Rockin’ the Puburbs, the live music competition which aims to find the best pub band in New South Wales is back after three years.

NSW Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson and AHA NSW CEO John Whelan launched the competition this week, with applications now open and bands have until Thursday, 15 September to apply to take part in heats which will take place in November.

Whelan said that having been off stage for three years because of COVID, the AHA NSW-backed competition is returning with a new format and a renewed emphasis on getting live music back into pubs.

“Many of Australia’s top music acts first got their start down at their local and this competition is our way of giving back and supporting the next generation of local talent,” Whelan said. 

“COVID had a huge and debilitating impact on live music venues over the past two years and this is one way we can help artists return to the stage and get our pubs rocking again.”

The competition is open to any NSW-based pub act which performs at least one song of original material and this year will see 20 semi-finalists will be chosen to perform in one of five ‘battle-of-the-bands’ events in pubs across NSW. The top five acts will then battle it out at a live ‘Grand Final’ at a Sydney pub early next year.

Minister Anderson said “This is a great initiative because encouraging new artists and giving them a platform to achieve on encourages a growing, vibrant live music industry.

“Live music is a massive drawcard for people to attend their local venue, which in turn creates jobs. Pubs are such a valuable asset and the Australian Hotels Association should be congratulated for they work they do to support live music and the hospitality sector in general.”

Entrants will have until Thursday, 15 September 2022 to submit their application via the website at

Heats will be held at The Stag & Hunter Hotel – Newcastle on Sunday, 13 November, The Oxford – Bathurst on Friday, 18 November, The Fiddler – Rouse Hill on Friday, 18 November, Family Hotel – Tamworth on Friday, 25 November, and Towradgi Beach Hotel on, Friday, 25 November. The winner will receive a prize package valued at over $15,000 including an East Coast Pub Tour.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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