ACDC Lane

Melbourne, Victoria

ACDC Lane is one of the most rock 'n' roll streets in the world!

ACDC Lane 7
- Katherine Lim

Discover AC/DC Lane

ACDC Lane, in Melbourne’s business district, was named after the iconic Australian rock band AC/DC. On 1st October 2004, 31 years after the band's debut, the city of Melbourne renamed Corporation Lane to ACDC Lane, honouring the band's contributions to music and Aussie culture. Many famous people from the Australian music industry attended the renaming ceremony, which included a bagpipe tribute to AC/DC's hit song "It's a Long Way to the Top."

"As the song says, there is a highway to hell, but this is a laneway to heaven. Let us rock."

Lord Mayor John So, during the lane’s renaming ceremony.

Due to local laws prohibiting slashes in street names, the slash separating AC and DC was omitted. After its rebranding the lane quickly became filled with street art, much of it dedicated to the band.

ACDC Lane 6
- clurross

The History of ACDC Lane

Historically, the lane was unnamed on MMBW plans from 1895, situated off Flinders Lane between Russell and Exhibition streets. By the early 20th century, it was surrounded by residences and other buildings, with cavernous cellars below street level. By 1915, it was being referred to as Corporation Lane, due to its proximity to Corporation Yard. In 1920, Corporation Lane housed the YMCA's military stores.

By 2008, ACDC Lane had become a trending area taken over by cafés, restaurants, clubs, and various street art murals. Among these was "Over Logo," a piece by Lou Weis and Jan Van Schaik. Despite an electrical fire in June 2008 that damaged some buildings, including the legendary live music venue Cherry Bar, which had to relocate, the lane's rock spirit remained unscathed. Just two days later, it hosted an all-ages rock concert amidst the scorched surroundings—how very rock and roll?!

ACDC Lane 1
- the euskadi 11

Cherry Bar and Heritage Windows

"Meet you at the windows!"

Locals to each other about the heritage windows on the former Cherry Bar.

Even though the iconic Cherry Bar was relocated, one of the lane’s most recognised features today is the heritage windows featured on the former bar and nightclub. These windows have become a canvas for sticker artists. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the windows were updated with new stickers by local and international artists such as Loui Jover, Amor Killz, and The Postman Art.

ACDC Lane 5
- Geof Wilson

ACDC Lane’s Controversial Lightning Bolt

The iconic lightning bolt or slash ("/") that is used to separate the 'AC' and 'DC' in the lane’s sign today, had to be omitted on the original street sign due to the naming policy of the Office of the Registrar of Geographic Names.

However, this decision caused outrage amongst AC/DCs fans, as the missing symbol felt like an oversight. To address this, an artist named Knifeyard took matters into his own hands and added a lightning bolt above and below the street sign a month after the renaming. This guerrilla art installation completed the lane's rock 'n' roll spirit, as it finally aligned properly with the band’s branding.

ACDC Lane 3
- ccdoh1

A Tribute to Malcolm Young on ACDC Lane

Following the passing of Malcolm Young in November 2018, AC/DC Lane paid tribute to the co-founding rhythm guitarist of AC/DC with two overnight murals. Created by anonymous street artist Lushsux, these artworks honour Malcolm as the heart and soul of the band. Lushsux's murals, colourfully depicting popular culture, have received international acclaim becoming an integral part of the lane’s landscape.

Rocking the Laneways: Street Art on ACDC Lane

AC/DC Lane has become internationally recognised for its street art and graffiti, being one of the few places in Melbourne where artists can legally showcase their work without a permit. This open platform attracts both experienced and new artists, allowing them to find their niche—and their fans!—and make bold statements.

In March 2018, as part of the State government's 'Rockin' the Laneways' funding program, local artist Mike Makatron created an impressive sculpture of AC/DC’s former lead singer, Bon Scott. The artwork portrays Bon bursting out of the brickwork, microphone in hand, and has become a must-see for the lane’s visitors.

ACDC Lane
- Geof Wilson

Since 2018 these are some of the murals that have cropped up on ACDC Lane:

  • Black Sabbath’s "Born Again"
  • Pink Floyd’s "Wish You Were Here"
  • The Clash’s "London Calling"
  • Joy Division’s "Unknown Pleasures"
  • Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled album
  • Jimi Hendrix’s "Purple Haze"
  • Judas Priest’s "Defenders of the Faith"
  • Frank Zappa’s "Sheik Yerbouti"

At the end of ACDC Lane, you’ll find Fintan Magee’s four-story high mural of a man carrying a tree trunk through an urban landscape. Dubbed the "Australian Banksy," Magee's large-scale works often tackle politically charged themes.

ACDC Lane 4
- Dave Harris

Another hotspot for murals and street art is on Duckboard Place, which ACDC Lane follows onto. These exhibitions are often referred to as the ‘Money Shots’ by street art hunters and photographers. Street art hunters, like Vasso and Adam (founding members of @thestreetarthunters), and Pat, (a.k.a. @streetartmelbourneandbeyond), seek out new art installations and can show you where the best ones already are!

Whether you visit ACDC Lane to appreciate and snap pictures of the endless array of murals and street art, or you simply wish to bathe in the band’s glory, a trip to this Melbourne laneway will leave you feeling energised and inspired.

ACDC Lane 2
- Anne Beaumont

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