Fringe Common Rooms

Venue Hire

Located in Melbourne’s iconic Trades Hall, Fringe Common Rooms is our year-round home for independent artists, for workers and for people who like to party. If you have an idea for an event, whether it’s a show, private function (or really anything you can dream of) then we want to hear from you. Our venue has a capacity of up to 240 people, a commercial bar, is wheelchair accessible (including lift access to the stage) and has a hearing loop.

Our Spaces

  • The Old Ballroom: a performance space & bar that holds up to 170 patrons standing or 146 seated theatre-style. Perfect for your one-off performance (think comedy, cabaret, spoken word), dance party, book launch, film screening or panel event.
  • The Annexe: a second, intimate saloon-style space that holds up to 70 people and is ideal for workshops, meetings and rehearsals.
  • Porque no los dos? For most events in the Old Ballroom, the Annexe can be used as a break-out area or backstage green room at no extra cost.
Shows and Gigs

Fringe Common Rooms is more than just a venue for hire – it’s a home for vibrant and groundbreaking independent arts, music and events. All year round Common Rooms carries the torch for Melbourne Fringe’s deep commitment to rebellion, inclusivity and creativity (and ripper dance floors, obvz). From gigs and live music to comedy, spoken word, theatre, cabaret, parties and meet-ups – whatever you’re up to, this is fully accessible common ground for everyone. And for artists, it’s a chance to share your work in a bustling and historic building right in the heart of Melbourne – and cos we love artists, you get heaps of benefits!

Hire Models

Depending on your event, we’ll set a hire fee based on one (or a combination of) the following:
– a door-split (where the artist and Melbourne Fringe share the door)
– a per-ticket fee (usually a flat per-ticket fee built into the cost of the ticket)
– a flat venue-hire cost (one fee for the whole extravaganza)
– or minimum bar spend (speaks for itself)

Common Rooms Cash

Got an idea for a show or gig that can take place between August and October this year and need some extra help to get it on its feet? We’ve just opened applications for Common Rooms Cash, our program designed to help artists make their event financially viable while take COVID-19 restrictions into account. Check out more info here.

More Info

Reckon Common Rooms is the perfect place for your show?

Rehearsals and Meetings

Fancy rehearsing somewhere other than your mate’s garage? Need a space for your meeting with excellent carpet and historic charm? Our spaces are available for free or super cheap. Our artist development program Spare Rooms offers 2-3 weeks free rehearsal space in The Annexe – find our more and apply here. For anything else, get in touch with us on or call us on (03) 9660 9600.

A panoramic photo of Fringe Common Rooms. The left of the image shows the stage and is lit with purple lighting. The left half of the image shows the bar and is in yellow lighting. The selling is high and wood panelled and there is a mirror ball hanging from the middle.

Photo by Duncan Jacob

Private Functions

Looking for a centrally located function space with heaps of flexibility in a historic building right in the heart of Melbourne? Fringe Common Rooms at Trades Hall has you sorted. With a touch of our signature Melbourne Fringe flair, we’re helping transform Melbourne’s best kept secret into a tantalising alternative function space – and with two fully equipped flexible rooms, exclusive hires and long licenses, it’s perfect for functions of all shapes and sizes. So, whether you’re hosting a corporate event for clients, a work Christmas party, or your aunt’s 50th birthday join us at Common Rooms. We’ve got something for everyone.

Common Rooms holds a 3am licence on all days except Sunday (which is licenced until 11pm). We have a bar in the Old Ballroom that we can run during your event with a great selection of drinks – check out our Functions Info Pack for drink packages and pricing.

What do you get?

Common Rooms is a fully-equipped performance venue, which means we’ve got all the things you might need – including a PA system, DJ equipment, projector and backline. Download the Functions Info Pack for all our tech specs.

Standard function hire includes:

  • room setup (with bar tables, cabaret or theatre seating)
  • access to the PA system (for recorded music)
  • a microphone and stand
  • a basic lighting state

More info