Melbourne Music Week
Melbourne Music Week (MMW) is back in 2021 for the biggest nine days on Melbourne's live music calendar, featuring a groundbreaking local lineup in incredible venues.
While most of the summer’s festivals revolve around the big international names, Melbourne Music Week (which actually runs over nine days to pack in two weekends) focuses more on the city’s local talent and it’s bigger and better than ever in 2021.
MMW is an undoubted pillar of the Melbourne music community, with stalwart events such as Live Music Safari, a packed schedule of free events around the city which take place on the festival’s final Sunday, and the MMW Club – the festival’s itinerant home – that changes every year and transforms extraordinary venues around the city (previous venues include St Paul’s Cathedral) into thumping live music venues.
Melbourne Music Week: What you need to know
Melbourne Music Week (MMW) is Melbourne’s premier music showcase
The live music events last nine days each December (with occasional bonus events in January and February)
The 2021 Melbourne Music Week boasts 300 artists (95% local) spanning 65+ events across 23 locations
Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.
Beat, as an official partner of Melbourne Music Week going way back, is your home of all the live music events, artist interviews, reviews, programs and gig guides every year. In 2021, we produced these handy guides, to the unmissable events at Melbourne Music Week and the best MMW events for each genre, and that’s just the beginning.
To give you all a bit more background on the history of MMW, check out this Melbourne Music Week feature interview we did all the way back in 2011 with Elise Peyronnet, just a year after the festival started.
Melbourne Music Week interview with Elise Peyronnet
Elise Peyronnet has been curator of the event since it popped its cherry in 2010, recognises the importance of looking after Melbourne’s home-grown crop.
“Australia, and more specifically Melbourne is enjoying an amazing pool of talent flourishing now,” she says. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the younger generation of artists such as Midnight Juggernauts and Cut Copy are enjoying worldwide success – Melbourne is a great place for creative people and emerging artists to develop their skills.”
Peyronnet, 32, who has a history working in the music industry, was born in France and stopped over in Melbourne during her world trip. She fell in love with the city and has been here ever since.
Armed with a hard-working team of just three and a half, Peyronnet steered MMW 2010 to a victory at the Australian Event Awards last year, winning Best New Event for their efforts. No small feat for such a petite group of people.
Full support from the City of Melbourne
The festival itself, which receives full support from Lord Mayor Sally Capp and the City of Melbourne, will put on 170 acts over nine days, in over 40 locations in the city. Around 95% of the event has been organised in conjunction with the local industry, which is something Peyronnet thinks is extremely important.
“This is the essence of MMW,” she says emphatically. “Partnering with the local industry is definitely the way forward. If Melbourne is one of the great music cities in the world it’s because the industry is doing amazing things all year round.
“Our intention is not to reinvent the wheel but to increase opportunities for the industry to stage its own events.” She also has a clear vision of how the support of the local council is working in favour of Melbourne’s music industry and at the same time helping its own image. “I see City of Melbourne’s role as facilitator to empower the music industry,” she says.
“I guess our event partners have seen the potential of partnering with us – [some events during MMW] may not have happened without the help of City of Melbourne.”
A spotlight on local live music talent and venues
The throng of local talent set to participate in this year’s event includes Midnight Juggernauts, Cut Copy, Wally De Backer (Gotye), Spiral Stairs, Dexter, Martin Martini and Super Wild Horses.
As well as your typical gigs and concerts, MMW also incorporates a lot of original ideas to help get the general public involved and give them a sense of what goes on behind the scenes. Record and Release is one such example of this, where punters can watch musicians record, mix and master their work, then return the following night to listen to the newly recorded music.
With original and out-of-the-box concepts popping up all over the course of the festival, Peyronnet has her own list of unmissable attractions. “KUBIK Melbourne is definitely a highlight,” she says.
“It’s a concept that reinvents the sensorial experience of a music performance. HTRK’s concert in the church should be very emotive and the closing party on the rooftop of Melbourne Central will be lots of fun. Then there’s Cinemix with Midnight Juggernauts at ACMI…and still so much more to discover.”
Peyronnet is also confident that MMW 2011 is even better than the award-winning 2010 event. “We’ve capitalised on what Melbourne is renowned for: its iconic laneways, quirky spaces, local music venues, independent music, and the underground vibe of the city,” she says.
“The number of performers has increased to over 170 acts across 9 days.” Even though last year’s event was a locals’ only affair, Peyronnet appreciates how casting a wider net for the 2011 run will be beneficial. “Opening the program to international acts this year was a deliberate decision to increase the reach of MMW globally,” she says.
Proud to be a key player in what’s perhaps the city’s most exciting and innovative new music festival, Peyronnet acknowledges both the calibre of the local talent and the support the festival has received from the council.
“Melbourne is lucky to have a council that supports music – both musicians and the industry – in a creative way,” she says. “There’s a real pride in Melbourne’s music scene that needs to be nurtured and encouraged.
“The City of Melbourne’s helping by celebrating and supporting local musicians and venues through our Music Strategy and events like MMW. It’s no coincidence that Melbourne has the greatest number of music venues in the country.”
For all your MMMW information, including Melbourne Music Week tickets and a program of all the latest events, head to their website here.