Exploring Melbourne’s Music Sacred Sites History with Mary Mihelakos



Mary Mihelakos is a music lifer who began volunteering at community radio as a teen. She went on to manage bands and book live music venues while studying media at university. Mary edited Beat Magazine (1995 – 2005), and for six years wrote the weekly ‘Sticky Carpet’ column in The Age newspaper covering Melbourne’s live entertainment scene. Mary founded the Aussie BBQ at SxSW in 2003, now a global showcase for Australian music managed by Sounds Australia.


Mary produced the stage show of Buried Country – Live in Concert based on Clinton Walker’s book and documentary telling the untold story of Aboriginal country music. Mary established the Melbourne Music Bus Tours which run regularly from the Australian Music Vault at the Arts Centre Melbourne sharing local music history. In recent years Mary returned to live music bookings for venues such as the Spanish Club, Prince Bandroom, Yah Yahs, Bella Union, Thornbury Theatre, the Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Ballroom and Federation Square. Mary also works closely with a number of musicians and individuals who she believes in as a manager and a mentor.


Mary has been DJing for over 20 years all over Melbourne and inspired the Jet song “Roll Over DJ”. Mary has also jumped on stage to dance with Iggy Pop and the Stooges 6 times in 3 different continents. In December 2020 Mary Mihelakos was inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame for her services to Australian music.


This is a music tour like no other. Discover the past of dimly lit band rooms, untold stories from the recording studios and secrets from side-of-stage. From AC/DC to Z, hear about the revolutionary musicians who have shaped the scene. The bus will travel past current venues, iconic laneways, important Indigenous music spots, music video locations and places which have inspired some of our most loved songs.

Relevant, irreverent, educational and entertaining, the tour will include a broad and diverse range of Melbourne sites including venues and locations associated with this season’s special guests.


Final guests have been announced:

Saturday 15 October, 1pm: Angie Hart Saturday 15 October, 4pm: Paul Stewart Saturday 29 October, 1pm: Jane Clifton Saturday 29 October, 4pm: Wilbur Wilde Saturday 12 November, 1pm: Robbie Bundle and Bart Willoughby Saturday 12 November, 4pm: Clare Bowditch Saturday 19 November, 1pm: Deborah Conway Saturday 19 November, 4pm: Dogs in Space with Sam Sejavka and Chuck Meo (The Ears) Saturday 3 December, 1pm: Rebecca Barnard Saturday 3 December, 4pm: Billy Miller (The Ferrets) Saturday 10 December, 1pm: Kylie Auldist Saturday 10 December, 4pm: Phill Calvert (The Birthday Party) – If you're a fan of late 70s Melbourne punk, this is the tour for you!


Locations could include Armstrong Studios, Bakehouse Studios, Champion Hotel, Crystal Ballroom, the Dogs in Space house, The Espy, The Exford, Faraday Street, Muchmore Ballroom, Mushroom Records, the Nylex Clock sign, the Old Greek Theatre, the Palace, Punters Club, Richmond Recorders, Sing Sing Studios, Tiger Lounge and The Venue. The tour will also travel to Chrissy Amphlett Lane, Charcoal Lane, Rowland S. Howard Lane and AC/DC Lane.

Running for approximately two hours, the Melbourne Music Bus Tour departs from the Australian Music Vault, which is inside Arts Centre Melbourne on St Kilda Road, and will travel across Melbourne where the stories shared on the bus, stay on the bus, before returning to its point of departure.