Best things to do in Melbourne in February
It’s the biggest show of the decade, the show that got people watching television again, the crossover hit that tells human stories in a fantasy world… yada yada yada. You get it. Game of Thrones has finished its eight-season run in 2019, but it doesn’t mean this classic show has been stabbed and left to die (too soon?) The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience is a performance series featuring the show’s Emmy Award-winning composer, Ramin Djawadi. This series has held performances across North America and Europe in the past few years, allowing audiences to relive the show’s biggest musical moments alongside footage from the show. Daa da da-da daa da, da da da... are you ready for it? Tickets go on sale at noon on Friday, August 16. As well as the regular seated tickets, there are a few VIP packages to choose from, including a pre-show Medieval Banquet, butler service, priority entry and, of course, photo opportunities with the (replica) Iron Throne.
What were the 1980s without Norwegian heartthrobs A-ha? Apart from having one of the easiest to pun band names, the European synth-pop trio are responsible for one of the most ambitious vocal crescendos with the enduring hit ‘Take on Me’ (don’t pretend like you haven’t tried and failed to sing along). A-ha are returning to Australia for the first time in more than 30 years this summer. The band have two Victorian dates locked into the calendar, including a poptastic stadium show at Margaret Court Arena. They’ll also be performing at winery festival A Day on the Green at Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley. The band have announced they will be playing their popular breakthrough album Hunting High and Low in full on their Australian tour, alongside other favourite songs. For those whose A-ha discography is a little dusty, yes, that does mean you’ll be hearing ‘Take on Me’ and ‘The Sun Always Shines on T.V.’. Joining A-ha will be Rick Astley, who Gen X know as a hit-maker and Gen Y know as the inspiration behind one of the best internet pranks of the noughties. Astley had the last laugh, however, with the popularity of Rick-rolling introducing the musician to a new audience. And to wrap up the 1980s time warp, the A Day on the Green show will also include Pseudo Echo (as well as Sydney band I Know Leopard, whose band members were barely out of nappies during most of the ‘80s). Visit the website for more information and to buy tickets.---------Just kidding – you can find out
Get ready to rock-iddly-ock Melbourne. The most famous (read: to our knowledge, only) Ned Flanders-inspired heavy metal band is coming to town. Put simply, Okilly Dokilly is five men dressed up as The Simpsons’ character Ned Flanders playing “nedal” (Ned metal) music. Their dedication to their craft goes beyond just wearing pink collared shirts and green pullovers too. Each band member has a Ned name (Head Ned, Bed Ned, Dread Ned, Shred Ned and Zed Ned) and the lyrics in their songs are largely made up of Ned Flanders quotes. Take their single ‘White Wine Spritzer’ for example, which literally just features pounding riffs and the lyrics ‘ah hell, give me a white wine spritzer’ (a quote from season ten episode ‘Viva Ned Flanders). Debbie downers stay at home. If, perish the thought, Okilly Dokilly started as a joke then it’s certainly escalated beyond that. The band now have two Flan-tastic albums under their belt (Howdilly Doodilly and Howdilly Twodilly), have toured internationally and have appeared on the BBC, Time, Esquire and even had the film clip for ‘White Wine Spritzer’ featured on the The Simpsons itself. If you want to hear Okilly Dokilly live Melbourinos, head along to the Corner Hotel on Saturday, February 15. Tickets are on sale now.
On Saturday, February 29, Beer Fest returns to the sunny grounds of Catani Gardens in St Kilda. Punters will be able to taste over 300 different kinds of small-batch craft beers, ciders, cocktails and wines throughout the day. As drinking works up quite the appetite, the Beer Fest team will also be bringing in a bunch of street food traders to keep you full. The complete line-up of beer and food trucks will be released soon. Beer Fest is all about getting to know the brewers themselves with a host of masterclasses, live demonstrations, tastings and one-on-one experiences happening throughout the event. For the 2020 event, Beer Fest is collaborating with Art Vs Science, Burnley Brewing and CryerMalt for a limited edition Summer Session Ale. It will only be available at Beer Fest. Tickets will go on sale soon (at the last festival they were set at a very reasonable $27).
His gift is his song, and this one's for you. Elton John is coming to Australia as part of his three-year (!) Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, and he is performing at several wineries as part of A Day on the Green as well as a huge stadium show at Hanging (Crocodile) Rock. The tour is just as epic as you'd expect from Elton John, with more than 300 shows across five continents. You can expect all the hits you know and love from the seasoned performer, including 'Tiny Dancer', 'Sad Songs', 'I'm Still Standing' and maybe even 'Candle in the Wind'. As Saturday night's all right for performing, John's biggest shows in Victoria will be on Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26 at Hanging Rock. Also on the Saturday theme, he's playing AAMI Park on February 22. He's also playing Mt Duneed Estate on December 7 and Rochword Wines on January 31 and February 1. Don't let the sun go down on 2020 without seeing one of pop music's living legends.
With Bohemian Rhapsody the tenth highest grossing film of 2018, it's no surprise that there is still a huge appetite for Queen and their instantly recognisable music. The band have teamed up with American Idol winner Adam Lambert, who has been singing lead vocals since 2012, and they are touring Australia in February 2020. You can expect all of your Queen favourites, including 'We Will Rock You', 'Radio Ga Ga' and 'We Are the Champions'. Original Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor asked Lambert to perform with the band after they played a medley with six American Idol finalists in 2012 and were impressed with Lambert's vocal chops and spirit. May said of his sort-of new bandmate: "It's a worthy challenge for us, and I'm sure Adam would meet with Freddie's approval." In the immortal words of Wayne Campbell: I thought we'd go for a little 'Bohemian Rhapsody', gentlemen?
Is there a performer singing today with a more golden voice than Michael Bublé? The crooner channels the smooth sound of the greats of yesteryear like Frank Sinatra and has sold out five world tours. Now he's coming back to Austalia, with shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. And he's not coming alone; Bublé is bringing a 36-piece orchestra with him, so you know you'll be in for a very lush show. Bublé has sold more than 75 million records and has four Grammy awards. He'll be playing Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16, 2020. Tickets go on sale on June 5, with presale tickets available through Telstra on May 30.
What do zoo animals get up to when all the daytime visitors have headed back to their cars? Quite a lot, it turns out, with many African animals most active at dusk. That makes Werribee Open Range Zoo's Sunset Safari the perfect time to see giraffes, rhinoceroses, elands, zebras, scimitar-horned oryxes, hippopotamuses and other incredible African animals. Visitors are divided up into two groups, Kipenzi and Lataba (named after two of the zoo's seven rhinos). There are three activities on the night, but the order changes by group. Everyone gets a welcome drink on arrival, after which the groups go their separate ways. One part of the night is an African drumming and dancing performance, which includes a workshop on how to do some of the simpler moves. A second part is an African feast, where visitors can enjoy tagine, couscous, salads and other delights, all topped off with a chocolate fountain, into which you can dip marshmallows, strawberries and meringue pieces. The best part, and the reason for the event, is the safari itself. Visitors pile onto the safari buses and travel out to the 45-hectare open savannah section of the zoo. Sunset is the best time to see the magnificent creatures who live here, and safari guests will get to see all kinds of cool African wildlife at their most active. The luckiest group goes out at the same time as the truck that delivers their food, which is sure to bring the animals running from all corners of the savannah. Proceeds from the ni
It's time to don your ballet shoes and practice your plié – Billy Elliot the Musical is on its way back to Australian shores for a tenth anniversary tour. The British musical blockbuster is opening at the Sydney Lyric in October, with four freakishly talented youngsters sharing the title role: Omar Abiad (12, from Brisbane), River Mardesic (10, from Melbourne), Wade Neilsen (12, from Newcastle) and Jamie Rogers (12, from Canberra). They're joined by Australian musical theatre stalwart Kelley Abbey as the tough-as-nails ballet teacher Mrs Wilkinson, and Justin Smith as Billy's father. The musical is set against the background of the 1984/85 UK coal miners' strike and tells the story of Billy, a miner's son who dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer. Lee Hall, who wrote the popular 2000 film upon which the musical is based, adapted the story for the stage with musical superstar Elton John, who penned the score. Elton John said: "Billy Elliot for me is one of the most rewarding and creative works of my career. I have very fond memories of the Sydney production in 2007 as it was the first city outside of the UK we mounted the show and found many incredibly talented children who would go on to carry the show through its successful Australian run." After opening on London's West End in 2005 – where it scored a five-star review from Time Out London – the show had its Australian premiere in 2007, winning a record-equalling seven Helpmann Awards including Best Musical.
Venetian glass is known across the world for its vibrant colour, elaborate designs and exquisite craftsmanship, honed over centuries by traditional glassblowers on the Venetian island of Murano. In Liquid Light, the National Gallery of Victoria brings together their extensive collection of glass pieces to explore the development of the Venetian glass tradition, from the Golden Age of the 16th century to the postmodern creations of the Memphis Group. Highlights include a Games of Thrones-worthy 17th century goblet, complete with intertwining dragons coiling around the stem, and a contemporary patchwork vase by renowned Murano glass artist Fulvio Bianconi.
More things to do in Melbourne this month
Find all the best art exhibitions in Melbourne over the next few weeks.
There's an enormous range of shows on our stages over the course of this month, from spectacular solo performances (seriously, do not miss Deer Woman and Since Ali Died) to large-scale spectacles like Melbourne Theatre Company's Shakespeare in Love. If you prefer your theatre a little more interactive, head to A Midnight Visit, or if you need some song in your life, check out the new Melbourne production of Sunday in the Park with George.
If you love food and live in Melbourne, your 'must-try' list of new restaurants, cafés and bars probably takes up your phone's entire storage capacity by now. Luckily, we've put together a curated list of the newest, hottest and coolest restaurants our critics are raving about.
Guess what? Not everything in Melbourne costs a bunch of money. From art shows to coffee tastings, there are a bunch of things to do in this fine city that you can do for free – here are our favourites.
These are the best places to eat in this city right now: the freshest, most inventive and memorable venues, ranked by our expert local editors.
Here is Melbourne viewed through the bottom of a glass: from its world-beating cocktail lounges to its down-and-divey saloons. These bars represent the pinnacle of Melbourne drinking.
If you're looking for a break from the inner-city grid, there's no better cure than a day trip from Melbourne. The state of Victoria is full of friendly neighbourhood towns, whether you're in the mood for a winery tour, a road trip or a national park to explore.
Borrow your nanna's tartan shopping trolley and venture out to one of Melbourne's best markets for farm-fresh produce, designer homewares, vintage fashions and tasty street food.
From food to laneways, drinking to ghosts, these tours are the best way to get to know a different side of Melbourne.
We've scoped out the best activities Melbourne has to offer kids of all ages, and even a few that will keep the whole family entertained.