Dua Lipa headlining Victorian Always Live festival with intimate concert at Palais Theatre, St Kilda, in October

From there, the idea of using taxpayer money to bring the Piano Man to Melbourne morphed into a 2018 election promise to stage a 10-day, statewide music festival. The festival will now stretch over an almost three-month season.

Metro shows

  • An exclusive evening with Dua Lipa: Palais Theatre, Sunday, October 3.
  • Rockin’ the Burbs, various: Saturday, October 22 – Monday, October 31.
  • Bad Apples House Party – Briggs, Mo’Ju, Chasing Ghosts and more: Curtin Hotel, Saturday, November 5. 
  • Blaktivisim – Yothu Yindi: Arts Centre Melbourne, Saturday, November 5.
  • Chapterfest 30: Northcote Theatre, Saturday, November 5.
  • Flow Festival: Footscray Community Arts Centre, Saturday, November 5.
  • An intimate audience with Sophie Ellis-Bextor: NGV International Garden Restaurant, Thursday, November 11.
  • Claptone – The Masquerade: Riva, Saturday, November 19.
  • Jess Cornelius: The Night Cat, Saturday, November 19.
  • Toro Y Moi: Northcote Social Club, Wednesday, November 23.
  • Frente 30 Years of Marvin the Album: Brunswick Ballroom, Thursday, November 24.
  • Big Thief: Melbourne Recital Centre, Friday, November 30. 
  • Lovely Day: Palais Foreshore, Sunday, December 4.
  • Sampa the Great: Hamer Hall, Friday, December 9.

Earlier this year headline acts Nick Cave and Billy Joel were announced to play at Hanging Rock and the MCG respectively. Already on the docket were performances from Khruangbin, Amyl and the Sniffers, Tash Sultana, Baker Boy, Isabella Manfredi, Middle Kids, Alice Skye and Isaiah Firebrace.

Gudinski’s original idea for Always Live was a 17-day festival spanning three weekends and featuring a “monster” event on each weekend.

Although the concept was personally championed and developed by Gudinski, it has been embraced by rival promoters, with Live Nation Asia Pacific president Roger Field and TEG chief executive Geoff Jones backing the festival and state cabinet’s decision to appoint Matthew Gudinski, Michael’s son and heir to the Mushroom music empire, to the chairman’s role.

Regional shows

  • OK Motels (Savage and the Last Drinks, Nice Biscuit, Elizabeth, Vintage Crop, Bad Bangs, Skyscraper Stan, Kino Motel, Smarts, Baby Cool, Enola and more): Charlton, Friday, October 28 – Sunday, October 30.
  • Crowded House (supported by Angus & Julia Stone and Boy & Bear): Gateway Lakes, Wodonga, Sunday, November 3.
  • The Alpine Festival – Jessica Mauboy: Pioneer Park, Bright, Saturday, November 12.
  • Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (supported by Courtney Barnett): Hanging Rock, Friday, November 25 and Saturday, November 26.
  • Almost Summer Festival: Capital Theatre, Bendigo, Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27.
  • QMF x First Plays – Queenscliff Music Festival (Baker Boy, Isabella Manfredi, Middle Kids and RVG): Queenscliff, Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27. 
  • Hometown – Isaiah Firebrace: Girgarre Sound Shell, near Echuca, Sunday, December 4.
  • Hometown – Alice Skye: Sawyer Park Sound Shell, Horsham, Saturday, December 10.
  • Tash Sultana (with Pierce Brothers, Kim Churchill, Kee’ahn, Little Green and Mark Howard) – Ocean Sounds: Churchill Island, Saturday, December 10.


On Thursday Gudinski said the music festival would “reaffirm” Victoria as the music state of Australia.

“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.

“We’re delivering the largest-ever live music celebration in Australia while supporting local jobs, businesses, artists and roadies around the state,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events
Steve Dimopoulos on Thursday. “We’re bringing Victorians the live music experiences they love, to
destinations across the state.”

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