Where to see music
Officially the San Francisco Bath House but widely referred to by locals as just San Fran, this fine institution on Cuba Street is one of the premier music and arts venues in Wellington, hosting the best in touring bands as well as local upstarts.
Right in the heart of Wellington’s bohemian enclave of Cuba Street, the venue also plays host to local wannabe stand-up comedians and bigger touring acts (such as Kiwi favourites Jeremy Corbett and Dai Henwood) and DJs provide the music for its often rock orientated club nights.
Internationally-renowned performers have arrived to Wellington to play at the San Fran, including Lou Barlow, Kurt Vile and rappers DJ Yella and Pusha T.
Location: 171 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington, New Zealand 6011
James Cabaret, situated near the Basin Reserve cricket ground and at the foot of the scenic Mount Victoria area, is another decent live music and entertainment spot in the world’s southernmost capital city.
Established in 1936, the venue has been a major player in Wellington’s culture, though it has run into financial and ownership problems in recent times. Its acoustics and hospitality have seen it rated among the capital’s best venues by Wellingtonians.
Notable bands to have pitched up at James Cabaret over the years include Scottish post-rockers Mogwai and US indie favourites Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks and Neutral Milk Hotel.
Location: 5 Hania Street, Mount Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand 6011
Perched on Wellington’s waterfront, the TSB Bank Arena is the city’s premier indoor multi-purpose venue.
The TSB is utilised as an indoor sports arena and for public exhibitions, trade shows, galas and award shows. More importantly, it has hosted several rock concerts over the years.
With a maximum seating capacity of 4,002 (and 5,655 standing) it is a sizeable space to see a big-name rock act, such as the Arctic Monkeys (who played here back in 2014) and Tame Impala, who graced the stage in late 2015.
Location: 4 Queens Wharf, Wellington, New Zealand 6011