Cut up your credit cards. Your cards and hard-earned cash needn't take a hammering this April in the name of entertainment. Melbourne has plenty of free options to keep you laughing, partying, entertained and informed. You don't even have to do it on a budget. It's all free and it covers a pretty broad spectrum. Comedy, community, culture and conspiracy theories all feature.
The Very Big Laugh Out
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival isn't just for those who can afford tickets to see the likes of Danny Bhoy or Tom Gleeson or those who know exactly which performers they'd like to see. You can sample what's on offer with the The (very) Big Laugh Out, a side-splitting smorgasbord of comedy in the streets from a range of local and international performers. It's family friendly and multicultural too, with performances from Pedro Tochas from Portugal, Mooky from Canada and Lords of Strut from Ireland, among others.
Community Street Party for the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
As part of the hospital's 150th birthday celebrations, you're invited to a Community Street Party. There will be food, games and guided tours of the hospital, including the underground tunnel under Victoria Parade. Musical entertainment will be provided by Divine Divas, Melbourne Chinese Choir, and Mordialloc Jazz Orchestra. Guide Dogs will also be popping in to say hello and players from The Victorian Blind Cricket Association will show you how to play cricket without sight. Don't forget to buy tickets in their raffle with a TV and theatre tickets among the prizes you could win.
This festival commemorates Kartini Day, a day in which Indonesians honour Raden Ayu Kartini, a pioneer of rights for native Indonesians. The festival includes food stalls from 20 Asian restaurants, a range of cultural and musical performances and specialist stalls with cultural activities for the kids, including henna art and sand art. It's fun, free, family entertainment.
Where: Queen Victoria Market, 513 Elizabeth St, Melbourne.
Truth Cinema Melbourne
Here's one for the conspiracy theorists amongst you. Truth Cinema Melbourne provides regular meet-ups and screenings of films on a range of topics including the New World Order, secret societies, big banking, propoganda, and media manipulation. they also have food and drink available. This month's offerings are Trance-formation (2012), a documentary by Australian Maxwell Igan and Agenda 21 Explained (2011), a documentary examining the United Nations' Agenda 21.
When: Trance-formation on Monday 22 April and Agenda 21 Explained on Monday April 29. Pre-screening drinks and discussion at 6.30 with screening at 7.30pm.
Where: John Curtin Hotel, 29 Lygon Street, Carlton.
Now orange is not a colour that suits everyone but if you think you can pull it off then don some orange and come along to Dutch Orange Day and help celebrate the last Koninginnedag (Queens Day). Next year it will be Kings Day because King Willem-Alexander ascends to the throne on 30 April after the much-loved Queen Beatrix hands in the royal rei(g)ns.
The secondary theme for this year's event is Dutch Masters, with copies of famous paintings and artistic activities for the kids. There will be a beer garden, Dutch folk dancing, markets and music and all those delicious Dutch delicacies like stroopwafels, poffertjes, and orange vanilla slices.
Image from event website.
When: Sunday 28 April from 10.30am to 4pm.
Where: Queensbridge Square, 1A Queens Bridge Street Southbank.