Some cities are famous for giant towers, some for big green statues and some for sparkly harbours. While there's a lot to love about Melbourne, the Sweet Streets Festival celebrates two of the city's most famous and unlikely attractions: its graffiti and its alleyways.
Sweet Streets is a heady cocktail of stencil art, paste-ups, mixed media, freehand graffiti, installation, illustration and sculpture - among a few other urban art forms. Some of the world's best street artists have descended on Melbourne to exhibit in the prestigious Sweet Streets Exhibition, now showing at 1000 Pound Bend - a "cafe" (giant warehouse / gallery with lots of tasty food for sale) in Lonsdale Street. Add live painting events, workshops, voluntary collaborations and forums to the mix and Sweet Streets is probably the best swig of Melbourne you'll ever get.
Sweet Streets began as the Melbourne Stencil Festival - a small-scale exhibition in a former sewing factory in North Melbourne back in 2004 . After graduating to the refurbished Meat Market art complex in 2005, Sweet Streets then shifted to Fitzroy and has now crept all over the city.
The city's coolest cats will love this year's secret Art Trail. With the help of dear old Google maps, Sweet Streets has compounded a secret tour map of urban art around Collingwood and Fitzroy. The link is only available via their website and is the key to all kinds of hidden back street goods. If all that sounds a bit too Sherlock Holmes, get on board a guided city tour led by Festival artists.