Melbourne Music Bus Tour celebrates our rich musical heritage

ACM Music Bus Tour - photo by Carbie WarbieExplore the sacred sites of Melbourne’s rock ‘n’ roll history as Arts Centre Melbourne and the Australian Music Vault invite you to jump on board a Melbourne Music Bus Tour and celebrate 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, 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.

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; 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. He is also a member of the Australian Music Vault Advisory Group.

“There’s musical history on every street and corner of Melbourne,” says Milne. “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.

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.

The next Melbourne Music Bus Tour takes place on Saturday 28 April (1.00pm). They will also run in May, June and July. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Bruce Milne leads a recent Melbourne Music Bus Tour – photo by Carbie Warbie