The Eighty-Six: Melbourne’s newest festival announces first wave of international artists

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The Eighty-Six: Melbourne’s newest festival announces first wave of international artists

The Eighty-Six

Hosted at northside venues along the 86 tram route, the event will bring a mixed bag of music and events.

Running from October 23 to 31, the brand-new Victorian Government funded festival has set out to celebrate Melbourne’s dedication to live music.

The Eighty-Six will be taking over the stretch of High St between Northcote and Preston, filling the venues, restaurants, record shops, bars, theatres, and everything in between with live music for nine big days and nights.

The Eighty-Six 2023 First Wave

  • Oct 23 – Connie Constance, Northcote Social Club
  • Oct 25 – Otoboke Beaver, Thornbury Theatre
  • Oct 25 – Makaya McCraven, The Croxton
  • Oct 25 – Los Bitchos, Shotkickers
  • Oct 29 – How Long Gone (Live podcast), Thornbury Theatre
  • Oct 24 to 26 – Built To Spill, Northcote Social Club

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

The event organisers have promised that the full lineup will be released mid-year,  but they’ve given us a little taste to whet our palates and let us know what The Eighty-Six is all about.

They’ll be bringing a handful of eclectic international artists to Australia for the first time ever.

The list includes Kyoto’s four-piece punk outfit Otoboke Beaver, Chicago jazz-giant Makaya McCraven (in collaboration with the Melbourne International Jazz Festival), London psychedelic surf-disco safari combo Los Bitchos and rising British dance-pop star Connie Constance.


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From October 24 to 26, Idaho indie rock legends Built To Spill will be playing a three-night residency at the Northcote Social Club.

The Eighty-Six will also be hosting an Australian-exclusive live experience by How Long Gone, the bi-coastal American pop culture podcast, set to take place at the Thornbury Theatre.

“The Eighty-Six is designed to create ideal conditions for music to thrive and be valued – today’s announcement focused on internationals, this is a taste of what is to come,” said The Eighty-Six Founder & Artistic Director, Woody McDonald in a statement.

“We are excited to share the full program, including a truly epic celebration of our local music ecosystem.”

Steve Dimopoulos, Minister for Creative Industries, said “Victoria is Australia’s home of live music and we are bringing the best international and local acts to northcote for this one-of-a-kind music festival to showcase what we do best.”

Tickets to the announced shows are set to go on sale on on Thursday May 18. To grab yours and find out more, head here.