Arts Centre Melbourne has official become a partner in the inaugural state-wide celebration of contemporary live music, ALWAYS LIVE, cementing Melbourne and Victoria as the live music capital of Australia.

The program will see the return of BLAKTIVISM and the Melbourne Music Bus Tour as well as ALWAYS LIVE Music Workshops in Arts Centre Melbourne’s creative workshop space, The Channel. There will also be continued daily access to the Australian Music Vault; the free exhibition space exploring the Australian contemporary music story – past, present and future.

“We’re bringing Victorians the live music experiences they love, to destinations across the state – offering even more reasons to hit the road and crank the tunes while discovering some of the best drawcards our state has to offer,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos.

First Peoples music events and performances will be at the forefront. Photo: Supplied

Popular venues such as the Hamer Hall, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and the Australian Music Vault – will host the SoundBox, directly adjacent to the Australian Music Vault, offering a valuable boost to Melbourne’s Arts Precinct.

The program will include Blak voices of First Nations musical activism with performances from Yothu Yindi, Bart Willoughby, Deline Briscoe, Emma Donovan, Fred Leone, Lou Bennett, Romaine Moreton, Sorong Samarai and more. As part of the regional First Nations concert series Hometown, Isaiah Firebrace and Alice Skye and will headline free concerts in Echuca on 4 December and Horsham on 10 December, respectively, enabling regional music fans to enjoy a series of incredible First Nation’s talent celebrating the rich Victorian music culture.

Moreover, the Australian Music Vault welcomes all Victorians to see objects from artists like Tash Sultana, Missy Higgins, Dami Im and AC/DC, and discover exciting new stories from today’s Australian music scene. It will also see the return of the much-loved Melbourne Music Bus Tour from 15 October – 10 December.

Mary Mihelakos with Kylie Minogue. Photo: Supplied

Led by Melbourne musicologist Bruce Milne and music journalist Mary Mihelakos, locals will become a tourist of Melbourne’s rich music history by discovering the past of dimly lit band rooms, untold stories from recording studios, secrets from side-of-stage and hear about the revolutionary musicians who have shaped the scene. In the two-hour tour, music lovers will travel to a broad and diverse range of Melbourne sites including venues and locations associated with this season’s special guests. Guests confirmed to join the tours so far include Angie Hart, Clare Bowditch, Jane Clifton, Paul Stewart, Uncle Jack Charles, Wilbur Wilde as well as a special 70s Melbourne punk scene tout with The Birthday Party and Boys Next Door drummer, Phill Calvert. Tickets to the Melbourne Music Bus Tour will go on sale Tuesday 23 August.

Moreover, the multi-use creative learning lab, The Channel, will present a series of inspiring, hands-on and one-off masterclasses for emerging artists with industry professionals that support collaborative music-making and sharing with sessions covering song writing, electronic music production and working with synthesisers.

The Song Writing workshop will focus on developing good creative practices in an encouraging and collaborative space. The Ableton & Hardware Integration workshop teaches emerging and established artists how to integrate hardware synthesisers with Ableton Live and use a range of synthesisers for hands-on experience. The Household Techno workshop welcomes artists to record and manipulate audio samples using found objects to create dynamic and fun tracks in Ableton Live. There will also be an artist feedback and development session where emerging artists are invited to join an open feedback session encouraging career and creative development through evaluation and collaboration.

Aspiring musicians and creatives interested in Melbourne’s arts and music scene attending workshops. Photo: Supplied

Houston, Texas psych-funk auteurs Khruangbin bring their First Class Tour to Melbourne on Saturday 3 December with special guests Kamasi Washington and Mildlife. Live on stage, Khruangbin’s electric range is performed with impeccable style, their sound rooted in globetrotting and meticulously constructed and universally adored.

Sampa The Great are set to perform on Friday 9 December with TRUE FAITH celebrating 30 years of Hardware on 10 December.

Finally the ALWAYS LIVE SoundBox will be a custom-made Spacecube structure taking take over the Arts Centre Melbourne forecourt giving visitors insight into the buzzing energy of the music industry with music videos, performances, recordings and interviews. The multi-use cubed space will be used for recording and broadcasting, and include a lo-fi performance space for podcasting, co-writing and more – the perfect front row viewing point through the glass windows.

For more information visit