Melbourne music venues

Experience Melbourne's music scene at its vibrant and exhilarating best, up close and personal. 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. Jazz fiends and punks, metal heads and dread heads, dub, hardcore, slowcore and grindcore, they all have their place in Australia's music capital.

Walk into the venues listed below and to the left on any night of the week and for the price of a couple of beers see Melbourne's finest strutting their stuff.

Details appear in Melbourne's free street papers Beat and Inpress and weekly lift outs in The Age and Herald-Sun. Melbourne's main music venues are listed below.

The Grates, Forum Theatre, Melbourne, Australia

Hot in the 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. Disappear into one of Melbourne's original venues hidden down dark laneways and up stairwells. Thursday through to Sunday is the best time to catch up-and-coming bands in sweaty clubs like Ding Dong Lounge or Cherry. With live shows running as late as 2am and drinks served till 6 or 7 in the morning, you'll be having breakfast on your way home before you know it.

Adalita, The Empress, North Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Image courtesy of The Empress

Northside city limits

Visit Fitzroy and Collingwood – the spiritual home of the north's arts and music scene. Wander Brunswick and Johnston streets on a weeknight and stumble across latin rhythms, jazz and big band along with rock, indie and hardcore. Join the revellers on the weekend and spend a night at Melbourne's home of rock and roll, The Tote. Catch indie rock and solo acts at The Old Bar, rockabilly, psychedelic and rock at Yah Yah's, or take a walk up Brunswick Street to catch young hipster bands and indie pioneers at the Workers Club.

Luluc, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne. Image courtesy: Carbie Warbie

New Brunswick and Northcote

If you're staying out Brunswick way, head down to the Cornish Arms on Sydney Road for roots, folk and country or try the Empress of India in North Fitzroy – a Melbourne institution and a popular spot of low-key indie bands and solo artists. If you're up on High Street in Northcote catch a quiet set in the comfy bandroom of the Wesley Anne or walk over to the Northcote Social Club – one of the city's best concert clubs and the host of a secret show by The Pixies back in 2007.

Esplanade Hotel, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Southside of the world

Jump on the Sandringham train line or the 96 tram and head south to St Kilda, Windsor and Prahran. Explore the waterfront and Luna Park then catch hairy-chested rock bands, solo acts, comedy and DJs at the Esplanade Hotel (closed for renovation until December 2015). Hear the sounds of the eighties for a second time with young hipster bands and students on the dancefloor at Revolver, Chapel Street, or take your chances with a mix of styles at the Butterfly Club.