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The Hordern Pavilion’s 10 Greatest Performances of All Time

To celebrate 100 years of the Hordern Pavilion, we look back at the 10 most memorable music moments at the iconic Sydney venue

Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Hordern Pavilion 2023


In Partnership with The Hordern Pavilion

Sydney has always been a favourite tour stop for international megastars. They come for the excited fans, beautiful beaches, stunning weather and, of course, iconic venues like The Hordern.

On April 2nd, the beloved music and arts venue celebrated its 100th birthday, marking generations of epic performances and memories. Throughout the decades, The Hordern has played host to some of the biggest names in music, including Frank Sinatra, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Nirvana, Queen, Lorde, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Midnight Oil, Dua Lipa, and Elton John. 

To mark 100 years, we’ve rounded up the best acts that have taken the stage at The Hordern. From electrifying concerts that could be felt through the city to intimate performances that left a lasting impact, these are moments that have defined live entertainment in Australia.

Here’s our top 10 gigs at The Hordern.


Rufus’ 2016 gig was an epic night that captivated The Hordern crowd. Known for their immersive live shows, the electronic trio transformed the venue into a world of their own, creating an unforgettable performance of music and light that left people in awe.


This was truly a night to remember. In 1982, Elton and his band brought the ‘Jump Up Tour’ to Sydney with six shows at The Hordern. It was an intimate experience and the crowd went wild for the setlist of hits like “Bennie and the Jets” and “Rocket Man”. He even performed “Empty Garden” as an emotional tribute to the late John Lennon. 


There’s nothing quite like seeing Coldplay live. Their 2003 performance of “Clocks” at The Hordern was more than just a concert; it was a history-making moment. The band gave one of their most emotional performances and the crowd lapped up every second with hands in the air, and no phones in sight. 

2013 – FLUME

Flume dominated the scene in 2013, having just won Australian Album of the Year for Flume. He performed at The Hordern alongside Chet Faker in front of a massive sold-out crowd, using his signature blend of electronic music and dynamic visuals to captivate the crowd. Watch it back now for instant nostalgia. 

1992 – NIRVANA

There were many iconic moments from the ’90s, but nothing beats Nirvana’s 1992 live rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at The Hordern. As Nirvana’s first and only Australian tour, it was a defining moment in rock history, and the power and intensity of Kurt Cobain’s performance captured the vibe of the era. You just had to be there. 

Image: Nirvana Credit: Tony Mott


Tash Sultana’s one-off special performance at The Hordern in 2020 showcased their incredible talent and versatility as a musician. Their ability to create a full-band sound, armed only with a guitar and loop station, provided an intimate experience that left everybody amazed.


Billie’s 2019 show at The Hordern was a testament to her star power and the connection she shares with her fans. At just 17 years old, she took over the venue alongside her brother FINNEAS with epic visuals and signature stage presence, while performing her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.   

Image: Billie Eilish Credit: Jordan Munns

1989 – IAN MOSS 

The Hordern has welcomed many international stars over the years, but nothing felt quite as special as having one of our own grace the stage. A true Aussie icon, Ian Moss’s 1989 performance of “Bow River” was a showcase of Australian rock at its finest. His soulful voice and signature guitar created a timeless moment that has since become a huge part of music history.


After 45 years of music, Midnight Oil performed an impressive 3-hour set for their final ever show at The Hordern to wrap up their 2022 farewell tour. Known for their political activism and intense live shows, the iconic Australian band performed over 30 songs, including favourites like “Used and Abused”, “I’m the Cure,” and “Common Ground”.

Image: Midnight Oil Credit: Tony Mott


When The Strokes hit The Hordern stage in 2022, it felt like a reunion with old friends for many fans in the crowd. Returning after a 12-year hiatus, the band came back to Australia ready to serve their raw garage rock sound. That night, they played a bunch of old hits and wowed with an impressive lighting display and atmosphere.

These performances are just a snapshot of the long list of acts who have impressed at The Hordern. “Everyone has a story from The Hordern, and it has been so wonderful to hear people sharing those stories as we mark its centenary,” says Playbill Group Managing Director, Michael Nebenzahl.

In its 100th year, The Hordern continues to be a hub of live entertainment in Sydney and more memories are set to be made, with a celebration year of concerts from Simple Plan, Tate McRae, Macklemore, Lany, 6LACK, Fletcher, and more. In exciting news for fans, Tones and I is kicking off her 2024 Australian tour at The Hordern in August and “Lose Control” singer, Teddy Swims, is performing two sold-out shows in July.  

Check out the artists performing in 2024 and get tickets at thehordern.com.au