Bars and live music are very important in Melbourne. The many nightclubs complete the picture: here you will really find something for every taste. In the central business district, not only do business people meet for a drink after work, but also the many young, fashion-conscious employees who work in the center. Many of the more elegant bars are hidden in the city’s numerous small streets. Opposite the Yarra River is the Southgate artists’ district and a number of bars overlooking the water.
Many places are sometimes a bar, a club or a live stage, depending on the day and time. The dress code is correspondingly variable. The trendier the place, the more important it is to wear the right clothes. Unfortunately, in some parts of Melbourne, potential guests are selected based on their clothing style. Admission is usually not required in night clubs, but you have to expect that on weekends.
The gay and lesbian city of Melbourne has established itself in the South Yarra district, where there are various pubs, night clubs and discos in the Commercial Road area. There are other party locations for night owls in the centrally located districts of Fitzroy and St Kilda, near Port Philip Bay. Relatively relaxed laws allow you to have fun all night long. The minimum age for alcohol consumption is 18 years.
Free city magazines include Inpress and Beat . In the Friday edition of the Age newspaper you will find the event directory EG. Information is also available online (Internet: www.streetsofmelbourne.com.au or http://citysearch.com.au/?city=Melbourne).
Melbourne is widely regarded as the cultural center of Australia and indeed offers an incredible variety of sophisticated events.
At the Victorian Arts Center, 100 St Kilda Road (Tel: (03) 92 81 80 00; Internet: www.theartscentre.com.au), which houses Opera Australia, the Melbourne Theater Company, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Ballet, there are first-class performances all year round.
The Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Linlithgow Avenue (Tel: (03) 92 81 80 00), hosts many open-air concerts throughout the year, especially during the many art festivals.
Inexpensive tickets for most venues in the city can be obtained from the Half-tix booth in City Hall (entrance on Swanston Street, Tel: (03) 96 50 94 20; Internet: www.halftixmelbourne.com ), but only on the day of Event (Saturdays you also get tickets for Sunday events). Only cash is accepted. Tickets can be purchased in advance via Ticketek (Tel: 13 28 49, only in Australia ; Internet: http://premier.ticketek.com.au/).