Published on February 14th, 2018 | by Admin

The Melbourne Music Bus Tour

From late February 2018, Arts Centre Melbourne and the Australian Music Vault invite you to jump on board a Melbourne Music Bus Tour, with six guided tours scheduled to take place this year in celebration of Melbourne’s rich musical heritage.

Relevant, irreverent, educational and entertaining, the tour will include a broad and diverse range of inner Melbourne sites such as Dame Nellie Melba’s first home, the residence of Kylie Minogue, sites visited by the Beatles and ABBA as well as venues and locations associated with Nick Cave, AC/DC, the Seekers, the Easybeats, Men at Work, Paul Kelly, Kim Salmon, Frente, Gotye, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Courtney Barnett. There will also be some surprise stop-offs along the way to pick up announced guests.

Running for approximately three and a half hours with one scheduled stop, the Melbourne Music Bus Tour departs from out the front of the Australian Music Vault at Arts Centre Melbourne and will travel to South Melbourne, Albert Park, St Kilda, Prahran, South Yarra, Richmond, Abbotsford, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Carlton and the city before returning to its point of departure.

Ticketholders will get to visit current venues, iconic laneways, important indigenous music spots, music video locations and places which have inspired some of our most loved songs.  The tour will also visit locations to which the general public would not normally gain access, such as recording and rehearsal studios and musicians’ homes.  Sites visited on the tour include: Armstrong Studios; Bakehouse Studios; Champion Hotel; Crystal Ballroom; the Dogs in Space house; The Espy; The Exford; Faraday Street;  Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum’s house; Muchmore Ballroom; Mushroom Records; the Nylex Clock sign; the Old Greek Theatre; the Palace; Punters Club; Richmond Recorders; Sing Sing Studios; Tiger Lounge and the Venue. The tour will also travel to Chrissy Amphlett Lane, Charcoal Lane, Rowland S. Howard Lane and AC/DC Lane.

Leading the tour will be Melbourne’s very own musicologist Bruce Milne, a lifetime resident of Melbourne who has been involved with Triple R since its fledgling years, founded the iconic independent record store and label Au-go-go Records, managed artists, worked at EMI in A&R and now co-owns Greville Records. Bruce introduced rock bar culture to Melbourne when he established International Bar on the same site which the Ding Dong Lounge now inhabits, and was licensee of one of Melbourne’s archetypal live music venues, The Tote Hotel as documented in the film ‘Persecution Blues’.  Bruce Milne is also a member of the Australian Music Vault Advisory Group.

Bruce Milne says of the tour, “There’s musical history on every street and corner of Melbourne. There’s colourful (sometimes outrageous) tales too. I have stories to tell but I love to hear stories from other people as well. Get on the bus and let’s explore and share-  and have some fun.”

Open daily and featuring a free permanent exhibition, digital and interactive experiences and an extensive learning program, the Australian Music Vault charts the story of contemporary Australian music from the 1950s until today. It showcases the iconic people, events and places that define Australian music in a purpose-built exhibition space within Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building on St Kilda Road, Melbourne.  Patrons of the Australian Music Vault are co-founder of Mushroom Records Michael Gudinski, music legend Ian “Molly” Meldrum, songstress Kylie Minogue, Indigenous singer-songwriter Archie Roach and Australian singer/songwriter Tina Arena.

Arts Centre Melbourne is a fitting home for the Australian Music Vault. Much of the exhibition’s rich content is drawn from the Australian Performing Arts Collection, the nation’s leading specialist collection documenting Australia’s music, circus, dance, opera and theatre heritage. Established in 1975 and now formally recognised as a state collection, it consists of over 600,000 items including costumes, designs, programs, photographs, posters, personal memorabilia and archival material.

The Melbourne Music Bus Tour, alongside the Australian Music Vault, builds on Melbourne and Victoria’s reputation as a cultural destination by exploring and celebrating Melbourne’s unique music history.  There are music city tours on offer in cities such as London, New York, Seattle, Liverpool and Los Angeles- Melbourne now joins this list.

“Music fans and the broader community generally only get to experience Melbourne music from the band room side of the stage but on this tour they will go back stage at venues and discuss the history from early artists like AC/DC to Skyhooks, Nick Cave to Olivia Newton John, Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter to Dave Graney and Claire Moore. These music tourists are able to step into real experiences…I should point out that these tours are actually great fun as well.”    Quincy McLean (musician, Bakehouse Studios, co-founder, SLAM Rally)

Arts Centre Melbourne and the Australian Music Vault present the Melbourne Music Bus Tour

Tour Dates:

Saturday 24 February    1pm

Saturday 24 March        1pm

Saturday 28 April          1pm

Saturday 26 May           1pm

Saturday 23 June          1pm

Saturday 21 July           1pm


Tour Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes *please allow additional time in case of unexpected traffic

Tickets: $60.00

Melbourne Music Bus Tour is all ages, however children must be accompanied by an adult.

Please arrive at the Australian Music Vault 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. The bus will return to Arts Centre Melbourne at the conclusion of the tour. Latecomers will not be admitted.

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