The one thing that Goa has always had is talented musicians and bands. We're also glad that live music is such a big part of the local culture. Bring these two together and it's a party you never want to leave. So, we went around and found bars and restaurants that have great live music in Goa on most days (if not every day). And, if you ask us, the best way to keep track of these gigs is to follow the venues on Instagram and be ready to make impromptu plans.
Jazz, Retro & EDM: 14 Places To Catch Live Music In Goa
Located in an old Goan house with a lovely balcony skirting the upper floor and live music on most days, Cantare place maybe away from the tourist hot spots but is still well loved. The name actually means to ‘to sing’ in Italian and they sure live up to it. A popular Jazz band plays on Mondays and Fridays and they have rock and retro music playing on Thursdays. Cantare is also open throughout the year and a great spot for those living around Porvorim or even Baga-Candolim-Calangute when looking for a quiet time with some of the best live music in Goa.
Cohiba has had some of Goa’s most popular live bands perform live music every day of the week. These gigs also go on till late in to the night. With its open air location, lively crowds and variety of drinks, it is a great place to sit back and watch the crowds whilst listening to some great music or join in the crowded dance floor. Their ladies nights every Wednesday and Retro Saturdays are hugely popular.
Ciaran's continues to be one of the liveliest spots to hangout on Palolem beach. Open from October till May end, they host live music nights every day (what a win). So, if you like your strawberry daiquiris and seafood with the side order of reggae or country, this is the bar to head to. Their gigs though, are mellow and groovy (think more jazz and blues) so if you're into electronic, you might want to skip.
This hostel was on the lookout for that one thing that'd set them apart from other hostel spaces in Anjuna and Vagator. The live gigs also initially started as a way of keeping the hostel guests entertained through the evenings. A few evenings of handpicking artists and bringing them to play piqued the interest of folks chilling around Anjuna and the gigs started to attract lots of out-of-hostel guests too. Undoubtedly, patrons would testify that this community space has some of the best live music in Goa. They keep switching between genres and have jam sessions every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. At the end of the performance, you-pay-as-you-like and all proceeds go to the musicians.
Located on the beach in Anjuna, this has emerged as a popular location for live music over the years. They have live gigs every other day and a good way to keep track is to either follow them on FB or get added to their events group on Whatsapp. The variety of genres is also pretty expansive with retro, Bollywood, Sufi, reggae, rock n' roll, blues and more. If you're someone who likes partying till late into the night, head on over. It's also one of the oldest bars around and a place that has witnessed the real hippie culture make its way into The Sunshine State.
Everybody knows Cavala is one of the oldest places in Goa to hear great bands, and they have kept the tradition going. They have various well-known Goan bands performing mostly every night as well as occasionally bands visiting from Bangalore, Mumbai etc. A huge bar, lots of open-air seating and a dance floor that is perpetually packed, all make this a must visit place. On weekends is when it really comes to life with couples jiving and retro tunes filling the air.
The Rice Mill
This is the only place on the list that's made it to the selection despite hosting but one gig a week. Why, you ask? Well, because of the love that goes into getting the best jazz musicians (both locals and long stay foreign tourists) to perform every Thursday and Saturday. Ask anyone who's been here will vouch for The Rice Mill's Saturday Night Jazz that brings the music-loving community together over drinks. See you next Saturday at 9pm, then?
Another place that really takes live music seriously in Goa, is this cosy cafe called Hideaway in Vagator. Mostly buzzing on gig nights, they ensure that the focus never really shifts from the artist and every music lover has a great time. From Grammy winning musicians to independent songwriters and singers, jazz bands, solo artists to electro and hip-hop duos, they've had musical talent from all across India and the world even come and perform live. The best thing to do to call dibs on limited seating is to get yourself added to their broadcast group on Whatsapp so you know who's taking over the bar and who's handling the symphony.
Rudy’s Bar & Grill
This outdoor restaurant by the Chapora jetty hosts some killer bands and musicians every week and sell out pretty quick on those nights. From Classic Rock nights with Electric Pulse to Folk and Blues, these seem to be their genres of choice, so if you’re looking for a groovy night with your pals with some good grilled grub and cold beer, we suggest keeping an eye out for Rudy’s live gigs.
After having moved close to Gunpowder in Assagao, Mustard has been enjoying quite a few totally-packed band and bar nights. Their family-friendly vibe with scrumptious Bengali fare and some old school live band performances mean that they’re buzzing on the weekends. Post 8pm, they usually have live gigs on Fridays and Saturdays and on Sundays, they treat a lot of hungry patrons to a hearty lunch thali and afternoon music. Of course, we totally insist that you reserve in advance for these days.
Bringing back the quintessential Goa vibe with folk nights and impromptu jam sessions, Gaia has been lucky to host a lot of musicians staying at or around the hostel. They believe in fostering the community spirit and celebrate all festivals with fervour and music so if freewheeling, eccentric plans are your thing, follow Gaia on their everyday journey as they connect with artists and nature and continue to keep guests and walk-ins entertained with music that traverses genres.
The Patio at Pizza Delizia
When around Arpora, there’s no chance you’ll walk/ride by The Patio on a Thursday and not stop to look what the fuss is about. So it turns out every Thursday, they get a dance troupe who bring this garden pizzeria to life with Latin tunes. On Saturdays, the scene is a bit mellow but still fun with live jazz. Enjoy your North Goa Thursday/Saturday with a night of tacos, cocktails and dancing.
House Of Chapora
Any in-the-know tourist will have stories to share from this new, underground party central in Chapora. While the decor with all upcycled, scavenged knick-knacks and kooky vibe with wall murals and mismatched furniture are compelling by themselves, we suggest heading here on a gig night to truly soak in the essence of it. Disco, Techno, Funk to even mellow rock, the space keeps it interesting with its music programming - just follow them like a hawk on social media and you’ll know all about where the hip is hanging.
Firepit Grills & Spirits
If you’re down South, around Colva, head over to Firepit for BBQ, cocktails and a groovy vibe with live music. A place that’s got a fun, family-and-friends kinda vibe going, this one is popular with the locals. On Saturdays, they even host a market where live music keeps you company and there’s a lot of bar snacks to devour.