Bay Nightclubs
Once the sun really sets, Byron Bay’s nightclubs open to take you through to the wee hours of the morn.
Cheeky Monkeys and CocoMangas, both on Jonson Street, are equally magnetic to the backpacker crowd. Woody’s Surf Shack, in the Woolworths Plaza, gives a cruisier beach vibe.
Meanwhile, the dedicated late-night party set can be found worshipping at the turntables of local and international DJs or lingering on one of the comfy low-slung lounges at La La Land on Lawson Street.
There's also an unofficial, underground, jazz club in Byron Bay, but you’ll have to ask a local about it!
Byron Bay Brewery & Buddha Bar Restaurant
A short walk from town, the Byron Bay Brewery & Buddha Bar Restaurant on Skinners Shoot Road beckons with live music, great food and good vibes. Once a month there is a burlesque sketch class known as Dr Sketchy, while their beer garden regularly hosts reggae nights and more.
Byron Bay Community Centre
For those after a cultural experience during their holiday, the Byron Community Centre on Jonson Street has a regular schedule of theatre, arts, talks and entertainment. This impressive facility is worth a visit during the day to get a schedule of what’s on during your stay, or visit http://byroncentre.com.au/.
Byron Bay Night Markets
In Summer you’ll find the Artisan markets in Railway Park, opposite the Community Centre. These boutique markets represent local crafts people, with live music and some food and drinks.
Byron Bay Service and Sporting Clubs
Club Byron (at the Byron Bay Bowls Club), Byron Services Club, and Byron Bay Golf Club are all open at night, serving food and offering various entertainment options including trivia nights, poker and bare-foot bowls.
Byron Bay Cinemas
The Dendy Cinema (in town) and Pig House Flicks (in the Buddha Bar complex) are both open nightly.
For those keen to venture further afield, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads, and Bangalow all have excellent music and cultural entertainment options also. If you’re lucky, your trip to Byron Bay may even coincide with a gig at one of the region’s hinterland halls that is sure to leave you feeling that you got a taste of the “real” Byron Bay.
For details on what’s on when and where, pick up a copy of the Byron Shire Echo (Tuesday) or Byron Shire News (Thursday) or stay tuned to the local radio station Bay FM 99.9.