Sydney's Manning Bar Celebrates 50-Year Anniversary

5 July 2024 | 8:53 am | Mary Varvaris

On Manning Bar's 50th anniversary, CEO of the University of Sydney Union, Michael Bromley, said, "This milestone is a testament to its enduring significance."

Manning Bar

Manning Bar (Source: Supplied)

One of Sydney’s most beloved music venues, Manning Bar, situated in the University of Sydney’s Camperdown campus, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

An independent venue owned and run by the University of Sydney Union (USU)—the country’s oldest and largest student union—the venue is licenced for fun from noon to 3 am on Monday-Saturday, 10 am to midnight on Sunday and can host 950 punters in its main room, or 1150 in the main room plus the level one balcony, 2050 featuring the front and back courtyard, and 3400 when utilising the multi-stage.

The first known gig held at the Manning Bar was ICEHOUSE (then Flowers) in August 1978. Soon after, Paul Kelly and INXS played at the venue in 1979 and 1980, respectively. The first known international act to play at the venue was rap-rock heroes, the Beastie Boys.

In addition to the mentioned artists, the Manning Bar has hosted local and international legends, such as Gotye, Foo Fighters, Billy Bragg, Violent Soho, The Smith Street Band, Hoodoo Gurus, Sepultura, Motion City Soundtrack, Midnight Juggernauts, Regurgitator, and more.

In 2022, Manning Bar launched its own festival called Someday Soon, locking in the likes of Holy Holy, Middle Kids, Hermitude, Methyl Ethel, Winston Surfshirt, Lastlings, Ruby Fields and more Australian acts. The headliners for this year’s Someday Soon will be announced on Monday, 15 July.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Manning Bar is encouraging punters to share their favourite moments from the venue by posting photos (or videos) to Instagram and tagging @manningbarsydney and #ManningBar50 or submitting them on the venue website to be in with a chance to win great prizes.

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As well as prizes, Manning Bar is hosting alumni reunions and selling limited-edition 50th anniversary beer with partners Byron Bay Brewery and USU’s own Manning Cantina, which will showcase Mexican fare.

There’s also a program of gigs taking place over the next few months to celebrate the venue’s 50th anniversary – you can find them below.

In a statement, Michael Bromley, CEO of the USU, said of the 50th anniversary celebrations, “Manning Bar has been an integral part of the University of Sydney's fabric for 50 years. It has provided a space for students to connect, enjoy live music and entertainment, and create lasting memories. This milestone is a testament to its enduring significance, and we are excited to celebrate with our community.”

Manning Bar – Key Dates:

5 – 7 July - Radio Birdman

19 July - Jebediah with Magic Dirt

24 July - Welcome to Sydney

30 July - Party At Manning

2 August - Underground Lovers

3 August - HEALTH

6 -14 August - Battle of the Bands – Heats and Final

21 August - Someday Soon, featuring Aussie Headliner

31 August - The Stems

18 September - Someday Soon, featuring International Headliner

11/ 12 October - Manning Summer Series Launch

Tickets are available via the Manning Bar website.