Best things to do in Sydney this summer: Free live music, laneway surprises, late night bites

Sydney ivy pool club

In a city gripped by bureaucracy and laws that stifle fun, it doesn’t mean you can’t get out amongst it in Sydney this summer.

There are a lot of things on around the city this summer, courtesy of the hospitality folks at Merivale, to keep you occupied as the city heats-up. This is what’s on…

Free live music

Live music is the beating heart of all world-class cities and needs to be the driving force of Sydney’s reinvigorated future. Working closely with The Music and Booze Co, Merivale has curated a free programme of incredible and unexpected music experiences in the CBD. This week will see The Preatures and Thandi Phoenix take over Palings, Kira Piru play a pumping poolside set at Pool Club and Brendan Maclean perform by a grand piano at Establishment.

Disco Espresso – The city’s tiniest disco

Every Thursday and Friday afternoon, Will & Co on George Street will be transformed into Disco Espresso, Sydney’s tiniest disco party. Larger than life disco duo, The Dollar Bin Darlings, will be spinning tunes under the mirror balls from 5pm, with wine, beer and cocktails served on tap.

Late night bites

From tonight until the end of summer, Merivale is offering 50% off all bar food in all CBD bars – 11-12pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Guests will be able to enjoy half-price late-night bites at Palings, Establishment Main Bar, Slip Inn, Pool Club, Palmer & Co,.Bar Topa, Little Felix, Charlie Parker’s and the soon to open Bar Totti’s and Jimmy’s Falafel.

Poof Doof Sydney

Merivale has partnered with iconic Melbourne LGBTQI+ club night POOF DOOF for an incredible new weekly experience at ivy. Launching this Saturday 23 November, POOF DOOF Sydney will transform the Courtyard, Terrace and Den into a fierce, fabulous and forward-thinking funhouse of dance every Saturday night.

The launch party this weekend will feature POOF DOOF’s Melbourne residents Argonaut and drag DJ duo Jawbreakers alongside local legends Sveta, James Alexandr and Charlie Villa.

Dancing and nightlife

The new live music programme will join existing event properties, including Salsa at Establishment, Swinging Speakeasy and Palmer & Co, RnB Fridays and Beresford Upstairs Live. Sunday pool party Marco Polo has returnedfor its twelfth sensational season at ivy Pool Club, bringing together the best house, dance, funk and hip hop from some of the world’s best DJs each and every week, while Sydney’s iconic underground club Chinese Laundry continues to dominate 22 years on.  

New concepts

In addition to the innovative new nightlife initiatives, Merivale will soon open Bar Totti’s on Palings Lane. Inspired by Merivale’s much-loved eatery at The Royal Bondi, Bar Totti’s is built around the concept of sharing, celebrating life and connections with people. Mike Eggert will be on the tools, serving up his famed wood- fired bread and antipasto.

Jimmy’s Falafel will soon follow on George Street. A buzzy, casual Lebanese eatery and bar captained by head chef Simon Zalloua, Jimmy’s will be split into two offerings – a takeaway kiosk at the front, and lively bar and diner serving drinks and mezze-shared plates out the back. The menu will be vegetarian-heavy, with falafel taking centre stage.