The pandemic – and all that came with it – devastated Victoria’s live-music scene.

But the state’s shoot-for-the-sky new gig series Always Live is doing its part to make sure live music is back in a big way.

Its just-announced 2022 program features more than 150 artists performing across more than 90 events in 12 regions. It’s a certifiably whopping statewide celebration.

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Headlining is high-octane disco-pop superstar Dua Lipa, who’s playing an exclusive 2500-person show at the Palais Theatre on October 30; it’s billed as the smallest, most intimate gig of her global tour. Meanwhile, the beloved (and iconic) Crowded House will take to the stage on the banks of the Murray River in Wodonga, supported by Angus & Julia Stone and Boy & Bear, and visionary Zambian rapper – and former Melburnian – Sampa The Great joins the program hot off supporting the inimitable Billie Eilish.

Other highlights include a performance by one of Australia’s most significant music groups, Yothu Yindi, as part of an event called Blaktivism at Arts Centre Melbourne, and a 100-person show by dance-floor-filler Sophie Ellis-Bextor at the NGV Garden Restaurant.

Plus, two legends of the game – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis – will perform at the quintessentially Victorian Hanging Rock in the Macedon Ranges. (Even though they’ve known each other since 1993, this is the first time they have toured Australia as a duo.)

In a statement, Always Live chairman Matt Gudinski – son of Aussie music mogul Michael Gudinski – said, “Always Live was a dream my late father had to reassure our state’s live music roots and I am proud to be part of the team making it a reality.

“It’s exciting to see the program for Always Live bought to life, a new major event which reaffirms Victoria as the music state of Australia and Melbourne as one of the leading music cities of the world.”

Find the full program and ticket information online.