Attending Events

Attending Events

Updated 31 March, 2021. There will continue to be frequent updates, so please ensure that you are reading the update with the most recent date and time.

When you return to Melbourne Recital Centre, attending an event may look a little different.

Before you arrive, please familiarise yourself with our Conditions of Entry. As this information is subject to change, please ensure you are reading the most up to date advice. Being COVID Safe is a shared responsibility and we ask that you make a reasonable assessment of your health before attending the Centre and do not attend if you are unwell.

Melbourne Recital Centre is operating under Industry Restart Guidelines provided by the Victorian Government and in accordance with our COVIDSafe plan.

Our COVIDSafe plan is based on six COVIDSafe principles:

  • Ensure physical distancing
  • Wear a face covering
  • Practise good hygiene
  • Keep records and act quickly if workers become unwell
  • Avoid interactions in enclosed spaces
  • Create workforce bubbles

If you, or someone you have been in contact with, are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 please contact us to request a refund or exchange prior to the event.

What health and safety precautions will the Centre take once it reopens?

Melbourne Recital Centre is committed to the safety of our artists, staff and patrons. As we reopen, a range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing measures have been put in place:

  • Reduced capacity in our venues. The Elisabeth Murdoch Hall can seat a maximum of 750 patrons and the Primrose Potter Salon can seat a maximum of 75 patrons. So that we can welcome back as many patrons as possible, seating is not physically distanced in our venues. Clear signage is in place to help our patrons safely move through our spaces.
  • We strongly recommend that visitors wear a fitted face mask when inside the Centre.
  • Regular cleaning and sanitisation of our venues and high touch areas with approved disinfectant products throughout the day
  • Optimised fresh airflow through our air-conditioning system.
  • Hand sanitiser stations around our spaces and maintaining handwash in bathrooms. In addition, perspex screens have been placed in some public areas.
  • Performance times have been staggered and we are limiting the use of foyer spaces.
  • It is a requirement for all visitors attending the Centre to supply their details to allow for contact tracing if required. Melbourne Recital Centre uses the Service Victoria app for all contact tracing record keeping.
  • Our foyer bars are closed for now but Blondie Bar is operating under the Hospitality Guidelines.
  • All transactions at the Centre are now card only and cash is not accepted.

What should I do before I visit the Centre?

Being COVID Safe is a shared responsibility and we ask that you make a reasonable assessment of your health before attending the Centre and do not attend if you are unwell. If you, or someone you have been in contact with, are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 please contact us to request a refund prior to the event.

Please do not attend the venue if you feel unwell and/or you have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell

If you are concerned about your symptoms, please contact your doctor or the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice on testing. Click here to read more.

What am I required to do when I visit?

All visitors to Melbourne Recital Centre must practice strict physical distancing and follow all instructions provided by staff.

  • We recommend you wear a face mask when attending the Centre.
  • Keep 1.5 metres away from other people where possible, including in corridors, bathrooms, lifts and all interior spaces.
  • Be responsible for keeping your distance — when waiting in line or walking within the Centre, be patient and give others space so they can give you yours
  • Practice good hand hygiene. Make use of hand sanitisers and wash your hands frequently while on site
  • Follow signage and directions given on site to address physical distancing requirements
  • When attending an event please arrive early as there will be new entry procedures in place and be patient while we are implementing changes.
  • Please respect the directions of our staff while they seek to make your visit safe.

Collecting Tickets

Our Box Office is open for ticket collection from 1 hour before a ticketed event. Please bring your order confirmation, credit card and concession card/s with you. Only the credit card holder can collect tickets unless we’ve received prior approval. eTickets can be loaded on your smart phone for scanning or printed at home. If your tickets have been lost, call 03 9699 3333 or email us here.

Audio /Video recording and photos

The Centre strictly prohibits the audio / video recording and taking of photos (including camera phones) anywhere in the venue.

When to applaud

For some shows, there are no expectations on when to applaud. Performers greatly value the applause of an audience and it is never unappreciated. However, for chamber music and symphony performances, there are some generally accepted conventions on when to do so.

If in doubt, wait to see when the rest of the audience applauds and follow their lead.


Just before the performance begins, all members of the Orchestra except the Concertmaster will be seated on stage. The Concertmaster is the violinist who sits in the first chair of the first row of the Orchestra. The audience will greet the Concertmaster with applause when he or she enters the stage. A few moments later, the Conductor will follow and the audience will applaud again. Should there be a soloist or soloists performing, they will enter with the Conductor and should also be applauded.

Once the performance commences, you will notice that symphonic works are often composed of several movements or sections with short pauses between each movement. It is customary to sit quietly during these pauses and save your applause for the end of the final movement.

Chamber Music

Like symphonies, chamber music pieces are often made up of several movements with short pauses between each movement. Audience members are encouraged to hold their applause until the end of the piece. Melbourne Recital Centre provides free program sheets for each performance, available from stewards in the foyer, which will outline the movements for each piece.

Dress Code

Unless specified, there is no formal dress code at Melbourne Recital Centre, although shoes must be worn at all times. If in doubt, smart casual is always a good choice.

Visiting with Children / Babies

We encourage children of all ages to learn and discover more about music by attending our events. We also encourage parents and guardians to be aware of their children’s behaviour whilst at the Centre and ensure that this doesn’t negatively impact on others enjoyment of an event. Our Box Office can provide further support and advise on age suitability for each event.

Unless advised on an events webpage, every person must have a valid entry ticket, regardless of age.

A limited number of booster cushions are available from the cloakroom upon request for use within our building as long as they do not obstruct the view of people seated behind them.