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January music news

Iona Salter

Fri Jan 20 2012

Guitar in grass. Photo Tykey Turkey.

JANUARY is one of Melbourne’s best music months, with artists flocking to the city to play under the summer sun. And there are plenty of free concerts on too!

THIS is without a doubt the best time of year to enjoy Melbourne’s music scene out of doors.

It’s the time when big international acts such as Kanye West, Noel Gallagher, Kid Cudi and Laura Marling are flocking to our shores for the summer music festival season, with the Big Day Out, Heatwave Festival and Laneway Festival just around the corner. (Although word just out is that Heatwave Festival’s problems continue, with the Perth show cancelled.)

There’s also a series of concerts on the lawns of the Melbourne Zoo, and big shows by US rockers Soundgarten and the UK’s Kasabian scheduled in the next few weeks

But if the festive season has left you a little strapped for cash, there are plenty of free music events on in the city this summer. This Saturday will see the sassy and soulful Mama Kin do her thing at a free event at the Fitzroy Gardens, while on Sunday the gardens will be overtaken by the rhythm of African drum beats.


For classical lovers, the Melbourne City Orchestra will be putting on a series of free concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl come February. The four concerts will showcase classical pieces inspired by diverse cultures – from Russian to Argentinian to indigenous Australian.

A number of free concerts are also being held in Federation Square and the QV courtyard, with local indie acts Loon Lake and I, A Man due to take to Fed Square on Australia Day.

Speaking of the national holiday, Australia Day is probably the best chance for newcomers to Melbourne to get a taste of all that the Australian music scene has to offer. Youth radio station Triple J plays their annual Hottest 100 countdown on January 26 – the best 100 songs of the past year, many of them from Australian musicians. (Check out last year’s number one, Angus and Julia Stone’s Big Jet Plane, below.) Getting together with friends to listen to the Hottest 100 on Australia Day is a quintessential – and musically joyous – part of the Australian experience.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there any enjoy some tunes while the sun’s still shining!