Feel the grass between your toes. Hear the beautiful music in the air.

Summer in the city means outdoor musical bliss, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Sidney Myer Free Concerts, presented in association with the University of Melbourne. These events bring great classics and great artists together in Australia’s favourite outdoor space for music.
So pack a picnic, get your friend s and family together and head down to the Bowl for four wonderful classical music experiences in a spectacular setting.


Read our Conditions of Entry at the bottom of this page.

February 2012

Wednesday 15
Saturday 18
Wednesday 22
Saturday 25

Wednesday, 15 February at 7pm

Thrilling Russian music, bursting with audacious colours, exuberant force and intense emotions.

Simon Hewett conductor    
Antoinette Halloran soprano

Rachmaninov The Isle of the Dead
Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin: Letter Scene and Polonaise
Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances

Saturday, 18 February at 7pm

This program of musical landscapes includes the exciting concerto for William Barton, showcasing his charismatic musicianship in an inspiring celebration of indigenous culture.

Benjamin Northey conductor
William Barton didjeridu and electric guitar

Copland El salon México
Hindson/Barton Kalkadungu
Sibelius Symphony No. 2

Wednesday, 22 February at 7pm

Your chance to experience Diego Matheuz, one of today’s rising musical personalities, in a program of powerful classics.

Diego Matheuz conductor
Ian Munro piano

Kodály Dances of Galánta
Liszt Piano Concerto No.1
Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5

Saturday, 25 February at 7pm

This celebration of Latin American music culminates in a blaze of rhythmic energy with Moncayo’s jubilant Huapango.

Diego Matheuz conductor
Michael Dauth violin

Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: Suite No.2
Marquez Danzon No.2
Piazzolla Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Moncayo Huapango

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Treat yourself – pack a picnic basket and a bottle of your favourite drop. Remember glasses are not permitted, bring plastic drinking glasses or paper cups.

For extra comfort, bring a rug and some cushions to sit on. Leave any elevated seating at home.

Standard umbrellas and ponchos are encouraged in the chance of rain. We play in the rain but do not permit golf umbrellas that can interfere with the view for other punters.

Join us and be sun smart. Think sunscreen, hats, and long-sleeve shirts.

Stay hydrated free water stations are available to refill your water bottles.


Provided by the Arts Centre, Melbourne


Gates open from: 4:00pm
Main performance starts: 7:00pm

Please note: show times are subject to change without notice, please check closer to the concert date

Please allow sufficient time to queue as the queues usually start forming before the gates open.

Entry process

When MSO concert patrons arrive at the Bowl, for any of the four concerts, they need to proceed to GATE 1. All other gates will be closed for entry but remain available as emergency exits if required.

On arrival at GATE 1, Bowl staff will be present outside the venue to provide each patron present with a bar-coded Entry Pass for that evening’s event. These staff will be in attendance just prior to gates being opened.

The Entry Pass will be free of charge. It guarantees entry to the Bowl for that evening’s event.

A maximum of 10,000 Entry Passes will be available for distribution just prior to each concert. (This is in line with the maximum capacity of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl for picnic-style events.)

Bowl staff will be easily recognisable and will monitor groups and queues around the GATE 1 area. One Entry Pass will be provided to each patron present.

When patrons enter through GATE 1, their Entry Pass will be scanned, providing Bowl staff with an accurate tally of the actual number of people entering the venue. These passes can be rescanned on exit to be utilised as ‘pass outs’ if required. Once venue capacity is reached (i.e. 10,000 patrons) the gate will be closed.

Conditions of entry

Because it might rain we’re happy to allow umbrellas onto the site. We request that during performances umbrellas be kept closed as they spoil the view for other patrons

Big chairs can be a nuisance at the Bowl, but folding beach and concert chairs where the seat height is 20cm (8 1/3 inches) or less from the ground may be used.  Seats of a greater height tend to block the view of other patrons.

Feel free to bring your soft sided bags and hampers to the concerts. Hard sided containers such as Eskys take up too much room so we are not able to admit these

Picnic cutlery and small cheese knives are allowed. Please do not bring long bladed kitchen knives.

Due to the risk created by broken glass – sadly there have been injuries in the past - please do not bring glassware of any type into the venue.  There are great plastic glasses out there.

Items that could pose a risk to other patrons may not be brought into the venue such as firecrackers, flares, explosives, flammable liquids, lasers or laser pointers, knives, firearms and other weapons. Security reserves the right to detain any suspected items.

Other useful information

A wide selection of hot & cold food will be on sale in the venue. Reasonable amounts of food can be brought into the venue for personal consumption

For this event reasonable amounts of alcohol for personal consumption can be brought into the venue.  Various non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase and free tap water will be available.


By Train
Flinders Street station is a 10 - 15 minute walk away across Princess Bridge over the Yarra River.

By Tram  
Stop 17 on St Kilda Road and Grant Street is the closest stop and all north and south bound trams running along St Kilda Road stop here (routes 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 & 72, except route 1).

By Car
There is limited pay and display parking around the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Arts Centre has one large undercover car park open 24-hours, seven days a week.  The entrance is located at the corner of Sturt and Kavanagh Streets, Southbank.


Accessible seating
Accessible seating is available for wheelchair users and their companions. Wheelchairs can be booked through the Concierge. Please call 9281 8298 if you require assistance. The Sidney Myer Music Bowl has a golf buggy available that staff can use should you require assistance getting from Linlithgow Ave to the venue.

Hearing impaired visitors
If you experience difficulty hearing, assisted listening devices are available for use in all seats of Arts Centre venues, as well as for Guided Tours and meetings. The units are available free of charge from venue staff, and either use standard headphones or connect with your hearing aid via a neck loop.
The TTY phone number for the Arts Centre is 03 9281 8441


The Sidney Myer Music Bowl operates rain, hail or shine.  Please come prepared for the weather:

Wet Weather
During performances umbrellas must be kept closed as they spoil the view for other patrons.  If the forecast is for rain, please come prepared with a raincoat or poncho.

Hot Weather
If the forecast is for high temperatures please come prepared with sun protection and keep yourself hydrated.  Free water stations are available to refill your water bottles and a range of drinks are available for purchase.

Please note that the seating and the main hill sections are designated non-smoking areas.  A smoking zone will be available for use on one of the side hills.

Pass outs will be permitted

Please correct the following errors: