Performance Opportunities in Melbourne

Don't have a band or a bunch of gigs lined up? From working with my students I know it's sometimes necessary to have a performance to work towards, but sometimes these are few and far between. Here are some ways to get on stage, challenge yourself and hone your performance skills: recitals, open mic nights, and good old karaoke.


Often your singing school or singing teacher will arrange for recitals to happen, providing performance opportunities for students. These are great fun and are also a great opportunity to mingle with other like-minded people. Here at KHVS, I'll be putting on recitals this year, so if you're a student who'd like the opportunity to perform, get in touch!


Recently a friend (Becki Whitton of Aphir) and I have started a project called COUP, where we provide regular performance opportunities and a supportive community for female performers. We hold monthly shows at the beautiful venue Gene + Peta in Elsternwick, where we showcase a combination of both fledgling and experienced performers in the alternative, experimental or electronic music genres. Performers are encouraged to experiment with their sound/performance and form lasting connections and mentorships with other artists in the community. If you are a female musician and would like to get involved (even if it is your first ever gig!), or if you would like to attend a COUP, please don't hesitate to get in touch. 


There are great open mic nights all around Melbourne. Often they have different vibes though, so it's a good idea to check out the venue in advance and see if it's the kind of place you feel comfortable. You could even show up the first week and just watch other people to get the gist of how it works before you commit to it, especially if you're feeling particularly nervous. I love open mic nights as they tend to be full of creative souls from all walks of life; people singing for fun about their pets or their travels, right up to professional singers workshopping their new originals. In fact, if you write songs and would like to bounce some ideas around, open mic nights are a great place to do this. It's lower pressure performance situation where you can usually get some nice feedback about new songs you might be unsure about. Here are some of my favourites:

The Cornish Arms - Monday nights at 7.30pm - 163 Sydney Rd, Brunswick
Tago Mago - Tuesday nights at 7pm - 744 High St, Thornbury
Elwood Lounge - Wednesday nights at 7.30pm - 49-51 Glenhuntly Rd , Elwood
Somewhere Bar - also Wednesday nights at 9pm - 181 Chapel Street, Prahran (right around the corner!)
St. Andrews Hotel - fortnightly Friday nights at 7.30pm - 79 Burns St, St Andrews VIC

If you'd like to see some more options for open mic nights near you, check out the Open Mic Melbourne page, which seems to be fairly-regularly updated with all the open mics in and around Melbourne.


Karaoke is a whole lotta FUN. You can get a bunch of friends together and head into town for singing and silliness. This is a great option if you don't write your own music and would just like to practice singing in front of a group of non-judgemental (although potentially inebriated) individuals. Another thing I really like about singing karaoke is you HAVE to use the mic, and the backing track is usually REALLY loud. So if you're wanting to get some experience with mic technique and with hearing yourself through a foldback, this is actually not a bad place to start. Here are some karaoke venues here in Melbourne:

Charltons - This one's a public karaoke bar, which means you get the added novelty of singing in front of complete strangers. The vibe is a little grimy and rambunctious but also a whole lot of ridiculous fun. You'll find it up the lift at 2/2 Coverlid Pl, Melbourne.
FM Karaoke - Here you can book rooms by the hour, which sometimes makes for a good deal. 2/146 Bourke Street, Melbourne