6 Melbourne music venues to head to on a first date

Get giggy with it. 

First dates are awkward enough without any extraneous factors adding to the torturous process, so it’s always a good idea to scout a premium location ahead of time to steer things in your favour.

Gigs are a great icebreaker for numerous reasons -- guaranteed no awkward silences, you can choose to show off your dancing skills or play it cool with the old bop and nod and you can easily segue the conversation to music, which is a much more interesting conversation topic than where your parents grew up or the weather.

It’s a slippery slope between having a chill night and having your potential future partner witnessing you tearfully singing every lyric to your guilty pleasure band though so to help you out, we’ve located some of the best music venues to catch a gig on a first date.

The Gasometer 

It can be difficult to gauge what kind of gig-goer someone is until you’re stuck next to an overexcited fist-pumper in a seated, subdued venue. The Gasometer is perfect to avoid feeling out of place -- if your date is into boogying down you can make your way up the front and get sweaty or if they’re more of an ‘appreciate from afar’ type, you can head upstairs and watch from the balcony. Plus, with multiple bandrooms to choose from, you’re highly likely to find something you can both enjoy.

484 Smith St, Collingwood


Not only is Howler constantly putting on awesome gigs for next to nothing, it’s definitely on the nicer side when it comes to affordable live music venues so, unless you’re very unlucky, you shouldn’t end up with someone spilling their beer down your back or copping an accidental elbow to the face by an oblivious dancer. Not to mention, the bar area is laidback enough that you can have a casual chat and drink without it being too dive-y.  

7-11 Dawson St, Brunswick

The Palais Theatre 

If it’s a fancy first date you’re after, splash out and head to the stunning Palais Theatre. Being a seated venue, you don’t have to worry about compromising your view if your date is taller than you and wants to chill up the back and you also don’t have to face the awkwardness that ensues when other punters push in between you and separate you from each other. This probably isn’t the type of place you’d head to on a whim, so do a bit of research and pre-booking -- at least if the date sucks you’ll still get a good gig out of it.

Lower Esplanade, St Kilda

The Corner Hotel 

There’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a gig while people around you chat away, and you don’t want to be that person, but spending the night listening to the band in silence probably won’t win you a second date. Somewhere like The Corner is a happy medium because it’s big enough that you can do a bit of chatting without unintentionally annoying the hell out of someone whose ear is centimetres from your yapper without having to miss out on the music.

57 Swan St, Richmond

Bar 303 

Bar 303 is cosy, quirky and fun -- just like you. Plus the seated, intimate setting makes for perfect first date material. You can have a few drinks, listen to some local musicians and have a nice chat without having to worry about it getting too overcrowded or showing your old age when your legs start to get sore after an hour of standing. It’s also in a great spot to go for a nice stroll for some ice-cream afterwards if you hit it off.

303 High St, Northcote

The Evelyn 

The Evelyn is the next best thing to having a date in the comfort of your own home, without the worries of being alone with a stranger you’ve just given your address to. BYO dinner, throw down a drink or two and make yourself comfortable. In such a chilled, unpretentious venue your first date jitters will melt away quicker than you can say “I’ll get this round”. This is another spot in location heaven for grabbing a late night bite if you’re not ready to say goodnight once the band has left the stage.

351 Brunswick St, Fitzroy