All posts filed under: music

Sidney Myer Free Concerts 2015

It’s summer in Melbourne, which means the annual Sidney Myer Free Concerts are fast approaching. This year, the three concerts will be held over eight days from the 14th to 21st of February (Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday). Each concert will feature a soloist (soprano, piano and violin respectively) and is arranged around a theme: A Musical Valentine, Summer Nights in Budapest, and Bohemian Rhapsody. If you’ve attended these free concerts in the past, you will know that the venue fills up fast — you will have to arrive a couple of hours early to nab a decent spot on the grass. If you haven’t been before, go. It’s rare to have the chance to hear the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for free, and even rarer to be able to sit with friends and listen under the stars. If you’re in Melbourne this summer, lap it up. And a note to my readers — this Melbourne Local is not, in fact, currently in Melbourne (cheers from Dili, East Timor!) so apologies for the lack of updates of late. I’ll be back in …

Spectacular Christmas Spectacular

If you’re keen to get down and Christmassy this festive season, why not kick things off with the Spectacular Christmas Spectacular. This concert, to be held at the Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday, is presented by The School of Hard Knocks, an organisation that aims to empower disadvantaged people through the arts. The show will feature a whole bunch of local choirs, including the Choir of Hope and Inspiration, formally known as the Choir of Hard Knocks (made famous by the popular five-part ABC documentary a few years ago). Here’s a short (heavily edited) clip from the documentary: If this video is anything to judge by, you’re in for a weepy evening of spine tingly goodness. Spectacular Christmas Spectacular! Date: 13 December 2014 Time: 7.30pm Venue: Melbourne Town Hall Address: 90–120 Swanston Street, Melbourne Damage: $35 full / $25 conc / $16 under 12s

Free Opera in the Bowl 2014

Ooh! Free opera! This Opera in the Bowl event at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on the 13th will feature five singers performing a selection of chorus pieces and arias from popular operas including Madame Butterfly, Carmen and The Pearl Fishers.     These free events are always incredibly popular so turn up early if you want a spot on the grass. Gates open at 4pm so I’d recommend taking a picnic and a good book and arriving as early as possible. As we all know, opera tickets are far too expensive in this country so if you enjoy classical music it’s really worth taking advantage of this rare free event under the stars.   Mazda Opera in the Bowl Date: 13 December 2014 Time: 8pm start (doors open at 4pm) Venue: Sidney Myer Music Bowl  

Queen Vic Night Market returns

Heads up, people. The Queen Vic Night Market returns next Wednesday (5 November) for another season of yum food, cool tunes, twinkly lights and sweaty crowds. Yes, it’s full of overheating tourists and it can be nigh on impossible to find a seat, but come here on a balmy summer evening and you’ll feel like you’re on holiday (or perhaps you are on holiday — in which case, soak it up!). The market runs every Wednesday night until 25 March 2015 except Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.   The Night Market Dates: 5 November 2014 — 25 March 2015 Time: 5pm–10am Where: Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne  

Free MSO performance at The Astor Theatre

Psst, some exciting news hot off the presses, folks. Next Tuesday, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will hold a free, one-off performance of classic film scores at The Astor Theatre in St Kilda. Described as a ‘mini concert’, the gig will include works by Albinoni, Beethoven, Jonny Greenwood, Strauss and Nigel Westlake, and is designed to be a taster for the 2015 season. There are only 1000 seats up for grabs and there is no RSVP for this event, so if you’re keen you might want to turn up early. We all know how rare it is to see the MSO for free, let alone at the iconic Astor Theatre, which, as we recently heard, will sadly close its doors in April next year. Grab the chance while it lasts.   Free MSO performance at The Astore Date: 14 October 2014 Time: 7.30pm Venue: The Astor Theatre Address: 1 Chapel Street, St Kilda Damage: Free (seats limited to 1000)  

Events: Melbourne Fringe, Muff and Mexfest 2014

Melbourne loves its festivals, and as we head towards summer they’ll just keep coming. And coming. Here’s a few, to begin with. Starting tomorrow is the Melbourne underground Film Festival. Founded in 2000, MUFF celebrates ‘avant garde, cutting edge, and underground film from both local filmmakers and abroad’ and has drawn fire in the past for screening banned films. This Sunday, Federation Square will host the Mexican Festival, where you’ll find live music and dance performances, tasty food and the traditional ‘El Grito’ ceremony to mark Mexican Independence. And finally, next week will kick off the fabulous Melbourne Fringe Festival, showcasing a tonne of local artists from theatre, circus, music and cabaret to dance, visual art, live art, comedy and kids performers. Check out the full program here. Time to get festive, Melbourne!   Melbourne Underground Film Festival When: 12–19 September 2014 Where: The Backlot Studios Address: 65 Haig St, Southbank   Mexican Festival 2014 When: 11.30am–8pm, 14 September 2014 Where: Federation Square, Melbourne   Melbourne Fringe Festival 2014 When: 17 September — 5 October 2014 Where: various …

Evening of Korean culture in Melbourne

It’s not often we get a chance to see a free event at Hamer Hall. But on Tuesday 23 September, the Melbourne Arts Centre’s premier venue will open its doors for a cultural evening hosted by the Korean Consulate-General. Held in celebration of the South Korean president’s G20 visit as well as the opening of the Melbourne Consulate-General of the Republic of Korea, the event promises ‘a beautiful Hanbok fashion show, followed by a traditional/modern fusion performance, a traditional music performance and modern dance (b-boying)’. Good enough for me. If you’ve never had the chance to see a concert in the beautiful Hamer Hall, now’s your chance. And as haphazard as this event sounds, my rudimentary knowledge of Korea’s fascinating culture tells me this should be a show worth seeing. It’s a little unclear whether any bookings are necessary, but if you’re keen you may as well email just in case. The event’s still three weeks away, but it’s always a good idea to get in early.   Evening of Korean Culture — Hanbok Fashion, Music & Dance …

The Cat Empire free in Fed Squre

Late notice for this one, but Melbourne’s much-loved band The Cat Empire will play a free gig tonight in Federation Square to mark their 1000th show. The Cat Empire originally grew out of a Melbourne jazz group called Jazz Cat, splintering off into a three-piece outfit in 1999 before adding three more band members in 2001. Their music is notoriously difficult to pigeonhole, with strong jazz, Latin, reggae, hip-hop, funk and gypsy influences creating a rich and seriously infectious sound. It’s almost impossible to stand still at a Cat Empire concert. Despite 1.5 million albums sold world-wide and fans around the globe, The Cat Empire have remained strongly tied to Melbourne, something that’s felt by audiences every time they gig in their hometown. It’s no surprise they’ve decided to give back with this free concert for their original fan base. I first saw these guys play over ten years ago, before the release of their first album. Their performance energy and incredible instrumental skills impressed me then, and they’ve only gotten better since then. Here …

Classical concerts and White Nights

No excuses to stay in this Saturday night, folks, with two great free events happening over the weekend. The Sidney Myer Music Bowl will showcase the last of three free summer concerts performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on Saturday 22 Feburary (the second of these will take place tonight). Take a picnic blanket and some nibbles and stretch out under the stars — this is one of my favourite events of the summer. Both tonight’s and Saturday’s concerts begin at 7pm, but it’s best to arrive early to stake out a decent spot on the grass. Also kicking off this Saturday evening is White Night Melbourne, an event that will see Melbourne’s CBD transformed with light installations, street performances, film screenings, music, food, fashion and much more from 7pm until 7am on Sunday. There will be over 100 free events happening over the 12 hours, with many of Melbourne’s major cultural institutions taking part. Last year’s inaugural White Night event attracted over 300,000 visitors, so this year will surely be a busy one. To …

Melbourne Music Week 2013

If you love music, you’re in the right place. Not only is Melbourne the nation’s undoubted live music capital, with great live music happening all year round, but, for the next week, musicians from all over the world will converge on the city for Melbourne Music Week 2013. Starting today and winding up on the 24th, the festival includes acts from Norway, Germany, the UK, the USA and New Zealand, plus a tonne of home-grown talent.     On Saturday evening, Panthu Du Prince will work some magic on the Federation Bells at Birrarung Marr in the free event Panthu Du Prince vs Federation Bells. Another undoubtedly entertaining evening will be the free No Lights No Lycra dance class to be held in the art-deco Campbell Arcade on 21 November. (Read more about NLNL here.) For full line-up details, visit the MMW 2013 programme, which includes a bunch of free events.   Melbourne Music Week 2013 Dates: 15–24 November Tel: 9658 9658 Email: