If you’ve never heard of The Tote, we’re guessing you might not be from around here. Built back in the 19th century, and carrying its name since 1876, The Tote is now just part of the furniture in Collingwood.
There was a brief closing in 2010 (and subsequent nation-wide protest) due to licensing laws, but The Tote has been going strong ever since. We saved The Tote, and its cult status and locale crowds don’t seem to be going anywhere.
Now, this isn’t exactly a place you'd bring your in-laws, nor should you hold up the bar crowd by ordering rounds of espresso martinis for the *gals*. The Tote is not about carefully styled interiors and aesthetics that dominate most of Melbourne's bar scene. Instead, grab a beer and settle in to absorb the whole point of The Tote: live local music.
The Tote is the spot in Melbourne to watch local rock, hardcore, metal, and punk bands play, four times a week. It’s able to claim the title of being the first gig spot for the most important emerging Australian artists of the last three decades. As one of the biggest live-music venues in Melb, The Tote has also hosted performances from international rock legends like The White Stripes and Mudhoney.
It’s a dash of culture, a dose of history and a big blasting blast of electric guitars. Get around it.
Image credit: @red_lips_black_hair