Best Live Music Venues in Melbourne

Updated 2 months ago

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Sometimes, it feels like live music is an endangered species in Melbourne. Every other month a treasured pub is under attack from developers or Johnny-come-lately residents with sensitive ears.

In spite of these challenges, our scene is flourishing. The 2023 campaign to rescue The Tote, and the post-COVID openings of Mamma Chen’s and The Bergy Seltzer show that Melbourne’s live music scene is still alive and kicking. Any night of the week, it’s still easy to find quality live music on somewhere. Whether you like folk, indie or heavy metal, these spots have you covered.

Looking for something specific?

  • If you're serious about music, you'll know this place better than your own loungeroom.

  • An important part of the scene since 2004.

  • The pounding heart of Melbourne's rock and roll scene.

  • Grungy as they come.

  • A huge retractable roof and a mezzanine with stage views. Yes.

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  • A comfortable and understated local pub with live music.

  • A former wool store turned bar, arts hub and live music venue.

  • You might need a map to navigate this iconic seaside pub. Across its five floors, you’ll find multiple bars and two restaurants. Not to mention three stages for live music, including the legendary Gershwin Room.

  • Curtin House’s dark, glamorous second-floor bar.

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  • A good old late night bar sporting character in spades.

  • Shoot some pool, then catch a gig.

  • Doing its thing for 60 years and counting.

  • It was once Bob Hawke’s favourite watering hole; these days it’s a rock’n’roll icon. Bands often pack out the upper level, while DJs spin vinyl downstairs. Sonny’s, the in-house diner, has Southern-style fried chicken and banging burgers.

  • Did you even know there's a bandroom upstairs?

  • Turning away from hyper-polished pubs, this venue encapsulates the traditional and hearty. Experience live music, local beers, revamped pub classics, a mix of tropical and house special cocktails, and of course – a pool table.

  • An inclusive, accessible home for the music scene in the west. Grab a reasonably priced jug, see a gig, then plonk yourself down in the colourful beer garden.

  • This live music bar spot feels a bit like a house party. See a gig in the bandroom, drink in the all-weather beer garden, or hide out in its quiet front bar for classic cocktails. It even has a 3am license, so there’s no mass exodus when the show ends.

  • Expect domed stained-glass skylights, plush red-velvet curtains and a shiny grand piano. The eclectic program runs the gauntlet from music to cabaret to comedy and beyond. Visit the downstairs bar or book dinner and show.