A bunch of Aussie acts will entertain tennis crowds off the court at this year's Australian Open.
Nothing screams summer in Melbourne like the Australian Open.
Back for 2022, the Grand Slam is not only hosting a selection of home-grown heroes on the court from the 17th – 30th of January, but it’s also bringing along a fine selection of local live music to appease the masses off the court.
The past few years have seen a dedicated focus to live music with the AO’s beloved Live Stage series, featuring Australian and International music superstars since its first rendezvous in 2019. Over the year’s we’ve seen the likes of Birds of Tokyo, DMA’s, The Temper Trap, Jimmy Eat World, The Living End, Vera Blue, Illy, Rudimental, Tina Arena, The Veronicas and Matt Corby, among many others, in what is always a clear highlight on the AO calendar.
While the famed AO Live Stage won’t be making an appearance this year (it is expected to return in 2023), the Aussie Open is instead presenting a more intimate and local focus when it comes to live music for 2022.
Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.
While information has been a little tougher to locate in regards to the music this year, we’ve done some digging and found that The Grand Slam Oval will provide a hub of entertainment whether you’re a tennis fan or not with a Peroni Bar, Canadian Club Lime and Soda Bar, Ice Cream, a selection of delicious eats, Gordan’s gin bar, coffee, art installations, Padel (an off-the-wall spin on tennis where walls are part of the playing field) and of course, pop-up live music gigs. The AO will offer a daily music line up, featuring DJ’s, emerging talent, plus Aussie household names you’ll undoubtedly want to sing along to. The roaming entertainment at Grand Slam Oval will be from 10am-7pm each day and can be accessed with an AO22 Ground Pass.
The AO is pretty tight-lipped about who exactly will be performing (not sure why??), but alt-pop singer-songwriter Jack River announced on socials she was performing at the Grand Slam Oval Live stage at 6pm today (Tuesday, January 18) so they’ve definitely got some solid talent making appearances.
According to the Herald Sun, performers also include the likes of Mahalia Barnes, (daughter of Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes), house artists KLP and Stace Cadet, electronic duo Electric Fields, pop singer Mia Wray, DJ Emma Peters and dance duo Groove City. The likes of Alex Lahey, The Pierce Brothers, Touch Sensitive and Budjerah were also names on the list.
Fans will also find a special tribute wall to Michael Gudinski in the centre of Grand Slam Oval, showcasing acts he and his Mushroom music empire brought to Rod Laver Arena over the years.
A representative from the AO revealed the entertainment should be located here, otherwise, it will be listed on a Daily Event sheet that is handed out at the Australian Open each morning.
The Herald Sun also revealed there’s also a bunch of performers taking to Rod Laver Arena on various days throughout the tournament alongside the athletes. Already X Factor winner and Australian Eurovision Isaiah Firebrace performed opening night, with Rob Mills and Annie Jones performing the Australia Day Anthem on Wednesday January 26, Kate Ceberano performing at the Women’s Semi-Final on Thursday January 27, Josh Piterman performing at the Men’s semi-final on Friday January 28, Frances Madden performing Women’s final night on Saturday January 29 alongside Jemma Rix with the National Anthem, while The cast of the Wedding Singer will perform on Men’s final night on Sunday January 30 with Rob Mills taking on the National anthem.
For the first time, the AO is running two special days that will be laced with music performances on with First Nations Day on Wednesday, Jan 19 and AO Pride Day celebrating the LGBTQ+ community on Monday Jan 24. Baker Boy will perform for First Nations Day where recognising First Nations history will be a focus, with art and cultural activations throughout the precinct, with Wiradjuri woman and seven-time Grand Slam champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley will be introducing Indigenous culture to tennis fans.
Jack Vidgen will take to the court pre-match on Pride Day which will light up in rainbow that night. Celebrating pride and creating a welcoming environment for all is the inspiration behind the AO Pride Day. Fans on site will enjoy pop-up pride-themed hubs and activities and roving entertainment throughout the precinct, as well as other special events including LGBTIQ advocates and sports stars.
This year there’s also the AO Beach House. Inspired by Bayside Melbourne, the sand filled feature will be a place to relax and be seen during AO22. From health and wellness to food and drinks, the Beach Hosue will feature a number of activations including a Bondi Sands Beach Tennis Court, big screens, VIP Piper Heidsieck Cabanas, and food and hospitality including Fish Bowl, Grainshaker Australian Vodka Bar, Peroni Bar, Pipi’s Kiosk and more. There will also be live music on hand thanks to Beach House Weekenders. Taking place over finals weekend (Jan 29-30), you’ll see sets from Cut Copy DJs, CC:DISCO! and Bradley Zero (UK) between 2pm – 7pm each day. To get to this you just need an AO22 Ground Pass.
Partnered with Ralph Lauren, the AO will further bring the party vibes with 2022’s Glam Slam event – a pride party to foster inclusivity at sporting games. Aussie drag icon Courtney Act will be MC’ing the day alongside a performance from Melbourne-based drag superstar Paris. Australia’s favourite electric dance act Client Liaison will also be performing live alongside electric DJ Yo! Mafia.
Held at the Kia Arena on the final day of the competition, the January 30th event is an inclusive party that ensures the safety and celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community while wandering around the precinct, eating, drinking and soaking up the party energy.
Glam Slam tournament director Rowen D’Souza said the event, which has run for the past few years, is the only LGBTIQ+ tennis tournament at a Grand Slam anywhere in the world.
“The Glam Slam is all about celebrating our community,” he says.
“We hope to inspire the community to participate in tennis knowing it’s a safe and welcoming environment.
“Hopefully the visibility of the Glam Slam will show up-and-coming or existing players that they can be themselves, openly acknowledge their sexuality and be accepted and supported.”
Tickets are only $29 and give you access to experience the Glam Slam Finals, the epic atmosphere of the Men’s Finals from Grand Slam Oval, celebrity matches and more.
You can find tickets to the AO here.