Abbotsford Convent is a much loved space by many who frequent it, for its wonderful relaxing vibe and the many events this interactive Convent holds, including various popular markets and summer food truck events. Their lawns and gardens are like a sanctuary to many who gather to sit and communicate with friends under the canopy of nature, with options of restaurants and cafes on the grounds, including the fabulous Convent Bakery.
Over the weekend of 17 & 18 November 2018, starting at 12pm on both dates and finishing at 9pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday, the Convent's flagship festival Open Spaces beckons you to celebrate the Convent's people and places. The best of the creative community will come together at this Festival of Music, Art, Markets, good food and more. Entry is $5 at the gate, and here's a preview of the program on the day, you can download.
For your listening pleasure, multi-instrumentalist and producer Joel Ma (Joelistics) has put together a music program that features a diverse array of international flavours. Grab a bean bag and relax in the Heritage Gardens in between activities, or just stay and chill to the sounds of Cool Out Sun, The Senegambian Jazz Band, MzRizk (DJ) and more. It's a program brimming with new sounds and artists from different communities that represents our great Melbourne music scene; chilled for the day and picking up tempo for a party in the evening.
For something completely different, artist-in-residence, Minna Gilligan has transformed her studio space for you so you can view her maximalist heaven; a floor-to-ceiling collage of feminine iconography and colour; A Room of My Own project. It's an immersive experience for you to get lost in the imagery on the walls. An I Spy worksheet activity will be available o encourage the kids to take a closer look. This is but one of many art events on the day.
The Markets celebrates a local community of independent makers, designers, thinkers, and publishers. Handmade and second-hand wares will be available to browse through from a curated selection of makers and shakers in the atmospheric Industrial School. This is again one of many amongst the Melbourne Book Market, the 3MBS Record Fair, Print Space and Design Space.
Melbourne's most experienced book dealers will be bringing a selection of unique titles on various subjects, and there'll be authors and illustrators as well, in the Linen Room of the Convent building. The Melbourne Book Market is held monthly at the convent for lovers of books. In the music world, vinyls are making a big comeback, and you'll find an array of them, including CDs, DVDs and sheet music at the Record Fair in the Salon. A curated selection of independent writers, thinkers and publishers will be at Print Space in the Community Room. Artists' publications and print material will also be available from the team at c3 Contemporary Art Space. Throwing a cute spanner in the works, Dog Photog Studios are having a pop-up to take portraits of your four legged pooches. Think dogs dressed as scouts, sailors and artists, so feel free to bring man's best friend with you.
Bouncing around Open Spaces events like Art, Community Music, Health and Wellbeing, Kids, Markets, Ngulu-nganjin, Open Sounds program, Studios, tours, and more, can be hungry work. You'll find delightful and delicious food vendors to satisfy your tastebuds, plus the Convent's fantastic eateries on site like the Convent Bakery, Lentil as Anything, Kappaya Japanese Soul Food and of course the bar and café Cam's. You could also bring your own picnic basket, but leave your alcoholic drinks, glassware and sharps at home; but why would you. Take a complete break from the kitchen, support the vendors and enjoy what they do best over the weekend. A bite to eat and a seat on a bean bag to catch some live music after, sounds like a kind of heaven.
The Slow Food Farmer's Market pop-up will have ready-to-eat food selections that are sustainable and ethically sourced from stalls like The Potato Chef, Inkredible Calamari and handmade burgers and Kimu Korean Japanese Eatery. The Vegan Market pop-up market will also have compassionate and sustainable food stalls like Sim's Sizzle, Brightlife Catering, Bomba Woodfired Pizza, Piece by Peace Desserts and Palea Agora. The Ghost Kitchen food truck will be on the ready with their street food inspired menu of Taiwanese street food, and the Taco Truck will bring the best of their taco deliciousness for the hola taco fans, with something extra special in the works for the event. Who said Billy van Creamy? *Melt, Swoon* for the creamiest, thickest, natural ice cream around, with a surprise flavour hand-crafted for the Convent.
There's definitely a lot happening, so it's time best served to put those dates in the diary, and be checking out that program thoroughly to make an itinerary of timeframes, locations and events that are at the top of your list, to enjoy. Keep a close ear on the Facebook and event page for updates and interaction.