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Published January 5th 2019
The Best Things in Life are Festive
Flinders St Station lights up during White Night (sweeoon / BY-SA 2.0)
Why is Melbourne the most liveable city in the world? It could be the culture, coffee, sport, art, food or fun that makes Melbourne great. Find out with these festivals celebrating the best of Melbourne, listed in date order.
Lonsdale Street Festival - Saturday 23 February to Sunday 24 February 2019 – Free Entry
Melbourne's massive Greek celebration returns for its 32nd year, bringing the best of Greek street food, music, art, craft and activities to Lonsdale St.
While musicians perform on 3 stages, visitors can dance the Zorba or sing their favourite Greek song in the Magic Mic competition.
Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival – 1 to 10 March 2019 – Free and Ticketed Events
Fashionitas frock up! In Australia's largest fashion event, runway shows feature the latest dynamic fashions by local and international designers, alongside beauty workshops, seminars, networking events and parties.
The 2019 theme is Power To The Dreamers, showcasing our local fashion industry as dreams become reality.
Food and Wine Festival – 8 March to 24 March 2019 – Free and Ticketed Events
Over 250,000 visitors bring their appetites to 200 food-focused events hosted by our favourite culinary creators.
In previous years, Guy Grossi, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Heston Blumenthal have thrown shrimps on the barbie. Events are held in restaurants and cafes throughout Melbourne, including many of the hidden haunts tucked in our laneways.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival – 27 March to 21 April 2019 – Free and Ticketed Events
One of the world's biggest laughfests fills Melbourne with chuckles, guffaws, giggles and the odd snort as the best Aussie and international comedians tickle our funny bones with their latest comedy gold.
Buddha's Day and Multicultural Festival – 18 to 19 May 2019 – Free Entry
In Federation Square, the Buddha's Birthday is celebrated in a spiritual festival promoting the best aspects of multiculturalism.
During this weekend in May, a variety of cultures and faiths are invited to host art, music and prayer events. There are workshops in calligraphy and cooking and stalls serving delicious vegetarian dishes, gently promoting the compassionate First Buddhist Precept (no killing).
Melbourne International Jazz Festival - 31 May to 9 June 2019 – Free and Ticketed Events
In Jazz clubs, recital halls and arts centres across Melbourne, the free-styling energy of saxophones, guitars and trumpets fills the air with joyous jazz.
Highlights in past years included a celebration of Ella Fitzgerland and Louis Armstrong with Patti Austin and James Morrison, and Armenian pianist, Tigran Hamasyan, performing tracks from his album An Ancient Observer.
See plant-human hybrids (by Melbourne Intl. Flower and Garden Show)
Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show – 31 May to 2 June 2019 – Free and Ticketed Events
Still hungry after the foodie festival in March? See more culinary talents behind the hotplate, sample ciders, wines and beers, and taste-test sweet and savoury samples in the Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Melbourne Writers' Festival – 24 August to 2 September 2019 – Free and Ticketed Events
Readers turn the pages as quickly as the authors can write them at our largest literature festival. There are discussions and workshops to engage us with the ideas probed by some of the most talented international and local writers.
Melbourne Fringe – 12 to 29 September 2019 – Free and Ticketed Events
Push your artistic comfort zone beyond the ordinary with our most dynamic artists, musicians, comedians, circus performers, actors and dancers
The Fringe hosts hundreds of events to champion art for everyone. In 2018, highlights were music from Polito x Visual Display, Bob Franklin's comedy, the Casting Off circus act, cabaret by Creatures of the Deep and the kid's event, I AM HEAR.