Cat Empire - Tanks Art Centre

Blog Post

Sweet sounds of summer

Natalie Johnson profile photo

TNQ Writer

Watch a live music show and get your groove on during your holiday to Cairns. With an incredible line-up of musical acts over the summer, you’re guaranteed to be tapping your toes, singing at the top of your voice, and dancing like no one is watching!

Sit down and relax in the comfort of the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) or stand up and dance in the historic Tanks Arts Centre to a line-up booked to rival a capital city with a mix of rock, pop, blues, jazz, hip hop and instrumental from Australian and International artists.

The annual Cairns Summer Sounds series kicks off the first of their five artist performances on Friday, 13 January, with high-energy, hip-hop heavyweights, The Thundamentals. There’s no rest for the wicked, though, as Aussie live gig warriors Tex Perkins and Matt Walker interrupt the series and take to the stage to rock your socks off on Friday, 20 January.

The Thundamentals are kicking off Cairns Summer Sounds

Summer will truly sizzle in February as the second and third Cairns Summer Sounds series artists take the stage by storm at the Tanks Arts Centre. Too famous for just one show, the distinctly Australian and live show legends, The Cat Empire, play back-to-back shows on Friday, 3 and Saturday, 4 February.

If all this live action makes you breathless, there is time to cool off and chill out at CPAC as you immerse yourself in the emotive power of Australian Eurovision Royalty, Dami Im, on Saturday, 11 February. Stay an extra week and continue your journey on Saturday, 18 February, and take in multiple award-winning R&B and pop singer/songwriter Jessica Mauboy.

The fourth instalment of Cairns Summer Sounds will see a return to the Tanks Arts Centre to listen intently to the licks of leading bluesman and two-time Grammy Award nominee Eric Bibb on Friday, 24 February. Cairns will provide the rare opportunity to see and hear the five-decade career of this incredible artist in the intimate, historic Tanks space – it’s your chance to get up close and personal with an American Icon.

Jessica Mauboy

Eric Bibb

Cat Empire

Dami Im

If the Cairns Summer Sounds don’t get your groove going, enjoy a holiday indulgence and rewind to 1987 as you dance 500 miles in the aisles at CPAC to The Proclaimers on Tuesday, 28 February.

For those not enjoying a Cairns summer holiday in 2023 or are just bursting to return to the tropics, fall into the lush green of a tropical Autumn and check out performance dates for “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Toure or the final instalment of the Cairns Summer Sounds series with Indi pop singer/songwriter Stella Donnelly. Rounding out what is really an endless summer, will be one of the greatest acoustic guitarists of all time – Tommy Emmanuel, passionate lyricist Lior and the award-winning Michael Franti accompanied by Spearhead.

Summer in Cairns has never sounded so good!

The fun doesn’t stop there

Keep the music pumping while you see more of what Cairns has to offer

Cairns & Northern Beaches
Keep cool in Cairns: ways to beat the summer heat

Whether you’re chasing air-conditioning or water fun, we’ve got you covered with these ways to beat the heat in Cairns.

Read more
cairns esplanade
Cairns & Northern Beaches
16 things to do your first time in Cairns

If ever the statement “so much to do, so little time” rang true of a destination, Cairns would be it. With the Great Barrier Reef in its front yard and the Wet Tropics rainforest out the back, aside from your bathers, time is the best thing you can pack for a visit to Tropical North Queensland. If it’s your first time in the North Queensland capital, start with these 16 things to do in Cairns.

Read more
Emerald Creek Falls
Tropical North Queensland
20 waterfalls near Cairns

Mighty mountain ranges and Wet Tropics Rainforest create the optimum environment for a myriad of extraordinary waterfalls. Fall in love with these 20 waterfall wonderlands only a short drive from Cairns.

Read more
cairns breweries
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Bars & breweries to check out in Cairns CBD

A big part of travelling is finding the perfect spot to have a cold drink at the end of a day adventuring. Here’s where to quench your thirst in Cairns, whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur, beer buff, gin junkie or simply love a glass of wine with a view.

Read more
Rustys Markets Cairns
Cairns & Northern Beaches
11 Best markets near Cairns

Soak up the colour and the character, the smells and the sounds clunk and clash in a cacophony of the excitement of these 11 great markets.

Read more
road trips from cairns
Cairns & Northern Beaches
8 Road Trips From Cairns

From swimming in wild waterfalls, to exploring hidden coves and outback tracks, it’s time to hit the road to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime on these road trips from Cairns.

Read more
Gilligans
Cairns & Northern Beaches
A backpacker’s guide to nightlife in Cairns

Cairns may be known as the gateway to the reef and rainforest, but don’t be fooled… the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down around here. In fact, you’re guaranteed a party every single night of the week in this vibrant small-town city. Find out exactly where to go in this handy nightlife guide.

Read more