The Eighty-Six is a new festival celebrating one of the world’s greatest music cities – it’s the biggest party a tram line has ever thrown. From 23 – 31 October, venues along High Street from Westgarth to Preston – possibly the most densely concentrated strip of live music venues on the planet – will showcase Melbourne’s prolific and exciting music culture.
“Melbourne is one of the world’s great music cities. A hub of discovery and subculture, where art and entrepreneurial spirit are valued,” said The Eighty-Six Co-Founder & Artistic Director, Woody McDonald. “It also produces a wild amount of music and is internationally considered a hotbed of musical greatness.”
“I’ve always felt Melbourne needed a festival that stays within and elevates our grassroots environment. The Eighty-Six’s goal is to do this, and there’s currently no better area than High Street to be our festival precinct.”
The festival’s marquee event is Super Saturday: on October 28, more than 40 curators will take over the area’s bars, nightclubs, bowls clubs, record stores, bocce courts and beyond. Kicking off in the early A.M. and running through to sunrise, Super Saturday is a musical journey through a variety of venues.
Super Saturday will be a proud showcase of Melbourne’s multifaceted music scene – and with the cost of living on the rise, The Eighty-Six is making the entire Super Saturday program free to attend, simply register for your ticket!
Melbourne boasts a distinct culture of discovery and exploration in its bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and galleries. These intimate experiences are what captivate travellers and excite locals. The Eighty-Six is dialling up neighbourhood vibrancy by offering hundreds of small-scale, music-focused experiences to visitors and residents – a paradise for music lovers.
Start the day at a cafe listening to a folk band while sharing a croissant with your mum. Meet some friends for lunch at the pub to the tune of a new post-punk band. Vibe to a dub set while playing a cheeky bowls game. Enter a techno haze and dance with strangers in the club until dawn. Get the tram home!
Alongside Super Saturday, The Eighty-Six is also presenting a range of unique and fun satellite events. Efficient Space and Butter Sessions will present the first Independent Music Exchange – a celebration of the independent record labels that are crucial in promoting and exporting our homegrown favourites. This is a unique opportunity to meet the minds behind iconic imprints and purchase exclusive items.
At 1800 Street Party, cult pasta crew 1800 Lasagne are curating a food, music, beverage and dog bonanza. An assortment of artists will perform alongside local food and beverage traders. Cop a slice of cheesy bolognese lasagne, a glass of weird-yet-delicious local pet nat and a cuppa batch brew while listening to live jazz. Plus: what’s up, dog? Pooches of all varieties are welcome at The Eighty-Six x 1800 HowlOween Dog Parade and Costume Contest.
“High Street is the beating heart of the inner north and live music pumps through its veins,” said Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous. “There’s something truly magical about seeing a great band play live. It transcends barriers, unites hearts, and creates those timeless memories that linger in our souls.”
“The Eighty-Six will embody the authenticity, revelry and artistry that make Northcote, Thornbury and Preston a precinct that undeniably captivates locals and visitors,” said Ms Theophanous.
“The Eighty-Six festival showcases Darebin as the epicentre and ultimate destination for live music in Australia, and a diverse and inclusive city of artists and music lovers,” said Mayor of Darebin City Council, Councillor Julie Williams.
“What better place to bring together music makers and music lovers alike in this whole-community celebration that has something for everyone to enjoy,” said Councillor Williams.
Image: Adriana Lazaridis – photo by Machiko Abe