Melbourne provides a great range of entertainment, and much of it is free or inexpensive.
For live shows and concerts you can try Half Tix (or is it HalfTix?) at the Melbourne Town Hall. They have reduced priced tickets on the day of the performance only. Tickets must be purchased in person on the day at their limited opening hours and are cash only You can usually find some free gigs somewhere, and there are always plenty of free arts activities.
Perhaps the most obvious icon of this free entertainment is the Sidney-Myer Music Bowl. During Summer and Autumn you can lie under the stars and enjoy a symphony concert, ballet, opera or a variety of other entertainments. The entertainment is usually free. We recommend that you arrive early with a rug to spread on the grass and armed with some cheap champagne and delicacies and nibbles from one of the great delicatessens or markets around Melbourne. If the weather is kind you cannot help but feel good to be alive.
Melbourne's pubs (hotels) have nurtured some of the best rock bands this country has produced. If you can make two beers last all night, you can experience world class entertainment for under $10.
Melbourne's free-to-air television usually features some larrikin live shows that could have grown up nowhere else in the world. Because they are live and spontaneous, they can vary between dreadful and inspired. The tradition was probably founded by Graham Kennedy's In Melbourne Tonight, nurtured by shows like League Teams, and continues with programs such as The Footy Show. Give them a try. You'll either love them or hate them. If you're American, you'll certainly be confused. But they are very, very Melbourne.
You can find many buskers and street entertainers in Melbourne. And then there are the people who entertain by their very nature - you'll find them in pubs, on trams, in the foyer of concerts and in the streets.
You don't have to be rich to be entertained at the highest level in Melbourne. There is one major exception - if you prefer commercial entertainment, expect to pay commercial prices.
If your budget runs to more than $10 you may wish to check out our listing of other Melbourne Events.
Related Australian Television links