Things to do in Melbourne in January
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.
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).
You may know Louis Theroux best in his scraggly, lanky form from his Weird Weekends series which kicked off in the late ’90s, or you might be more familiar with his recent investigations into subjects like scientology, sexual assault and current worrying trends in the US. But either way, you’ve probably been won-over by the Britsh documentary maker’s disarming journalistic style. Theroux has long been employing the technique of reaching marginalised, radical, unusual or aggressive interview subjects by being unabashedly honest and just gosh darn friendly (albeit with clear intentions to uncover an intriguing story). He investigates the taboo, often putting himself in awkward and dangerous situations. Remember his bit-part in a porno in 1998 or when he underwent liposuction in Under the Knife (2007)? If his last sell-out Australian tour is anything to go by, we can make an informed assumption that he’ll be as charismatic in person as he is on screen. Theroux will bring more than 25 years of journalistic practice to this massive 2020 Australian and New Zealand tour, stopping off at the Plenary in Melbourne for two shows on Sunday, January 19. RocKwiz host Julia Zemiro will be chatting with Theroux about his epic career, so it could really go in any direction: we could be in for a discussion about neo-Nazis, aggressive religious fundamentalists, porn stars, people with autism or transgender kids. You can also expect Theroux to dish about his most famous encounters, behind-the
Brockhampton will be hitting the solo stage as the headliner at this poppy, hip-hoppy festival. We’re keen to see these very cool kids who’ve self-titled themselves as ‘the hardest working boyband in show business’ performer their alt R’n’B and hip-hop big-hitters like the bopping ‘Sweet’ and everything from their 2018 album iridescence (and hopefully more EPs that’ll trickle in like Ghettobaby). And with the group made up of no less than 14 multi-skilled members jumping in and out of the performance, writing, producing and designing Brockhampton’s sound, we’re sure it’ll be the freshest of fresh. But what we’re potentially even more excited about is the confirmation that the queen of flute-twerking, Lizzo, will be joining them. The ‘Truth Hurts’ singer has been grinding and grooving through the indie scene for almost a decade, but has recently risen to the throne of rap and pop with self-love advocating tacks like ‘Juice’ and ‘Good as Hell’ on her 2019 album, Cuz I Love You. She’s also teamed up with hip-hop greats like Missy Elliott and leading pop acts like Charlie XCX. The baddest bitch’s set at FOMO is sure to be an absolute winner. As always, you’ll be getting around the single stage at FOMO and vibing to the all-in party atmosphere that’s sure to be heightened by the vast, swooping Melbourne Showgrounds. You’ll be able to soak up all of the musical action without interruption, but since the Melbourne festival is locked in for mid-January, you’ll also be sweating up
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.
What would you do if you found out your dad wrote a porno? Would you ignore its very existence? Would you bring it up with him? Or would you, say, create a podcast with two of your friends and read out chapters to the wider world? Let’s just say, Jamie Morton made the right decision. The My Dad Wrote A Porno podcast is like a filthy book club, where listeners get a section of the devilishly funny Belinda Blinked erotic novel dissected by the author’s incredulous son and his friends James Cooper and Alice Levine. Jamie’s 60-something father (who – no joke – penned the book under the moniker Rocky Flintstone) was sincere in his approach to later-in-life self-publication, but the resulting novel is a trainwreck of clumsy and weird descriptions of sexual situations, with a vague plotline about the goings-on in the super sexy world of pots and pans sales. Basically, it’s a disaster – but a disaster filled with spit-take worthy prose. Launching in 2015 with readings from Rocky Flintstone's literature, the series has been a runaway success, boasting 160 million downloads worldwide, massive live shows and even an HBO special. Jamie, Alice and James were last in Australia in 2017 with a sold-out tour, and are returning with a brand new show in early 2020. We're the first stop on their world tour, and we're pretty honoured to be the first to find out what's been happening in Belinda Blumenthal's world. They've announced just one Melbourne show so far, on January 15, but given th
New York artist KAWS (aka Brian Donnelly) is bringing his larger-than-life sculptures and paintings to the NGV this summer for KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness. Alongside this mega exhibition will be something for the littlest art fans. KAWS: Playtime is a free and immersive exhibition for kids that includes a number of hands-on activities that draw inspiration from KAWS’ work, especially his BFF character which is inspired by popular cartoon characters (including a certain blue-furred cookie-munching larrikin). The exhibition is on display from September 20 until April 13 at NGV International and it’s free to attend.
While French wine and garden dining might immediately entice Melbourne's Francophiles to this annual Parisian summer party, it's the always stellar line-up of French musicians that really puts the "chic" in "So Frenchy So Chic". The 2019 line-up was an all-woman affair, which was a breath of fresh air given France’s traditionally male-dominated music industry. The 2020 line-up is still to be announced but will no doubt feature an exciting array of artists. On of the best things about So Frenchy So Chic is spending the day drinking Champagne on the grass while snacking gluttonously. If you’re smart, you’ll pre-order the hampers, which in previous years included everything from roasted chicken or ratatouille baguettes to goose egg meringues and berry salads with crème fraiche. Prefer to follow whatever the joie de vivre brings on the day? There’ll be stallholders selling mussels, oysters, charcuterie, raclette, crêpes and macarons. Plus, there will be a selection of beers, wine and fizz to wash it all down with. So Frenchy is a family-friendly festival and kids under 12 can attend free of charge. They’ll have activities to entertain the enfant terrible, from face painting to bubble artists, drumming classes and lawn games like pétanque and croquet. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, September 18.
In 2017, Melbourne suffered a mighty blow. Dracula’s, arguably Melbourne’s premiere theatre restaurant and cabaret venue, closed its glittery doors after 37 wild years of G-strings, pasties and ghost train rides. Luckily, Melbourne’s other two theatre restaurants were available to fill that void: Witches and Britches and Williamstown’s Titanic Theatre Restaurant. But in 2019 something new came along to add to the list. Say hello to the Gaol Experience, a dinner and show experience. As you might have guessed, it takes place in the Old Melbourne Gaol and dredges up the site’s 174-year history for a show that combines burlesque, sideshow and comedy. Guests are served a two-course dinner in the original cell block of the City Watch House, which is the place where felons were brought to face justice when the jail was in operation. Fancy taking things up a notch? VIP guests can serve more time, kicking back cocktails in old jail cells as the evening goes on. The show itself includes the talents of a team of inmates (also known as cabaret performers Queen of the Damned) and includes lots of classic songs – think anything from Tina Arena and Queen to Wolfmother and Beyoncé. And because it’s burlesque, you should expect some risqué scenes – these inmates were charged with indecent exposure, after all. The show takes over four areas of the old jail and includes anything from laser beams to wanted photos and even a flash mob. Tickets start at $75, and you can organise special hen
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
More things to do in Melbourne this month
Looking for a movie to see this week in Melbourne? Check out the latest releases in Australian cinemas, all reviewed by Time Out critics.
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.
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.
Find all the best art exhibitions in Melbourne over the next few weeks.
Spring means a flourishing of independent, international and local mainstage theatre in Melbourne – so get ready: this month it's Melbourne Fringe, next month it's Melbourne Festival, and in the meantime there is more dance, musicals and theatre than you can shake a stick at.
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.
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.
From food to laneways, drinking to ghosts, these tours are the best way to get to know a different side of Melbourne.