The Festival of Live Art is Melbourne’s biennial ode to all things live art (we went two years ago!). It is taking place from 1-13 March 2016 across the North Melbourne Town Hall, St. Kilda’s Theatre Works, and the Footscray Community Arts Centre. There are over 50 performances throughout the festival which are designed as interactive experiences that transport you from your comfort zone.
I was lucky enough to snare a Town Hall Pass. These are day passes which enable you to experience all sessions over several hours during a particular day at the North Melbourne Town Hall. A great idea in my opinion, as, like my food, I like to sample a bit of everything.
I entered the Town Hall with zero idea of the program and no plan what so ever. This proved to be largely a non-issue as a multitude of happy helpers were on hand to help you navigate your day. Admittedly, there were a few shows earlier in the day which sounded rather amaze, and had I actually planned it out I would have arrived a touch earlier in the day — ok, maybe give the program a quick gander before you go.
My first show was ‘Programmed To Reproduce’ which showcases the artists experiences of trolling post her prior work, a visual piece which saw her knitting wool loomed from her vagina. It was an interesting experience. I quickly moved onto the Naked Self, where you experience an audio/visual exploration of people discussing their naked self. The kicker is that the audio is actually people who were there before you and you have the chance to explore your naked self in specifically designed booths. Next I wandered the alley behind the Town Hall to see the Alter, an audio/video show that uses 16 ipads and a cast of your fellow festival-goers to create an aural and feast. It was, frankly, amazing! Then I ended up in the ‘Tea Room‘ which is fabulously decked out as an old school Japanese-style room and features a performance by Yumi Umiumare. Finally I had a chance to hear Hissy Fit, who render their ode to ‘hysteric’. As you enter, you are handed ear plugs which foreshadows the punk-rock experience that unfolds.
If you’re into live art this is one of your few chances to experience an incredibly diverse and participatory set of experiences. If you’re not, give your comfort zone a push — you might be surprised.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Rukmal lives and breathes events.
The Festival of Live Art runs from 1-13 March 2016 – see the full program here.