Fitzroy was developed in 1839, which makes it Melbourne’s oldest suburb. However, it has one of Melbourne’s most youthful cultures, with awesome street sculptures, vegetarian restaurants, and a great artists market every weekend.
It’s a shame then that Fitzroy is one of the top things visitors to Melbourne never do (but should). That goes double if you’re a music lover. Whether you’re a local or a tourist passing through, top Fitzroy features like these should be enough to encourage you to get out of the CBD and head to the suburbs.
The Old Bar: Old School Live Music Venue
74-76 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
It doesn’t matter what night of the week you visit the Old Bar, you’re going to hear live music. This Fitzroy institution sticks to what it knows, refusing to serve food or put on airs and graces like so many local pubs. The carpet’s sticky, the beer is cold, and the owners are more interested in nurturing the next big thing than bringing in household names.
Northside Records: Soulful Record Store
236 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Northside Records separates itself from the other record stores around the city with its focus on sweet soul music. Soulful genres like funk, hip-hop, and reggae are all represented in this oh-so-cool store run by RRR’s Chris Gill. Northside Records also has its own record label which is the home of funky acts like Saskwatch and The Let Your Hair Down Girls.
The Workers Club: Bands on the Up
51 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Image via Flickr by Zanmanken
The Workers Club regularly hosts EP and album launches for some of Australia’s hottest new talents. In the coming month Sounds of Oz favourites like Au Dre, Our Man in Berlin, and Gena Rose Bruce will all play at this hip venue. It’s worth arriving early for a gig to try the American-style dining menu. The spicy chicken spare ribs are finger lickin’ good, and there’s an extensive vegetarian menu with dishes that even carnivores will love. No wonder The Urban List named it one of the best places for live music in Melbourne.
Dixons Recycled: Grab a Bargain
414 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
One of two remaining Dixons Recycled in Melbourne, the Fitzroy branch of this second-hand record shop has more punk and experimental music than the Blackburn outlet. Dixons is one of the longest-running second-hand music retailers in Australia, and it’s an awesome place to find some cheap souvenirs while you’re in Melbourne. It’s also a great place to find those rare, deleted, and import items to add to your music collection.
Yah Yah’s: Party On
99 Smith Street, Fitzroy
One of the biggest complaints people have about Melbourne’s suburbs is that the venues close too early. Yah Yah’s bucks the trend with live bands and DJs cranking out the tunes until 5 am every Friday and Saturday. Those moderately priced beers mean that things can get messy here, but that might just be part of the fun.
This post was written as part of the #HipmunkCityLove project. If you’ve been to Fitzroy, what do you love about it?