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Overview

Live music

Melbourne crowds and venues have a long and celebrated tradition of nurturing live music, making Melbourne the nation's music capital.

The city's vibrant independent music scene comes alive every night of the week in pubs, clubs, warehouses and basements. From skinny-jeaned indie kids thrashing it out in a sweaty club to moustached gentleman pecking away on an old country number, the city caters for all tastes with only one prerequisite - a heartfelt love of music. Choose a style and check out some of the best local musicians performing across the city.

Find details in Melbourne's free street papers Beat and Inpress and weekly lift-outs in The Age and Herald Sun.

City

If you don't mind a late night and you want to be in the thick of the action, the city is the place to be. Thursday through to Sunday is the best time to catch up-and-coming bands in sweaty clubs like Ding Dong Lounge or Cherry.

Northside

Visit Fitzroy and Collingwood – the spiritual home of the north's music scene. Wander Brunswick and Johnston streets on a weeknight and stumble across latin and jazz, along with rock, indie and hardcore. Join the revellers on the weekend at Melbourne's home of rock and roll, The Tote, or catch acts at The Old Bar, Yah Yah's and the Workers Club.

If you're staying out Brunswick way, head down to the The Spotted Mallard, the Retreat or the Cornish Arms on Sydney Road for gigs most nights, or head to the bandroom around the corner at Howler. In Northcote, head to High Street to catch a quiet set in the comfy bandroom of the Wesley Ann or walk over to the Northcote Social Club – one of the city's best concert clubs.

Southside

Head south to catch hairy-chested rock bands, solo acts, comedy and DJs at the Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda (closed for renovation until December 2015), or to hear the sounds of the eighties for a second time with young  bands and crowds at Revolver, Chapel Street.

Highlights

Live music venues

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Live music venues

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Live music

Cherry Bar

This old soul of the Melbourne scene was founded by the drummer of the Cosmic Psychos in 2000 and was a launch-pad for local heroes Jet and Airbourne.

Performing arts

Melbourne Recital Centre

Listen to the best local and international performers at this outstanding, purpose-built recital hall in the heart of the Southbank arts precinct.

Performing arts

National Theatre

Catch local and international music, dance and theatre performances or enrol at Australia's oldest performing arts schools at this historic theatre.

Live music

The Old Bar

Stop in for a beer and find everything from snotty punk and country twang to indie pop and acoustic jangles at this much-loved piece of old-Fitzroy.

Bars

Night Cat

Get ready for a big night of dancing at The Night Cat, and be sure to head down early to catch live performances by local and touring artists.

Live music

Revolver

Climb the stairs from Chapel Street and catch young bands, up-and-coming songwriters and touring DJs at one of the city's oldest indie institutions.

Live music

Yah Yah's

Decked out in red, this ramshackle boudoir venue and bar in the inner north has established itself as a champion of garage rock, soul and rockabilly.

Live music

Paris Cat

Boasting everything from trad, fusion and latin jazz right through to big band and gypsy swing, there's plenty for aficionados and novices alike.

Live music

The Evelyn

Hosting breakthrough acts as diverse as Missy Higgins, The Dirtbombs and TZU, this Fitzroy pub has been pumping out live music since the nineties.

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Stadiums

Live music

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Art & culture

Theatre and musicals

See the big names of the stage in blockbuster productions at historic theatres, or catch new local talent on tiny stages in edgy theatres.

Food & wine

Late night dining

When there's no going home on an empty stomach and you're looking for something more than a kebab, these Melbourne eateries come to the rescue.

Destinations

Fitzroy

Perch in a Brunswick Street bar and celebrate the way that sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same in this bohemian enclave.

Food & wine

Late night bars

Tuck into a tipple while everyone else is tucked in bed. These Melbourne bars will keep the light on for you well after the last tram has gone home.