Melbourne Music Week specialises in unlocking quirky corners of the city for its gigs, but this time the festival has pulled one out of the hat.

The historic site of the Former Royal Women’s Hospital on Swanston Street in Carlton has been announced as this year’s flagship venue. Now part of Melbourne Uni, the space will mingle installations and live performances in the currently unused basement space and adjoining rooms.

Its storied past goes back 150 years – it was home to such medical breakthroughs as the world’s first IVF quadruplets. The building follows in MMW’s usual tradition of curating offbeat venues for its programming, including The Residence dome in Birrurung Marr and the Where?House in the Argus Building on La Trobe Street.

The hybrid art-music event Swell will set up residence in a dozen of the old hospital’s “forgotten rooms” for “secret one-off performances,” according to the festival. MMW’s opening night will introduce the building on Friday November 13 with live sets from dreamy pop duo Gypsy & The Cat, modern-soul heartbreakers The Harpoons and the snappy Saskwatch offshoot, Dorsal Fins.

Melbourne Music Week will run until November 20 across the city’s CBD, with other confirmed acts so far including cult psych-rockers The Brian Jonestown Massacre and pioneering German sound designer, Robert Henke.

Melbourne Music Week runs from November 13 to 20 at various sites around the CBD.

melbourne.vic.gov.au/mmw