An understatement would be to say that a sizable portion of the locals place significant importance on the local live music scene. Melbourne's live music scene is worth billions of dollars, and it's only going to keep growing as the city's population does. As a result, many people enjoy going to a pub like The Tote to watch a band perform just as much as going to a restaurant for dinner, and many more people enjoy purchasing concert tickets to see a band perform at Forum Melbourne. The alternative and indie music scene is sizable, but fans of jazz and classical music have just as many options.
Venues For Where To See Live Music In Melbourne
Live music venues in Melbourne have a rich history, with new ones opening and closing frequently (and sometimes causing controversy). Despite the existence of numerous laws, restrictions, complaints, and general interferences, Melbourne's live music scene continues to thrive, and there is a wide selection of venues from which to choose. But if you want to experience the best that modern-day Melbourne has to offer, you shouldn't miss these attractions.
Even though there were already numerous other music venues in Brunswick when the Howler first opened its doors, it has since established its own unique niche. The band room and the adjacent, partially covered beer garden are two of this great bar's distinct areas, where locals congregate to drink and eat. The excellent acoustics, elevated stage, and booth seating in the back are just the beginning of the thoughtful details that went into the design of this venue. It's not uncommon for this venue to feature more unorthodox styles of music, such as indie rock or electronica, as the main attraction. Before they became household names, local favourites like Courtney Barnett and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard performed at Howler. Anderson Paak, a rapper, and Conrad Sewell, a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, are just two examples of the calibre of performers who have graced this stage.
The Wesley Anne, a Northcote pub established in 1854, is widely regarded as Melbourne's most photogenic watering hole. This lovely and homey space is characterised by stone walls, tables, and high ceilings with exposed beams. To the left of the main room is a band room, and the building's back courtyard is covered in thick trees, making it a pleasant place to relax. You won't find a better place in the city to unwind and take in the sounds of some of the best local singer-songwriters than this establishment. Weekends feature both afternoon and evening performances, with the latter typically wrapping up at a civilised hour.
Forum Melbourne, located in the Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne, hosts many successful Australian bands because international acts aren't quite ready for stadiums. Performers like Katy Perry, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and The Yeah Yeahs have all graced the stage before. The auditorium itself is a sight to behold, with its domed ceiling decorated with lights to make it look like the night sky and its statues evoking the style of ancient Greece. As a result, don't think twice about going to a show here if you're even slightly curious about doing so. Seeing a truly exceptional band perform here is akin to experiencing a parallel universe.
The Retreat Hotel, a sprawling and historic pub in Brunswick, features free live music every day of the week. There's a tiny bar in the lobby, a larger room with a saloon-style stage, and a massive outdoor beer garden. The front bar is so unassuming that a clothes horse may be found in a corner, covered in drying bar mats. At any of these venues, you might catch a set from a local band or singer-songwriter testing out new material, a rising punk or rock act, or a recognisable face from Melbourne's music scene.
When a promoter has a band that is too small to play at the Forum, they will often book them at the Corner Hotel in Richmond. This famous rock venue in Australia has a capacity of around 800 people, and it regularly hosts the album releases and warm-up shows for larger tours of some of Australia's most popular bands.
Many local bands from the punk, hardcore, and heavy metal scenes perform here. Bands like Fugazi, The White Stripes, and Mudhoney have all performed on the tiny stage at The Tote. It has also hosted performances by seminal Australian bands like The Meanies, The Birthday Party, and Cosmic Psychos. Grab a drink, drop some cash at the door, and check out what the locals in the heart of Melbourne are jamming to right now.
From the outside looking in? a Brunswick warehouse that doesn't get much attention. Inside, however, the walls are covered in graffiti, there are three separate rooms, and the sound system is top-notch. Rubix is a crossroads for the many city subcultures, so you never know what you might find when you get there. An individual's birthday party could be the cause of its closure one Friday night, but it's more likely that the promoters themselves will throw a party there. If you're curious about the antics of Melbourne's club and music youth when they let loose, perusing the schedule is your best bet.
Melbourne Recital Centre
The Melbourne Recital Centre, situated in Southbank's arts and culture precinct, is notable for its two world-class performance spaces. The larger Elisabeth Murdoch Hall has excellent acoustics due to the panels of Australian hoop pine that line its interior. This venue hosts hundreds of concerts each year. The Melbourne Chamber Orchestra might play a Vivaldi recital one night, and the Ladysmith Black Mambazo might perform the following night. The Australian Chamber Orchestra, among other prestigious groups, has made this venue their first choice.
Cherry Bar's nightly live performances range from soul to hard rock, but the club's regulars are what make it famous. Famous musicians always stop by this rowdy Central Business District club when they are in town (CBD). At least one night, Jack Black spent the entire evening dancing on the stage; Axl Rose once told the staff to unplug the jukebox; and Tom Morello once took the role of a disc jockey. nightly while Bruce Springsteen was on tour here. Liam Gallagher once made an offer to buy the bar after a particularly eventful night, and it was here that unofficial wakes were held for David Bowie, Lemmy, and Prince. That pretty much sums up the vibe of the whole place.
Best Live Music Venues In Regional Victoria
The Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
Castlemaine is an excellent option for hearing live music in the Goldfields region of Victoria. The Theatre Royal, which burned down in 1855 after opening in 1854, is a popular venue for a wide variety of performances, including those in the fields of theatre, comedy, film, and music. To the point that it was named 2017's Best Regional Venue (under 50 gigs) by The Age Music Victoria Awards, making it the third time the venue has won this award. The lineup frequently features a wide range of artists, from rising local talents like Thelma Plum to Australian and international favourites like Paul Kelly.
Located in Woodend in the Macedon Ranges, Hanging Rock has been held in high regard by the indigenous people of the area long before it became famous as the setting for Joan Lindsay's groundbreaking novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock. Various community events are now held at the nature preserve throughout the year, and it is widely considered one of the most beautiful places in Victoria to listen to live music. But more than that, it draws famous people. Artists as diverse as Midnight Oil, Bruce Springsteen, and the E Street Band have all performed there. Furthermore, Elton John, who is currently performing on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, will be performing there very soon.
The Worker's Club, Geelong
About an hour outside of the CBD is the city of Geelong, which draws a number of notable musical talents, most of whom immediately make their way to The Worker's Club (the cousin of the Fitzroy pub of the same name). While the club frequently hosts national and international headliners, it also promotes local talent from the coastal town whenever possible. Therefor, you should go see some punk rock one night and some acoustic covers the next.
Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong
This time, we're bringing Geelong the real deal when it comes to hearing live music in a bar. Due to the friendly atmosphere, high quality food and drink, and even higher quality performers, local musicians have made the Barwon Club their home since 1990. Emerging local talent and established acts like Ball Park Music and Magic Dirt are what we're talking about. Before the show, place an order for a parma, start a conversation with the locals, and get ready to have a great time.
From its humble beginnings as a beachside watering hole, the Torquay Hotel has grown into a major concert venue in Victoria, hosting performances by some of Australia's biggest stars. The venue's lineup is designed to appeal to a wide audience in an effort to highlight the rich variety of musical talent in Australia. The lineup features both newer and more seasoned acts, such as up-and-coming band Holy Holy and veteran act Spiderbait. In this way, your dad has as good a shot as your sister does at discovering a group of musicians whose music they enjoy.
Other Live Music Venues In Melbourne
Northcote Social Club
Since its opening in 2004, the Northcote Social Club has become the nerve centre of Melbourne's underground music community. The room was designed with concerts in mind, so even though the stage is smaller than at some competing establishments, the atmosphere is much more personal. Almost every night of the week features a different band performing live, and on Mondays there is a free show with three acts
The Gasometer Hotel
The Gasometer Hotel, or Gasos as the locals call it, is one of the few live music pubs in Melbourne that features an outdoor area where listeners can enjoy some of the best local and international indie rock bands and DJs in a casual setting. The band room has a mezzanine that circles the room and looks out over the stage, as well as a large retractable roof. Refuel at the bar or lounge after the show; they have a great happy hour deal of $6 pints for three hours.
The Toff in Town
In the heart of the Central Business District, in a hidden train carriage, is a sophisticated and alluring late-night bar where you can enjoy a meal and a cocktail in one of the highly sought-after booths. There are many faces to the Toff in Town. You can do all of these things and more at this location. But its main purpose is as a live music venue, making it one of the best places in the financial district to catch a show. The revitalisation of Melbourne's live music scene can be traced back in large part to this warm and diverse bar, which regularly hosts performances by some of the best musicians in their respective fields.
The Evelyn Hotel, a pub that has been around for quite some time, is famous for its low drink prices, pleasant ambience, and daily live entertainment. The band room can hold up to 350 people and has hosted a wide variety of local and international performers over the years. Even though it has a stellar reputation as a live music venue, the Ev is also frequently lauded for its laid-back vibe. After performances, it's not uncommon for some of the show's cast to unwind with a drink at the bar.
The Prince Bandroom
The Prince Bandroom is without question Melbourne's most well-known venue for live music. Located in the Prince Hotel, TBP has hosted concerts and other live performances since the 1970s. One of the most famous and beloved venues in Melbourne, it justifiably enjoys legendary status.
The Forum Theatre, established in the early 20th century, is a landmark in Melbourne and one of the best venues in the city for live performances. Hundreds of lights, embedded in the twilight blue ceiling, twinkle like stars and add to the theater's ambience.
Among Melbourne's stadiums, the MCG stands head and shoulders above the rest. The MCG is the best stadium in the world. Many Melburnians flock to the 'G for sporting events and concerts that sell out to the last seat in the house in the hopes of reliving those unforgettable moments with their friends and family. Countless Melburnians consider the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to be more than just a stadium; it is the very centre of their city, a symbol of Australian identity, and a place of worship.
More than 60,000 people attended two nights of Foo Fighters concerts in 2011—the first time that AAMI Park had ever hosted live music. Despite the proximity of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Rod Laver Arena, this stadium remains a top venue for concerts in Melbourne. Despite the fact that sports are the primary focus of the stadium, other events are held there as well. However, when they do put on a show, they don't waste time; in 2020, they have Queen and Elton John scheduled to perform there.
Bennetts Lane Jazz Club
It's no small feat to be named "the best jazz club in the world" by Lonely Planet. Of course, the Bennetts Lane Jazz Club in Melbourne is the only place to receive this honour. Bennetts Lane is a staple of the Melbourne Jazz Festival and has played host to some of the most iconic musicians in history. Their stage has been graced by the likes of Prince, Harry Connick Jr., The Cat Empire, and many more. Bennetts Lane is a regular venue for the Melbourne Jazz Festival, among its many other official and unofficial honours. The band's guiding principle hasn't changed in the nearly 30 years they've been together: the music comes first.
Margaret Court Arena
While the Margaret Court Arena is most commonly known as a place to watch sporting events, it also has a reputation for throwing wild parties every once in a while. With seating for 6,500 people and a retractable roof to keep out the oppressive Melbourne heat, it is one of the city's best options for experiencing a true stadium show. Naturally, they have also hosted some famous musicians, including Bob Dylan, Hilltop Hoods, The Black Keys, and Tash Sultana, to name just a few.
The live music industry in Melbourne is worth billions of dollars and is expanding rapidly. While there is a sizable library of alternative and indie music, there is also a wealth of music available for jazz and classical music listeners. Many consider the Wesley Anne to be Melbourne's most photogenic bar. Live music can be heard for free every day at Brunswick's massive and historic pub, Hotel of Retreat. To put it in perspective, The Corner Hotel can hold up to 2,000 guests, while the Tote Hotel can only accommodate 800.
Numerous club and music cultures meet and mingle in Melbourne. See what these places are playing that the locals can't get enough of. The Hanging Rock Reserve in Woodend is a stunning location for a concert in Victoria. The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, which includes a stop at that venue, will soon begin for Elton John. One of the few pubs in Melbourne to host live music and an outdoor area is the Gasometer Hotel, or Gasos as the locals call it.
In recent years, Northcote Social Club has emerged as the city's unofficial underground music epicentre. In the middle of the Central Business District, you'll find a classy bar known as the Town Duchess. When it comes to live music, the Prince Bandroom in Melbourne is where it's at. Many Melburnians rank the MCG as the best stadium in the world. The Forum Theatre is a well-known landmark in Melbourne and a top-notch performance space.
According to Lonely Planet, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club is the best jazz club in the world. The Margaret Court Arena is not only an excellent concert venue, but also a famous party hotspot. At AAMI Park in 2020, you can catch performances by both Queen and Elton John.
- It's an understatement to say that a sizable fraction of the locals give the local live music scene a great deal of importance.
- The value of Melbourne's live music industry is projected to rise to the billions as the city's population does the same.
- Best Places to Hear Live Music in Melbourne
- Melbourne's history of live music venues is long and varied, with many venues opening and closing over the years (and sometimes causing controversy).
- Melbourne's live music scene is thriving, and there is a wide variety of venues from which to choose, in spite of the existence of numerous laws, restrictions, complaints, and general interferences.
- Popular acts like Courtney Barnett and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard used to play Howler before they became known worldwide.
- Northcote's Wesley Anne Pub, which first opened in 1854, is often considered Melbourne's most photogenic pub.
- Place of Solace Hotel
- Every night of the week, Brunswick's sprawling and historic Retreat Hotel hosts free live music.
- At the Corner Hotel
- Promoters often book bands at the Corner Hotel in Richmond if they are too small to play at the Forum.
- Punk, hardcore, and heavy metal bands from the area frequently play here.
- A number of well-known bands have graced the tiny stage at The Tote, including Fugazi, The White Stripes, and Mudhoney.
- Storehouse Rubix
- Outsiders observing insider dealings?
- If you're looking for a good place to hear live music in Victoria's Goldfields, you should definitely check out Castlemaine.
- Hotel Torquay, Torquay The Theatre Royal, which first opened in 1854 and was destroyed by fire in 1855, is still a popular location for a wide range of performances.
- The Torquay Hotel was once a small beachside bar, but today it is a major concert venue in Victoria, where some of Australia's most famous musicians have performed.
- Live music venues in Melbourne are plentiful.
- The Northcote Social Club opened in 2004, and since then it has served as the beating heart of Melbourne's underground music scene.
- There is a lot of credit to be given to this welcoming and diverse bar for the revitalisation of Melbourne's live music scene, as it regularly hosts performances by some of the best musicians in their fields.
- The Prince Bandroom is without a doubt the most well-known live music venue in Melbourne.
- TBP, situated as it is within the Prince Hotel, has been a venue for live performances since the 1970s.
- The Forum Theatre is an iconic building in Melbourne, having first opened its doors in the early 20th century.
- The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is among the finest sporting venues anywhere.
- In 2011, AAMI Park hosted its first ever live music events: two nights of Foo Fighters concerts.
- This stadium is still a popular choice for concerts in Melbourne despite the proximity of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Rod Laver Arena.
- In 2020, however, the venue will host performances by both Queen and Elton John, so when they do put on a show, they don't mess around.
- There's jazz playing at Bennetts Lane's
- Earning Lonely Planet's designation as "best jazz club in the world" is no easy feat.
- In addition to being a mainstay of the Melbourne Jazz Festival, Bennetts Lane has also hosted a who's who of musical legends over the years.
- Margaret Court Arena Although the Margaret Court Arena is best known as a venue for sporting events, it also has a reputation for hosting rowdy parties on occasion.
FAQs About Music In Melbourne
Melbourne is considered the live music capital of Australia. The city is alive with music every night of the week, from jazz basements to rock'n'roll pubs. You just need to know where to look.
A Music Victoria study finds Melbourne hosts 62,000 live concerts annually, making it one of the live music capitals of the world. In addition, Victoria is host to more than three times the live performance national average, making it the live music capital of the country.
Melbourne has more live music venues per capita than any other city globally. We were reinforcing our position as Australia's music capital. Melbourne has one live music venue per 9,503 residents, making Melbourne the live music capital of the world. We host more than 3,000 live music performances per week.
The findings come from Music Victoria's Live Music Census, which looks at various subjects surrounding live music throughout the state. The study found Melbourne boasts one live music venue for every 9,503 residents, making Melbourne the world's live music capital on a per-capita basis.
- The Gasometer Hotel.
- Prince Bandroom.
- Rubix Warehouse.
At 3,371 seats, the Forum featured the largest seating capacity in the southern hemisphere.