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A shot of a musician sitting on stage at The Reverence Hotel, pl
Photograph: Amanda Summons

The best live music pubs in Melbourne

Melbourne is truly blessed in the live music stakes. Here are a few of our favourites

By Fred Siggins

While there's suggestion of the live music scene in other cities dying, Melbourne's continues to flourish. And let's face it, who doesn't like a beer with their favourite local band?

If you're in the mind to further explore some pubs, maybe have a gander at our guide to Melbourne's best al fresco libation or our guide to our town's best pub grub.

Top pub picks for music lovers

White Hex gig at the Curtin
Photograph: Phoebe Powell

1. The Curtin

Bars Carlton

Any given night of the week, one Australia’s best rock, indie pop or songwriter acts will be playing in the John Curtin’s 300-person capacity upstairs band room. Top it off with a pint of sweet and malty Barrow Boys lager and you’ve got Melbourne pub gold.

2. Prince of Wales Hotel

Bars St Kilda
One of the most successful and interesting iterations of “pub” in town, the Prince provides one of the last spots in St Kilda for local, national and international acts to do their thing. In a part of town where most people would rather be clubbing, we’re glad the Prince is keeping it real.

3. Retreat Hotel

Bars Brunswick
More than anything, this quirky old pub is cherished for music. The dining room out back features a rickety old stage and doubles as music hall for headline gigs. On weeknights, you’re more likely to see the magic happening up front, as killer blues bands rock out right next to the bar.

4. The Reverence Hotel

Bars Footscray
The Reverence is a church where live music is the religion and the doors are open to any and all who seek its comfort. Because far from the fundamentalist worship of rock, the Rev plays host to a staggering variety of local, national and international acts of every flavour from tango to trance.

5. Yarra Hotel

Bars Abbotsford

Since a major overhaul in 2013, the Yarra has gone from strength to strength under the watchful eye of Weddings Parties Anything linchpin Mick Thomas. The front room is a shrine to music, with week-long residencies from some of Melbourne best musicians plus free live gigs most nights of the week.

More Melbourne pubs we love

The Lincoln
Photograph: Graham Denholm

The best pubs in Melbourne

Bars Pubs

Melbourne is a city that really knows how to do pubs. From beer halls with more than 50 craft beer taps to cozy locals with a great fireplace, there's a pub for every occasion.


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