Tel Aviv has a thriving live music scene. You can pretty much catch a live gig every single night of the week. From tiny bars and cafés to the huge expanse of the Yarkon Park, the city’s full of opportunities to enjoy both local and international acts year round.
This live music guide will tell you a about how the local music scene works and point you at some cool live music venues. If you just want a calendar-style live music listings, check out the Tel Aviv events page.
What time is the show?
Venues in Tel Aviv are notoriously bad at timekeeping. Most of the time, if you turn up at the scheduled time, you’ll find that you have to do a lot of sitting around and waiting before any acts actually come on.
Israelis tend to turn up late and just guess the start time, but a recent campaign to get events started on time may mean you miss the actual start if you guess wrong. My advice? Turn up just before the actual advertised start time of the gig (not the door opening time) and be prepared to wait.
Tel Aviv live music styles to watch for
Israelis have extremely eclectic tastes and know more about obscure international music than people in many other countries. Yes, our hipsters are more hipster than your hipsters. The featured image for this page, for example, is one I took at the sold out Tel Aviv show of The Residents.
There’s a huge alternative music community here, and local promoters work very hard to try and bring current international indie acts to Tel Aviv.
As far as local styles, there are a few interesting musical phenomena you may want to check out. There are a few fusion styles such as the common “Mediterranean rock” and “Middle Eastern electronica” you’ll see quite a lot of.
You’ll also find some good Middle Eastern music, and some good African music, often played by local African refugees. Live indie rock and electronica are also common, often with English lyrics. If you’re into punk, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a small but kicking local punk scene in Tel Aviv, too, and there are some good metal bands. Here’s a long playlist of Israeli alternative music I made a while back. It should give you an introduction to the bands you can catch playing in Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv live music venues
Kibbutz Galuyot 52 * 03 – 5188123
Probably Tel Aviv’s most famous live music venue. A good sized venue hosting medium to large scale live gigs from Israel and abroad. This is one of the very few venues in town where gigs really do start on time, so make sure you’re there to catch the gig, especially if you want to catch the support act, too.
Levontin 7 * 03- 5605084
This venue is literally underground (it’s in the basement) and offers a solid, eclectic mix of local and international gigs, including some experimental music, unsigned showcases, and party nights. Upstairs there’s a cool bar you can hang out in before the gig.
Herzl 16 * 03-5106430 * 19:00 – late every day but Friday.
Formerly known as Rothschild 12, as it was in that address, this bar / restaurant is somewhat upmarket, and is set in a beautiful old building. There are often alternative music gigs here and they are always free to attend.
Rambam St 14 * 03-5109228 * Sun – Thu 12:00 – 2:00, Fri 9:00 – 2:00, Sat 6:00 – 2:00
A lovely place to catch jazz gigs. Excellent local musicians play every night and the atmosphere is great. Set in a historic building off the Nahalat Binyamin pedestrianised area.
Live music in Tel Aviv this week
See below for some live music gigs happening this week in Tel Aviv. For more event listings, check out the events page.