One of Melbourne’s longest running and best-loved institutions is back for another year, the Brunswick Music Festival (5-19 March 2017). Kicking off with the infamous Sydney Road Street Party, the festival sees two glorious weeks of incredible music and entertainment that can satisfy even the fussiest of tastes.
Staying true to the character of Brunswick, the program is as eclectic and diverse as the suburb itself, with music spanning multiple continents and venues ranging from libraries to warehouses to even shopping centres.
Check out The Plus Ones’ top five picks for this year’s festival.
Aziza Brahim (Western Sahara/Spain) (Thursday 16 March, 8:00pm at Brunswick Town Hall)
Dubbed the ‘Queen of the Desert Blues’, Aziza uses her incredible and powerful voice to tell the tale of her journey through a Western Sahara refugee camp, eventually landing in her adopted home of Spain. Resulting from these experiences is a music that defies genres and comprises elements of desert folk, Latin rhythm and Spanish influence. This is true music from the soul and epitomises art as a form of resistance.
The Hot 8 Brass Band (USA) with Bullhorn (Tuesday 14 March, 8.30pm and Wedensday 15 March, 8.30pm at Coburg Town Hall)
The Hot 8 Brass Band is a New Orleans based brass band that blends hip-hop, jazz and funk with traditional New Orleans brass. Established for over two decades, they are making their Melbourne debut at the Coburg Town Hall, in what guarantees to be a knee-slapping, party-fuelled night. You can already feel the energy and excitement in the air surrounding their stop here, as Brunswick braces itself for a true New Orleans-style experience.
Dereb The Ambassador (Ethiopia/Australia) with The Black Jesus Experience (Friday 10 March, 9pm at Brunswick Town Hall)
Blending 60s jazz with Ethiopian funk, Dereb the Ambassador produces music that leaves you unable to stand still. A few beats in you’ll find yourself shimmying in your seat or on the dance floor as his infectious style takes over. Backed by a seven-piece orchestral ensemble, we dare you to try resist breaking out to his grooves.
Wantok Live at The Wick (Thursday 9 March, 8.30pm at Wick Studios)
Wantok Live at The Wick is nothing like your ordinary music festival gig. This experience enables the participant to get up close and personal with three renowned Australian artists, all within the intimate setting of Wick Studios in Brunswick. Featuring Frank Yamma, Radical Son and Emily Wurramara, this one-of-a-kind experience is bound to be the highlight of any Brunswick Festival attendee.
HopeStreet Recordings Party (Saturday 18 March, 8.30pm at Howler)
There are few things that can be as enjoyable as seeing some of Melbourne’s most recognised and loved artists at one of Brunswick’s favourite venues. Live at Howler audiences will be treated to a wide range of some of Melbourne’s most iconic bands: The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra, The Cactus Channel, The Putbacks, The Do Yo Thangs and the one and only DJ Manchild, will all be present. It doesn’t get any more Brunswick than this.
Dotti (Nicole) Mazga is a law student currently learning how to make the world a better place in Melbourne. When she’s not hitting the books, you can find her consuming any theatre, dance, or space-related event she can get her hands on.