The Vanguard: It’s What’s Inside That Counts


Since opening its doors in 2003 amidst the cosmopolitan (coughbohemiancough) melting pot of Sydney’s Newtown, The Vanguard has become a favourite for lovers of a good night out boasting a killer dinner-and-a-show combo to knock your socks off. What sets it apart from other live music venues is the styling – all vaudevillian red curtains, gorgeous wood stained bars and romantic lighting that makes you feel like you could be in any city in the world.

The inspiration for the venue came from New Orleans, Louisiana and the throwback 1920s era of blues and jazz that the famed Bourbon Street became – and remains – known for.

Regular punter Kathleen Heathcock was there last night and agrees that, in the case of The Vanguard, the décor do maketh the venue: “It sounds silly, but it’s the lighting and décor that makes the difference. The red velvet chairs, the long dark wooden bar. There’s something about the slightly darkened cabaret club/jazz bar interior that makes King Street and the real world seem very far away.”

Performers tend to agree. After a gig at The Vanguard in 2008 Jens Lekman was so taken with the atmosphere and the crowd he put on a spontaneous busking session outside its doors to the delight of straggling punters and the surprise of passers by:

Located on 42 King St, Newtown.

The Vanguard in Sydney is one of 50 venues handpicked by Ray-Ban to be part of their Rare Prints/Rare Places initiative, a unique concept they developed to help their customer discover their city’s best bars, shops and events to celebrate their new range of Rare Print Ray-Bans. You could win the Ray-Ban Rare Prints artwork from the venue by just tweeting about The Vanguard to #raybanrare.