Scene News: The Eighty-Six: First Announcement of International Artists

Turning up the heat on one of the world’s most vibrant music cities, The Eighty-Six celebrates Melbourne and its love of music. 


There are more venues along High Street between Northcote and Preston than in any other street in Australia, possibly more than any street worldwide. 


From 23 – 31 October 2023, the festival will activate and amplify the existing venues: the theatres, record stores, bars, restaurants and bocce and bowls clubs that regularly present music along the 86 tram route. Collaborating with the small businesses at the heart of Melbourne’s quintessential late-night culture, The Eighty-Six is a music lovers’ paradise. 


The major program announcement is coming mid-year. In the meantime, here is a small taste – a selection of the international visitors who will make High Street their home this October:

Otoboke Beaver (Japan) — Australian Premiere 
Described as “the most intense sh*t you’ve ever seen” – experience the notoriously  wild live band – Kyoto’s Ottoboke Beaver 
25 October, Thornbury Theatre 
Presented in partnership with Handsome Tours
Makaya McCraven (USA) — Australian Premiere 
A marquee act for one of the world’s hottest jazz labels, International Anthem – Chicago’s Makaya McCraven will perform as part of an Eighty-Six x Melbourne Int’l Jazz Festival collaboration. 
25 October, The Croxton 
Presented in partnership with Melbourne International Jazz Festival


How Long Gone Live (USA) — Australian Exclusive 
A live show for the American podcast “everyone wants to be on” – How Long Gone will spend a few days on The Eighty-Six – including a night at the Thornbury Theatre. Their only Australian experience will be on High Street for The Eighty-Six. 
29 October, Thornbury Theatre  
Presented in partnership with Penny Drop & Frontier Touring
Los Bitchos (USA) — Australian Premiere 
“I wanted to sound like Van Halen and Cocteau Twins – but from Turkey” say London psychedelic surf-disco safari combo Los Bitchos. 
 psychedelic surf-disco safari combo Los Bitchos.
25 October, Shotkickers 
Presented in partnership with Handsome Tours
Connie Constance (UK) — Australian Premiere 
Introducing Connie Constance – a rising star of British music. Surely the only artist to collaborate with both Sleaford Mods and Swedish House Mafia?
23 October, Northcote Social Club 
Presented in partnership with Handsome Tours
Built to Spill (USA) — Three-Night-Residency 
Indie rock heroes Built to Spill will perform a three-night Northcote Social Club residency in what could be their most intimate shows in years. 
24, 25 & 26 October, Northcote Social Club  
Presented in partnership with Feel Presents
“The Eighty-Six is designed to create ideal conditions for music to thrive and be valued – today’s announcement focused on internationals, this is a taste of what is to come. We are excited to share the full program, including a truly epic celebration of our local music ecosystem.” 
Woody McDonald, The Eighty-Six Founder & Artistic Director.
“Victoria is Australia’s home of live music and we are bringing the best international and local acts to Northcote for this one-of-a-kind music festival to showcase what we do best.”
Steve Dimopoulos, Minister for Creative Industries
“There is nowhere else on earth that could host a festival like The Eighty-Six. With so many amazing venues, set to host an array of artists and events, this festival will showcase Northcote’s live music scene like never before.”

Kat Theophanous, Member for Northcote
“We’re proud to partner with the State Government to showcase our thriving live music scene with this exciting and unique new festival. The Eighty-Six celebrates Darebin’s exceptionally talented and creative arts community, and supports the live music venues and retail and hospitality businesses that make our diverse and vibrant city so wonderful.”
Councillor Julie Williams, Mayor of Darebin City Council
Creative Victoria supports The Eighty-Six in partnership with Darebin City Council.


Keep an eye out for the major Eighty-Six program announcement in the coming months.
Dates: 23-31 October 2023
Location: High Street between Northcote and Preston
Major Program Announcement: dropping mid-year