Melbourne Money set for October return with laneway festivals, markets

Get the latest from Beat


Melbourne Money set for October return with laneway festivals, markets

Queen Vic Market, image by Mitchell Luo

City of Melbourne council is planning an 'Inside Out' initiative that could see select city laneways close on weekend nights.

Melbourne Money is set to return as part of the new initiative by City of Melbourne to try to bring visitors back into the CBD. It’s new plan to assist business trading under lockdown rules will focus on outdoor, open-air entertaining.

Adapting Melbourne’s businesses to street trading is the council’s major focus at the moment. Retail and hospitality businesses to trade outdoors when the State achieves a double-dose vaccination rate of 70 per cent – currently forecast for late October.

Those lockdown restrictions will then be substantially eased again for outdoor dining and entertainment when the state hits 80% fully vaccinated threshold, in early November.

What you need to know

  • City of Melbourne want to turn the city inside out through street markets
  • Buskers and live music are set to be integrated into street festivities
  • Melbourne businesses will be allowed to trade outdoors after 70% vaccinated threshold

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

In preparation, the City of Melbourne say its “cutting red tape, fast-tracking permits and thinking differently to bring the buzz back to the CBD – by turning the city inside out.”

The aim of the Inside Out initiative is to bring indoor trading, dining and entertainment outdoors and into the streets of Melbourne, leveraging the city’s laneways.

This will likely see some Melbourne laneways closed off on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to allow hospitality businesses to trade into the evening.

“Our small businesses have been the hardest hit in the whole of Australia. We are determined to make trading easier for them while we navigate this unique set of circumstances,” lord mayor Sally Capp said.

“This will be an exciting first for Melbourne. Imagine a bustling market with clothing racks and trestle tables on the street, along with food stalls and buskers that will help bring the vibrancy back to our beautiful city, safely,” she said.

“There is a real sense of urgency around this initiative. Every day that businesses can’t operate is another day of income lost.

“We will be extending the moratorium on paying permit fees, approving more outdoor permits, and we are looking at lower cost options for outdoor dining infrastructure.

“We’re breathing new life into vacant shopfronts, continuing our popular Flash Forward laneway creative art program, and we’re also working with the State Government to bring back the highly successful Melbourne Money dining scheme.

“We saw just how popular Melbourne Money was, and the value it provided to hospitality businesses, so we want to do it again.

Check out the Victorian government’s latest lockdown roadmap here.