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Live Music in Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > Nightlife | Music
by Allan M (subscribe)
Melbourne freelance writer, blogger, student,
Published August 17th 2011
Big name music festivals seem to be on endless rotations. Transport, food, drinks, let alone tickets can easily leave your wallet light. On any given night around Melbourne, there are local music venues hosting some great artists at an affordable rate across a wide range of genres. You only have to seek to find some brilliant bands for a great night of entertainment.

Melbourne has long been lauded as being Australia's most vibrant and dynamic music city. But it's not just the large festivals or international acts that makes Melbourne's music scene buzz. If you're willing to search a little you can stumble across some musical gems.

Local gig guides in newspapers, radio stations such as Triple J and Triple R, and websites like liveguide and beat, can prove valuable resources in finding that special live gig. Social media sites, especially Facebook, are also a valuable tool to finding local shows. By simply 'liking' a live venue or an artist's page you can easily be fed information on upcoming gigs. Most artists also post up a few free downloads of songs, so at least you can get a taste of what you're in store for. Artist pages are also connected to other artists and venues, so it makes it simple to casually trawl through the pages to find even more gigs that appeal to you. The ease of Facebook events makes it all too easy to invite along friends for an enjoyable experience. Many gigs are around $10 and often free of charge, where many live venues offer generous drink specials.

The Tote Hotel is an institution of Melbourne music

Most smaller local shows include a number of artists, you can often turn up to a show to see a particular but leave impressed by another. Local gigs give you a great feel for the bands, where most after their set will pop up at the bar, chat with the crowd and enjoy the other acts. You may even be able to say down the track that you remember seeing a famous act when nobody knew them – after all, everyone has to start somewhere.

The Collingwood/Fitzory area is a must for these cheap live gigs. The Tote Hotel is perhaps the most famous of these, but it only takes a walk a block or two that you'll come across gems such as The Grace Darling Hotel, The Evelyn Hotel, Bendigo Hotel, The Nightcat or The Workers Club, to name a few. But don't be consigned to such as small area. The Public Bar, The Retreat Hotel and of course The Esplanade Hotel are all worth your while in North Melbourne, Brunswick and St. Kilda.
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Why? Affordable, a great night out, great music
When: All year round
Where: All around Melbourne, but mostly centred around the CBD and inner city (Collingwood, Fitzrory, Richmond, North Melbourne, Brunswick, Northcote)
Cost: Free - $30 (depending on venue and artists)
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