Live music in Phnom Penh

What we say: 3.5 stars

If you’re at a loose end of an evening during your visit to Phnom Penh, you may want to consider taking in some live music. Many venues in town feature live bands that are locally-based or visiting from abroad, such as El Dealbreakers, Durian, Cambodian Space Project, Dub Addiction and Holliday in Cambodia.

Little Duke and the Mekong Blues Messengers belting out the tunes at Sharky's.

Little Duke and the Mekong Blues Messengers belting out the tunes at Sharky's.

The best way to find live music is through the Leng Pleng guide, which posts upcoming live gigs. They also have listings for local bands, DJs and regular gigs and, if you’re a singer or musician, you can check their listing of open mike events. They send out an email with the event listings for the coming weekend every Thursday — sign up on their site if you’re interested.

Otherwise, here are a few venues that have live music nearly every weekend.

Sharky Bar

Sharky Bar– which claims to be the longest running rock n’ roll bar in Indochina — is on a mission to be the place to go for live music in Phnom Penh (and eradicate their long-standing reputation as a sex worker bar). They’ve been pretty successful and Sharky’s has gigs on every weekend. Be warned, though, that it’s still a tad seedy, although no worse than the clubs on Street 51. Personally, I’m a fan of the laid-back, dive bar-vibe at Sharky’s, and you probably will be, too.

126 Street 130, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 228 045


Over on Street 278, Equinox hosts live music almost every Friday and Saturday night featuring indie, reggae, dub, electronic and funk bands. Admission is always free and the gigs are often very crowded.

3A St 278, Phnom Penh
T: (023) 676 7593

Paddy Rice

Paddy Rice, the Irish pub on the riverside, has an open mike every Thursday night starting at 20:30, and all musicians are welcome to join. They also have feature bands on the weekends.

213 Sisowath Quay at St 136, Phnom Penh
T: (017) 773 102

FCC Phnom Penh

The FCC has live music most weekends — if you’re looking for a more relaxed, and slightly more upscale environment than some of the previous listings, this is the sort of place where you can sit down and enjoy fancy (albeit pricey) cocktails while hearing some of the best bands that Phnom Penh has to offer.

363 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
T: (023) 724 014

About the author
Previously, Lina has been based in Oakland, California, New York City, Dublin and London. Lina spends most of her time thinking about food, travel and synthpop. She's currently based in Siem Reap.
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