It’s impossible to talk about Melbourne without talking about its music scene.

From the big, stadium-filling concerts at Rod Laver Arena down to the tiny hole-in-the-wall that litter the city’s laneways, it’s almost harder to avoid stumbling into a live music show than it is to find one!

Whether you’re on a tight budget, want to support smaller artists or just like keeping on top of the up-and-comers in the music scene, here are just some of the smaller gigs you can rock out to this month.

Melbourne backpackers


Melbourne backpackers share top gigs this month

The Curtin Hotel

Located in Carlton, just north of Melbourne’s CBD, this no-frills pub offers an intimate live music experience few other venues can compete with.

There’s something going on here all the time it seems, with its 300-person band room hosting a different up-and-coming local act ever second night.

The Curtin hosts artists from all over the country and even the occasional artist from overseas - just this April, their band room is playing host to up-and-comers including:

  • Amyl (Saturday 14th April)
  • GRRRL (Wednesday 18th April)
  • The Delicates (Friday 20th April)
  • Cult Locker (Saturday 21st April)

With tickets to most shows going for between $10-20, The Curtin plays host to an eclectic mix of mix of genres from psychedelic pop, to electronic to stuff that defies description.

From the opening acts to the final curtain (get it?), there’s sure to be something for everyone!


The Toff in Town

While the name might evoke images of top hats, bow ties and monocles, The Toff is anything but formal - yes, it’s swanky, but not in a black-tie kind of way!

The Toff’s glamourous second-floor bar attracts a diverse crowd. On any given night, you’re likely to spot hipsters rubbing shoulders with young professionals in its stylish booths.

And of course, it wouldn’t be on this list unless it was a hotspot for the local music scene as well!

Its cabaret-inspired stage room has seen a wide variety of different shows, including stand-up comedy, talks and discussions, theatre and of course, music.

This April for instance, The Toff is hosting:

  • Patrick Watt ( Wednesday 11th April)
  • Amistat (Friday 13th April)
  • Approachable Members of Your Local Community (Saturday 14th April)
  • Séb Mont (Thursday 26th April)

And when it doesn’t have a headliner booked, its in-house DJs turn The Toff into one of Melbourne’s liveliest nightclubs, with music starting at 9pm and running all night long.

Entrance to the stage room rarely reaches higher than $20 a head, making this an ideal choice for a cheap night out.


Cherry Bar

Located smack bang in the middle of Melbourne’s most famous streets, Cherry Bar sells itself as “pretty much the best rock ‘n  roll bar in the world”.

And with its location in the world-famous AC/DC Lane, it certainly has a lot to live up to!

Fashioning itself as a grungy hole-in-the-wall in the middle of a rapidly gentrifying city, Cherry Bar makes no bones about its irreverent, almost grimy corner of the city. In fact, it relishes in it!

As such, Cherry Bar’s bread and butter is just as irreverent as the venue itself, with punk rock, metal and classic rock dominating its gig list this April, with a little bit of soul thrown into the mix!

And this month promises to be no exception, with Cherry Bar hosting local and international acts including:

  • Grasshole (Friday 6th April)
  • Thornhill (Saturday 7th April)
  • Bernadette Novembre (Thursday 12th April)
  • John Garcia (Friday 20th April)

Best of all, tickets are cheap and can be bought at the door - and some are even free!

 Backpacker Melbourne

Our tips for a good night out in the city

Know your limits

Live music and alcohol go hand-in-hand. Of course, when booze is involved, it’s vital you know your limits.

Make sure you know how much you’re comfortable consuming, and how much you’re willing to let your friends drink.

And speaking of friends…

A night out is always better when it’s shared with your close friends. Be a good mate and look after your friends!

How are you getting around?

If you want our advice, we recommend avoiding cars: CBD driving is a struggle, even at the best of times!

If you’re planning to use public transport, make sure you’re organised: buy a Myki and top it up with a few dollars.

Remember, if you’re moving around the city, there’s a free tram zone you can take advantage of, too!

And finally, book your Melbourne backpackers!

Many of the gigs listed here run late and night and as a result, may see you partying til the wee hours of the morning.

With cars out of the equation and Ubers costing you far too much, you’ll need somewhere to stay if your plans involve staying out until late at night (or early next morning!)


Need a place to crash? Choose Urban Central’s Melbourne backpackers

Melbourne is getting more and more expensive.

Fortunately, however, that doesn’t seem to apply to Melbourne’s music scene.

A good night out doesn’t have to break the bank - provided you do your homework and research what gigs are going on!

And of course, no one wants to deal with the headache (metaphorical and literal) that comes after a night bouncing between venues.

If you need a place to crash at the end of a long night on the town (or perhaps even the morning after), you’ll want somewhere that’s safe, clean, comfortable and most importantly, nearby.

And that’s where we come in.

Urban Central offers an affordable place to sleep off the night. Our communal and private dorms are the perfect place to unwind after a late night exploring Melbourne.

Best of all, we’re conveniently located just across the Yarra in Southbank, only minutes away from the CBD and close to Melbourne’s public transport hubs.

Whether you need a place to crash or are dropping in from out-of-town searching for cheap Melbourne backpackers, be sure to book your room today!