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 October 23 to 31, 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.
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. Whether you are a yiayia, a toddler, a raver or a rocker, Super Saturday is for you – it’s a proud showcase of Melbourne’s multifaceted music scene. And with the cost of living so high, The Eighty-Six is making the entire Super Saturday program free to attend, simply register for your ticket at theeightysix.com.
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.
Alongside Super Saturday, The Eighty-Six is 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. Ring, ring! Hello? We’ll be there.
“Melbourne is one of the world’s great music cities. A hub of discovery and subculture, where art and entrepreneurial spirit are valued. 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.” Woody McDonald, The Eighty-Six Co-Founder & Artistic Director
The Bonsoy Belt – Northcote, Thornbury, and Preston – is about to pop off like never before.
Here are more details of what audiences can expect:
SUPER SATURDAY Almost 24 hours of free gigs and more: 7am–5am Saturday, 28 October
For nearly 24 hours on Super Saturday, 200+ of Victoria’s best musical acts will take over iconic spots along the 86 tram line. Emerging and established performers will play free shows (including all-ages, family and seniorsfriendly options) across 40+ venues, including theatres, record stores, bars, restaurants and bocce and bowls clubs.
An unprecedented number of local selectors, artists, industry professionals, and special international and interstate guests will curate and host Super Saturday parties, including: 3RRR • Milo Eastwood • Songlines • Northside • Moody • Enjoy Your Stay • Blow Blood • Jet Black Cat Presents • Love Police • Mike Gurrieri • Soju Gang • Forward Ever • Collective Artists • Rowdy’s • CONTENT.NET.AU • Anti-Fade • Finding Figaro • Wally Cheersquad • Omniversal Hum • SF ARRESTER x WALLSTAR • Mistletone • Tangle Agency •
STUDIO • Hope St Radio x All Are Welcome • JOLT Arts • Habibi Hafla x Mähallä • The Round Table x Finders Keepers • No Lights No Lycra • Sound Merch • When Pigs Fly • Made In The Shade • 1800 Lasagne • Press Play Presents • Decibels Youth Music and Arts • Skylab – and a bunch more.
Super Saturday venues include: Capers • Hard Out • Merri Creek Tavern • Shotkickers • Northcote Theatre •
Bar 303 • Thornbury Bowls Club • The Thorn • 24 Moons • Thornbury Theatre • Croxton Bandroom • Cactus •
Swill • Cafe Gummo • Thornbury Local • Franklins • Moon Dog • Wesley Anne • Desert Highways • Barton Fink •
Gertrude Contemporary • Nasty’s • Reading Room • The Keys • JOLT Arts • Francesca’s Bar • Northcote Uniting Church • Thornbury Espresso • Low Key • Pallino • Thornbury Picture House • Open Studio • Northcote Social Club • Eastmint • The Salvation Army Hall • Tallboy & Moose • Ladadika Taverna – and more to come!
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!
- 1 street, 1 day, 40 curators, 40 venues, 200 acts, all free.
- The Super Saturday venue map is coming soon.
Super Saturday party details including line-ups and schedules will be dropping over the coming months.
Super Saturday Free Ticketing Information:
Sign up for a free digital ticket to attend the Super Saturday events (including the Independent Music Exchange and 1800 Street Party). The ticket will be sent via email, can be printed out if preferred/required and will scan attendees into Super Saturday’s free events. Entry to all Super Saturday events are pending capacity.
INDEPENDENT MUSIC EXCHANGE Record Label Expo: Super Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 October
Vinyl records are one of the music industry’s biggest comeback stories. Sales are thriving in the streaming age and growing in all major markets. Melbourne boasts more than 80 independent record labels dedicated to physical products – some of the world’s most promising and innovative young labels share space with a serious crate-digger scene. The Independent Music Exchange is a two-day, free, all-ages event that will facilitate a social environment for Australia’s diverse independent labels to connect with fans and followers.
Labels in attendance include Albert’s Basement • Altered States Tapes • Animals Dancing • Anti Fade •
Bedroom Suck • Butter Sessions • Chapter Music • Cheersquad • College Of Knowledge • Companion • Cooking
Vinyl Australia • Cool Death • Domestic La La • Domino • Dot Dash • Efficient Space • Elations • Fresh Hold •
Good Company • Holiday Maker • Hopestreet • It • KGLW • La Sape • Love Above • Love Police • Lulus Sonic
Disc Club • Music in Exile • Northside • ONO • Our Golden Friend • Pointer • Poison City • Ramble • Remote Control • Pointer • Research • Snail Editions • Sorcerer • Southern Exposure • Spoilsport • The Mushroom Group • The Roundtable • Tiny Town • UNFD • Vessel • Wax’o Paradiso – and more to be announced.
Presented by Efficient Space and Butter Sessions, the Independent Music Exchange stallholders will present an array of physical products, including vinyl, cassettes, merch, zines, test pressings, posters, warehouse finds, and other specialty items. Artist signings will allow music enthusiasts to meet their favourite musicians and label runners. This is the spot for the music community to hang out before and after gigs, buy a limited edition band tee, and nerd out about rare releases.
1800 STREET PARTY Food, Beverage, Music & Dog Pop-Up: Super Saturday 28 October
What do Melbournians love just as much as music? Wining and dining, obviously. Local bechamel-bourne legends 1800 Lasagne are assembling a smorgasbord of the best local music, food, wine, beer and coffee options.
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. This feast is going to be lit.
Plus: what’s up, dog? Pooches of all varieties are welcome at The Eighty-Six x 1800 HowlOween Dog Parade and Costume Contest. This friendly neighbourhood doggie extravaganza is a chance for locals to live out their competitive pet fantasies while raising money and awareness for Pets of the Homeless. Pup-cakes, pup-uccinos and a limited run of dog merchandise will be available. Here and now is the time to find out if you really have the smartest rescue greyhound in Northcote (probably not).
More information about the 1800 Street Party is coming soon.
“High Street is the beating heart of the inner north and live music pumps through its veins. 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.” Kat Theophanous, Member for Northcote.
“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. What better place to bring together music makers and music lovers alike in this whole-community celebration that has something for everyone to enjoy.” Mayor of Darebin City Council, Councillor Julie Williams
The Eighty-Six has been made possible with support from the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and in partnership with Darebin City Council.
Stay tuned for timetables and updates in the lead-up to the festival.
- The Eighty-Six dates: 23 – 31 October 2023
- Super Saturday date: 28 October 2023
- Super Saturday map: coming soon
- Super Saturday party: line-ups and schedules will be dropping over the coming months
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