Melbourne Ska Orchestra hits the road for 21st anniversary tour

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Melbourne Ska Orchestra hits the road for 21st anniversary tour

Words by Staff Writer

A birthday worth a celebration, ARIA award-winning collective Melbourne Ska Orchestra will celebrate their 21st birthday with fans across the country.

Melbourne Ska Orchestra take their unique genre fusion around the country across August and October in a big birthday bash, celebrating 21 years since their inception. Titled the Outlaws and Offbeats Tour, they are set to bring all of the party elements – the vibrance, the fun and of course the music!

Commencing in Cairns on Friday 16 August, the Outlaws and Offbeats Tour will then head to Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, before making its way through Newcastle, Wollongong, Sydney, Canberra, Castlemaine, Margaret River, Perth and Melbourne, and is set to close out in spectacular style on Saturday 19 October in Adelaide.

Outlaws and Offbeats Tour

  • FRI 16 AUG I TANKS ARTS CENTRE, CAIRNS QLD | supported by El Moth
  • FRI 23 AUG I THE BRIGHTSIDE OUTDOORS, BRISBANE QLD I 18+ | supported by The Seven of Ska & Chutney
  • SAT 24 AUG I THE STATION, SUNSHINE COAST QLD I ALL AGES | supported by The Seven of Ska & Chutney
  • SUN 25 AUG I SOUNDLOUNGE, GOLD COAST QLD I 18+ | supported by Chutney
  • THU 29 AUG I KING STREET BANDROOM, NEWCASTLE NSW I 18+ | supported by Chutney
  • FRI 30 AUG I WAVES, TOWRADGI NSW I 18+ | supported by Chutney
  • SAT 31 AUG I METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW | supported by Chutney & PlayLunch
  • SUN 01 SEP I THE BASEMENT, CANBERRA ACT | supported by Chutney
  • SAT 14 SEP I THEATRE ROYAL, CASTLEMAINE VIC | supported by PlayLunch
  • SAT 21 SEP I FREO.SOCIAL, FREMANTLE WA I 18+ | supported by ModSquad
  • FRI 04 OCT I 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE VIC I 18+ | supported by PlayLunch
  • SAT 19 OCT I HINDLEY STREET MUSIC HALL, ADELAIDE SA I 18+ | supported by PlayLunch

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.


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Forming in the early 2000s and comprising up to 26 members, the sonic juggernaut that is Melbourne Ska Orchestra is one beating at its core with technical brilliance and infectious joy. Bringing their own unique take on the ska genre, Melbourne Ska Orchestra boasts some of Australia’s finest musicians and performances, helmed by the indomitable charisma of Nicky Bomba (John Butler Trio, Bomba, Bustamento).

“It’s been quite an amazing journey so far,” says Bomba. “This whole ramshackle thing we call the orchestra was created from a love of ska and the fun vibes surrounding it all. We had no idea it would translate so well with everyone, and it still feels like we have a lot more to create.”

At 21 years, the Melbourne Ska Orchestra have had quite the life story, working through seven full-length albums, receiving two ARIA Awards wins and several nominations, garnering millions of streams worldwide and bringing joy to each person that sees them in the live setting.

“I feel pretty lucky to perform music that I love with an amazing array of musical outlaws!” Bomba says. “This mighty big band really is a spectacle to behold and the energy that I feel on stage inspires me to connect with our audiences on the highest level possible. Outlaws and Offbeats indeed! Viva La Melbourne Ska Orchestra!”

And as to what fans can expect from the upcoming Outlaws and Offbeats Tour? “We’ll be adding some new things to the show to give our fans a different twist,” Bomba concludes, “and we’re working on some tour specific fun.”

Tickets for the upcoming Outlaws and Offbeats Tour are available now. You can grab them here