Cheap Melbourne: Music and dancing

Classical, jazz, indie, punk... whatever your position, there's a venue ready to slip you a free sample

Photograph: Phoebe PowellWhite Hex performing at the Curtin

As every cash-strapped music lover knows, there's only so long you can get by with cranking up the speakers at home and pretending you're at a gig. Instead, lace up your boots and head out to one of these pubs, clubs or bars where rocking out or dancing won't cost you a cent. Next time pay day rolls around, see where you can see live music every night of the week or buy tickets to a show at one of the city's best live music pubs.

Cheap entertainment in Melbourne


The Night Cat

This Fitzroy club has had a change of ownership recently and no longer plays almost exclusively Latin jazz and live Cuban music. These days the late-night venue hosts queer nights including Closet and Spank, as well as  Melbourne’s newest electronic acts and fun funk bands. Entry is free unless a special event or a gig is on.


Supersmall at Good Things

This Prahran club has really nailed their niche club night themes. No nostalgic theme has been left unturned, from Buffy to 2000s RnB. There are also the occasional timely themed nights paying homage to the likes of Queen Bey to Odd Future, so there’s definitely something for all tastes. Make sure you dress on theme, there are often always prizes for best dressed.


The Toff in Town

From Thursday to Saturday, entry to some of the city’s best party nights is free. The Toff’s resident DJs play sets late into the night, and depending on who’s taking care of the decks you can expect dirty pop and hip hop classics to obscure ’70s disco.


The Curtin

If you want to feel like you’ve gone back in time to your high school formal, go to the Curtin on a Saturday night. The gold streamer curtains behind the stage always give performances a nostalgic feel, plus they consistently book ace young bands that often go on to bigger things. 


More thrifty thrills in Melbourne

Cheap things to do in Melbourne

No money? No problem! We've pinched our pennies to bring you the ultimate guide on how to eat, drink and have a great time in Melbourne on a budget.

By: Time Out editors