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People skate on an ice rink with the city skyline in the background.
Photograph: Shannyn Higgins

Here’s what we’ve put in the diary for Rising 2023

Overwhelmed by choice? We’ve collated our top picks for Melbourne’s annual winter festival

By Ashleigh Hastings for Time Out in association with Rising

Rising, Melbourne’s yearly festival of music, food, art and culture under moonlight is returning from June 7-18 with a vast program of free, low-cost and ticketed events. Although the festival is easily walkable on an inner-city grid that constellates from Flinders Street Station, the program is sprawling. Here’s what to see at Rising 2023…

The Rink at Rising will welcome Victorians to a giant family-friendly ice-skating rink at Birrarung Marr from June 1 until July 8. There’ll also be rinkside treats like gourmet toasties, bubble tea, boozy hot chocolates and mulled wine. Entry to the precinct is free and ice skating tickets are $22-34.

Shadow Spirit will fill the forgotten rooms of Flinders Street Station with the largest exhibition of contemporary First Peoples art in Victoria's history, running until July 30.

10,000 Kazoos (free) will fill Federation Square with, you guessed it, tons of biodegradable kazoos. On Saturday, June 10 comedian Sammy J will play host at this free event, and you’ll play the music.

Spark (free) is inspired by fireflies, starlings and galaxies of stars. Catch organic fireworks featuring thousands of biodegradable floating lights in a cloud formation as a sustainable celebration at Fed square.

Night Trade (free) will encourage you to embrace the uncanny in St Paul’s Cathedral car park of curated chaos including live music, DJs, installations, performances and more.

Electric (free) will illuminate Hamer Hall’s facade with First Peoples spirit stories in the form of animated artwork by Aunty Zeta Thomson.

Euphoria will pummel capitalism via a film installation transforming the Melbourne Town Hall into a surround-sound arena featuring Cate Blanchett as the voice of a tiger stalking the supermarket aisles.

The Rising music program is also packed with diverse sounds from folk to punk and club beats, playing at Forum Melbourne, Max Watt’s and Melbourne Recital Centre. Weyes Blood, Flying Lotus and Obongjayar make up just a few of our favourites.

When the moon shines bright, the time’s just right for wine and a bite. Rising has also partnered with some much-loved Melbourne restaurants including Nomad, Hazel and Cumulus Inc for the pre-show Moon Bites Series and Dine at Dusk Series.

Time out tip: If you’ve only got one day, head to Rising on Saturday, June 10. That way you’ll be able to see all the ongoing programming, plus 10,000 Kazoos and Spark.

Explore the full program at the Rising website.

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