On The Road Again: 10 events set to revitalise Victoria’s live music scene

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On The Road Again: 10 events set to revitalise Victoria’s live music scene

Victoria's live music scene
Words by Tyler Jenke

After a few years spent in something of an involuntary stasis, Victoria’s live music scene is once again at something akin to its glory days.

If you’re wondering just how we got back to this position, well, you can direct a large amount of your thanks to the state government’s On The Road Again initiative. This time two years ago, the idea of Melbourne returning to its former glory as the live music capital of the world might have seemed like something of a pipe dream. A global pandemic, restrictions on gatherings, then-burgeoning lockdowns, and a lack of support for the arts seemed to be the death knell for the industry as we knew it.

Now, fast-forward to 2022 and it at least feels like we’re back on track to where we want to be. But to paraphrase the great David Byrne, how did we get here? The answer lies within the Andrews Labor Government and their On The Road Again initiative. Officially launched back in December, On The Road Again kicked off with a $5 million program designed to support live music events in regional and outer suburban areas. Soon after, the CBD experienced a takeover with more than 700 street performances taking place due to a massive series of pop-up and busking gigs throughout the city.

Now, this month has seen the metro leg of On The Road Again launching, with $4 million being pledged to turn the city and surrounding suburbs into a true haven for fans of the arts. But what’s on the go for those lucky enough to attend? Well, we’re glad you asked…

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

Southside Live


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A ten-day music festival held at St Kilda’s South Beach Reserve, Southside Live is a music-lover’s delight, with free entertainment taking over the south side alongside a roster of great food, stellar entertainment, and good times.

Iconic names such as Adalita, The Black Sorrows,Briggs, and Emma Donovan & The Putbacks are set to appear alongside the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote, Kira Puru, Kaiit, and more, while the little ones will be well-looked after thanks to performances from The Teeny Tiny Stevies and the live interactive Bluey experience. And with gratis entry fee, well, you can’t go wrong, can you?

This free event is happening from June 24 until July 3. 

Leaps And Bounds Music Festival + BEYOND

The iconic Leaps And Bounds Music Festival takes over the City of Yarra once again, offering up memorable experiences that punters won’t soon forget. Alongside A Night with Uncle Jack Charles, Fitzroyalty, and the Bad Apples House Party, there’s something for everyone at this year’s event.

But 2022 also sees the festival expanding by way of its + BEYOND lineup, featuring a lineup dedicated to instrumental artists working in experimental, contemporary and classical repertoire and will showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, African, and LGBTQIA+ musicians. 

Events like Afrosphere, the Blackout Experience, and Rhythm And Line will see the already-diverse Leaps And Bounds lineup taken to new heights as they celebrate the artists often overlooked by the masses.

This event is happening from June 24 until July 3. Tickets are on sale now. 

Altona’s Civic Theatre

It probably goes without saying that when you think of live music venues in the west, Altona’s Civic Theatre probably isn’t at the top of your list. Well, On The Road Again is hoping to change that.

Spearheaded by the Hobsons Bay City Council, the Civic Theatre will hold three live music showcases in the coming months, with full details set to be announced soon.

This event is happening later in 2022, with details set to follow. 

Prahran Square Block Party and Chapel Fringe Sessions


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Famed for its status as a south-side musical hotspot, the City of Stonnington is set to turn Prahran into a must-see location this October, with a pair of events scheduled for this October.

The first of these will be the all-inclusive Prahran Square Block Party, while a three-night run of live music events will follow soon after, comprising the Chapel Fringe Sessions. Full details for this pair of events will also be unveiled in the coming months.

This event is happening in October 2022, with details set to follow. 

West Set Festival


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Following a postponed (then cancelled) event in 2021, the West Set Festival is set to return with a vengeance in 2022. Taking over a number of venues throughout Footscray – including Hotel Westwood and Littlefoot Bar – West Set Festival does what it says on the tin, providing winter tunes throughout the westside.

While lineups are still set to be announced, the 2021 edition bill boasted Angie McMahon, Hayley Mary, and more. So if you use that as an idea of what to expect when West Set Festival returns this year, you certainly won’t be disappointed when it makes a triumphant comeback.

This event is happening later in 2022, with details set to follow. 

MoPo Winter And Spring Session + Illuminate The River

Just in case you needed any reason to head up-river a bit, the Moonee Valley City Council are serving up two new exciting events for On The Road Again. First up is their forthcoming MoPo Winter And Spring Session, which – as the name suggests – will see this winter and spring filled with an array of must-see events.

Then, it all continues along the Maribyrnong with the upcoming Illuminate The River event, which aims to light up the aforementioned river with a long list of audio-visual happenings.

These events are happening later in 2022, with details set to follow. 

Moreland City Council’s Expansive Live Festival

Don’t be fooled by the name above, this year will see the Moreland City Council launch a large-scale live festival that features a mammoth 85 events. Designed to take place across three parts, the as-yet-unnamed affair will see the local Council teaming up with local business and venues to bring in art and music fans to experience the northside like never before.

This event is happening later in 2022, with full details set to follow. 

CBAA’s Music Events

Any music fan will likely tell you that community radio is the backbone of the state’s music scene, which is why exactly an upcoming series of live events is set to be one of the most exciting on offer this year.

Spearheaded by the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), a series of eight live music events will be co-produced alongside a number of community radio stations, including Triple R, Joy FM, PBS, and more, giving fans an opportunity to experience live sets from some of the finest arts doing the rounds on community radio.

These events are happening later in 2022, with details set to follow. 

For more information, head to the Victorian Music Development Office website here.

This article was made in partnership with On The Road Again.