The Plus Ones’ Guide – Melbourne Festival

Melbourne is the city of Festivals and the Melbourne Festival is the mack-daddy of them all! On the cusp of warm summer nights this year’s festival will be held from 10-26 October.  The Festival Hub is set to be constructed on the banks of the Yarra. Each year’s construction is a bit different but I’m hoping for the multi-level/multi-bar/rootop tower that was the heart of 2012’s Festival.

Opening night – similar to last year, the Festival will open with Tanderrum where the five tribes of the Kulin nation (Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Wathaurong, Taungerong and Dja Dja) invite all Melburnians to celebrate with them through story, song and dance.

Photo courtesy Visit Melbourne

Photo courtesy Visit Melbourne


This year’s Melbourne Festival is circus heavy. We’ve always liked circus at The Plus Ones, so when we discovered that the crème de le crème of international circus was descending on the Melbourne Festival, it made us smile:

Photo courtesy Visit Melbourne

Photo courtesy Visit Melbourne

Best of Each Category

So circus is a feature but the Melbourne Festival program is packed with a host of other amazing shows across the arts spectrum. It was no easy task, but we’ve chosen a unique show from each of the categories:

  • Classical MusicThese Compulsive Behaviours – Music notation is composed live whilst the orchestra begins to play
  • MusicA Moving Sound – A fusion of Taiwanese and Chinese sounds
  • DanceMarzo – Italian meets Japanese in a bout of ferocious dance
  • TheatreSomething Very Far Away – Experience live animation through miniature puppetry
  • Visual ArtsMelbourne Art Trams – Learn about Melbourne’s history through its historic trams
  • Film!Women Art Revolution – Break down barriers with the artists that built a revolution
Photo courtesy Visit Melbourne

Photo courtesy Visit Melbourne

Free Events

At The Plus Ones we have always had a focus on free events, and the Melbourne Festival doesn’t disappoint. Some run for the duration of the festival whilst others are special one-offs. We still have fond memories of seeing amazing after-show performances from many. Here are some of the free Melbourne Festival events this year:

As you can see, the Festival is humongous! We hope the guide distills things down a little but there’s always a hidden gem or two that is unearthed. If you find any feel free to let The Plus Ones community know. We hope you have an amazing Melbourne Festival.

Melbourne Festival
10-26 October