It’s rare that we city dwellers are exposed to the ancient Aboriginal cultures of this land. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the country for at least 50,000 years, and many scholars consider their culture to be the oldest continuing culture on the planet. Tomorrow evening, Melburnians will be reminded of this extraordinary heritage as the Melbourne Festival kicks off with ‘Tanderrum and Creation’, a free event to be held in Federation Square. First, the Ilbijerri Theatre Company will stage Tanderrum, a Welcome to Country ceremony performed by Elders from the five Kulin Nations of central Victoria. Next, acclaimed Aboriginal singer Archie Roach will perform his new show Creation in an open-air concert (listen to Archie’s new track ‘Song to Sing’ above). Backed by a ten-piece ensemble featuring a string quartet, this promises to be a great gig. This event — all of it — is completely free, so get down to Fed Square tomorrow at 6pm and enjoy. Tanderrum and Creation Date: 11 October 2013 Time: 6pm (1.5 hours duration) Venue: Federation Square, Melbourne
If you haven’t already dropped by the Fringe, now’s your last chance. With only a week left to go, the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2013 has a whole bunch of events scheduled including dance, theatre, comedy, circus, music and cabaret performances, as well as live art, visual art and other special events. There are also a few events happening for the kiddies. See the full programme here. The Festival Hub is located in the North Melbourne Town Hall in Errol St, but performances are held in venues across Melbourne (check specific event info for location details). Events are generally between $10 and $30, although there are some free performances and exhibitions, too. The Melbourne Fringe is a not-for-profit organisation that supports artists year round as well as presenting the annual Fringe Festival. If you love the arts, these guys are well worthy of your support. Melbourne Fringe Festival 2013 Dates: 18 September — 6 October Festival Hub: North Melbourne Town Hall Address: Corner Errol St and Arden St, North Melbourne Venues: various
Put your thinking caps on and get on over to Melbourne Uni next week for the Festival of Ideas 2013. There are a bunch of free events happening, which are divided into five categories: Environments, Food + Nutrition, Families, Brains + Mind, and Democracy. Speakers include human rights lawyer Julian Burnside, leading indigenous scholar Marcia Langton, writer and comedian John Doyle (i.e. ‘Roy’ from ‘Roy and HG’), The Chaser‘s Julian Morrow and many more. Check out the full programme and book tickets here. The Festival of Ideas 2013 Dates: 1–6 October 2013 Venue (daytime events): Carillo Gantner Theatre Address: Cnr Swanston St and Monash Rd, University of Melbourne Venue (evening events): Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Address: 2 Clarendon St, Southbank Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cinephiles should be well aware that the Melbourne International Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, but here’s a quick heads up for the rest of you. Over 300 films will play over the 17-day festival, including new Australian releases. One that I’m particularly curious to see is the new film adaptation of Australian author Tim Winton’s short story anthology The Turning (watch the official teaser above). The 17 stories are steered by 17 different directors, including Warwick Thornton (Samson & Delilah) and Robert Connolly (Balibo), with directorial debuts from actors Cate Blanchett, David Wenham and Mia Wasikowska. The impressive cast includes Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Rose Byrne and Miranda Otto. The program also includes a collection of rarely seen films from North Korea, new Arabic films and a series of new wave independent films from the USA. You can peruse the 2013 MIFF program here and book tickets here. The festival ends on 11 August. Melbourne International Film Festival Date: 25 July — 11 August 2013 Venues: see below
The Light In Winter is a month-long arts festival held in Federation Square during June. This year, the program includes film screenings, forums, exhibitions, a Solstice Celebration and the premier of a new work called The Helix Tree by Bruce Ramus. Every June evening at dusk, choirs will light up The Helix Tree using technology that responds to voice. Other activities and events include the Indigenous Campfire, the Solstice Weekend, and public forums The People’s Voice, The Future Journey of Democracy, The Molecular Machines, and Science City. Click here to view a PDF of the festival programme. These are all free events, so make the most of them! The Light in Winter Date: 1–30 June 2013 Venue: Federation Square, Melbourne Tel: 9655 1900 Email: email@example.com Damage: free
Just in case you’re not already onto it, here’s a gentle reminder that the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is running 2–19 August (yep, that’s right now). The program includes a selection of current cinema releases plus tributes, retrospectives and ‘Talking Pictures’ discussion events. You can check out the festival program and book tickets at the MIFF website.
That’s right, the Moomba Festival is upon us once again over this long Labour Day weekend. There’s fireworks, live music (including performances from Australian artists Josh Pyke and The Panics), a waterskiing competition and a good old-fashioned parade on Monday. But everybody’s favourite at Moomba is the Birdman Rally, whereby competitors sweep through the air across the river with ingenious homemade wings attached to their arms. (Ok, I exaggerate. In reality, a bunch of humourously attired and testosterone-filled men jump from a four-metre platform flapping their arms madly before splashing painfully into the Yarra. Entertaining nonetheless.) Moomba Festival: 9-12 March 2012 Birdman Rally: Sunday 11 March, 12pm-2pm Moomba Parade: Monday 12 March, 11am (starting at the Shrine of Remembrance) To view the music program, click here. V