Victoria’s capital is getting ready to embrace the sunshine-filled months of spring with full festival immersion. From literature lovers to film fans, culture connoisseurs and more, Melbourne is the place to be this spring.
Melbourne Fashion Week
Kicking off on 1 September, this week-long consumer-friendly festival includes runway shows, workshops, exhibitions, films, parties, performances, gala dinners and retail events. With Little Bourke Street to be transformed into an open-air runway on opening night, this Melbourne Fashion Week makes the most of Melbourne’s streets, laneways, boutiques, malls and open spaces. Festival-goers can take part in a number of ways, from attending ticketed runway shows showcasing the work of talented local and international designers, to hanging out at the festival bar with a champagne in hand and going along to free events like the RMIT Student Designer Exhibition. As one of Australia’s best cities for shopping, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is a significant event on the festival calendar.
A celebration of cultural democracy and art, Melbourne Fringe has been running for more than thirty years. Aiming to challenge perceptions and celebrate diversity, Melbourne Fringe sees hundreds of performances take place from 14 September to 1 October. Adventurous, left-of-centre comedy, dance, live art, music, visual art, circus, cabaret and spoken word performances get audiences thinking, laughing and transforming over the two weeks of the festival. At Melbourne Fringe, the zanier the performance the better, with artists encouraged to push boundaries and let loose their creativity in ways audiences may not have seen before.
A multidisciplinary festival dedicated to showcasing the transformational nature of arts, culture and creativity, Melbourne Festival runs from 4 October to 22 October. Performances spanning the world of dance, theatre, music, multimedia and more take place day and night all over Melbourne. With a range of electrifying performances suitable for adults and children alike, this inclusive festival has wide appeal thanks to a top notch program full of variety, delivered by some of the world’s most accomplished performers.
Melbourne International Film Festival
Each year, fans of the silver screen converge on Melbourne’s cinemas to celebrate the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). As one of the world’s oldest film festivals, MIFF brings people together to enjoy a curated program of films from around the world. Enlightening documentaries, hard hitting dramas, animated features and edgy comedies are all a part of the mix with talks, live performances and other events providing movie lovers with a cornucopia of cinematic delights to feast on at various venues all around Melbourne. Running from 3 August to 20 August, this is a festival for people with a passing interest in cinema as well as die-hard film fans and industry insiders.
Melbourne Writers Festival
Celebrating the works of Australian and international writers, the Melbourne Writers Festival runs from 25 August to 3 September. As a UNESCO City of Literature, Melbourne is a hotspot for literary events with the Melbourne Writers Festival being one of the nation’s leading literary occasions. Masterclasses, seminars, talks, workshops and other events held throughout Melbourne encourage debate and reflection on topics such as politics, race, sexuality, family, work and feminism. A series of free events ensures the festival remains accessible for all. This year’s international guests include the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, David Grann, Tracy Chevalier and Angie Thomas. Local literary identities involved in this year’s festival include feminist writer Clementine Ford, political journalist Julia Baird and pop culture enthusiast and memoirist Brodie Lancaster.
Melbourne Cup Carnival
Kicking off on 4 November, the Melbourne Cup Carnival culminates with the ‘race that stops the nation’, the Melbourne Cup. A popular fixture on the spring racing calendar, this world-famous horse racing carnival held in Flemington welcomes guests from all over the world. With thousands of carnival-goers donning their finest dresses, suits and hats, this festival is just as much about the fashions on the field as it is about the horses racing to the finishing post. Comprised of four race days – Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Oaks Day and Stakes Day – this carnival is attended by a wide range of people including international celebrities, global racing heavyweights, television identities, local families and curious tourists.
MOULD – A Cheese Festival
This one-day event held at North Melbourne’s Meat Market will unite Australia’s best cheese producers under one roof on 2 September. With tastings, cooking demonstrations and masterclasses available throughout the day, MOULD – A Cheese Festival promises to be an unmissable event for fromage fans. From Tasmania’s Bruny Island to Victoria’s Yarra Valley and Sutton Grange, some of Australia’s best dairy-producing regions are represented at this festival. Cheesemongers, bakers, winemakers and whisky producers will deliver snacks and drops perfect for pairing with all types of cheese from pungent blue to soft, creamy brie.
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