All the best free summer events in Melbourne

Put your wallet away – you won't need it at these unmissable festivals, gigs and events
Photograph: supplied

Thinking of heading to Melbourne for a getaway this summer? It's no secret that Melbourne is packed with a year-'round roster of top-notch festivals, parties, pop-ups and events; and lucky for you, many of the best ones are free. We've put together a hit list of all the best things to do in Melbourne this summer to plan your trip around. Whether you're an art-lover, sport fanatic, music fan or food connoisseur, we've got you covered.

To plan your ultimate Melbourne getaway, visit our Time Out Guru to get tailored recommendations on where to stay, what to eat and all the best things to do.

Summer events in Melbourne

Queen Victoria Summer Night Market
Photograph: Ewen Bell
Things to do

The Night Market at Queen Vic Market

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Spend your warm Wednesday nights surrounded by food at the Queen Victoria Market for the 20th edition of their Night Market.  Rows and rows of street food stalls, festival bars, as well as more than 130 art, fashion, homewares and general knick-knack merchandise traders will feature alongside a rotating line-up of musicians and entertainment. Over 60 food stalls will be cooking up delicious snacks all night long. Dig into raw fish poké bowls from Poke Doke, authentic Peruvian street food from Pachamancha, chicken souvas from the Cypriot Kitchen, American style bagels from Boston Bagels, greek doughnut balls from Taki's Balls and plenty more. If you're thirsty, grab Pimm's jugs, Running Bull Sangria and tipples from Coldstream Brewery at the Garden Bar. Right in the heart of the city the markets make a great dinner stop for anyone coming from work, or tourists looking to experience the famous markets after dark. The markets have a reputation for multiculturalism so no matter what cuisine you fancy, you're likely to find something that sets your mouth watering.  This mega 21-week season will run through until April 2018 and will feature a run of themed nights throughout the season including Christmas (Dec 20), Pride Night as part of Midsumma Festival (Jan 17), Valentine's Day and Luna New Year (Feb 14) and Latin Night (Mar 14).

Australian Music Vault
Photograph: Supplied
Museums, History

Australian Music Vault

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Fans of Australian music – the museum of your dreams is here. Arts Centre Melbourne's brand new exhibition space (opening December 19) will be an immersive trip through Aussie musical history, with recordings, images, instruments and memorabilia from luminaries like Archie Roach, Kylie Minogue, Nick Cave, Silverchair, AC/DC, John Farnham and many more. 

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