The largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, today ALWAYS LIVE unveils a first look at its 2023 lineup promising an epic 17-day statewide celebration of contemporary live music across Victoria from November 24 – December 10. From Wodonga to Warrnambool, Brunswick to Ballarat, ALWAYS LIVE will return for its second year to feature over 165 artists performing across more than 60 events including stadium shows, one-off gigs and intimate performances, supported by the State Government through Visit Victoria.
With a diverse line-up spanning the state, the ALWAYS LIVE program will offer something for everyone, everywhere, bringing an array of top-tier international artists to our shores, alongside the finest live music talent Australia has to offer.
The opening weekend of ALWAYS LIVE will kick off with a bang when six-time Grammy Award winning US singer, songwriter, activist, actor, and icon Christina Aguilera performs for one night only at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday 25 November in partnership with Untitled Group. Hailed as the ‘voice of a generation’ with one of the most successful recording careers of all time and a monumental back-catalogue of number one hits including “Dirrty”, “Genie in a Bottle”, “What a Girl Wants”, “Lady Marmalade”, and “Beautiful”. Her ALWAYS LIVE performance marks both the 20th anniversary of her iconic pop album ‘Stripped’ and Aguilera’s first Australian show since 2007.
In an Australia-New Zealand exclusive, and a coup for electronic music lovers around the country, legendary Swedish DJ and producer Eric Prydz will bring the stunning sets and jaw dropping 3D visuals of his internationally acclaimed HOLO show to Melbourne for ALWAYS LIVE. Praised as one of the most innovative performances in dance music, Prydz’s mind melting HOLO show was regarded by many as a standout of Coachella 2023’s opening weekend. Now it’s coming to Melbourne only for ALWAYS LIVE presented with MG Live and Frontier Touring.
Towering Australian hip hop duo A.B. Original, the project of Yorta Yorta rapper BRIGGS and Ngarrindjeri MC and producer Trials, lead the second iteration of ALWAYS LIVE’s Hometown series which celebrates homegrown excellence and sees high profile First Nations artists return to their hometowns to give a free performance for local communities. Returning to their roots and bringing the party to their old Shepparton stomping ground, A.B. Original headline a mammoth free show at Victoria Park Lake with what promises to be a scorching lineup including support from the electrifying Yorta Yorta/ Kalkadoon/Yirendali performer Miss Kaninna, Yorta Yorta Kaieltheban song writer, hip hop artist and producer, DRMNGNOW and more to be announced. Hometown is presented with Live Nation Special Events, Bad Apples Music, and Songlines.
Continuing to deliver never-to- be-repeated performances from world class artists in exclusive and intimate settings, ALWAYS LIVE An Intimate Audience with Jessie Ware presented by Summer Camp Festival, taking place, and in partnership with, Victoria by Farmers Daughters at Fed Square. For one night only, 120 people get to spend an evening in the company of the UK Disco-pop superstar for her only headline show in Australia, who will give a special live performance and Q&A with the ABC’s Virginia Trioli in a night celebrating Victorian cocktails, wine, food, and of course music.
THROUGHOUT REGIONAL VICTORIA
In a boon for regional audiences and visitors, fresh from a world-conquering tour taking in North America, Europe and beyond, catapulting Australian punk rock icons Amyl and the Sniffers return victorious to their home state and hit the road on a seven-date state-wide tour for ALWAYS LIVE supported by Dumb Punts. Artists are encouraged to register at ALWAYS LIVE for the chance to be the opening act in their local area. With shows in Meeniyan, Ballarat, Frankston, Warrnambool, Torquay, and Wodonga, the band finish the run with what promises to be a blistering, under 18s show at Thornbury Theatre.
In Wangaratta, Australian rock icon, artist, activist, and Midnight Oil front man Peter Garrett will debut new music with his band The Alter Egos (featuring fellow Midnight Oil member Martin Rotsey) at the Wangaratta Arts Centre ahead of his forthcoming solo album.
Stalwarts of the Australian punk scene Cosmic Psychos celebrate their 40th anniversary by taking over Castlemaine for ALWAYS LIVE, playing three shows over three nights at the Theatre Royal. Local brewery Love Shack will be selling Cosmic Psychos branded beers, while The Bridge Hotel will mark the occasion by selling Cosmic Psychos branded menu items. Supports across the weekend include The Chats, Blowers, Affordable Repayments, Dead Clampets, Pat Todd (USA), The Prize, Thee Cha Cha Chas, Southeast Desert Metal and Boondall Boys with more to be announced.
RISES IN THE EAST returns to ALWAYS LIVE in 2023 with some of the most celebrated international and local artists performing in iconic regional locations, broadcast on, and produced in partnership with, Channel Seven’s Sunrise. This year’s program includes performances by: Amy Shark in The Murray; Tones and I on the Mornington Peninsula; Budjerah in the Grampians; and Jessie Ware in Melbourne.
ACROSS METRO MELBOURNE
In another major Australia-New Zealand exclusive, enigmatic UK-Indian songwriter and producer Jai Paul comes to Melbourne for a rare run of Victoria-only shows at ALWAYS LIVE. Direct from Coachella where he performed his first and only live show earlier this year, this is a rare chance for audiences to catch a legendary artist who has spent more than a decade at the bleeding edge of modern pop. Sampled and championed by the likes of Beyonce and Drake, gaining hero status in the underground music scene, while also being credited for changing the course of mainstream music, ALWAYS LIVE, MG Live, I OH YOU and Frontier Touring present Jai Paul at 170 Russell.
US alt-pop diva Caroline Polachek will perform in the celestial surrounds of Melbourne’s hallowed Forum Theatre. The genre-breaking performer and producer, formerly of electro pop duo Chairlift, is known for her stunning live performances and has worked with the likes of Beyoncé, Flume and Charli XCX. Polachek heads to Australia for the first time solo following the release of her globally lauded album Desire, I Want to Turn Into You.
For its second exclusive evening at Victoria by Farmers Daughter in 2023, ALWAYS LIVE partners with Melbourne-made, modern skincare brand kit: to present An Intimate Audience with Angie McMahon. The rising Australian singer songwriter whose sound combines elements of folk and indie rock will also perform for an intimate audience along with a live Q&A.
At iconic Hamer Hall Gaba Musik, ALWAYS LIVE and Arts Centre Melbourne present BLAKTIVISM for the second year and will see Australian Music Prize-winners King Stingray bring together a stunning lineup of First Nations artists including Tasman Keith, Emma Donovan, Uncle Bart Willoughby, Deline Briscoe, Sorong Samarai, Suga Cane Mamas, the Kulin Nations Songwomen, and the Blaktivism house band for a spectacular live showcase of songs centred around protest and what it means to be B-L-A-K.
At Northcote Theatre, Swifties far and wide are invited to get their TayTay on for the ultimate Taylor Swift tribute show. Taylor Made has a huge lineup of some of Australia’s favourite performers including Alex the Astronaut, Charley, Clare Bowditch, Emily Wurramurra, Kate Miller-Heidke, Lisa Mitchell, and Sophia J Smith coming together to perform the songs of Swift, presented by Clementine Ford and Story Baker.
FREE IN THE CBD
Back by popular demand, the ever-talented singer and storyteller Emma Donovan brings together an all-star First Nations acoustic line-up in the glorious Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia gallery for Emma Donovan and Friends. Donovan will perform alongside Kee’ahn, Kiwat Kennel, Maylene Yinnar, Katie Aspel and Janaya Roach in a free and family friendly show dedicated to, and inspired by, the stunning First Nations works within the space.
SOUNDBOX, ALWAYS LIVE’S purpose-built pop-up studio returns this year to the Arts Centre Melbourne forecourt. The beating heart of ALWAYS LIVE in Melbourne and running for 10 days, November 24th – December 3rd, the space will be the home of live performances, workshops, song writing sessions, radio broadcasts, artist showcases, podcast recordings and interviews with the lineup of events and performances to be announced later in the year.
In a special out of season presentation on Saturday 14 October, Garage Band, presented with JOF and Fed Square, will see audiences surrounded by four stages as over 25 emerging bands are invited to perform one at a time to play an original song – many for the first time, live. Each band is projected onto the big screen and on stage in the heart of the CBD in a free celebration of music, community and (teen) spirit.
All OVER THE SUBURBS
In 2023 ALWAYS LIVE takes over the ‘burbs with a sprawling program of events from the CBD to the city’s outer fringe, ensuring there’s something for everyone, everywhere.
In Mornington, local hero turned global superstar Tones and I curates Music in the Park featuring a huge lineup including The Cat Empire, The Veronicas, Budjerah, KAIIT and The Pierce Brothers and special guests set to converge on Mornington Park for a day-long festival for the whole family.
Gonna Be Good will see some of our most well-known contemporary artists perform at suburban Melbourne and regional venues in partnership with CUB, Live at Your Local and Select Music. Twelve iconic acts will take to the stages of six incredible venues: Holy Holy and Aleksiah at Shoppingtown Hotel, Doncaster; multi-platinum selling hip hop act ILLY with Nooky at Plaza Hotel, Werribee; indie rock mega stars The Temper Trap at Pier Bandroom in Frankston supported by Stumps; Northeast Party House with Blusher at Village Green; Casey Barnes and Taylor Moss at Commercial Hotel in South Morang; and Ruby Fields with Adam Newling at the York On Lilydale in Mt Evelyn.
Inclusive outdoor music festival, Summer Camp returns in 2023 with a high camp and diverse line up of live performances from international and local artists, DJs, drag and lots of dancing. Headlined by UK disco queen Jessie Ware and US drag powerhouse Trixie Mattel, with the full lineup presented by ALWAYS LIVE to be announced.
SOUL TRAINS presented in partnership with Metro Trains will see legendary American soul singer Lee Fields & The Expressions joined by Coburg’s cinematic soul journeymen Surprise Chef on a tour across Metro train lines, playing at four different venues along four different train lines with special guest Ella Thompson plus a pop-up record store by Miss Goldie.
Audiences are encouraged to hit the tracks and explore their city anew as End of the Line, in partnership with Metro Trains, returns in 2023 with two huge family friendly events, each at the end of a train line in Sandringham and Williamstown, with homegrown talent performing across community hubs and local gathering areas. This year End of the Line Sandringham partners with the newly re-invigorated Sandy Festival, which is being brought back after a hiatus with a killer lineup including Clare Bowditch with Blanco Tranco, Pirritu and Sophia J Smith, while later in 2023 the lineup for End of the Line in Williamstown, presented by Hobsons Bay Council, headlined by Alex Lahey (with full band), with Alice Skye, Philly and Meghna!
Still in Williamstown the Jamaican Food and Music Festival is set to return to Seaworks for ALWAYS LIVE. The family friendly and affordable festival boasts huge DJs, artists, live music, and food inspired by and straight out of Jamaica with international and local artists including General Levy (UK), DefStar (UK), Spikey Tee (JA), Fitzroy Lee (JA), Flames Eye (JA), Heartical Hi Powa, Housewife’s Choice, More Fire, Ras Jahknow, GAIA, Johnny Long-shot, Rick Howe, Shabba, Quashani Bahdand more.
Ballroom Mix Tapes is a celebration of new music launching new singles, EPs and albums at the extraordinary Brunswick Ballroom. The series will be dedicated to previewing and debuting new material from Victorian and Australian artists including Ainslie Wills, Emma Donovan, The Counterfeit featuring Freya Josephine Hollick, The Orbweavers with more to be announced soon.
The 2023 program coincides with Mushroom Group’s 50th Anniversary and while further details remain under wraps, the 2023 ALWAYS LIVE program will include a special event, as part of the group’s wider celebrations. Stay tuned for further info and other ALWAYS LIVE updates later in the year.
Supporting the Australian music industry, ALWAYS LIVE will once again be teaming up with charity partner Support Act, with a $1 donation from selected tickets sold across the program. In partnership for a second year, TAC and ALWAYS LIVE will encourage audiences to ‘Keep the Band Together’ through their joint road safety campaign, encouraging gig goers to plan ahead and look out for their mates.
ALWAYS LIVE runs from November 24 – December 10. The full round of incredible shows, events and performances can be explored at www.alwayslive.com.au. Stay tuned for more ALWAYS LIVE announcements in the coming months.
ALWAYS LIVE 2023
NOVEMBER 24 – DECEMBER 10
ALWAYS LIVE and Untitled present Christina Aguilera
Sat Nov 25: Flemington Racecourse, Flemington
ALWAYS LIVE, MG Live & Frontier Touring present Eric Prydz HOLO (Swe)
Details to be announced.
ALWAYS LIVE, Live Nation Special Events, Bad Apples Music, Songlines present Hometown, with A.B. Original
Special guests include DRMNGNOW and more TBA
Sat 09 Dec: Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton
ALWAYS LIVE An Intimate Audience with Jessie Ware presented by Summer Camp Festival
Thu 30 Nov: Victoria by Farmer’s Daughter, Fed Square
ALWAYS LIVE and Billions present Amyl and The Sniffers with special guests Dumb Punts
Fri 24 Nov – Fri 08 Dec: Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan (All Ages), Pier Hotel, Frankston, Volta, Ballarat, Torquay Hotel, Torquay, The Dart & Marlin, Warrnambool, The Cube, Wodonga, Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury (U18)
Register at email@example.com for the chance to be one of 7 local support acts
ALWAYS LIVE and Select Music present Peter Garrett & The Alter Egos
Wed 29 Nov: Wangaratta Arts Centre, Wangaratta
ALWAYS LIVE and TBC Management present Cosmic Psychos 40th Anniversary Shows
Fri 01 Dec: Cosmic Psychos with The Chats, Blowers, Affordable Repayments and Dead Clampets at the Theatre Royal
Sat 02 Dec: Cosmic Psychos with Pat Todd (USA), The Prize, Thee Cha Cha Chas, Southeast Desert Metal and Boondall Boys and special guests at the Theatre Royal
Sun 3 Dec: Cosmic Pyschos with The Unknowns, Meatbeaters and K5 at the Theatre Royal
ALWAYS LIVE Rises in the East, on Sunrise, on Channel 7
Details to be announced:
Amy Shark from the Murray, Tones and I from Mornington, Budjerah from the Grampians, Jessie Ware (UK) from Melbourne
ALWAYS LIVE, MG Live, I OH YOU & Frontier Touring present Jai Paul (UK) AU/NZ exclusive
Mon 04 Dec: 170 Russell, Melbourne
Tue 05 Dec: 170 Russell, Melbourne
ALWAYS LIVE and Penny Drop present Caroline Polachek
Sun 10 Dec: Forum Theatre, Melbourne
ALWAYS LIVE An Intimate Audience with Angie McMahon, presented by kit.
Wed 29 Nov: Victoria by Farmer’s Daughter, Fed Square
GABA Musik, ALWAYS LIVE & ACM present BLAKTIVISM, King Stingray
With Uncle Bart Willoughby, Deline Briscoe, Emma Donovan, Tasman Keith, Sorong Samarai, Suga Cane Mamas, the Kulin Nations Songwomen and the Blaktivism house band
Fri 01 Dec: Hamer Hall, Southbank
ALWAYS LIVE, Clementine Ford and Story Baker present Taylor Made: Taylor Swift Tribute
Fri 24 Nov: Northcote Theatre, Northcote
ALWAYS LIVE and the NGV present ‘Emma Donovan and Friends: Live and Acoustic
Sun 26 Nov: The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia
ALWAYS LIVE SOUNDBOX
Fri 24 Nov – Sun 03 Dec: Arts Centre Melbourne, Forecourt
ALWAYS LIVE, JOF and Fed Square present Garage Band
Sat 14 Oct: Fed Square, Melbourne
ALWAYS LIVE and Lemon Tree Music present Music in the Park – (curated by Tones and I)
Sat 09 Dec: Mornington Park, Mornington
ALWAYS LIVE, CUB, Live at Your Local and Select Music present Gonna Be Good
Sun 26 Nov: Holy Holy with Aleksiah Shoppingtown Hotel, Doncaster
Wed 29 Nov: Illy with Nooky at Plaza Hotel, Werribee
Wed 29 Nov: The Temper Trap with Stumps at Pier Bandroom, Frankston
Thu 30 Nov: Northeast Party House with Blusher, at the Village Green Hotel, Mulgrave
Thu 30 Nov: Casey Barnes with Taylor Moss at the Commercial Hotel, South Morang
Thu 07 Dec: Ruby Fields with Adam Newling at Yorke on Lilydale, Mt Evelyn
ALWAYS LIVE presents Summer Camp Festival
Ft. Jessie Ware (UK) and Trixie Mattel (USA)
Sat 02 Dec: More details to be announced
ALWAYS LIVE, Metro Trains & Supersonic present Soul Trains with Lee Fields & The Expressions (US) & Surprise Chef
Wed 29 Nov: Howler, Brunswick
Fri 01 Dec: Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury
Sat 02 Dec: Corner Hotel, Richmond
Sun 03 Dec: Mamma Chen’s, Footscray
With special guests and pop-up record store by Miss Goldie
ALWAYS LIVE End of the Line Sandringham with Clare Bowditch presented by Metro Train and Sandringham Traders Association
Sat 02 Dec: Melrose St, Sandringham with Blanco Tranco, Pirritu and Sophia J Smith
ALWAYS LIVE End of the Line Williamstown, Alex Lahey (with full band), presented by Metro Trains & Hobson’s Bay Council
Sat 09 Dec: Commonwealth Reserve, Williamstown with Alice Skye, Philly, and Meghna
ALWAYS LIVE and Stick Mareebo Productions present the Jamaican Music & Food Festival
Sat 02 Dec: Seaworks, Williamstown
With international and local artists including General Levy (UK), DefStar (UK), Spikey Tee (JA), Fitzroy Lee (JA), Flames Eye (JA), Heartical Hi Powa, Housewife’s Choice, More Fire, Ras Jahknow, GAIA, Johnny Long-shot, Rick Howe, Shabba, Quashani Bahdand more.
ALWAYS LIVE and Brunswick Ballroom present Ballroom Mix Tapes
Details to be announced: The Brunswick Ballroom, Brunswick
Ainslee Wills EP Preview Evening, Emma Donovan, Counterfeit feat. Freya Josephine Hollick, The Orbweavers ‘When it Rains in Broken Hill’ Single Launch and more
Mushroom 50 Celebration
Details to be announced
For further information and tickets head to www.alwayslive.com.au