Over nine days from Friday November 18, Melbourne’s spaces, nooks and crannies will be filled with music. Well, even more music than usual.

Melbourne Music Week is returning for its second year with a program set to showcase some of the city’s emerging and established artists and music industry players. And while it’s not quite South By Southwest yet, a significant hint at the Melbourne City Council’s aspirations comes with the occupation of this year’s keynote speaker.

The Artistic Director of SXSW, Brent Grulke, will be addressing an audience at The Arts Centre ANZ Pavilion at 10am on the first morning. Yes, we’ll bet there’ll be a few council and Music Victoria folk listening closely to that speech.

Opening night also sees Cut Copy and Midnight Juggernauts take on DJ sets at open-air pop-up venue KUBIK at Birrarung Mar, which was designed by German team Balestra Berlin and built out of water tanks that illuminate in time to the music playing within.

With a combination of ticketed and free live music, film, in-store and conference events, this year’s program is impressive and inclusive. A relatively small number of international acts are in the mix – Japan’s veteran downbeat iconoclast DJ Krush and US producer and DJ The Gaslamp Killer among them – leaving plenty of space for Australian acts.

One of our favourite events is the Live Music Safari, which sees ten iconic venues open their doors free of charge over the night of Thursday November 24. You can skip from seeing Puta Madre Brothers at Cherry Bar to Martin Martini at Bennetts Lane and Northeast House Party in the John Curtin Bandroom.

Get our pick of the best news, features and events delivered twice a week

Up-and-coming local label Two Bright Lakes are also hosting a party on the rooftop of Melbourne Central, featuring Perth beat-makers Canyons as well as Melbourne’s Teeth & Tongue, Lost Animal and Oscar + Martin.

Melbourne Music Week takes place over various locations November 18–26. For all program and ticketing information visit melbourne.vic.gov.au/mmw