Life & Style

Newcastle’s guide to live music, DJ sets, and parties you didn’t know you needed

When you think of live music in Newcastle, what do you picture? Is it our nightclubs that have been around for years, the acoustic cover band at the local pub, or something in between?

The scene has certainly changed and evolved over the years and to get an underground idea of how to make the most of our ever-evolving and growing local scene, we sat down with Sam Reedy of Witchhouse, Newcastle’s guide to unique live music, DJ sets, and parties.

witch house live music dj set guide to newcastle nsw
Sam Reedy of Witchhouse

What may have started as a passion project during the final years of university in 2016, has ebbed & flowed, dipped & weaved, stopped & restarted over the years to having now developed its own personality with Witchhouse cementing itself in Newcastle’s live music scene.

“It’s definitely changed over the years. To begin with, we were doing lots of articles, I used to think we were like the PM version of HUNTERhunter. What has stayed constant throughout is our event and gig list,” Sam said.

Originally from Bathurst, Sam has called Newcastle home since his tween years and has been diving into the Newcastle party, live music, DJ, doof, and rave scene since he legally could. To say he’s well-versed and well-connected with what’s happening, where it’s happening, and who’s playing is an understatement.

“I do like to focus more on the DJ scene, mostly because I have a few friends in the space doing some really interesting things and  there isn’t as much coverage of it going on in Newcastle compared to the band scene.”

In recent months, Sam has shaped Witchhouse to offer followers a unique way to stay connected with his personal picks of what’s worth checking out across town. As opposed to focusing on venues, his approach is to shine a light on the artists and the experiences they bring with them.

“We’ll normally have anything that Ryan Matthews from 404 runs on our list. He’s nailed the scaling side of things and has pushed it further and made it bigger than anyone else has or has even tried to do.

“Also, anything Hayden Shepherd has done. He really started the House Music scene here in Newcastle. He’s running really interesting events and is always changing things up to be in front of what's popular.”

The Witchhouse gig guide comes out every Wednesday on Instagram and features a curated list of DJs sets, artist gigs, festivals, and the Witchhouse Selects (Sam’s personal picks) for that night over the weekend.

“With a lot of people from Sydney moving up here, it’s exciting to think of where the local scene will go. With venues like The Hamilton Station Hotel and King St updating their event space and Victoria Theatre opening in town, its making Newcastle another leg of a touring artist's tour which is super exciting.”

Our biggest suggestion? Switch your phone to dark mode before heading to Instagram – trust us, it will elevate your experience.

When asking Sam where the name Witchhouse originated from, he laughs and shares,

“This has come up a number of times over the years. There are two different reasons for the name. The original Witchhouse is actually a genre of music that was kind of big around 2014/2015 and the best way to describe it was that it was really dark and synthy – almost like a trap sound. The biggest sort of artist using that genre was Crystal Castles.

“That’s where the name originally came from because I loved that genre for a bit. Then the second version, about a year later, someone had asked if Witchhouse was an iteration of which house? As in, which house was the next gig spot to go to? I actually loved that concept so it’s added a double meaning.”

witch house live music dj set guide to newcastle nsw

In addition to the Witchhouse’s already rather epic offering, Sam has collaborated with a line-up of local businesses to create a one-off competition right in time for the festive season; the Witchhouse Weekender.

With the aim to encourage keen gig-goers to not only get out and experience our local scene, but engage with the artists, venues, and Witchhouse on socials too! Want to know what’s up for grabs?

The winner will score themselves…

- 2x tickets to More NRG Festival in 2023
- $200 Sacred Art Piercing Voucher
- $200 Leoide Eyewear Voucher
- 2x tickets to Daydreaming 2023
- $150 Krool Jewels Voucher
- $150 LAATE Voucher
- $150 Hiss & Crackle Records Voucher
- $100 Barney Rubble Voucher
- $100 Hamilton Station Hotel Bar Tab
- $100 Newcastle Hotel Bar Tab
- 1x 1/1 Edition Artwork by XEENSQUEINO

“To get one entry, it’s just your standard like and tag two friends. Come the 14th through to the 18th of December, when we do that event list, if people go along to any event on that event list and tag the artists or DJ as well as Witchhouse in their stories, they’ll get an extra three entries.”

For more information on the current competition, check out the post here.

With plenty on the cards for Witchhouse not only just this month but moving into next year (did someone say coffee table book?), be sure to follow along on the Witchhouse journey on Instagram here and Facebook here and get amongst our local music scene.