Best things to do in Melbourne in December
Upcoming drag king and queens get the chance to practise their shows and refine their acts every Thursday night at Melbourne's favourite LGBTQIA+ venue (as voted by Time Out readers), Sircuit. Bio queens, drag queens, trash queens and drag kings all perform, and the event is hosted by famed drag queen Missy La ’Minx. It's a chance for up-and-coming performers to get experience, and for audiences of course it's a night of fantastic drag. The bar offers $5 pints from 7pm until 10pm, and entry is free.
The famous weekly Fed Square book market shut up shop in 2017, much to the despair of Melbourne's bibliophile community. But the closure was only a temporary one, with the free market now open at Queen Victoria Market every Sunday till December 15. Whether you eat, sleep and breathe books or are just curious, the market has over 5,000 new and second-hand titles to browse from. From sci-fi to non-fiction, the Melbourne Book Market has every genre presented by a revolving cast of veteran Melbourne booksellers. Tweed jackets are encouraged, but not compulsory. There will be around 20 pop-up stalls giving bibliophiles plenty of options to spend all their life savings on, including stalls by the founding members of the book market. After deciding on your next bedtime read take some time to stroll around the market and check off your grocery list with the fresh produce or go into one of the cafés and satiate your hunger. For more information on the next market visit the Queen Victoria Market website or the Melbourne Book Market Facebook page.
Have you ever wanted to be a part of your own Japanese game show? Well, wonder no more, because Tokosan holds pub trivia, Japanese-style, on the first Wednesday of every month, called Ninja Nite Battle. There are no ninjas, so you'll just have to use your imagination. Instead of flexing your brains, Ninja Nite Battles pits teams against each other in eating competitions, sumo wrestling, human curling (we don't know what this is, but we imagine it is ridiculous and awesome), takoyaki mouth catching (yes, that is catching a hot octopus fritter with your mouth) and many more – all performed while under the safe and calming influence of alcohol. Aside from being extremely fun and potentially embarrassing, you get to win prizes along the way, as well as go up for larger prizes like a $100 dinner for two, bar tabs and merchandise. It is free to participate, but you do have to register each month.
If all you sell is raspberries (or olives, or rhubarb, or honey), then you've got to have a pretty strong passion for them. Every third Saturday of the month, enthusiasm for high quality local produce runs like electricity at this Port Melbourne arts space, and your tastebuds will feel it too.Grab a fresh, crusty baguette to go with your market haul salad for later, stock up on seasonal produce and a treat or two for afternoon tea (handmade chocolate biscuits, anyone?).The Gasworks Farmers' Market is plastic free so make sure to bring your reusable bags, baskets and coffee cups.
Between 1990 and 1999, the number of babies named "Keanu" skyrocketed in the US. It’s no coincidence that these were the crucial ascendant years – beginning with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in ’89 and reaching the zenith of A-list Hollywood with the first Matrix movie in ‘99 – of the man, the mystery, the marvel that is, was and ever shall be Keanu Reeves. Whether you fell in love with his stoic, brooding portrayal of Jack Traven in Speed, his stoic, brooding portrayal of Neo in the Matrix trilogy, or perhaps his stoic, brooding portrayal of the anti-hero assassin John Wick, there’s no denying the stoic, brooding appeal of Reeves in whatever role he inhabits. Any Melburnians who are crazy for Keanu can now immerse themselves in an epic celebration of this modern-day matinee idol courtesy of the Lido Cinema in Hawthorn. Every Friday between October 18 and December 13, some of Reeves’ most beloved blockbusters will be getting an airing, including Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, My Own Private Idaho, Point Break, Speed, The Matrix, The Lake House and John Wick. If despotic robot overlords wanted to enslave our bodies by hijacking our minds, well, a Keanu Reeves film fest would be one surefire way to do it. So plug in, sit back, and surrender to the two-month Keanu Reeves-a-thon.
The volunteer-run Veg Out Community Garden's farmers' market, open the first Saturday of each month, overflows with local organic produce, jams and preserves, handmade bread and sundry delights to fill up your basket. This blue-eyed bloke's name is Rod Blake, but his customers know him as Blakey. On any given Veg Out Saturday market, you'll find him swapping stories with a young couple while weighing bendy zucchinis, or talking footy with the 10-year-old son of a long-term customer. "Nearly everything here – kale, capsicum, gem squash – were all picked yesterday," explains Blakey. Along with his wife Meg, Blakey's been growing organic produce at their Grampians farm for over two decades, ever since he parted ways with pesticides ("nasties!"). At 10am, the Bellellen Grampians Organics stall is buzzing over the sound of a busker playing acoustic guitar. Stocks are depleting, but the two never falter in their back-and-forth energy and banter, despite getting up at 1am. "I'm staying in Melbourne tonight because I've got a little party to go to!"
You might remember Razzmatazz as the party people responsible for some raging nights out at the Exford and the since-closed Ding Dong Lounge. But you can't stop indie music and Razzmatazz is back in action after a hiatus. Razzmatazz Indie Disco runs on the first Friday of every month at its new home, Globe Alley. Resident DJs Caity and Ted are back too, spinning the indie classics from every era. Expect bangers spanning Bowie, Blur, Oasis, the Arctic Monkeys, the Cure and Chvrches. Better still, the newly reincarnated Razzmatazz night is free to enter. That's more dosh to spend on Globe Alley's drink specials (or their jalepeño poppers).
Christmas is fast approaching, so naturally we’ll be pushing the tables back and getting ready to dance at another festive Paul Kelly gig. He’s the kind of poet Australians from all walks of life can relate to, spinning yarns about family, love, tragedy and 747s, and he’ll bring all this and more to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Thursday, December 12 for his Making Gravy tour. He’ll be bringing a troupe of young Aussie and New Zealand artists to sing along with classics like ‘To Her Door’ and to share their own hits too. The queen of jangly guitars and smooth melodies, Courtney Barnett, will be adding her own Aussie twang to Kelly’s concert, alongside our Eurovision rep Kate Miller-Heidke – we cannot confirm or deny if the sky high ‘Zero Gravity’ theatrics will come into play. Rounding out the line-up is New Zealand singer-songwriter Marlon Williams, pumping out heart wrenching hits like ‘Beautiful Dress’ and ‘What’s Chasing You’. Previous Making Gravy concerts have sold out, with 12,000 fans belting out the show’s namesake and other Kelly classics like ‘Before Too Long’ and ‘Deeper Water’ from the lawn (cue gentle weeping). But we’re expecting more than just the golden oldies for this stellar performance. Kelly brought out ARIA Chart topper Life is Fine 2017, then made it to number one again in 2018 with Nature, and he’s got more on the way with upcoming album Songs From the South (1985 - 2019). This will be an anthology of his hits from that 35-year period, with clas
The most famous burlesque performer in the world, Dita Von Teese, is bringing her corsets and class to Melbourne. Her new tour, Glamonatrix, will continue the genre-dominating path of her last show, The Art of the Teese, with four dazzling burlesque acts. In performances that maintain a healthy level of humor and self-awareness, you’ll see Von Teese pop out of a cake, ride a giant bejewelled lippy across the stage, tame metaphorical felines in a circus-styled act, and resurrect her famed martini glass performance with fresh style. This 1940s-inspired striptease variety show will have a soundtrack by Von Teese herself – yep, she also creates dreamy, ’80s-twinged electro-pop tracks as well as designing costumes, modelling and acting. She’ll be joined by burlesque stars for the tour, including New York gem Dirty Martin and fierce Aussie performer Zelia Rose. And with an aim to highlight the beauty of diversity, the show will feature other performers who are male, female, gender fluid and from varied backgrounds and of all body types. As always, the charismatic crew will be rocking and dropping some splendid frocks. They’ll don and derob outfits by the UK’s Jenny Packham, corset specialist Mister Pearl, French couturier Alexis Mabille, burlesque star Catherine D’Lish and New York’s Brooks Brothers, plus Louboutins to make their toes sparkle. Melbourne audiences can celebrate sexuality with Dita Von Teese and her glamorous gang at two performances on November 30 and December 1
Get ready to disco 'til you drop, Melbourne. Meredith Music Festival is back again for some booty-shaking, sunny summer fun over December 13, 14 and 15. Topping the bill this year is Irish pop superstar Róisín Murphy, who will be joined by the likes of rapper and activist Briggs, German DJ Helena Hauff, heartbreak maestro Julia Jacklin and Melbourne's own Amyl and the Sniffers. An additional two acts were announced in late August: Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and Welsh musician Cate Le Bon. Leading the nostalgia train at Meredith this year is Christine Anu, who will no doubt treat audiences at the Supernatural Amphitheatre to renditions of her classic '90s hits 'Sunshine on a Rainy Day' and 'My Island Home'. The full line-up is below. Be sure to enter the ballot to nab your tickets. See you at the 'Sup! Róisín MurphyLiam GallagherBriggsHelena HauffAmyl and the SniffersSho MadjoziJulia JacklinCate Le BonViagra BoysJesswarChristine AnuThe Egyptian LoverStompin' RiffraffsLogic1000U-BahnSteam DownEric PowellGordon KoangWVR BVBYSweet WhirlVanessa WormDigital AfrikaScott & Charlene's WeddingDimpaConstant MongrelKarate BoogalooThe FacultyRambl
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