Subscribe to our regular 'What's on in Victoria' newsletter

Mega event series brings live music to the regions

Words by Gwen Luscombe
Images Supplied

Not that we need an excuse to take a road trip, but this summer the Victorian Government has kicked off a mega lineup of musicians with a gig series you’ll want to travel for.

While the city will see artists like Billy Joel and Dupa Lipa filling the inner-city venues, regions such as Hanging Rock will be hosting other notable artists like Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Iconic Aussie band Crowded House will set up a stage on the banks of the Murray River in Wodonga supported by Boy & Bear, Angus & Julia Stone and Zambian rapper Sampa The Great.

All up, more than 150 artists will appear at more than 90 events spread out across Victoria when Always Live kicks off in November. 

The state-wide celebration is the brainchild of the late music mogul Michael Gudinski, whose son Matt Gudinski has stepped into the role of chairman for Always Live.

“Always Live was a dream my late father had to reassure our state’s live music roots and I am proud to be part of the team making it a reality,” he said in a recent statement.

“It’s exciting to see the program for Always Live bought to life, a new major event which reaffirms Victoria as the music state of Australia and Melbourne as one of the leading music cities of the world.”

The concept aims to create a permanent home for contemporary live music amid both regional Victoria and Melbourne’s live events calendar.

The full program will feature not only concerts but regional festivals, pub gigs, industry workshops and more beginning from late November well into mid-December this year. Shows have so far been confirmed in Melbourne as well as regional areas Geelong, Queenscliff, Echuca, Macedon Ranges and the Goldfields.

In addition to the live show, a 10-episode Always Live podcast series has kicked off hosted by musician Alex Lahey in a further celebration of Melbourne’s iconic live music scene.

The podcast will feature the people, the venues, the artists and music moments that have shaped the state’s cultural story. The podcast can be found on most podcasting platforms. 

Here’s our program highlights taking some of Victoria’s regional areas:

Macedon Ranges

Nick Cave will be joined by The Bad Seeds Warren Ellis for two nights only (25 and 26th of November) at the incredible Hanging Rock for a spectacular performance that shouldn’t be missed.

Details here.

High Country

Alpine Valley Vibes will hit the High Country region on November 12th featuring Jessica Mauboy at Pioneer Park in Bright. The one-day community festival event will also have a line-up of incredible rising stars and local talent in the Alpine Valley. 

Take a look here.


Featuring Australian rapper and artist Baker Boy, former lead singer of The Preachers Isabella Manfredi, alt-indie rockers Middle Kids and Melbourne’s RVG, the Queenscliff Music Festival’s three-day event typically attracts more than 10,000 music lovers of all ages annually.

Event spaces along Queenscliff’s iconic streetscape will be pumping out sounds as well as performances across three main festival stages as part of the Festival ‘First Plays’ program.

More here.


On November 13th, classic Aussie band Crowded House will be joined by Angus & Julia Stone and Boy & Bear at Gateway Lakes. Near Echuca on December 4th, X Factor winner and Australia’s Eurovision representative Isaiah Firebrace will perform in the Murray region as part of Hometown, a concert series that sees celebrated First Peoples performer’s journey back to their hometowns for special one-off shows alongside rising local talent. 

Get tickets here.


Also as part of Hometown, award-winning Wergaia/Wemba Wemba singer-songwriter, Alice Skye will return to her hometown for a one-off special show on December 10th at Sawyer Park Sound Shell supported by local talent.

Learn more.

Bendigo and Carisbrook

The inaugural Almost Summer Music Festival will bring a diverse range of incredible talent to the goldfields region in early December with pop disco, dance, edgy hip hop and more.  

With seventeen bands and four DJs over three days, it’ll include some of Bendigo’s best local talent mixed with established Australian acts.

Held at the Capital Theatre Loading Dock & Engine Room, some performers will include The Aplegate, Bananagun, Black Cab, Carissa Nyalu, Cool Sounds, Gabriella Cohen, Geoffrey O’Connor, Greatest Hits, Flora, Freeds, Kardajala Kirridarra, Nadia Phillips, Phoebe Go, Pookie, Sunfruits, Suzi and DJs Joey Lightbulb, DJ Friday & Triple J’s MC Pip Rasmussin.

Also expect a pop-up indie record store from Bendigo Vinyl and local favourites Boomtown Wines, East Bendigo Brewery and tasty local eats to keep festivalgoers fuelled.

Find out more here.

Carisbrook will host the three-day Chopped Festival bringing together hundreds of cars and motorbikes with more than 25 rock bands including Aussie pub rockers Amyl and the Sniffers.

Churchill Island

The family-friendly Ocean Sounds one-day festival will see Tash Sultana at Phillip Island for a sunset concert with Pierce Brothers, Kim Churchill, Kee’ahn, Little Green and Mark Howard. Expect picnic rugs, local wines with gourmet food, incredible music and a great day out at what is likely to be Tash Sultana’s only Victorian gig this year. 

Details here.

Stay up to day with performance announcements, links to getting your show and event tickets, gig news and more by visiting the Always Live site here

WHAT: Always Live
WHERE: Statewide
WHEN: Late November to mid-December
MORE INFO: Always Live

We wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.
Every week we send you
our picks of the best
stuff happening outside
We will never share your information with a third-party.