Bon Iver to Fatboy Slim: The return of Live at the Bowl is looking to be a real treat

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Bon Iver to Fatboy Slim: The return of Live at the Bowl is looking to be a real treat

Words by Zachary Sanderson

Bon Iver? Lorde? Boris Brejcha? Seriously! Live at the Bowl is back with a newfound inspiration; and they haven’t left a stone unturned.

When it comes to venues; Melbourne is a special place. Every corner you turn there’s a bar and a stage. So, what’s making Arts Centre Melbourne’s comeback program so good?

Since 1959, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl has been a versatile space that’s been a beloved venue for touring musicians. When it comes to capacity, it boasts one of the largest spaces – with around 2000 seats, and space for 11,000 people on their lawn. For a return to summer, this spacious venue is a welcome sight. And with ample reception for your phone and reasonable transportation options; it removes all the nagging disadvantages of a major festival.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Live at the Bowl’s January program

Coming up in January is the biggest pride celebration ever. Midsumma Extravaganza is coming to the bowl on January 21, hosted by the legendary queer comedian Joel Creasey and Rupaul’s Drag Race Down Under’s Kween Kong. With over 20 drag artists to grace the stage, you can expect a jam-packed night of celebrating pride in all its facets.

On Survival Day, Dan Sultan, Yambra, Doe Eyes, Meriki Hood and more celebrate 20 years of Share The Spirit, a free, non-ticketed event that presents a diverse showcase of First Nations music, art, craft and culture.

You can also catch Kehlani with their brand-new album release Blue Water Road. The Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter is coming to the Bowl on January 27.

Huge diversity in February

Live at the Bowl dishes up an impressive range of electronic acts throughout February – Boris Brejcha plays January 29, then Kölsch and Cristoph headline Piknic Électronik on February 5, before SYNTHONY hosts another extravaganza on February 17. On February 26, Soju Gang hosts the third iteration of her wonderful club concept Sorbaes, featuring AKOSIA, City Sessions Invitational, OJ Kush and Voldy.

On February 4 the inimitable Darren Hayes – of Savage Garden fame – will fill the Bowl with his universally-acclaimed songwriting. Celebrating his comeback release Homosexual, following a decade-long hiatus, Hayes will remind us all of the talents that made him one of the most celebrated Australian singers of his generation.

What about free classical music? A Tchaikovsky Spectacular is coming to the bowl on February 8, bringing all his known works to life. The entire Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will be gracing the bowl next year on February 15 and 18 as well, a welcome orchestral reprieve among a jam-packed pop program.

With the 40-year anniversary of the Australian classic Great Southern Land coming up, what better way to commemorate the unofficial national anthem by catching ICEHOUSE. The legendary band are playing the bowl February 11. Since the release of their skyrocketing single, they’ve cemented themselves as a household name across Australia, and earned themselves praise from around the world.

The following day ARIA-winning children’s entertainers Teeny Tiny Stevies present a mix of favourites and tracks off their new album How To Be Creative. This program truly does have everything.

Big hitters in March

The utterly mesmerising Bon Iver will play the Bowl on March 4 and 5, showcasing Justin Vernon’s reputation as not only one of the greatest songwriters of his generation, but as a force majeure live. From intimate, confessional indie folk into increasingly expansive and abstract realms, Bon Iver will both soothe and inspire us.

On March 10 and 11, pop legend Lorde will play huge Friday and Saturday night shows alongside MUNA. PASIFIX will be an all-ages celebration of Australia’s Pacific Islander takeover at the Bowl on March 18 featuring an all-star lineup.

On March 31, ARIA Breakthrough Artist and massively acclaimed Arnhem Land Yolŋu surf-rockers King Stingray play a huge, all-ages gig at the Bowl to end the month on a high.

The return of a Bowl legend in April

Ultra Australia will bring the world’s biggest EDM acts to the Bowl on April 15 with a capacity crowd expected. Then on April 28, Fatboy Slim – one of the most legendary DJs of all time – graces the Bowl again. His last performance at the venue in 2020 has since become one of the most famous dance music educations on YouTube. Expect wall-to-wall uplift- ing classics from a master of his craft.

Check out the full Live at the Bowl program on the Arts Centre Melbourne website.

Beat is an official media partner of Live at the Bowl.