The Best Live Music Venues in Melbourne

Laura Walkley

Melbourne is famous for it’s fantastic cultural scene, and music is at the top of the list of things the city does best. While rock is Melbourne’s speciality, newer and more alternative sounds are beginning to soak the city. There is a little something for all tastes somewhere amongst the concrete jungle. Have a look at six of the best spots for gigs and concerts in Melbourne.

1. The Esplanade Hotel

The Esplanade Hotel

The legendary ‘Espy’ Hotel is as much a historic gem as an iconic musical one. Built in 1878 (that’s old for Australia) the hotel is one of the most picturesque venues to bang your head to the live sounds of a local band. Overlooking the beach in St Kilda, the atmosphere of The Esplanade Hotel is wonderful and diverse. The Espy has several bands rooms, and usually features multiple live acts every night. Some renovations are currently in progress, but the Espy assures us she’ll be back better than ever in no time. 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC 3182, Australia, +61 3 9534 0211

The Espy © Rohan Travellin/FlickrThe Espy © Rohan Travellin/Flickr

2. Howler

Bar, Pub Grub, Australian

© Sean Fennessy
The hippest new venue to be seen at on the north side, Howler is a warehouse turned bar, making it the coolest place for a sunny afternoon drink (half the roof is torn off). Howler is an art venue and hosts a diverse range of events, including DJs, international bands, fringe theatre and films. The crowd here likes to eat too (typical Brunswick), so it is really an all round bar experience, featuring the newest indie and alternative artists on the Melbourne music scene.

3. The Workers Club

Pub, Australian

Darren Sylvester at The Workers Club
© Mr Michael Phams/Flickr
With exposed timber beams, forest wallpaper and a capacity of 220, The Workers Club is a cosy venue, but one where you’re guaranteed to have a memorable night. The intimate venue assures that you get up real close and personal with the band. And, on another note, you can get a kick ass pub meal here too.

4. The Corner Hotel

The Corner Hotel

While it’s certainly not the most attractive or the hippest venue, The Corner Hotel is where you’ll hear the best sounds of Melbourne. Raking in the best gigs, the venue holds up to 1000 patrons that are all (hopefully) as passionate about seeing the artist as you. The Corner Hotel is a place where you can find your musical soul mate amongst the crowd. 57 Swan St, Richmond, Melbourne, VIC 3121, Australia, +61 3 9427 9198

The Corner Hotel © Karl Jackson/FlickrThe Corner Hotel © Karl Jackson/Flickr

5. Yah Yah's

Yah Yah’s

The best place to see rock and roll early in the morning – what Melbourne is really known for in the way of music. This dive bar delivers everything you need to rock, getting some very decent gigs this year, including a few tribute acts to some of the great classic rock bands. Yah Yah‘s is what Melbourne music is all about. 99 Smith St, Fitzroy, Melbourne, VIC 3065, Australia, +61 3 9419 4920

Washington Band at Yah Yah's © Ryan Chow/FlickrWashington Band at Yah Yah’s © Ryan Chow/Flickr

6. The Prince Bandroom

The Prince Bandroom

Did someone say mosh pit? The electricity of this venue will have you on the dance floor all night, rocking to an international star or perhaps a local indie artist. Their gig list is fairly diverse and past acts include London Grammar, James Blake and the Herd. Right on St. Kilda’s party strip The Prince is positioned perfectly for a crazy night out. However, you are guaranteed a good time here before things get too wild. 29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, +61 3 9536 1168 By Laura Walkley

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