The joy live music and theatre brings stems from nostalgia. Born from memories of flipping my parents’ records on a Saturday morning to the feel-good moments of seeing my favourite music performed live.

Thinking back to my favourite gigs – was it the artist, the company or the location that makes these memories so special to me? I think of the stinking hot Saturday where I saw Neil Young play in shorts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl or the freezing afternoon laughing under a shared umbrella with my friends as sleet slashed our jeans and Adalita slashed her guitar from the Kyneton Music Festival stage.

This winter, experience live music in some of regional Victoria’s most intimate and unexpected venues as they are warmed up with the vocals of an all-Australian lineup, as renowned artists tour the country bringing their stories and tunes to the region.

The Macedon Ranges is cooking up a winter feast of entertainment starting with the longstanding Woodend Winter Arts Festival. With exclusive events planned for July and August, as well as the festival weekend in June, visitors are encouraged to slow down and experience the sublime symphonic sounds in the euphoric settings of St Ambrose Hall and Church. Expect classical concerts presented in a glorious salon-style format, providing audiences with music to warm the cockles.

From classical to country charm, the inaugural Winter Sounds series kicks off in mid-July with a heart-racing lineup including C.W. Stoneking, Cash Savage & The Last Drinks and the magnificent Emma Donovan & The Putbacks performing in small halls, churches and theatres in Daylesford and surrounds. The vintage vibe is complete with a beautifully restored 1950s train transporting music fans from central Daylesford to the Bullarto Village Hall on a magical 30-minute journey through the Wombat State Forest and surrounding countryside.

Further north, a homestyle winter feast at the Red Hill Hotel in Chewton awaits. Stay on into the night and enjoy one of the local live music sessions held each week in the front bar or the beautiful beer garden. You might find yourself swaying along to a secret side-gig that one could only ever imagine experiencing in the city, but this time you’re under a mulberry tree in Chewton.

When it’s time to feel fancy, the Palais Hepburn is the place to be, with a list of live music acts that will warm your heart and soul throughout winter. Established in 1924, the renowned entertainment venue boasts Victoria’s oldest sprung dancefloor (go on, give it a try) and has attracted musicians and performers from all over the world to play in the beautiful setting of Hepburn Springs.

Winter would not be complete without an all-encompassing art experience on popular Piper Street in Kyneton. Museum UNDONE is part performance, part exhibition, encouraging audiences to choose their adventure through the Kyneton Museum collection (and be surprised along the way). Locally based, internationally renowned visual artist Desmond Lazaro has re-curated the Museum’s treasures to capture the curiosity of audiences as they explore our past, present and future and the specially created projections and soundscapes will draw curious minds into the collection.

Wrap yourself up this winter and warm up in the region’s cosiest of live entertainment venues and create some nostalgic music memories to look back upon.

Featured Image: Macedon Railway Hotel. Photo by KGMG Creative

About the author

Ali Webb House of Webb
Ali Webb, House of Webb

Kyneton-based Ali Webb adventures the state as a tiny tourist, exploring the littlest to the largest corners of our sweet slice of Victorian heaven.

A writer, a publicist, an artist manager and a downright good human being, Ali’s a curious cat, always on the hunt for a tale to share, especially if it involves digging for treasure in a local secondhand haven, scouring the seasonal delights of our favourite kitchens or simply finding a golden spot to pitch her tent after a day of bushwalking. Follow her tiny tourist tracks across the state at @houseofwebb.