Melbourne Festival 2017 is one of Australia's leading international arts festival, with an outstanding reputation for unique international and Australian events in dance, theatre, music, visual arts, multimedia, free and outdoor events over 17 days (4-22 October) each October. Drawn together from the world over are the most courageous, visionary and ambitious artists, with flair, excitement and drive, to give you that blockbuster experience.
The Festival at its heart, brings people together while breaking new ground in culture and the arts. With shows in venues strewn across Melbourne, you can buy tickets online or in person from the relevant venue. Make the most of the festival and save money with select and save packages. CLICK HERE for the online Program Guide.
Taylor Mac image courtesy of NY Times
Along with paid shows, there are a lot of freebie events for all, starting with the opening ceremony and Welcome to Country. Tanderrum is a ceremony of the five clans of the Kulin Nation and you'll be invited to join them for the final dance to a song reclaimed from rare historical recordings of William Barak who was Ngurungeta, a leader, warrior and spokesperson for Wurundjeri Country.
Other free events include art exhibitions that include Korean artist AyoungKim. His exhibition draws on forms across the artists spectrum through film, photography, dance, sound and installation and runs from 6 October to end of festival date; Joseph Kosuth, a pioneer of conceptual and installation art, and Kader Attia's first solo presentation that explores ideas of injury, repair and cultural exchange.
The adage 'streets are theatres of life' couldn't be more true with Melbourne always set in motion. Eight Victorian artists have used trams as their canvas and gone to town, so expect to see the first Melbourne Art Tram which will be launched on 5 October. These and many other free events like sitting in on the lively exchanges of Artists in Conversation can be enjoyed, including the Our Place, Our Home closing event with performances from emerging musicians from Australia's refugee and Indigenous backgrounds.
If you're after a once in a lifetime experience, Taylor Mac is the one for you. Performing in three events throughout the festival, you can kick off the festival with Taylor Mac and friends on 5 October's The Inauguration. It's the whistle stop tour of 240 years of American popular music in 90 minutes, where you can get up close and personal in an intimate stage show.
Then you can move on to a 24-decade history of popular music which is a massive event that's 24 hours in the telling! Enlisting the aid of over 100 local and international performers from acrobats and burlesque artists to choirs and marching bands, this is an experience never seen outside the US and is co-commissioned by and exclusive to Melbourne Festival. It's a no holds barred extravaganza across 4 X 6 hour epics of staggering scale!!
Why not go out with a bang and make it The Wrap with Taylor Mac at end of festival, Sunday 22 Oct at 7pm in a 1.5 hour show with no interval. As parties go, they don't get bigger. Iconic moments from the 24-Decades masterpiece will be reprised, with contributions from some of the local artists and creatives who took part in the journey. Go ahead and send off the Festival with all the celebration it deserves.