Melbourne’s Top Live Music Venues
Melbourne’s band rooms, music halls and sticky carpet pubs have as much of a story to tell as the musicians who climb on stage night after night. If you’re looking for a show, try one of these venues.
Best Large Venue: Hamer Hall
100 St. Kilda Road
Only the biggest and the best get to play at Hamer Hall, so no matter what you’re going to see here, it’s sure to be pretty spectacular. This venue has housed everyone from Michael Bublé to Rufus Wainwright, and is home to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Best Small Venue: Workers Club
Rob Roy Hotel, 51 Brunswick Street
Run by the same guys from the late Melbourne institution, St Jereome’s, The Workers Club has a fantastic band room and you can expect to pay around $20 for a show.
Best Jazz Venue: Bennetts Lane Jazz
25 Bennetts Lane
If it’s Jazz you’re after, you can’t go past Bennetts Lane. The venue is separated into two rooms, The Jazz Club for smaller gigs, and the Jazz Lab, which is open on weekends and sold out performances. Bennetts Lane has an impressive line up all year round that features both international and local musical talent.
Best Musical Discovery Venue: The Tote
67-71 Johnson Street
Countless bands have begun their careers in small pub venues, and the Tote has been the training ground for many of Australia’s most influential acts today. This venue has been threatened with closing down multiple times over the last few years, but we’re happy to report it’s here to stay.
Bets Melbourne Institution: The Esplanade Hotel
11 The Esplanade
St Kilda, 3182
Overlooking St Kilda Beach, the Espy is an undeniable treasure of Melbourne. They throw great parties all year around and have three band rooms, the largest and the most famous being the Gershwin room. This venue is also home of SBS music trivia show Rockwiz.
Best All-Rounder: The Forum
154 Flinders Street
The Forum features a larger music hall on the base level and an auditorium upstairs. Patrons can either sit at booths or in chairs on the lower level, and the ground level is spacious enough to move freely in. Performers here are often highly acclaimed international acts both in music or comedy.
Best Sticky Carpet: The Corner
57 Swan Street
Did you know that the Mick Jagger and an impromptu backing band played a secret gig here in 1988 under the name of ‘Brothers of Sodom’? That alone makes this venue pretty noteworthy in our books, but the venue is still as vibrant (and sticky) as it has always been. Great mix of national and international acts play here and tickets are very affordable.
Best New Venue: Howler
7-11 Dawson Street
Great sound, great atmosphere, and great bar, Howler is one of Melbourne’s latest and greatest band rooms. A definite port of call if you are ever in the Brunswick neighbourhood.
Writer & Photographer – Hannah. V