Summer in Melbourne is not just about heatwaves and lazy days by the beach. The warmer months also bring a wealth of free outdoor events as we emerge from our cocoons after a cold winter. Those who enjoy music, film and the arts will want to put these events in their calendars. Celebrate summer in Melbourne with these free, fun and popular events.
A suite of free events runs at the MPavilion over summer. Image: MPavilion.
MPavilion is a temporary pavilion in the Queen Victoria Gardens. The funky structure is re-designed by a different architect each year for the project's duration and hosts a variety of events between October and February. Head to the MPavilion every Friday evening for a relaxed sunset bash with DJs and drinks. Every Sunday of the season, there is an afternoon live music listening session, with a diverse range of performers on the roster. You can check out a variety of meet-ups for dog walking, yoga crossed with design, and plenty more. All events at the MPavilion are free.
St Kilda Festival
Festival Sunday in St Kilda is a free music event boasting plenty of local acts. Image: St Kilda Festival.
The ever-popular St Kilda Festival returns in 2015. The nine-day long festival period ends with the final Sunday, which showcases plenty of Australian music acts- and all for free. Five music stages on the Sunday are the backbone of the festival, but there will also be a range of other activities such as workshops and kids' entertainment in balmy St Kilda. This summer, the festival kicks off on 31 January and the main Sunday events falls on the eighth of February.
SummerSalt Outdoor Arts Festival
The new SummerSalt festival includes both free and paid events. Image: SummerSalt.
A new festival to hit the city's Southbank precinct this year, SummerSalt is held over five consecutive weekends, from 21 January to 23 February. The festival is comprised of theatre, art, dance and music events, with plenty of the events being suitable for all ages. Not all SummerSalt events are free, but there is an exhaustive list of their free events here. One of the more unusual free events is a playground for dogs
Southgate Deckchair Cinema, with owners allowed to partake in the fun too.
Recline on a deckchair while you watch a free film. Image: Southgate.
Head to the Deckchair Cinema at the Southgate shopping complex to catch a free film every Tuesday night of the summer. The program includes a range of movies for all tastes, from mainstream X-Men: Days of Future Past to political cricket documentary Fire in Babylon. The silent cinema (sound is provided through earphones) is located inside the shopping centre under a glass roof. Each screening takes place after sunset, so at least if the film is boring you can engage in some stargazing.
The event is free, but booking ahead of time is essential. The cinema season runs until the end of February.
The Flinders Street precinct was transformed with light for White Night in 2013 and 2014. Image: White Night.
Following the huge success of White Night in the last two years, the event will be returning in 2015. The event takes place over just one night, which this summer will be Saturday the 21st of February, from 7pm to 7am. The city is packed with light installations, visual and performance art and music. It will also be packed with people- so if you value your personal space, this event is not for you.
The event is mostly free, although there may be a few events with an admission fee. The program will be released on their website close to the date.