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A festival that you do, in the city that does it best
At RISING, you can experience a festival that is truly unique to its location. Melbourne is more than just a backdrop, it's an integral part of the event. With its hidden corners and transformed landmarks, RISING invites both locals and tourists to explore the city in new and exciting ways.
Get ready to join the Kazoo-nity! RISING 2023 is bringing 10,000 biodegradable kazoos to Melbourne in June for a mass participation event. No musical ability or training is required to participate in the chorus of do-do-dos down that tube.
Six Melbourne Art Trams will showcase new designs by First Peoples artists, responding to the theme of Blak Futurism, envisioning better futures and representation for Australia's Indigenous peoples. Curated by artist Jarra Karalinar Steel, the trams will debut on June 13, 2023.
Head down to the riverbank and hit The Rink at RISING for an out-of-this-world ice-skating experience. Glide under the cosmic starry sky, or warm up by the fire with mouth-watering treats, hot cocoa and whisky cocktails. Whether it's art or not, it's the perfect way to kick off winter.
You won't want to miss Shadow Spirit - an immersive experience of contemporary First Peoples' art that delves into dynamic stories of our connections to the spirit worlds, time and memory. Join us at the iconic Flinders Street Station Level 3 rooms for an unforgettable experience.
Head to St. Paul's Cathedral and experience Wu Tsang and Beverly Glenn-Copeland's Anthem, a moving work that unites people through the power of voice. Open your heart and listen deeply.
Take a quick stroll from Anthem to the bridge and catch a glimpse of Aunty Zeta Thomson's Electric projection on Hamer Hall. A revered Elder, Aunty Zeta shares her story of the Ancestor spirits, Mookies, in a large-scale projection that overlooks the Birrarung. Don't be surprised if you also spot the Melbourne Art Trams adorned with stunning First Peoples' artwork as they roll by, offering a glimpse into the future.
As you plan your itinerary for RISING, don't forget to set aside one evening for a choose-your-own-adventure tour of the festival's street culture offerings. Begin at Night Trade presented by Up and indulge in some Free to Feed BBQ eats with a cold tinnie in hand.
Afterwards, take a stroll up to Chapter House and immerse yourself in the Haitian street party vibes at Ghetto Biennale, or stop by the champagne and oyster bar along the way. If you've had your fill of partying, make your way down to The Rink at RISING on Birrarung Marr and enjoy a nightcap of boozy hot chocolate from Mörk and Archie Rose.
But if you're still in the mood for more festivities, head back to Night Trade presented by Up and witness the chaos that Poncili Creacion are stirring up. Don't forget to grab a 'late-night hot box' pie from Free to Feed, the social enterprise, and launch into the negroni tank while you're there.
The RISING festival program is a complex beast to navigate, but there are ways to make it easier. The Festival Program allows visitors to filter events by artform, access service icons, and other categories like "outdoors", "free", "family friendly", "food", and "exhibition". This year, there are also "experience" tags such as "Sitting", "Standing", "Dancing", "Immersive", "Mass Participation", "Food", and "Beverage".
For those who don't know where to start, Wormhole is the perfect place. It offers curated itineraries, artist picks, and themed guides to help visitors discover the festival in a new way. Subscribing or using The Schedule provide helpful tools that filter the entire program by day and provides specific times and locations for selected days. Visitors can also download a printable PDF of the festival schedule organized by date and venue.
As the festival approaches, maps will be made available to help visitors navigate their way around RISING. Sensory Maps will also be available for specific events or locations, identifying quiet and relaxed spots to chill out and areas with sensory intensity.
The festival encourages visitors to use public transport to reduce their carbon footprint, and Public Transport Victoria's Journey Planner or Google Maps can help plan the journey to RISING. Melbourne's tram network is an excellent way to get around the city, and visitors might even find themselves on one of the First Peoples Art Trams.
During the festival, visitors can find suggestions for bars, restaurants, and accommodation on the Out-of-Towner tips page. RISING is an all-weather festival and will proceed rain, hail, or shine, unless it is deemed unsafe to do so. The festival sells umbrellas and slickers to help visitors stay dry.