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A stage surrounded by hundreds of glowing candles in Fed Square in front of the city skyline
Photograph: Tobias Titz

Things to do in Melbourne this week

All the best things to do in Melbourne this week

Liv Condous
Written by
Liv Condous
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February 19, 2024: Taylor Swift may have left Melbourne, but there's still plenty of huge gigs happening this week, like Pink and Blink-182, as well as free candle-lit concerts at Fed SquareIn the theatre world, smash-hit production Groundhog Day the Musical (which garnered a five star review from our arts and culture editor) is in town for a limited run, 90s rock musical Rent hits the stage, plus classics Grease and Rocky Horror are lighting up Melbourne's stages. Or for the fashion-forward, Melbourne Art Fair is running heaps of events, large-scale installations and performances. 

There's always something happening in this fair city of ours, so don't let the week pass you by without popping a few fun events into your social calendar. To help you plan, we've rounded up all the best activities happening this week, so all you have to do is scroll, pick and embark on your adventure.

When in doubt, you can always rely on our catch-all lists of Melbourne's best bars, restaurants, museums, parks and galleries, or consult our bucket list of 101 things to do in Melbourne before you die.  

Looking for more ways to fill up your calendar? Plan a trip around our beautiful state with our handy travel guides.

The best things to do in Melbourne this week

  • Music
  • Pop
  • Docklands

If you need an excuse to raise your glass (if you are wrong in all the right ways), international pop legend Pink is about to make her highly-anticipated return to Australia. The three-time Grammy Award-winning singer and performer will embark on a massive ‘Summer Carnival’ Australian tour in February and March 2024. Kicking off at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on February 9, the ‘Who Knew’ singer will traverse Australia and perform at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on February 23 and 24, 2024, and then return for two more huge shows on March 12 and 13. Produced by Live Nation, Pink’s Summer Carnival tour of Australia coincides with the release of her highly-anticipated new album Trustfall, which dropped on February 17 via RCA Records. The titular track, also dubbed ‘Trustfall’ is co-produced by in-demand DJ Fred Again. Born in Pennsylvania, Pink (otherwise known as Alecia Beth Moore) began performing in local clubs where she was eventually signed to the R&B band Basic Instinct and then the group Choice. Once these groups disbanded, Pink embarked on a solo career and announced her new stage name – inspired by the character of Mr Pink from Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. Her first album, Can’t Take Me Home, was released in 2000, with her next album Missundaztood launched her into the stratosphere with the smash-hit song ‘Get the Party Started.’ After working with Missy Elliott, Christina Aguilera, Lil’Kim and Mya on the song ‘Lady Marmalade’, Pink went on to earn a Grammy for the s

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

The “Matilda for grown-ups” comparisons are true: this Australian premiere burrows all the way down into the depths of despair and climbs triumphantly back out again, all within two snappy acts.  As per the classic 1993 film starring Bill Murray, Groundhog Day takes place on a very big day in a very small Pennsylvanian town. Each year on February 2, a large rodent emerges from his burrow to predict when winter will end. The Olivier Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated Andy Karl stars as Phil Connors, the jaded weatherman who gets sucked into a time loop covering the perky celebration over and over (and over) again.  A musical adaptation of a film about becoming a better person runs the risk of feeling twee. However, Tim Minchin’s zingingly clever lyrics and Danny Rubin’s gutsy book take the essence of the film and wring out considerably more depth and grit to give the musical its own more mature personality. What would you really do if you were trapped repeating the same average-at-best day forever? Groundhog Day takes this premise and stretches it to all its thorny extremes, and isn’t afraid to get dark as hell in the process. This is a musical that fully embraces its format, combining unabashed theatrics with some A-grade scumbag antics and moments of heart wrenching depression from Phil. Each scene takes things a step further than expected, whether that be into malarkey or melancholia, and is all the better for it. Andy Karl’s performance as Phil is nothing short of supe

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  • Film
  • Outdoor cinema
  • Melbourne

It's officially that time of year again when the Moonlight Cinema returns to Melbourne for the summer. There's just something special about snuggling into a bean bag and catching a film under the stars in the Royal Botanic Gardens – with an ice cream or wine in hand, of course.  Australia's favourite outdoor cinema has revealed its March line-up of movies, with blockbusters, nostalgic favourites and plenty of romcoms on the program. Highlights include The Iron Claw, Wonka, All Of Us Strangers, Dune: Part Two and Poor Things. Those looking to splurge can opt for either the Platinum Experience, which includes a deluxe double bean bed for two with waiter service and a hamper of goodies from Victoria's High Country or the AAMI Gold Grass Experience, with a range of food and beverages delivered straight to your bean bag. And new this year is the Official Aperol Spritz Bar, where you can sip on the iconic orange cocktail all summer long. Screenings kick off at sundown (around 8.45pm) and even your pooch is welcome. Tickets are now available via the website. A new in-cinema diner that takes 'dinner and a movie' to the next level has just opened in Brunswick East.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Southbank

“Still thirsty?” asks Calista Nelmes’ Maureen, as she reaches the milky peak of the drawn-out, cow-themed performance art piece she performs within Rent. The answer comes swiftly in a not-so-quiet whisper from the stalls: “Yes please!” It’s been a while since Rent – Jonathan Larson’s legendary ‘90s rock musical, known for its anti-establishment attitude – has been treated to a large-scale national tour in Australia, and there’s a strong sense on opening night that the audience has been hankering for a show like this. Nearly three decades on from Rent’s Broadway premiere, this fresh Australian production prevails in bringing new life to a narrative which follows a close-knit group of artists in New York’s East Village. The key? A diverse, youthful cast brimming with talent that leaves audience members audibly enraptured. For those unfamiliar, Rent’s central struggle is that of New Yorkers trying to succeed in the midst of poverty, gentrification and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. These friends have been pursuing their dreams (and sometimes just getting by) living rent-free thanks to their former housemate-turned-landlord Benny (Tana Laga’aia), until he suddenly backflips and asks them to cough up last year’s rent. Chaos unfolds as the young creatives try to keep a roof over their heads without losing track of who they are. The narrative flow is deliberately fragmented, as each character is pushed into survival mode – this is a city where Santa brings basic groceries (or hard drugs) in

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  • Music
  • Melbourne

If you’ve gone over budget trying to keep up with all the cool things happening in Melbourne this summer, fear not! The folks at Fed Square are throwing a series of candlelight gigs featuring up-and-coming Aussie artists that won’t cost you a cent.  All you need to do is get yourself to Fed Square this February. As the sun sets, countless twinkling candles will light up the square alongside the light of one Aussie music star each night. There will be three Thursday night concerts throughout the month, each running as part of the broader Summer at the Square program. As for the line-up, ARIA Award-winning Coodjinburra artist Budjerah will get things started on February 15 with his heart-wrenching mix of R’n’B and pop. Next, king of cabaret and MICF regular Reuben Kaye will bring his fabulously brash stylings to Fed Square on February 22. Rounding out the series is Triple J Unearthed High winner Jacoténe, who will bathe the square in soulful sounds on February 29.  The magic kicks off at 8.30pm every time, to make the most of the dreamy candlelight glow. All three performances will also be AUSLAN interpreted and you can find more information on the website. Music buff? Read our guide to Melbourne's summer music festivals.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Southbank

At some point in your life, you may have sat around a dining table and questioned your companions: if you were stranded on a deserted island, what object would you wish for? How would you cope? Imagining these worst-case scenarios can be a morbidly entertaining party game – and Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Meet Me At Dawn begins by playing out this hypothetical proposition. But what starts as an extrapolation of a classic ‘what if?’, blurs into a melding of reality and imagination, where loss and grief surface.  The play, penned by award-winning Scottish writer Zinnie Harris, frantically begins with a couple washing up on a strange shore after they capsize their boat. Helen, played by Sheridan Harbridge (Prima Facie) and Robyn, played by Jing-Xuan Chan (The Family Law), are two middle-class academics whose spontaneous recreational boating trip comes to an abrupt watery end after they overestimate their sailing abilities.  As the pair realise they are completely disoriented on an unknown island, a sequence of bickering, frustration and panic ensues, a recogniseable dynamic for many couples. Director Katy Maudlin adeptly infuses a surprising number of comedic moments into this frightening scenario, complimented by the chemistry between Chan and Harbridge who depict an amusingly relatable relationship. The smattering of chuckles from the audience is emboldened by Harbridge’s masterful comedic chops and choice of a humorous, somewhat posh accent (kind of like Moira R

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  • Art
  • Installation
  • St Kilda

If you had 30 minutes to spend with yourself surrounded by nothing but darkness and the rain, what would you do? This is something the Rain Room by luxe hotel Jackalope and London-based collective Random International wants us to consider. The exhibition has reopened its sliding doors for its third season and invites us to all take a moment for ourselves to practice mindfulness and embrace the present in the rain. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the Rain Room is an immersive artwork by Random International that fills the ceiling of a darkened room with motion sensors and little droplets of recycled water that imitate rain. The result? An experience that you can walk through slowly without getting a single drop of water on you, even though you’re surrounded by what feels like a storm. The experience stimulates your senses and if you’ve ever been caught in the rain in Southeast Asia, this evokes a similar feeling. It’s slightly warm as the sound of falling rain crescendos but if you walk an inch too quickly you’ll feel the sensation of getting tapped on the head by water.  ‘Rain Room’ is one of Random International’s most famous works and has previously been shown at the Barbican in London, MoMA in New York and at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai.  Also, a word to the wise: make sure not to wear heels or shoes that you will slip in or you might end up wearing a pair of Crocs that the team hands to you instead.   Rain Room will be open until the end of March, 2024. Book your se

  • Things to do
  • Markets
  • price 0 of 4
  • Melbourne

Picture this: a balmy summer night spent filling your belly and quenching your thirst from a selection of global street food stalls, carts, trucks and festival bars. If that sounds right up your alley, then mark November 22 in your calendar, because that's when the Queen Vic Market's much-loved Summer Night Market returns.  This year, more than 100 shops, stalls and bars will light up the open-air market sheds across a bumper 16-week season. Highlights include the famed chocolate covered strawberries from It's Off Tap, That’s Amore Cheese launching their indulgent new 'Mozzaburgers’, hearty dishes from Nepal Dining Room, Filipino feasts from Hoy Pinoy and delicious serves of Aussie dessert fave, pavlova – with topping choices!  When you get thirsty, head to the Happiness is Mojito bar for refreshing mojitos in loads of different fruity flavours or chill out in the Brick Lane Beer Garden and soak up the sun with an ice cold Lagerita or alcoholic Ginger Beer Slushie in hand. As always, you can expect roving performers and a rotating line-up of homegrown talent playing live music on the market's main stage. After sipping and snacking, be sure to explore the dozens of stalls selling locally-sourced and handmade products including jewellery, art, skincare, books and homewares.  The first four weeks of the market will be a festive wonderland to spread the holiday season cheer, with a Christmas tree forest, a roving Santa Claus, festive entertainment including carollers and of cours

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  • Things to do
  • Pop-up locations
  • Carlton

Deep within the arty West Village neighbourhood of New York lies a basement piano bar so lauded, even celebrities queue to get in. Fans of the hit Darren Star series Younger will know Marie’s Crisis as the bar where the main characters go to have a crisis of their own. On the other hand, musical theatre nuts will know it as the place where stars like Alan Cumming and Darren Criss go to mingle with the masses for a hearty dive bar singalong.  Now, Melbourne is getting taste of the show tune-filled piano bar for three rambunctious nights only. From February 23-25, you can book in to sing (and sip) away your troubles alongside two entertainers direct from Marie’s Crisis itself. All the action is going down at the Fringe Common Rooms at Carlton’s Trades Hall.  Kennedy Green-Tilford and Adam Tilford will play musical theatre songs ranging from popular classics (think Wicked, Grease and The Sound of Music), to cult Sondheim show tunes, and a whole lot more in between. These evenings are designed to be unplugged and spontaneous, so you never know exactly which delights you’ll receive on the night. The only thing that’s not off the cuff is the need to make a booking at the Melbourne Fringe website, before the limited sessions sell out.  Want more show tunes right from the source? Here's the best theatre, shows and musicals in Melbourne this month.

  • Music
  • Rock and indie
  • Melbourne

Blink-182 are back, and what's our age again? It must be getting up there because it's been nearly ten years since they toured – and this time around, they're reuniting to bring the original threesome of Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker to Australia. Kicking off the tour in Perth on February 8 and 9, 2024, Blink-182 will then head to Adelaide on February 11 before hitting Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on February 13, 14, 26, 27 and 29. After we've had our fill of their stacked back catalogue, including 'All The Small Things', 'Adam's Song' and 'I Miss You', they'll head to Sydney on February 16, 17, 23 and 24, and Brisbane on February 19, 20 and 21. Although 1997's Dude Ranch was a lot of our first introduction to Blink-182's attitude-filled punk rock, they truly hit the mainstream with their third album Enema of the State in June 1999, which sold over 15 million copies worldwide and propelled them to pop-punk stardom off the back of huge singles like 'What's My Age Again?'. The following years saw DeLonge exit the band twice, Barker experience a life-changing plane crash, and Hoppus a cancer diagnosis. Since then, they appear to have made amends, with these Australian dates a stop on a huge world tour. General public tickets go on sale for Blink-182's final Melbourne show on Monday, June 19 at 12pm at Live Nation. Get in quick, because if you miss out, you'll surely be singing 'Dammit'. Looking for more gigs in Melbourne? Check out our list of all the best gigs on

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