Melbourne is widely known as one of the world’s great music cities, and has more live music venues per capita than any other city in the world. The city itself has featured in many music video clips for bands like AC/DC and The Cat Empire.
From music venues to busking hot spots and historical sites, this walk will take you on a tour of the city's music highlights. We hope you feel inspired to catch a show or visit one of Melbourne’s record stores.
This walk is approximately 3.5km and takes around 90 minutes.
Sights on this walk
1. Arts Centre Melbourne
Home to the State Theatre, Playhouse and Fairfax Studio, the Arts Centre is also houses the Australian Music Vault, a free exhibition showcasing Australia’s music scene.
2. Hamer Hall
Hamer Hall hosts performances from a broad range of local and international concerts from rock, pop and jazz through to classical and chamber music.
3. Forum Theatre
Built in 1929 as a grand picture palace, the Forum also spent some time as a Christian revival centre. Today, it’s one of the best places in Australia to see live music.
4. AC/DC Lane
AC/DC Lane was the first street in Australia named after a rock band. As street-naming rules don’t allow the use of a forward-slash, City of Melbourne retrofitted the giant lightning bolt you see today.
5. Cherry Bar
Cherry Bar's live music and late-night license makes it a favourite hangout for local and international musicians after their shows; just ask Lady Gaga, who famously danced on the bar!
6. Loop Project Space & Bar
Drop into Loop Bar any time after 4pm to be mesmerised by its ever-changing program of live audio-visual performances and workshops.
7. Parliament House
An impromptu concert took place on the Parliament House steps in 2010 during the Save Australia's Live Music (SLAM) rally, to protest regulations that were forcing city music venues to close.
8. Princess Theatre
The Princess Theatre has been used for entertainment since 1854, staging the world’s most successful productions, including Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Cats.
9. Amphlett Lane
This lane is named in honour of Chrissy Amphlett, the charismatic singer for the Divinyls who sadly died of breast cancer in 2013.
10. Her Majesty’s Theatre
One of Melbourne's most iconic venues for live performances, Her Majesty’s has been entertaining Australia since 1886.
11. Comedy Theatre
This historic 1928 Comedy Theatre hosts comedy shows, musicals and drama, with seating for 1000 people.
12. Curtin House
The ‘vertical laneway’ known as Curtin House includes a number of bars and restaurants along with live music venue The Toff in Town.
13. The Toff in Town
This intimate performance space has featured artists such as Ed Kuepper, Bill Callaghan, Pete Murray, Paul Kelly, Martha Wainwright, Rowland S Howard and Robert Forster.
14. Bourke Street Mall
A popular busking spot, the Bourke Street Mall is where some of Melbourne’s musicians started their careers, including The Pierce Brothers and Tash Sultana.
15. Melbourne Town Hall
The Town Hall was a popular spot for celebrity welcomes, including the Beatles in 1964 and ABBA in 1977. It's also home to the largest grand organ in the Southern Hemisphere.
16. Max Watt’s
Australian artists such as Paul Kelly, Hunters & Collectors and You Am I have filled the room at the iconic Max Watt's, along with international artists like the New York Dolls, Foo Fighters and The Strokes.
More to explore
See more of Melbourne’s immense music scene. Catch a gig at 170 Russell, The John Curtin Hotel, Trades Hall, Colour Club, Last Chance Rock 'n' Roll Bar, The Drunken Poet or Transport Hotel.
Or head to record stores Heartland Records, Wax Museum Records, Basement Discs, Rocksteady Records and White Rabbit Record Bar.
Birrarung Marr and Federation Bells
Visit Birrarung Marr on the Yarra, a public space and significant site for Aboriginal artists and communities. Find the Federation Bells nearby, a set of 39 bronze bells created for Australia's 1901 federation centenary. Compose music for the Federation Bells using its online composer.
Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Kings Domain
Surrounded by parklands, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl opened in 1959. With capacity for 12,000, this outdoor venue caters for all tastes, from philharmonic orchestras and Christmas carollers to heavy metal bands and DJs.
Melbourne Recital Centre
Combining architectural innovation and acclaimed acoustic perfection, Melbourne Recital Centre showcases musicians, artists and ensembles in its two world-class performance spaces.
Looking Out, Looking In
City of Melbourne’s Looking Out, Looking In Spotify playlist series is curated by local musicians to showcase Melbourne’s diverse and emerging music scene.
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