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The Hi-Fi

Address:
125 Swanston St, Melbourne CBD 3000
Opening hours:
For special events
http://www.thehifi.com.au

If you're a fan of live music then you've probably set foot in Hi-Fi Bar at least a few times. Located in the centre of town, it's one of Melbourne's most popular music venues. Thursdays through to Saturdays will usually have one touring international or another on the bill, and if you happen to walk past around 9pm you'll find a line of patrons snaking around outside. The actual venue is spread over two levels with an intimate mezzanine bar upstairs overlooking the main room below. Either way, the large stage at the front of the room is the focal point - fair enough given this is a live music venue. The mezzanine packs up to 150 people and features its own bar. There's some seating scattered around the edges and you wouldn't be ashamed to use it as a 'VIP area' for touring bands. The main room is basically an empty floor space with a sunken moshpit and carpeted walls. There are no chairs or couches because, frankly, the crowd will either be yelling for drinks at the bar or facing the stage. If you have an overwhelming urge to sit down this clearly isn't the place to be. With the focus on live music, the drinks selection tends to be simple and to the point - beers and premixed spirits. There's a reasonable selection of both (local and imported), but nothing that's going to blow anyone's mind. At the end of the day, people come to Hi-Fi bar for the music - not to swan around with cocktails. And if you catch the place during Comedy Festival time, the place transforms into a comedy/retro disco joint.