Undoubtedly, Melbourne is the place to be if you're a music lover. While there is no shortage of activities to do in Melbourne, we've compiled a list of a few of the best options for music lovers. From concerts and festivals to record shops and offbeat museums, there's something for everyone. Now is the time to take advantage of this incredible city.
To any music lover, Melbourne is a city of unmissable opportunities. Great things are always starting to happen in the music community, from up-and-coming artists to established superstars from all over the world. Listed below are some of the top things every music lover should do in Melbourne, whether you're looking for new ideas or just want to see what's available.
For Music Lovers In Melbourne
In comparison to other large cities throughout the world, such as New York, London, Tokyo, or Los Angeles, Melbourne has 500 live music venues, according to the latest census data.
In order to address the many ways in which music may enhance city life, the Music Communities Convention will convene industry professionals, government officials, and academics from all around the world. It's only natural that Melbourne, Australia's live music capital, should play host to the first-ever Southern Hemisphere staging of the prestigious conference.
Melbourne's music scene is worth more than $1 billion annually, with over 60,000 performances drawing in excess of 15 million listeners. Visitors to Melbourne may experience the city's passion for music in a variety of ways, including concerts, tours, exhibitions, and even events at record stores.
As an added bonus, Melbourne's status as a sport-crazed metropolis has resulted in an abundance of first-rate arenas, which major touring bands can use to perform to sold-out crowds of adoring fans (as Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran did when the both held major concerts here on the same weekend in March). With venues like AAMI Park, Etihad Stadium, Rod Laver Arena, and the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (which can hold as many as 100,000 people), Melbourne has become a regular stop for the world's most popular acts on their concert tours.
Live Music Venues
A city that supports and promotes its live music scene will always have venues where it can be heard, whether they be bars, clubs, basements, or rooftops. Artists from all over the world come to perform at 170 Russell and the recently renovated Forum Melbourne, and locals flock to venues like The Workers Club, Northcote Social Club, and the Prince Bandroom to hone their skills.
Corporation Lane, a narrow inner-city lane, was renamed AC/DC Lane in 2004 in honour of the iconic rock band that formerly played at the venue. An whole alleyway wall is plastered with name plaques from the music lovers who chipped in to help soundproof Cherry Bar before apartments were built behind the venue.
Graffiti artist Mike Makatron, who has made several AC/DC tributes, has added a sculpture of Bon Scott to the laneway that appears to be bursting out of the wall. As a matter of fact, the entire laneway is a work of art, showcasing a number of famous pieces of art (including a Banksy) that visitors can learn more about on one of the Brisbane Street Art guided tours.
Music from Down Under's Long-Lost Archive
The Australian Music Vault tells the story of modern Australian music from of the 1950s to the present day through a free, large display, interactive and digital experiences, and a comprehensive learning programme. Located in the Theatres Building of the Arts Centre Melbourne on St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, the exhibition pays tribute to the influential figures, significant moments, and iconic locations that have shaped Australian music.
Michael Gudinski, co-founder of Mushroom Records; Ian "Molly" Meldrum, music legend; Kylie Minogue, singer-songwriter; Archie Roach, Indigenous singer-songwriter; Tina Arena, Australian singer-songwriter; all serve as patrons of the Australian Music Vault.
Bus Concert Tour of Melbourne
The Arts Centre Melbourne's six music bus tours sold out in record time, so more are being planned for the coming months. Music lovers can learn more about Melbourne's rich musical heritage on one of the tours.
Dame Nellie Melba's childhood home, locations frequented by the ABBA and Beatles, and the venues and places associated to AC/DC, Nick Cave, the Easybeats, the Seeking, Frente, Paul Casey, Men at Job, Kim Salmon, Lord Gizzard, Gotye, and or the Lizard Wizard, and Courtney Barnett are just some of the highlights of the music historian Bruce Milne's three and a half hour tours of inner Melbourne. There will be a few unannounced stops along the way where special guests will be picked up.
Melbourne has long been a city that appreciates the classic, brick-and-mortar record stores that have been around since before vinyl was hip. Some shining lights, however, have woven themselves into the very fabric of the regions north, south, east, and west. Since opening in 1981, Polyester Records on Brunswick Road, Fitzroy has seen the arrival and subsequent success of neighbouring record store Oh! Jean.
Greville Records, located in the south, has been open since 1979 and offers a wide variety of used CDs and records. In the western neighbourhood of Kensington, you can grab a beer at White Rabbit Record bar as you peruse the vintage collections, and in the heart of Melbourne, you can visit Basement Discs, a record store located below street level that carries a wide variety of vinyl and CDs from all over the world and hosts regular events, such as Melbourne musician Dan Sultan playing songs from his newest album.
Melbourne's Musician's Guide
The people of Melbourne are dedicated listeners who support both new and established musicians. In other words, if you're a music fan visiting Melbourne, this guide will point you in the direction of the best places to see live music, the best concert venues, the most essential shops, the most exciting festivals, and the most essential radio stations. Get ready for some serious volume in Melbourne, so check out our tips and crank up the stereo.
No musician's journey to Melbourne was complete without the need for a night in Cherry Bar, and that includes everyone from Jack Black and Axl Rose to the Arctic Monkeys as well as the New York Dolls. This seedy dive bar on AC/DC Lane is known as "the best rock n' roll bar inside the world" and offers free admission on most evenings. Lady Gaga supposedly stumbled from out Cherry Bar in 2014 after a day of rock 'n' roll revelry. The Esplanade Hotel, or The Espy as the locals call it, is your second destination in St. Kilda.
The establishment, which first opened in 1878 and had a dance floor reminiscent to the one in Saturday Night Fever, has witnessed the rise and fall of popular music through the decades. The bar is free to enter on most nights and features up-and-coming rock bands. The Ding Dong Lounge near Chinatown is Melbourne's third best music bar, and acts including The Kills, This same White Stripes, Ed Sheeran, and Wolfmother have played there.
These three venues have witnessed a wide variety of legendary performances over the years, from the likes of the Rolling Stones and Judy Garland to the Beatles and Madonna. When it opened in 1911, the Palais Theatre in St. Kilda was a masterpiece of Art Deco design. Go to West Melbourne to see an arena that has hosted wrestling, Olympic sports, and Judy Garland's one and only Melbourne performance.
Festival Hall has previously hosted performances by Queen, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, and the Ramones. The Forum Theatre, previously Australia's largest movie theatre, is the last option. Among the many concerts held there was Madonna's odd 2016 appearance.
Despite the criticisms of its commercialism from music fans, JB Hi-Fi remains Melbourne's most popular entertainment retailer because of its many accessible locations and extensive selection of CDs and LPs. Culture Trip Melbourne suggests independent record stores like Greville Records for its wealth of B-sides, rare releases, and music memorabilia, and Round & Round Records for its well-organised selection, which includes staff evaluations and a wide variety of musical genres. Finally, swing into The Searchers in Fitzroy; they specialise in disco and rock 'n' roll and have an impressive locally sourced selection.
Live performances are superior than recorded ones, and music festivals are ideal for exploring new sounds and artists. You should do what all the cool musicians do and go on tour over the summer. Your first stop should be at the St. Jerome's Laneway Festival near Footscray, which is dedicated to alternative and alternative rock music.
The Falls Arts and Music Festival, or simply Falls, takes place in Lorne around the New Year's Eve holiday and features both up-and-coming and experienced performers from all over the world performing in a wide variety of genres. Finally, if you're looking for a local event that features alternatives and indie rock, you can't miss Groovin' The Moo, which occurs in April/May.
Maybe you feel more comfortable listening to music in silence, so you turn on the FM radio. It's possible that you listen to music while doing chores around the house or driving to and from work. It's recommended that you tune in to these seven frequencies while in Melbourne. Melbourne's Smooth 91.5 is the perfect place to unwind, with soft rock music from the '50s to now.
Melbourne's Best Attractions What Every Musician Should Do
Despite the fact that every big city, to not mention tiny towns and beaches, in our great nation has fantastic talent pouring out, Melbourne truly does take the title as Australia's live music capital.
Many notable musical acts, such as Nick Cave as well as the Bad Seeds, Kylie Kylie, Cut Copy, Jets, Missy Higgins, and The Avalanches, have emerged from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Not to mention some of the biggest festivals in the country and an endless list of clothing store record stores, Melbourne is a city that practically screams music. From massive stadiums like Rod Laver Arena to product tiny bars like Shebeen, there is ample able to perform space for emerging as well as established musicians.
In anticipation of Melbourne Music Week (our favourite time of the year), we spoke with four native Melburnians: the breathtaking soulstress vocalist Stella Angelico, the legendary label colleagues Ben but also Guy of Chapter Music, and the lush rap music producer Edo of Milwaukee Banks. They shared their recommendations for the best events and venues that music fans, whether they're locals or just passing through, shouldn't miss.
Visit Melbourne’s Most Famous Dive Bar
Stella: “Cherry on the a Thursday night. Soul music is extremely popular in the city of Melbourne. The only way to truly appreciate this is by writhing to the DJs at the world-famous dark rock dive Cherry Bar on the a Thursday night.
Pop By The Iconic Polyester Records
Guy: "Good record stores are becoming increasingly rare across the globe, and Melbourne is no different. If Polyester Records is still around, though, We believe there is hope for humanity. Although there have been several iterations of Polyester in Fitzroy over the years, the current proprietors, Nate and Simon, stand out in our eyes because they are aware of and actively promote the best of what is currently happening in Melbourne's musical scene.
Although they recently shut down its downtown location, the Fitzroy store is undergoing a transformation into a wonderland and has resumed in-store events, which were a major draw for customers in the previous location. Nate and Simon are great people that genuinely care about others. Therefore, if you are one of the oddballs that prefers to purchase music via a physical medium, you should pay a visit to Polyester & show them that you care as well.
Grab A Bite To Eat At Sonido
Edo: "On Gertrude Street, there's a café called Sonido. This is not a concert hall, but it does house one of the finest Latin record collections in the area. Listen to some of the best Cumbia or dance clubs Fuentes records you've ever heard while you relax with a cup of coffee and an arepa.
Check Out Some Secret Local Jazz
"Jazz Club," Stella gushed, "is this quasi event that is frequently hosted in a semi-secret place. This sweaty, laid-back party is hosted by Wondercore Islands and pals, and features performances by some of Melbourne's finest musicians. Part refined, part ad hoc. Incredible as usual. It's worth it if you're able to find it.
Soundtrack Your Visit With 102.7 3RRR FM
Ben: "It's hard to exaggerate the importance of community radio to the fabric of our city. While Melburnians are incredibly fortunate to have such a wide variety of excellent local radio options, few stations can compete with 3RRR. Triple R does not use a set playlist; instead, its DJs are all volunteers who play whatever they feel like playing. But its wide coverage, enthusiastic announcers, and staunchly independent spirit have contributed to Melbourne's rich musical landscape.
Pick Up Some Local Wax At The Camberwell Market
Stella said, "Go to the Camberwell market and buy some albums! All of our favourite records came from that shop. There's a plethora of options, including many unique jewels. Jam doughnuts and hot dogs are also available and both are delicious. weekly on a Sunday morning. You should arrive early.
Learn About Melbourne From Paul Kelly
Stella: "Obtain an album of Paul Kelly's greatest hits. When They miss being at home, We turn to them for comfort. For me, he represents an integral aspect of the stereotypically Australian musical style. First, We recommend "When I First Met Your Ma," which is one of our favourite songs and features some cute references to the city of Melbourne.
Check Out Some Local Bands At The Historic Tote
Man: "It's no great secret that Tote is Melbourne's pulsating live music heart. Back a few years ago, when 20,000+ people took to the streets to protest the closing of Chapter and the danger to other Melbourne music venues, we at Chapter were only a couple tiny dots in the crowd. Thankfully, the Tote has reopened, and its owners have maintained the same values.
We’re from Chapter, and we're two stuffy, pasty gays who aren't very punk in any external sense, yet we feel more at home in the crumbling, crusty Tote than anywhere else. The front bar could get just as rowdy as the band room after a show, the beer garden is perfect for chatting, drinking, and smoking even if your least favourite band is performing, and the venue has hosted some of the greatest concerts ever.
Consider Taking A Road Trip To Meredith
Ben said, "It takes a lot to get us to camp in a tent, but once a year the draw of the Meredith Haunted Amphitheatre gets us packed our gumboots & driving to the country. Aunty Meredith never makes assumptions about its audience's musical knowledge, therefore it books the sorts of bands which few other festivals have the courage to book. There aren't many festivals where you don't feel like livestock, but this one's "No Dickheads" policy is rarely broken because of the respect afforded to the performers and the crowd.
Buy A Beer At Non-Profit Bar Shebeen
Edo: “The Shebeen bandroom has evolved into a real fixture in the Melbourne music scene. It's also at a prime location in Manchester Lane, the heart of the city—a rarity these days.
On most Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, you may catch some fantastic performances by local artists. The audio is good, as well as the ambience is great, presumably why heaps of developing musicians and young locals perform this band room lately. You can have a drink, watch a band, and help the world all at the same time because the main bar is located upstairs and contributes all of its proceeds to charities serving those in need.
The music industry in Melbourne is valued about $1 billion per year, with over 60,000 shows attracting more than 15 million attendees. This year's Music Communities Convention is being held in the city, and it's expected to attract businesspeople, politicians, and academics from all around the world. Corporation Lane, a short street in the city centre, was rechristened AC/DC Lane that same year. A wall in an alley is covered with plaques bearing the names of music fans who contributed to Cherry Bar's successful effort to muffle outside noise. The interactive and digital experiences of the Australian Music Vault tell the story of contemporary Australian music.
Some of the highlights of music historian Bruce Milne's 3.5-hour tours of inner Melbourne include Dame Nellie Melba's boyhood home, sites frequented by ABBA and the Beatles, and the AC/DC headquarters. This guide will help you find the top venues in Melbourne to enjoy live music during your visit. The best rock and roll bar in the world is said to be Cherry Bar. The Ding Dong Lounge, located in Melbourne's Chinatown, is the third finest music bar in the city. When it comes to home entertainment in Melbourne, everyone still shops at JB Hi-Fi.
Queen, Bob Dylan, and Frank Sinatra are just a few of the acts who have performed at Festival Hall before. Melbourne is often regarded as Australia's cultural epicentre, especially in the realm of live music. The greatest concerts and locations that music lovers shouldn't miss in Melbourne this summer, according to our experts. A downtown Melbourne landmark, Polyester Records, has closed. A makeover into a magical place has begun at the Fitzroy location, and in-store activities have resumed.
At Sonido, you may hear some of the best Cumbia and Fuentes dance club tracks you've ever heard. In addition to Paul Kelly's discography, the Camberwell Market is an excellent spot to pick up some local music. After a night of live music at The Tote, you may relax and catch up with friends in the beer garden. As a result of the audience and performers being treated with respect, Aunty Meredith's "No Dickheads" policy is rarely broken. The main bar gives 100 percent of its money to charities. Throughout the years, Shebeen Bandroom in Melbourne, Australia, has become an integral part of the city's vibrant music culture.
- If you enjoy music, you should definitely visit Melbourne.
- There's a tonne to do in Melbourne, but we've narrowed it down to a few of the city's finest musical attractions.
- There's something for everyone, from mainstream concerts and festivals to independent record stores and quirky museums.
- Right now is your chance to experience this amazing metropolis to the fullest.
- Melbourne is a city full of incredible experiences for music lovers.
- Whether you're stuck for inspiration or just curious about the options, here are some of the best things to do in Melbourne if you love music.
- If You Love Music and Live in Melbourne
- Compared to other major cities across the world like New York, London, Tokyo, or Los Angeles, Melbourne boasts 500 live music venues.
- The Music Communities Convention will bring together business leaders, government representatives, and scholars from all over the world to discuss the various ways in which music can improve urban life.
- Melbourne, Australia's live music capital, is the obvious choice to hold the first-ever event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
- The music industry in Melbourne is valued about $1 billion per year, with over 60,000 shows attracting more than 15 million attendees.
- Local musicians frequent establishments like The Workers Club, Northcote Social Club, and the Prince Bandroom, while visitors from all over the world come to see shows at 170 Russell and the newly rebuilt Forum Melbourne.
- Corporation Alley is a little lane in the heart of the city, but in 2004, it was rechristened AC/DC Lane in honour of the legendary rock band that had previously played there.
- In reality, the entire laneway is a work of art in and of itself, displaying a number of well-known works of art (among them a Banksy) about which tourists on one of the Brisbane Street Art guided tours can gain further insight.
- Lost Australian Music from the 1970s
- Through a free, enormous exhibition, interactive and digital experiences, and an extensive learning programme, the Australian Music Vault presents the story of modern Australian music from the 1950s to the present.
- The exhibition celebrates the people, places, and events that have made a difference to Australian music, and it can be found in the Theatres Building of the Arts Centre Melbourne on St. Kilda Road in Melbourne.
- Six music bus trips put on by the Arts Centre Melbourne sold out in record time, so more are being planned for the coming months.
- On one of the tours, music enthusiasts can gain a deeper understanding of Melbourne's extensive musical history.
- Guests of honour will be picked up at random locations along the route.
- Melbourne has a strong tradition of appreciating traditional, in-store record shops that have been operating since long before vinyl was cool.
- Southern used CD and record shop Greville Records has been in business since 1979.
- Residents of Melbourne are avid music fans who show equal love to both up-and-coming acts and industry veterans.
- The best places to see live music, concert venues, important shops, thrilling festivals, and essential radio stations in Melbourne are all here for you to discover if you're a music enthusiast visiting the city.
- Melbourne is a city known for its loud nightlife, so follow our advice and turn up the stereo.
- All the way from Jack Black and Axl Rose to the Arctic Monkeys and the New York Dolls, no musician's trip to Melbourne was complete without at least one night spent in Cherry Bar.
- In 2014, after a day of rock 'n' roll revelry, Lady Gaga allegedly staggered out of Cherry Bar.
- Your next stop in St. Kilda will be at the Esplanade Hotel, or "The Espy" as the locals call it.
- Bands including The Kills, This Same White Stripes, Ed Sheeran, and Wolfmother have all played at the Ding Dong Lounge, a music venue located near Chinatown and ranked third best in Melbourne.
- While some music enthusiasts have criticised JB Hi-Fi for being too commercial, the store's convenient locations and wide assortment of CDs and LPs have made it Melbourne's most popular entertainment retailer.
- Independent record stores are highly recommended by Culture Trip Melbourne, with recommendations including Greville Records for its extensive collection of B-sides, rare releases, and music memorabilia, and Round & Round Records for its well-organized selection, which features staff evaluations and a wide range of musical genres.
- Last but not least, check out The Searchers in Fitzroy, a disco and rock 'n' roll specialist with an excellent locally sourced collection.
- Festivals are great places to hear music for the first time or discover a new genre, and nothing beats seeing a band perform live.
- While in Melbourne, be sure to listen to these seven stations.
- Melbourne is undoubtedly Australia's live music capital, despite the fact that there is incredible talent emanating from every major city, not to mention every small town and beach in our beautiful nation.
- Melbourne, Victoria, Australia has produced a plethora of famous musical acts, including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Kylie Kylie, Cut Copy, Jets, Missy Higgins, and The Avalanches.
- Melbourne is a city that virtually shouts music, what with its unending list of apparel and record stores and some of the largest events in the country.
- Four local Melburnians—the stunning soulstress soprano Stella Angelico, the iconic label mates Ben but also Guy of Chapter Music, and the luscious rap music producer Edo of Milwaukee Banks—were interviewed in anticipation of Melbourne Music Week (our favourite time of the year).
- Polyester in Fitzroy has seen many owners come and go over the years, but current proprietors Nate and Simon stand out in our views because they are on top of what's happening in Melbourne's music industry and actively promote the finest of it.
- The Fitzroy store is undergoing a metamorphosis into a wonderland and has resumed in-store activities, which were a significant draw for customers in the prior site despite the store's recent closure in the downtown area.
- We're lucky to have friends like Nate and Simon.
- Therefore, if you're one of the weirdos who still likes to buy music on CDs and records, you should swing by Polyester and show them some love.
- One of our favourite songs, "When I First Met Your Ma," includes several endearing allusions to Melbourne.
- Get Down With Some Live Music At The Old Tote Man: Nobody needs to be told that Tote is the beating live music centre of Melbourne.
- We at Chapter were just a few small specks in the sea of people that marched to the streets several years ago to protest the closure of Chapter and the threat to other Melbourne music venues.
- Finally, the Tote is back open, and the same principles have guided its new management.
- There have been some of the best concerts ever held there, and the front bar can get just as rowdy as the band room after a show. The beer garden is a terrific place to hang out and socialise, drink, and smoke, regardless of which band is playing.
- Since Aunty Meredith doesn't assume anything about its listeners' musical knowledge, the festival is able to book acts that other events wouldn't have the guts to present.
- Unlike at many other festivals, attendees at this one are treated with the utmost respect by both the acts and the crowd, making the "No Dickheads" edict almost meaningless.
- The main bar is upstairs, and all of the money made from drinks and concert tickets goes to charity helping the poor.
Frequently Asked Questions About Melbourne Music
Melbourne has more live music venues per capita than any other city in the world. 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. 55% of venues reported an increase in 2017 audiences.
The findings come from Music Victoria's Live Music Census, which looks at a variety of subjects surrounding live music throughout the state. The study found Melbourne boasts one live music venue for every 9,503 residents, making Melbourne the live music capital of the world on a per-capita basis.