Concerts to book now in Melbourne
The NGV's Friday Nights series is back for another round, and this time they’re pairing a string of gigs alongside masterpieces from the Big Apple in MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art. Few things go hand-in-hand like music and art, and NGV Friday Nights’ set-up is the best way to take in the latest NGV exhibition while enjoying the best in local and international acts. This season’s line-up kicks off on June 15 with hammond organ trio Cookin' on 3 Burners and Stella Angelico. The program also boasts sets from the smooth, gospel-tinged Barney McAll, the uber cool powerhouse vocalist Thando, rising hip hop star REMI as well as many more. NGV Friday Nights includes after-hours entry to the MoMA exhibition, local DJs and access to food and drinks.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is paying homage to Leonard Bernstein, the composer behind such hits as West Side Story, Peter Pan and Wonderful Town. Alongside his cinematic endeavours, Bernstein was also the director and conductor of New York Philharmonic for many years. His illustrious life will be celebrated with a series of events at Hamer Hall this winter. The MSO presents Bernstein on Broadway (Sun Aug 18) which showcases his renowned theatre scores from his beloved New York City. The Bernstein Classics event (Wed Aug 15) will take a biographical journey through Bernstein’s musical roots. Both performances will be lead by Bernstein mentee from the UK, Bramwell Tovey. The Bernstein festival will also screen Academy Award winning West Side Story on the big screen in high definition on Friday July 27 and Saturday July 28. The live supporting music will be lead by MSO’s associate conductor Benjamin Northey.
Catch super nice guy and pretty-pop purveyor Vance Joy as he tours to promote his second album, Nation of Two. The singer will be playing Rod Laver Arena for one night only, Saturday September 15. Joy has gone from strength to strength since 'Riptide' (the longest-charting song in Australian history) shot him to global fame. He spent months touring the United States with Taylor Swift, and his new album will launch on February 23. It's probably just as well that law degree at Monash didn't work out. In case you are wondering, the tour and album take their name from a quote from one of Joy's favourite authors, Kurt Vonnegut, in describing a book he was writing: "It was going to show how a pair of lovers in a world gone mad could survive by being loyal only to a nation composed of themselves – a nation of two.” Presale tickets will go on sale on February 19 at 2pm, and general public tickets will go on sale on February 23 at 10am. Brisbane-based indie pop band Cub Sport and Melbourne singer-songwriter Didirri will be the opening acts on the tour.
MC Skepta is widely considered a pioneer of UK grime and has become one of the genre’s heavyweight champions. The Boy Better Know indie music label founder has been making music for over a decade and now he’s heading to Australia to perform one bass-heavy debut at the Forum. Fans can expect to hear singles ‘Shutdown’ and ‘That’s Not Me’ from his fourth album Konnichiwa, as well as his cutting lyrical commentary on the British socio-political climate across his ten-year discography.
If you spent your formative years following Cloud Strife and his big turquoise sword around, you will love the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s next performance. This September, the MSO will be performing the award-winning music of Final Fantasy, one of the most popular video game franchises in the world. The event will take place at Hamer Hall and will celebrate the atmospheric work of composers Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu who composed the music from Final Fantasy VI, VII and X. The centrepiece of the concert will be a 45-minute symphony based on Final Fantasy VII, as well as a stirring performance of the piano concerto from Final Fantasy X, performed by pianist Katharina Treutler who previously recorded the piece with the London Symphony Orchestra. The MSO will perform Final Symphony on Friday September 28 and Saturday September 29. Tickets go on sale on Friday July 12.
The Melbourne Festival is a world-renowned celebration of the finest art from across the country and the globe. Melburnians have come to expect some serious talent headlining their festival, and this year is no exception. There's work from choreographic master William Forsythe, a performance from post-punk royalty The The, a visit from Yo-Yo Ma's Silkroad Ensemble, and a collaboration between Peter Sellars and Los Angeles Master Chorale. If you're after something spectacular, the Royal Botanic Gardens are being taken over by some epic fire sculptures. On the complete opposite end of the scale is a magical miniature theatre work experienced in a private booth. See our highlights from the 2018 line-up.
Why should our Sydney friends have all the fun? Bohemian music festival Lost Picnic is coming to Melbourne for the first time, and boy, are we ready for it. The headline act will be none other than Tash Sultana, who will be performing in Australia for the first time since releasing her debut album. It's only right that Sultana should be playing in Melbourne, since she made a name for herself busking on the streets of our fair city. Her EP Notion was streamed 175 million times and earnt her four ARIA award nominations. She's not the only artist bringing sweet, bluesy sounds to the family-friendly festival. Meg Mac is also appearing, alongside Kiwi singer-songwriter Marlon Williams. Odette, Big Words quintet and ten-piece brass outfit Hot Potato Band complete the impressive line-up. The festival will be held at Flemington Nursery, the perfect venue for relaxing on the grass (or getting your dance on, if you're so inclined). There will be food trucks from Pho Nom and Burn City Smokers, Beatbox Kitchen, Curry Up Now, Melbourne Paella Company, Royal Stacks, the Schnitzel Republic, Taco Truck, the Gozleme Station and The Kraken Squid, or you are very welcome to BYO picnic. Or if you like the idea of a picnic but don't want to pack your own, buy one from French Saloon, Kirk's Wine Bar, Annam or the Pantry. Each hamper serves two people and costs $49. There will also be a bar. To keep the kids amused, there will be face-painting, clowns, games like badminton, sack races and tug
Family-friendly Lost Lands Festival celebrates music and art for a whole jam-packed weekend at gorgeous Werribee Mansion. Musical superstars including Tim Finn, the Jungle Giants, You Am I, Kate Miller-Heidke, Clare Bowditch, Boo Seeka, Mallrat, Baker Boy and All Our Exes Live in Texas will be performing throughout the two-day festival. Find all the acts on the website, and more will be announced soon. But it's not all about music. Expect art installations and programs, comedy, theatre and wonder 'Lands' to delight children and adults. Some of the kids' performers include children's entertainment superstars the Listies and Dirtgirl, fresh from ABC Kids show Get Grubby. There will also be workshops and interactive events to make the most of the two-day festival. Day tickets are available, but camping with the family will maximise the experience.
Soul singer Dionne Warwick has been performing throughout the globe for more than five decades, with 75 chart singles and has sold more than 100 million records. She's touring Australia in November, coming to Melbourne's Palais Theatre on November 4. Warwick is beloved by millions of fans worldwide and has a whopping five Grammy awards to her name. She's most known for hits such as 'I'll Never Love This Way Again', 'Walk on By', 'A House is Not a Home' and 'Say a Little Prayer for You'. Her latest album was released in 2014 and is a series of duets with musicians including Alicia Keys, Jamie Foxx, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ne-Yo, Gladys Knight, Cee Lo Green, Cyndi Lauper and more. Warwick will be performing in Melbourne for one night only, so soul and R'n'B fans, make sure you snap up tickets quickly.
This is the one music festival where you actually want to be approached by dogs on arrival. Dogapalooza is back, bringing with it a beautiful union of live music, food trucks, people and canines. Once again, proceeds will go to dog charities including Oscar’s Law, Puppy Tails Rescue, Greyhound Rescue Victoria, Melbourne Animal Rescue and Stafford Rescue Victoria. Acts include: local artist Hayden Calnin will return to the festival with his downbeat electro/folk songs that have been compared to Bon Iver and James Blake. Joining Calnin is DJ Lorde Florence Fleetwood, Bec Sandridge as well as a cracking food truck line-up and bevvies from Moon Dog Brewery. Early dog tickets for the Burnley Park event go on sale Monday, July 9, with general tickets on sale August 6. Whether you're planning on spending the day with your favourite pooch or living vicariously through fellow dog owners in attendance, this is going to be one big puppy party.
Where to go dancing instead
Melbourne’s dancefloors offer booty-shaking vibes aplenty. Here are our favourite places to throw shapes on the weekend.