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Things to do in Melbourne this weekend

The weekend's best events in one place – it's your social emergency saviour for fun things to do in Melbourne this weekend

Sugar Mountain at VCA
Photograph: Rebecca Houlden
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Check out some of Melbourne's best weekend events. This weekend Queen Vic Market is putting on a tasty cheese festival, you can see a beautiful ballet under the stars or head to a plant party at the new Moon Dog Brewery. 

Need more inspo? Check out our curated guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including free attractions, art exhibitions, theatre shows, activities for kids and so much more. Plus, if it's a rainy day, consult our guide to Melbourne's best indoor activities instead.

Things to do in Melbourne this weekend

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Giselle The Australian Ballet 2019 supplied
Photograph: Kate Longley
Dance, Ballet

Ballet Under the Stars

icon-location-pin Lardner Park,
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It's difficult to think of many ballets that make more sense under a starry sky than Giselle. It's a masterpiece of the canon, complete with a tragic love story and a chilling second act, with the ghostly Wilis (a group of supernatural women who summon up past lovers and men who've jilted them, and force them to dance to their death) filling the stage. The Australian Ballet will be staging its full-length audience-favourite production of Giselle for a crowd of around 10,000 people as part of its annual Ballet Under the Stars event, which is this year moving to Lardner Park.  The performance starts at 7.30pm, but you're best to get there nice and early, soon after the gates open at 4pm, to guarantee prime pirouetting position. There'll be plenty to keep you entertained throughout the evening, as Megan Washington hosts proceedings from 5pm, with Q&As with cast and creatives, and the chance to see Australian Ballet dancers warming up and preparing for the performance on stage. Tickets are totally free, but you have to pre-register at australianballet.com.au.

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Holey Cheese Festival with cheese on Queen Vic Market
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Holey Cheese Festival

icon-location-pin Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
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Know your parmesan from your pecorino? Your blue from your brie? Head to the Queen Victoria Market this October for a five-day festival devoted to the world’s number dairy product, cheese. From Tuesday, October 22 to Sunday, October 27, Queen Vic Market is rolling out the cheese wheels and uncorking their best wines for the second annual Holey Cheese Festival. Market traders and local producers will be on hand during the fromage festival to offer tastings – a wander through the dairy hall will reveal dozens of cheeses from Victoria, Australia and around the world. Over in deli lane there will be a range of pop-up stalls selling all manner of cheesy fare.  There will be cannoli from That's Amore Cheese; halloumi fries from the Cypriot Kitchen; award-winning margherita pizza from 400 Gradi (seriously – it's the best in Oceania); and raclette from Frencheese.  Wash all that cheese down with a tipple from the Good-a-Bar (geddit?). The pop-up bar will have wine and beer but true cheese fans might want to try the special cheese-themed cocktail – it's a bit like an Old Fashioned but paired with smoked gouda. Tim White from Books for Cooks will share his secrets on cooking with cheese and you an even embark on a cheese tour of the market. Holey Cheese Festival is on at Queen Victoria Market during normal market days (all days except Monday and Wednesday) from October 22 to 27.

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Six golden, succulent chicken nuggets on a white plate
Photograph: Creative Commons
Things to do, Food and drink

Chicken Nugget Festival

icon-location-pin Welcome To Thornbury, Northcote
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Chicken nuggets (or “nugs” as the kids call them) might not be haute cuisine, but golly gosh are they wholesome and comforting. And very much deserving of their own festival – which is why northside food truck park Welcome to Thornbury is hosting a Chicken Nugget Festival this October. On Saturday, October 26 Welcome to Thornbury will welcome a stack of vendors hawking various variations of the humble nug. On the menu is a chicken nugget burger from Mr Burger; a chicken nugget sub from Sparrow’s Philly Cheesesteaks; a chicken nugget pizza from Pizza Pony; a chicken nugget doughnut from Donugs; a chicken nugget bao (as well as vegan nuggets) from Woking Amazing; and an enigmatic chicken nugget “surprise” from Mamma Van.  As usual, entry is free and there’s an on-site ATM. Children welcome until 8pm, dogs welcome all day and night.

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A range of the bikes on offer at Lekker's Sydney store
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping

Lekker Bikes Garage Sale

icon-location-pin Lekker Bikes, North Melbourne
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Melbourne’s one-stop-shop for Dutch bikes is throwing a massive two-day garage sale. Visitors can score up to 50 per cent off Lekker’s range of bikes, parts and accessories. The sale includes e-bikes, fixies, geared bikes and more, and they all have beautiful styling. The denim blue or classic black e-bikes retail for more than $2,000, so it's quite the savings. Lekker will be providing Dutch street food, including free Dutch pancakes and beers, and there will also be free live music.  Already got wheels? The Lekker bike doctors will also be on hand throughout the day to service your ride, as well as provide insight and advice on general bike maintenance.

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UnHOWsed Theatre Works 2019 supplied
Photograph: Louise Chen
Theatre, Drama

UnHOWsed

icon-location-pin Theatre Works, St Kilda
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We all know that Australia's housing issues aren't going away anytime soon, but what might come as a surprise is that the fastest-growing group of homeless people are older women. They're also stories that we rarely hear, which is why contemporary arts company Tashmadada has joined with housing organisation Voices of the South Side to explore this quickly evolving crisis as a multidisiplinary performance piece. The production is directed by Deborah Leiser-Moore, and features performers telling their own real-life experiences with homelessness.

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Press shot of Jawbreakers
Photograph: Supplied
Clubs

HalloQween

icon-location-pin The Forum, Melbourne
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Poof Doof’s annual Halloween party just got bigger and spookier. In 2019 HalloQween will rise once again from the crypt for a night scary shenanigans – but this time in the magnificent surrounds of the Forum. HalloQween started out as just a group of 100 or so eager doofers but has grown so popular organisers struggled to find a venue large enough. This year the party will be more gala ball than disco (don’t worry, you’ll still dance your heart out), and the extra space will allow the party to be the biggest its ever been. The line-up is suitably big, too. Partiers will be treated to Sneaky Sound System, Owl Eyes (featuring Jimi the Kween) and DJ sets from Sunshine, DJ Argonaut, Jawbreakers, Mimi and DJ Duchess Kay. There will also be performances by Yummy (one of our picks for Melbourne Fringe) and the team behind Poof Doof’s outrageous events. Hosting it all will be self-described “shameless fame whore” Joel Creasey and Australia’s most glam corporate queen, Karen From Finance.  As usual, costumes are highly encouraged and photos will be taken on the blood-red carpet. Tickets on sale now.

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Young child wheeling his bike through Barkly Bikes Festival
Photograph: Brent Edwards
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Barkly Bikes Festival

icon-location-pin Barkly Square, Brunswick
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Barkly Square is hosting its annual bike festival for all you cycling enthusiasts. For one day, this mini festival will celebrate all things on two wheels with free activities such as circus performances, live music and plenty of giveaways.  Kicking off festivities, early risers (and riders) can tuck into bacon and egg rolls at the breakfast barbeque fundraiser for the Amy Gillet Foundation charity. Australian SBS Tour de France commentator Matthew Keenan will host a Q&A and discuss all things to do with bike safety in the riding community.  There will be performances from the National Institute of Circus Arts, including unicyclist Simon Wright who will jump and juggle his way through the laneway. Barkly Square's resident cycle experts will conduct free safety bike checks and bicycle buffs can upgrade their bikes with the latest gadgets and gear at the Bicycle Market Place.  Attendees can even live like cycling royalty by jumping up on the Tour De Barkly winners podium to capture the perfect GIF in the photo booth.  Barkly Bikes is a free event located in the Barkly Square laneway, open to all from 9am until 3pm on Sunday 27 October 2019. For more information, visit the Barkly Bikes website.

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Still from the movie Speed (1994)
Photograph: 20th Century Fox
Film, Special screenings

Keanu Reeves-a-thon

icon-location-pin Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn
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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.

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People wandering around garage filled with plants
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Markets

Wandering Jungle

icon-location-pin Moon Dog World, Preston
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Melburnians love an indoor plant. Whether you’re team monstera, fiddle leaf, peace lily or Zanzibar gem (one of the most indestructible beings on Earth), the indoor plant trend has really taken off. This spring mega Preston brewery Moon Dog World is getting on board too and hosting huge indoor plant sale.  Plant and party specialists Wandering Jungle are teaming up with Moon Dog to host a free, three-day  plant sale. Wandering Jungle decorated Moon Dog's cool new space, Moon Dog World, with plants, so it only makes sense that Moon Dog is the place to buy them. From 11am to 11pm (or 11am to 10am on Monday and Tuesday), plant-crazy punters can drop into the brewery to explore a truckload of plants for sale from Wandering Jungle while also having a boogie. That’s because these guys don’t just host plant sales; they host plant discos where you can dance to live local DJs and get amongst the 72 beers on tap or try a tap Aperol Spritz, Espresso Martini or El Diablo cocktail.  The Wandering Jungle team are big on making sure you find (and keep alive) your perfect new plant, so they’ll even give you tips to keep your new frond healthy. Dogs are welcome in the beer garden, so you can ask your best mate's opinion of your new house decoration. 

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JoJo Rabbit © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Photograph: Kimberley French
Film, Film festivals

Jewish International Film Festival

icon-location-pin Around Melbourne, Melbourne
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JIFF has brought the best of Jewish cinema to Australia for the past 30 years and this year is no exception. It will showcase a whopping 60 films from 23 countries, so no matter what genre you’re into, there’ll be something for you. The festival will kick off with Ask Dr Ruth, an uplifting story of America’s most famous sex therapist by Primetime Emmy-nominated director Ryan White. The film is an inspiring account of how Dr Ruth revolutionized the conversation around sexuality and her uninhibited approach to sex therapy.  Audiences can also catch international award-winners including Berlinale Golden Bear winner Synonyms, an existential drama about a young man embarking on a quest to erase his Israeli heritage by moving to Paris; and satirical rom-com Tel Aviv On Fire, which won the award for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival. The film is currently nominated for four Ophir awards, which are kind of like the Israeli Oscars. The festival will close with the first Australian screenings of Jojo Rabbit, fresh from winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is directed by and stars Taika Waititi (whose mother is Jewish, while his father is Maori) and makes a powerful statement against hate. The Jewish International Film Festival will screen at Classic Cinema (Elsternwick), Lido Cinema (Hawthorn) and Cameo Cinema (Belgrave) from October 24 to November 21. Check out the full program here.

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Ali Barter
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Rock and indie

Kyneton Music Festival

icon-location-pin Around Kyneton,
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It’s that time of the year again where the Macedon Ranges comes alive during October, with sick tunes, sunkissed crowds, flowing drinks and good times. The Kyneton Music Festival is an annual party that runs for two days so charge your batteries and get ready to part-aaay.  Get ready for a killer line-up featuring Ali Barter (pictured), Stonefield, Jade Imagine, the Putbacks, Hobsons Bay Coast Guard, Martin Frawley, Black Cab, Glitoris, Buried Feather, Ben Salter, Ryan Downey, Cry Club, Quivers, Murmurmur, Cool Sounds, Pleasure Coma, Rosa Maria, Matthew Colin, and Ross McLennan and the New World.  Kyneton itself is a historical, picturesque town and the music festival will be centered around its famed Piper Street.  You’re bound to get hungry from all the dancing so fuel up by feasting on local culinary delights and a selection of food trucks in St Paul’s Park.  Kyneton is an hour away from Melbourne by train or car. Grab your mates, don’t forget your dancing pants and we’ll see you there. Festival passes are available for $105 for a weekend or $80 for a Saturday-only pass. 

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Black is the New White MTC 2019 supplied
Photograph: Jeff Busby
Theatre

Black is the New White

icon-location-pin Southbank Theatre (Melbourne Theatre Company), Southbank
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After the outrageous success of playwright and comedian Nakkiah Lui’s Blackie Blackie Brown, twice seen at Malthouse, expectations were high for Black is the New White. The former work was a comic book mischief maker that used the B-grade schlock of the revenge thriller to comment on ancestral grief and cultural violence. It was also the funniest thing on our stages in years. This new work, a Sydney Theatre Company production that has toured around the country and finally comes to Melbourne in collaboration with Melbourne Festival, is in some ways a more conventional affair, a social comedy in the mode of David Williamson. But make no mistake; Lui’s targets are just as considered, and she hits them with deadly glee. The set-up is deliciously simple. Charlotte (Miranda Tapsell), daughter of the eminent Indigenous politician and self-proclaimed statesman Ray Gibson (Tony Briggs) is secretly engaged to Francis (Tom Stokes), son of stalwart former Liberal senator Dennison Smith (Geoff Morrell), Gibson’s sworn enemy. As Christmas looms, the two families come together for the first time, to snipe at, bemoan and celebrate this uneasy union between black and white. In case you haven’t been paying attention, it’s a state of the nation play. Lui is certainly in familiar territory here; the promotional material locates the work as a cross between Guess Who’s Coming For Dinner and Meet the Fockers, and it proves a perfect descriptor. It has the awkwardness of parent/child relationships

Time Out says
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Briefs - Close Encounters 2018 Sydney Festival supplied image London 2017 production still 01 photographer credit Kate Pardey
Photograph: Kate Pardey
Theatre

Briefs: Close Encounters

icon-location-pin Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank
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If you've never seen the all-male burlesque sensation Briefs, this intergalactic fusion of circus, comedy and cabaret is the perfect starting point. The show has just been a big hit on London's West End and is coming to Arts Centre Melbourne for a limited season. Our friends up at Time Out Sydney absolutely loved the show when it played Sydney Festival last year, giving it a glowing five-star review. They wrote: "It’s been ten years since Briefs first strutted onto a Brisbane stage. In the last decade the group has become an international indie cabaret phenomenon. "Close Encounters sees them take a bold and optimistic leap, while refining what they do. That’s not to say this dirty and dangerous variety show has a strong emphasis on ‘refinement’, simply that it requires real intelligence and creativity to craft a party this wild. The result is perfectly paced, keeping its audience screaming in delight from start to finish. It stands head and shoulders above its cohort of 2010s alt-cabaret. "The company has been blending striptease, dance, acrobatics, comedy and aerial work for several years, but this year’s mix is particularly potent. The technical prowess of these performers is impressive, but the show stands out for its ability to reach out to the audience (sometimes literally) and subvert every expectation. "The entire show looks spectacular and feels coherent: the acts are drawn together by retro-futuristic costuming from Dallas Delaforce (think The Jetsons, Lost in

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The Fitness Show Melbourne
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Expos and conventions

The Fitness Show

icon-location-pin Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Wharf
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If you're trying to stay fit (or trying to find the motivation to stay fit), head along to the sixth annual Fitness Show to put those wheels in motion. Whether you're a hardcore gym-goer or just interested in leading a healthier lifestyle, there's something for you at Melbourne's Fitness Show. For two days in October, the Fitness Show will bring everything fitness, health and wellness together in one place. The expo will showcase some of the hottest trends in health and fitness right now, like strength training, body scanning, measurement devices, veganism, sustainable ethical brands, boutique fitness, group training and high-intensity interval training. Head on down for some shopping at featured exhibitor booths like Blue Dinosaur, Halo Top, Spartan Race Australia, Goodlife Health Clubs, Musashi, Chemist Warehouse, YoPro and many more that are still to be announced. Fitspo influencers will also be there and are ready to chat all things fitness in meet and greets in scheduled talks throughout the event. The Fitness Show will also feature a Muscle Beach (a Venice Beach-style gym), a powerlifting arena and calisthenics playground, a muscle and model stage, and even a Spartan obstacle course. This event will run at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 26 and 27. Tickets start at $21 for a one-day pass.

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Tricolour photograph of the Milky Way galaxy
Photograph: Aperture Vintage / Unsplash
Things to do

Planetarium Nights

icon-location-pin Scienceworks, Spotswood
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Now I don’t know about you, but I would personally like to be well-informed when aliens invade earth and claim their place as our overlords. In this regard, the Planetarium at Scienceworks might be able to help. This season, the Planetarium will be offering guests the chance to explore the cosmos with a series of after-hours and adults-only film screenings on the huge planetarium dome. Every Friday night those over 18 can explore everything from black holes to fluorescent coral. You won’t go spacing out with these shows, either, as they’re loaded with amazing visuals and stellar content. Each night features two screenings, one at 7.30pm and the other at 9pm, with films varying from month to month. Some of the films being screened include Europe to the Stars, Chaos and Order, Ticket to the Universe and Capcom GO! Don't miss December's screening of Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon where you'll be able to listen to the entirety of Pink Floyd's seminal 1973 album while colourful, psychedelic visuals are projected over the full dome.  Plus the bar will be open if you fancy a drink with your trip into space. Planetarium Nights are on every Friday until December 27.

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Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Yarra Valley Oktoberfest

icon-location-pin Lilydale Showgrounds, Lilydale
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Dig out your lederhosen and dirndl then head to the Yarra Valley this October. On Saturday, October 26, Oktoberfest will transform Lilydale into Munich with the return of Oktoberfest Yarra Valley. The festival turns three in 2019 with 1,500 guests expected to march into the valley for a day of beer and pretzels. The event will be importing beer straight from Germany for the day, as well as commissioning a Yarra Valley brewery to craft a bespoke beer. Not into beer? There will also be wine and schnapps. German food will be showcased with schweineschnitzel, wienerschnitzel, bratwurst with sauerkraut and soft, salty pretzels. An oompah band will get toes tapping (and knees slapping) while there will be a DJ to kick things up a notch later. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed and there will be preztel eating and stein-holding competitions too. The festival is also doing its part to protect the planet, using a stein-washing system to reduce single-use plastics. Yarra Valley Oktoberfest is for adults only, so leave the die kinder at home. Dogs are welcome if they are well behaved. 

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Photo: Jessica Miglio
Film, Comedy

Zombieland: Double Tap

A decade after Zombieland became a hit film and a cult classic, the lead cast (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Emma Stone) have reunited with director Ruben Fleischer (Venom) and the original writers Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (Deadpool) for Zombieland: Double Tap. In the sequel, written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick and Dave Callaham, through comic mayhem that stretches from the White House and through the heartland, these four slayers must face off against the many new kinds of zombies that have evolved since the first movie, as well as some new human survivors. But most of all, they have to face the growing pains of their own snarky, makeshift family.

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Luna Park rides at night
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Spooktober at Luna Dark

icon-location-pin Luna Park, St Kilda
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St Kilda's two spookiest festivals are combining into one terrifying event this Halloween. Spooktober (which used to held at St Kilda Town Hall) and Luna Dark are merging in 2019 into Spooktober at Luna Dark – a terrifying eight-night Halloween festival at Luna Park. Prepare for the fright of your life as the usually jolly amusement park is transformed into spooky world filled with ghost, ghouls, monsters and more. Fans of Spooktober's hair-rising haunted houses will be pleased to hear they'll return in 2019, with Spooktober founder and director Dale Pope enlisting experts from the United States to design the horrifying abodes. There will be two haunted houses to try this year. Only the truly fearless should opt for the Extreme Phobia house, while scaredy cats are better off trying the Haunted Fairytales house. There will also be "carnevil" games like pumpkin tossing and eyeball fishing; a SFX parlour where you can complete your Halloween costume with some gruesome make-up; and the Haunted Spirits Bar where you can imbibe themed cocktails while enjoying music and entertainment.  Mini monsters (that is, children) are welcome at Spooktober at Luna Dark. There will be a Little Zombies Trick or Treat Trail with each zombie station kids find gifting them a Wizz Fizz treat. It costs a gold coin donation to take part on the trail, will donations going towads My Room (a charity funding support for those with childhood cancer).  Luna Parks rides will also be operational every day

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Sugar Mountain at VCA
Photograph: Rebecca Houlden
Music, Music festivals

Sugar Mountain

icon-location-pin Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank
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Melbourne’s coolest summer music and arts festival, Sugar Mountain, didn't get a run this January, with the month coming and going without a single sweet note. But just as the Village People famously sang, you can't stop the music, and Sugar Mountain will ride again this spring.    On Saturday, October 26 Sugar Mountain returns to Melbourne with a eight-hour booty-bopping festival at the Melbourne Arts Precinct. While line-up details are still sketchy, we do know for certain that the famously fantastic Boiler Room 360-degree DJ stage will be making a comeback. Boiler Room was brought to Australia from the UK by Sugar Mountain back in 2013 and quickly became a fan favourite thanks to wild sets by the likes of Honey Dijon, Gerd Janson and Beppe Loda.  This year the Boiler Room stage has promised the same calibre of international and local artists with the line-up to be revealed soon. And as usual, the whole set will be broadcast live around the world. Keen festival-goers can nab tickets to Sugar Mountain before the line-up drops, with early bird tix on sale now.

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Ashes, Ned Kelly's Armour and MacRobinson's sweets
Photograph: Supplied
Museums, History

Velvet, Iron, Ashes

icon-location-pin State Library of Victoria, Melbourne
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Melbourne is growing and developing at a rapid pace, but how much do you really know about it? Now you can learn about some of the state’s most influential people, events and icons. Velvet, Iron, Ashes is an exhibition located in the State Library's newly refurbished Victoria Gallery. The exhibition will showcase more than 200 items from the Library's own collection plus additions from other major institutions and private collections. It gives visitors an opportunity to learn some illustrious stories about Ned Kelly, the Ashes Urn, Yalloum Power Station and even Nappie Wash.  Visitors can learn how fairy floss is linked to fancy dress, how the Freddo Frog is tied to one of the greatest air races in history, and what the Ashes Urn and Ned Kelly’s armour have in common. A retro-style Map-o-matic device allows visitors to print out a map, opening up a world of storytelling to a new generation of Victorians. The exhibition is open to all ages and runs from October 24, 2019, until July 12, 2020. It is free to attend. The Ashes Urn is exclusively loaned from Marylebone Cricket Club in London and will be displayed from November 2019 until February 2020, so don’t miss out on seeing it in the flesh.

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Art

KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
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Even if you don't know his name, you're almost certainly familiar with Brian Donnelly's (aka KAWS) larger-than-life sculptures and paintings. Kaws take icons from cartoons and pop culture and reimagines them in vulnerable and unexpected situations. His signature? Their hands are marked with sharp crosses. This new exhibition at the NGV (which is running at the same time as the gallery's Basquiat and Haring blockbuster) features paintings, sculptures, graphic design and product design, covering the full spectrum of his creative output. Central to the exhibition is a monumental sculpture, which is his largest work in bronze so far. 

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Women running in their pyjamas
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Pyjama Fun Run

icon-location-pin Princes Park, Carlton North
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Daylight savings has kicked off and the sun is finally reemerging. While we’re slowly coming out of hibernation, it’s time to get fit and having fun doing it. Let the Pyjama Fun Run in Carlton be your first step to a healthy sleep.   Registrations open at 8am on the day and you can register to run 9.6km or walk/run 3.2km around the beautiful Princess Park in your cutest, snazziest pyjamas. The first event commences at 10.30am and we know you won’t be late because it’ll take you literally two seconds to get ready and out the door.  In today’s hustle and bustle, our schedules are getting busier and sleep deprivation is on the rise and affecting up to 45 per cent of adults and 40 per cent of children and adolescents. I mean, we all need sleep, but most of us just aren’t getting enough. Lack of sleep is leading to a range of disorders affecting many aspects of our daily lives and this fun run is aiming to help change that. All the funds raised through your registration and fundraising page will support the Monash Health, Lung and Sleep department. Funds raised will help purchase special machines to combat sleep apnoea, and support research projects to better understand and promote sleep health.   So come along to this fun event in your most fabulous nightie – just don’t come naked if that’s how you like to sleep ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

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Jennifer Lopez stars in Hustlers
Barbara Nitke/STXFilms
Film, Drama

Hustlers

Think Ocean’s Eleven with strippers and you’ve got the premise of Lorene Scafaria’s surprising, gripping Hustlers. Constance Wu stars as Dorothy, aka Destiny, the new girl at a hot Manhattan gentlemen’s club. The wildly successful Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) takes Dorothy under her wing and shows her how to get ahead in exotic dancing. But after the 2008 financial crash, the pair and their friends resort to criminal means to keep the cash coming in. This is a deeply feminist film, one where men are given less screen time than the cameoing Cardi B and Lizzo. These women are objectified by the world (though rarely by Scafaria’s camera) and they use that fact to scam money and take revenge on Wall Streeters. The director treats the women as flawed, fractious characters and folk heroes, not sex dolls. She packs in some visual flourishes too, like a shaky-cam shot of one of the crew’s walk of shame to her daughter’s school. It’s a reminder that there’s more at stake for these women than the ability to buy designer clothes. If Wu is compelling as Destiny, Lopez is magnetic as her savvy mentor. It’s her most authoritative role since Out of Sight. The plot, in contrast to the stars, sags in the middle and there are a few more celebratory hang-out scenes than we need, but the gang is so charismatic, it’s no great chore to spend extra time with them. Some people would pay thousands for just a few minutes.

Time Out says
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A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Photograph: New Line Cinema
Film

The Great Astor Spooktacular

icon-location-pin The Astor Theatre, St Kilda
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And so it returns. The Great Astor Spooktacular arrives at the Astor once again for a night of blood-curdling cinema.  This year the Astor is screening nine horror films spanning four decades. The line-up includes 1970s zombie classic Dawn of the Dead; Freddy Krueger's first outing A Nightmare on Elm Street; the gory slasher The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; '90s teen slasher Scream; sexy-scary flick The Slumber Party Massacre; grotesque body horror Society; the award-winning supernatural horror Drag Me to Hell; the 1980s-inspired The House of the Devil; and homegrown horror movie Next of Kin.  The marathon begins at 7pm on Saturday, October 26 (as Halloween itself falls on a Thursday this year), with the Astor promising spooky surprises in addition to the films. Tickets are $35 (which works out to be a measly $3.80 a film) and are on sale now. 

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Pleasure entryway at Edinburgh Gardens
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

The Village Festival

icon-location-pin Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy North
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The travelling Village Festival has charmed communities all over Australia for the past 15 years with programs showcasing creative artists from all over the country. More than 450,000 people have been to the Village Festival over the years so for the event's final hurrah at Edinburgh Gardens, they've decided to cap it off with one final party.  Hitting town this October, the Village Festival will boast a diverse music line-up of everything from stomping rock and delightful jazz to surreal electronica. It's also jam-packed with colourful art installations and theatre performances. Bring your little ones along, as they'll love the dedicated program for kids and the teenaged acrobats from Circus Oz Fanatics.  The World Kitchen is cooking up a "food performance" that will explore some of Melbourne and the world's oldest culinary traditions. You can sample Tibetan momo dumplings, Colombian treats from Mama Verana and learn the secrets of Somali cooking with Luul and Marian.  Sadly this will be the last year the Village Festival is being held at Edinburgh Gardens after fifteen strong years. If you're keen on heading along, entrance is via a gold coin donation but you can reserve a spot online. 

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A black flag with a red cross on it overlaid with "So much for my Fucking Optimism" in white gothic font
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne and Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide
Art

Hope Dies Last

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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Hope Dies Last self-identifies as “one of the most depressing events of the year,” promising to leave audiences emotionally crippled and wracked with negativity. It puts the dead in deadpan, examining our own mortality, suffering and failure through the lens of gallows humour.  The exhibition (which is coming to Gertrude Contemporary and Margaret Lawrence Gallery as part of Melbourne Festival) picks away the final threads of hope that stop you from spiralling into the void. Hope Dies Here features works like Tony Garifalakis’s ‘Fucking Optimism’; a large black and red felt banner overlaid with ‘so much for my Fucking Optimism’ in a gothic typeface that serves as a fairly unsubtle metaphor for the entire exhibition.

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People in chairs at a pop-up cinema
Photograph: Anton Rehrl
Film

American Express Openair Cinemas

icon-location-pin Yarra Park , East Melbourne
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Screening a bunch of fresh new releases, golden oldies and critically acclaimed alternative films, American Express Openair Cinemas offers movie fanatics much more than the average cinematic experience. From October 9 until November 3, Yarra Park will be taken over by a packed program of live entertainment, dining, music and dog dates. Yes, that’s right, dogs. Proud puppy parents can snuggle up to their own wonder dogs while they settle in for a season of new release flicks, including Downton Abbey (Oct 25 and 27), Ad Astra (Nov 3), It: Chapter 2 (Oct 31), Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Oct 9), Rocketman (Oct 10), Yesterday (Oct 18), Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (Nov 11), Abominable (Nov 2), The Australian Dream (Oct 22) and plenty more.  You’re sure to work up an appetite with all the excitement, so grab a slice of something covered in cheese from the Italian masters at Ladro. They're curating a menu for the evening, complemented by beers by Urban Alley Brewery, aperatifs by Pimms and wine from Giesen Wines. Speaking of wine, every Wednesday has officially been coined Wine Wednesdays at American Express Openair Cinemas. Guests can sample Giesen Wines' full range and even purchase bottles at Happy Hour prices.  If you have an American Express Card membership, this will be is your golden ticket to the exclusive lounge area at the event. You’ll receive the VIP treatment, complete with a comfortable bean bag chair, blanket, movie snacks and the best view in the hous

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Press shot of the three band members in Huntly
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Music festivals

Darebin Music Feast

icon-location-pin Around Melbourne, Melbourne
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Every year, Melbourne’s music community comes together to celebrate songwriting and music at the Darebin Music Feast, lighting up High Street in Northcote and stretching further north. This year’s Music Feast will present 85 banging events across eight days in 20 venues across Darebin in Melbourne's north, showcasing and celebrating our diverse music community with an eclectic and electrifying lineup of events. Just like last year, the 2019 program strives to ensure a fair representation of sex, gender, cultural diversity, ability and age across the festival artists. More than half the events are free, and about a third are all-ages friendly. The festival kicks off on October 20 with the big opening night party featuring 15 acts across three venues. Prepare your ears then head and enjoy the likes of Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, Alice Skye, Tiana Khasi, the Goon Sax, Rebel Yell, Kee'ahn, Huntly, Jess Ribeiro, Raw Humps and U-Bahn. Other highlights includes Sounds Exquisite (an interactive sound installation), Green Noise (a gig all about sustainability), Elite Masquerade Ball (an immersive, theatrical music party) and Sing It! Choir in a Day (where participants will learn how to sing Handel's Hallelujah chorus).  Throughout Darebin Music Feast you can expect to hear folk, rock and jazz to rock, hip hop and big band music. For the full list of artists and events, visit the Darebin Music Feast website. 

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People in Halloween costumes
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Boo at the Zoo

icon-location-pin Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee South
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For once the lions and snakes won’t be the scariest creatures at Werribee Open Range Zoo. The zoo is hosting Boo at the Zoo, a spooktastic all-ages event to celebrate Halloween.  Guests are encouraged to come dressed in costumes to the zoo, where they’ll find scarily good entertainment, activities, crafts and (of course) trick-or-treating. There will be zombie dancers, a Croaky Creepy Critters adventure maze, a goo zone and a kid-friendly haunted house.  All proceeds from Boo at the Zoo go towards Zoos Victoria’s wildlife extinction work – because there’s nothing scarier than the imminent threat of climate change, habitat loss and the subsequent loss of biodiversity. Tickets available now with kids under two free.

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Haroon Mirza Pavilion for Optimisation supplied 2019 ACCA
Photograph: Bettina Matthiessen
Art

Haroon Mirza: The Construction of an Act

icon-location-pin Australian Centre for Contemporary Art - ACCA, Southbank
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There's a good chance you don't know Haroon Mirza's name just yet, but the London-based artist is making a huge impression overseas with his artworks, which combine installation, electricity and a frequently startling use of sound. This exhibition is Mirza's first solo show in Australia, and will utilise all of ACCA's gallery spaces as one giant musical instrument. From there, other artists will be invited into the space to collaborate. Read our interview with Mirza about all you'll experience in the exhibition.

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Courtesy of Disney
Film

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a fantasy adventure that picks up several years after Maleficent, in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney's most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora. The film continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.

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A Midnight Visit
Theatre

A Midnight Visit

icon-location-pin House of Usher, North Melbourne
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The mysterious and macabre works of Edgar Allan Poe are scary enough when they're just on a page, but what happens when they burst to life across 34 rooms in a two-storey abandoned North Melbourne warehouse? That's what audiences will experience at A Midnight Visit, a large-scale site-specific theatre work encouraging visitors to choose their own adventure and encounter unusual characters across a number of surreal environments. The show premiered in Sydney last year in a former furniture factory to stellar reviews. It will have its Melbourne premiere season from July 30 to September 15 at 222 Macaulay Rd, North Melbourne. Time Out Sydney wrote: "With A Midnight Visit, it’s okay to let the story be second to the experience – to the simple pleasures of finding yourself in an unexpected crawlspace, of carefully looking through a doorway with bated breath, of suddenly looking at a beach in the middle of an old, repurposed building. It won’t be like any other night out." There'll be four to six sessions a night, with performances running from Wednesday to Sunday. Tickets range from $44 (for previews) up to $79 for Friday and Saturday nights, and you'll need about 60 to 75 minutes to explore the building at your own pace. 

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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Film

Joker

It's the laugh that gets you: Joaquin Phoenix’s half cackle, half rasp has all the soothing aural balm of a vulture in a blender. It’ll be ratting around in your ears long after the old-school “The End” card flashes up on this unrelenting, grimly funny and brilliantly visceral reinvention of the DC supervillain. Joker is a truly nightmarish vision of late-era capitalism – arguably the best social horror film since Get Out – and Phoenix is magnetic in it. 

Time Out says
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Stokebar oysters
Things to do, Food and drink

Oyster October

icon-location-pin Stokehouse, St Kilda
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Let's face it. Every adult loves an oyster (if you don't, we'll leave it to you to decide what that says about you), but sometimes it hurts to look at the price. For the month of October, Stokebar is offering an outrageous deal of $2 oysters for the entire month, provided by Appellation Oysters. Usually, these deals can sound icky because oysters might not be in the best nick, but be rest assured that Appellation Oysters provide the highest quality Rock Oysters (as opposed to Pacific Oysters), all year round, graded daily and sourced from waters spanning from Macleay River, Shoalhaven and Wapengo to Merimbula, amongst many others.  

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Random International Rain Room
Photograph: Creative Commons / Alexandermcnabb
Art, Installation

Rain Room

icon-location-pin Jackalope Pavilion, St Kilda
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It’s pretty common to get caught in the rain while walking around Melbourne. What’s less common is to get caught in the rain while walking around indoors in Melbourne – and even weirder when you realise that the rain is inexplicably falling everywhere except on you. This August Melbourne will be the first city in the southern hemisphere to host ‘Rain Room’, an immersive artwork by London-based collective Random International. ‘Rain Room’ is one of Random International’s most famous works and has previously shown at the Barbican in London, MoMA in New York and at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai. Guests are invited into a darkened room filled with continuous rain. No need to bring an umbrella though because this rain won’t dampen your clothes or spirits. Thanks to motion sensors in the ceiling ‘Rain Room’ detects where visitors are and ensures a dry six-metre radius around guests. The artwork is being brought to Melbourne thanks to a collaboration between the currently closed ACMI and uber-luxe hotel Jackalope. For at least seven weeks (tickets can currently be purchased for dates between August 9 and September 29) you can experience the installation for yourself at the Jackalope Pavillion, a pop-up space on the corner of Acland and Jackson streets in St Kilda.  Tickets are available to the public from July 4.

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Yarra River at Arbory Afloat
Bars, Cocktail bars

Arbory Afloat

icon-location-pin Arbory Bar and Eatery, Melbourne
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The giant floating pontoon has once again moored itself alongside Arbory’s permanent fixture beside platform 13 of Flinders Street Station. This year the bar will be taking inspiration from Miami in the '70s, with a pastel blue and pink colour palette and palm trees aplenty. The upper deck has been extended so there will be plenty of room to kick back, grab a drink and celebrate in your own private cabana.  Probably the most exciting part is the introduction of Arbory Afloat's own pool, which will be located on the upper deck level. Don't forget your bathers!

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Photo: Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros.
Film, Horror

It: Chapter 2

Even in these Stranger Things-obsessed times, no one expected 2017’s It – a second adaptation of a 30-year-old novel – to become a phenomenon. A hit? Sure. Clowns, evil or not, exert a tractor-beam tug on our imaginations. But the biggest horror movie ever? To understand that, one would have to consult the dark forces trapped in Stephen King’s typewriter. Yet the hype is justified: It Chapter Two improves on its predecessor in nearly every way. King’s book was split in two: one hefty chunk going to 1950s tweens living in the fictional Maine town of Derry; the other to the characters as haunted ’80s adults. It Chapter Two follows suit 30 years on, but doubles down on the deeper, metaphorical nature of losing one’s innocence and discovering a world full of pain. Disturbingly and boldly, the film opens with a vicious gay bashing, because Derry has become a place symptomatic of today’s hate-brimming America. Those menacing red balloons reappear, and it’s up to an older, lonely Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), now the town’s librarian, to call his mates home. They include Bev (Jessica Chastain), trapped in an abusive marriage; Bill (James McAvoy, a little stiff), a screenwriter and crafter of ‘bad endings’; and self-loathing stand-up comic Richie (Bill Hader, funny and real). Returning director Andy Muschietti did an effective job with his young cast in the first It (they all appear in flashbacks or nightmares), but his work with the adults is superior.

Time Out says
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Art, Galleries

Archibald Prize

icon-location-pin TarraWarra Museum of Art, Tarrawarra
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We mightn't all be art critics, but everyone has an opinion about who and what is most deserving of the $100,000 top gong at the Archibald Prize. The annual exhibition of finalists (this year there are 51 paintings) offers plenty to argue over, featuring faces familiar and not, by big name, mid-career and emerging painters. The top gong for 2019 has gone to Tony Costa for his painting of fellow artist Lindy Lee. He beat out painters like Tessa Mackay, whose highly-detailed painting of David Wenham picked up the Packing Room Prize, and Jude Rae, who was highly commended for her painting of actor Sarah Peirse.

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Woman on bench at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Photograph: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Things to do, Walks and tours

Forest Therapy

icon-location-pin Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne
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Living in the city sure is convenient, but sometimes we all need to trade the concrete jungle for an actual jungle. The Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens are giving you the chance to experience the restorative powers of nature by offering forest therapy (or forest bathing) classes for city stress-heads. Just what is forest therapy? The idea began in Japan, where it’s called ‘shinrin-yoku’ and is said to improve your wellbeing by immersing yourself in nature. It’s since been recognised as an effective (and cheap) way to improve public health. The Royal Botanic Garden’s forest therapy walk includes a guided tour through the gardens designed to lower your blood pressure, pulse and stress levels through a series of activities. The gardens currently have two-hour and three-hour forest therapy session available – visit the website for the complete timetable and to book.

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Photo: Courtesy of A24 / Gabor Kotschy
Film, Horror

Midsommar

Dani and Christian are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing. From the visionary mind of Ari Aster comes a dread-soaked cinematic fairytale where a world of darkness unfolds in broad daylight.

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Theatre, Musicals

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

icon-location-pin Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne
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From August this year, Melbourne audiences will step into a world of pure imagination with the new musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The show, which just wrapped up a three-year run on the West End and a short stint on Broadway, is heading south from Sydney, where it's been selling out performances at the Capitol Theatre. It will have its Melbourne premiere at Her Majesty's Theatre. The musical is based more on Roald Dahl's 1964 book than the beloved 1971 film, but does feature a couple of the songs you know and love, including 'Pure Imagination', 'Candy Man' and 'I've Got a Golden Ticket'. The rest of the music is penned by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, who are best known for writing the score for the musical Hairspray. You already know the plot: the eccentric master chocolatier Willy Wonka opens up his mysterious factory to four young children, looking for an heir to take over the kingdom. Four of the children have been spoiled rotten and *spoiler alert* suffer horrible fates inside the factory – Augustus gets sucked up a tube after gorging himself on chocolate, Violet turns into a giant blueberry, Mike's TV addiction gets the best of him and Veruca gets her comeuppance via squirrel – but the poor, young Charlie Bucket manages to prove his integrity. The musical was an audience favourite in London, but received a cooler reception in New York, where it got mixed reviews. Time Out New York's critic wasn't the greatest fan – you can read his two-star r

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Photo: Francois Duhamel
Film

Ad Astra

If you like your space odysseys brimming with formula-filled blackboards and quantum mechanics, consider this a trigger warning: Ad Astra is not that kind of sci-fi. Unlike 2001: A Space Odyssey or Interstellar, two obvious points of parallel, there’s no Arthur C Clarke or Kip Thorne behind the scenes to bring Nobel-worthy science to the fiction. This is a movie where a man travels to Neptune, a distance of 2.7 billion miles, without ageing a day – a reach even when that man is Brad Pitt.

Time Out says
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Treats at Wonkariffic Kids High Tea
Kids, Food events

Wonkariffic Kids High Tea

icon-location-pin The Westin Melbourne, Melbourne
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While the adults are digging into the Wonka Bar at Melbourne’s Westin Hotel, kids can have their own fun.  To celebrate Charlie and the Chocolate Factory landing at Her Majesty's Theatre, the Westin Hotel is recreating its kid-friendly high tea with a little Wonka magic.  The Wonkariffic Kids High Tea includes three tiers of sweets crafted by the Westin’s Oompa Loompas… er, I mean pastry chefs. There’s everything from chocolate river cupcakes, honeycomb and chocolate mousse, cucumber finger sandwiches, violet and almond gobstopper cookies and even a golden ticket milk chocolate bar.  Thirsty? Kids can take choose from Violet Beauregard’s bubblegum milkshake, hot chocolate, juices or soft drink to wash down all the sweets.  When partaking in the Wonkariffic High Tea, all kids will receive a limited edition Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book by Roald Dahl to take home.  The high tea is aimed at children four to 12-years-old and costs $49 per child.

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TeamLab installation
Photograph: Supplied
Art, Digital and interactive

TeamLab

icon-location-pin Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
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One of the most talked-about installations during the NGV's blockbuster Triennial exhibition was a room in which a whirlpool was projected on the floor. If you walked into the room, the virtual water would eddy around your feet, creating a mini-whirlpool where you stood. Join others in the room, and you create mini aquatic patterns of virtual water flowing, whirling and reforming, interacting with everyone in the room and their space and movements. The creative enterprise behind that installation is Japan's TeamLab, and they are bringing this whimsical, delightful mix of tech and art to Melbourne for a free show at the Tolarno Gallery.

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Kid splaying at KAWS playtime
Kids, Exhibitions

KAWS: Playtime

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
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Alongside the NGV's mega KAWS exhibition is 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 anxious character). The exhibition is on display from September 20 until April 13 at NGV International and it’s free to attend.

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Paramount Pictures
Film, Sci-Fi

Gemini Man

Gemini Man is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.

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Gaol Experience theatre restaurant
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre, Comedy

The Gaol Experience Theatre Restaurant

icon-location-pin Old Melbourne Gaol, Melbourne
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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. 

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Melbourne Book Market Queen Victoria Market
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

Melbourne Book Market

icon-location-pin Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
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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.  

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Never the Same River Anna Schwartz Gallery 2019 supplied
Candice Breitz, 'Profile' (still) 2017
Art

Never the Same River

icon-location-pin Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
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Anna Schwartz Gallery celebrates its 35th anniversary this year with a landmark exhibition that brings together work from more than 50 Australian and international artists. Ranging from the late '80s to today. Never the Same River draws on the history of four Australian galleries past and present – the now defunct United Artists and City Galleries in Melbourne, and Anna Schwartz Galleries in Sydney (now closed) and Melbourne – to trace the ways in which artists engage with or against the social and political contexts of the time. 

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Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Bendigo Art Gallery 2019 image supplied
Photograph: © The Richard Avedon Foundation
Art, Design

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

icon-location-pin Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
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Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga mightn't be quite as famous as Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, but both those designers tipped their hat to Balenciaga as the leader of his generation. Dior said he was "the master of us all", and Chanel said he was "the only couturier in the truest sense of the word". So this exhibition from Victoria and Albert Museum in London is absolutely essential for anybody with even a passing interest in fashion. When it opened in London, Time Out described the exhibition as "the mother of all love songs to Cristóbal Balenciaga, and it’s one that will have you swooning over the Spanish fashion designer, too." It celebrates his intricate craftsmanship and the way he pioneered silhouettes still used in fashion today, with the tunic, sack, baby doll and shift dresses all on display. There are garments from the 1950s and '60s, including ensembles made for actress Ava Gardner, socialite Gloria Guiness and the world's richest woman, Mona von Bismarck. 

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High Cheese The Westin Melbourne
Things to do, Food and drink

High Cheese

icon-location-pin The Westin Melbourne, Melbourne
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What’s better than gorging yourself on scones, finger sandwiches and Champagne at a regular high tea? Gorging yourself on piles and piles of cheese at the Westin’s un-brie-lievable High Cheese event. Yes, the insanely successful, sold-out event is back for 2019. The idea for High Cheese began when Westin executive chef Michael Greenlaw teamed up with Anthony Demia from Maker and Monger to bring a series of cheeses together in both sweet and savoury dishes. Now extended until December 31, High Cheese brings some favourites from last year's menu plus a few new additions to the table. Traditional scones and cream are swapped out for L'amuse Signature Gouda scones served with whipped spiced butter. There's also black truffle, porcini and walnut layered Brie Fermier la Tremblaye; Swiss Gruyere Vieux Gougères with burnt green leek; and Marcel Petite Comté Réservation custard tarts for the savoury section.  For the sweeter side, there's poached French pear with stracciatella, fresh honeycomb and smoked roasted macadamia crumble; ruby chocolate parfait with Brillat Savarin Frais and raspberry jam; caramelised salted white chocolate tiramisu; plus ricotta cassata cannoli.  The coup de gras (pun intended) is the whole baked Normandy camembert served with lavosh that you can dip right into the cheese, like your very own cheese fondue. Holy cheesus. The Westin's High Cheese is priced at $70 per person and is available every day from 5pm. Guests can also add on a wine pairing which

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Photo: Macall Polay/Warner Bros.
Film, Drama

The Goldfinch

Theodore Decker was 13 years old when his mother was killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The tragedy changes the course of his life, sending him on a stirring odyssey of grief and guilt, reinvention and redemption, and even love. Through it all, he holds on to one tangible piece of hope from that terrible day...a painting of a tiny bird chained to its perch. 

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Scott Silven
Photograph: Alice Boreas
Theatre

At the Illusionist’s Table

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It is one thing to watch a magic show, with an illusionist able to deliver smooth patter and clever conjuring from the distance of a stage, the aid of clever lighting and the possibility of audience plants. But it's a very different matter to have dinner with a 'mentalist' and illusionist and experience the magic at close quarters and in an unpredictable setting. The dinner is held in the suitably gothic surrounds of Chapter House and includes three courses with matching drinks. Silven hosts the evening, weaving stories of his childhood in Scotland with otherworldly tales designed to delight and astound. 

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Photo: Andrew Cooper
Film, Comedy

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

The sort of high-wire, playfully enjoyable riff on movies that only Quentin Tarantino could get away with, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is a massively fun shaggy-dog story that blends fact and fiction, inserting made-up characters at the heart of real, horrible events (Charles Manson horrible) and then daring history to do its worst. Sitting at the mature, Jackie Brown end of Tarantino’s work, the film is also a love letter to Los Angeles and the film industry, bringing his tongue-in-cheek storytelling together with exquisite craft and killer lead performances from Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. And yet, it’s still very much a Tarantino film, trading in genuine emotion one minute, unapolegetically silly the next. 

Time Out says
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Woman arranging vegetable stall
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Walks and tours

Preston Market Flavourhood tours

icon-location-pin Preston Market, Preston
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One of Melbourne’s largest and most delicious markets is now running tasting tours. Preston Market has launched Saturday morning food tours that curates some of the tastiest products on offer at this northside food hall.  The 2.5-hour tour walks guests through the market, introducing them to traders who will talk them through what they have on offer and how best to use their products in their own kitchens.  As well as getting to try organic produce, fresh seafood, deli items and Preston Market’s winning paella, guests on the tour will also get to try more unusual foodie finds like crocodile meat (which we’re informed can be cooked easily on a sandwich press if you want to jazz up your sad office lunch).  The Flavourhood tours run roughly twice a month, are $20 per person and include a progressive breakfast, coffee, Preston Market eco bag and a $5 market voucher. Tours are limited to ten people per tour and you can book online to secure your place.

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Wonka Bar
Things to do, Food and drink

Wonka Bar

icon-location-pin The Westin Melbourne, Melbourne
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Drawing inspiration from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory showing at Her Majesty's Theatre, the Westin is bringing a dedicated dessert and cocktail bar to its lobby, named the Wonka Bar, until January 2020. Darren Purchese from Burch and Purchese has teamed up with the kitchen crew at the Westin to create some truly remarkable and over-the-top desserts. Expect the likes of the Black Forest (in dessert form) with an actual chocolate river surrounded by cherries, chocolate sponge, a crunchy biscuit base, chocolate twigs and chocolate mushrooms. Unlike Charlie, you'll be able to purchase your golden ticket in the form of a gold chocolate bar, dark chocolate mousse, smoked vanilla ice cream with a salted caramel cream. For those with an 18+ palate, four candy-inspired cocktails will be available to buy from the Wonka Bar, like the vodka-based Blueberry Gumball, with blue curacao, raspberry balsamic and an ice sphere, garnished with popping candy and Persian fairy floss; or the chocolate lover's Pure Imagination, made with chocolate liqueur and sauce, garnished with actual chocolate. 

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Petrina Hicks, Bleached Gothic 2019 supplied NGV
© Petrina Hicks. Courtesy Michael Reid, Sydney; and This is No Fantasy, Melbourne.
Art, Photography

Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic

icon-location-pin The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne
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Petrina Hicks is one of the most instantly recognisable photographers working in Australia today, known for her large-scale, hyperreal works that co-opt the visual language of advertising and traditional portraiture to explore ideas around consumerism and the female experience. Yet, until now there has never been a major survey exhibition of her work. Bleached Gothic brings together more than 40 works from Hicks’s 15-year career, tracing her evolution from commercial photographer to awarded artist.

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Beer and food at Hofbrauhaus
Things to do, Food and drink

Oktoberfest at Hofbräuhaus

icon-location-pin Hofbrauhaus, Melbourne
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[Sponsored] From September 21 to October 26 Hofbräuhaus Melbourne is throwing an authentic, Oktoberfest celebration right in the heart of the city. This is the 51st year of Hofbräuhaus in Melbourne and the venue is throwing a huge opening party on September 21 (the same day as in Munich) to celebrate. The party kicks off at lunchtime on September 21 with the crowning of the new duke or duchess of Hofbräuhaus who will have the esteemed honour of tapping the first keg.

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Queer Deluxe at Bimbo
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Queer Deluxe

icon-location-pin Bimbo, Fitzroy
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Melbourne institution Bimbo (universally called Bimbo's) is celebrating LGBTQI pride each and every Sunday from 3pm.  Queer Deluxe is an all-inclusive day to relax, eat, drink, boogie and celebrate queer culture. There are performers, drag queens, DJs and drink specials, including $20 Bloody Mary, Spritz and Margarita cocktail jugs. Bimbo reopened after a devastating fire in May 2019 and has re-cemented its place in Melbourne's north for good times and great eats. And yes, of course, the pizza is still just $4.

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Ben Oliver leading a Drinking History Tour
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Drinking History Tours

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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One of the best ways to learn about Melbourne is on foot, with an experienced guide pointing out nooks and crannies you might otherwise miss and telling entertaining stories about Melbourne's colourful past. But walking and learning are thirsty work, no?  Enter Drinking History Tours, which will take you on a tour down laneways, up alleys and through hidden parts of Melbourne or Fitzroy to teach you about the city's hidden gems and secret histories. And most importantly, the tours include stops at three fantastic Melbourne bars along the way.  The Melbourne tour takes in Federation Square, the Forum, the MCG, AC/DC Lane, the Old Treasury Building, Chinatown and more. The tour stops at three bars en route, and there are snacks at the second bar and a full dinner at the third. You'll learn fascinating stories about Melbourne's seedy past, including tales of murder, brothels and a centuries-old unsolved mystery. The Fitzroy tour starts at St Patrick's Cathedral and includes the Royal Exhibition Building, the Spanish Club, Brunswick Street, Johnston Street and laneways in between. You'll learn about Fitzroy's seedier side, including the epic battle between Squizzy Taylor and his archrival, as well as fun facts about the suburb's art and music scene. It also stops at three bars along the way: an old Melbourne stalwart, a reinvented hipster hangout and one of Melbourne's best cocktail bars.  Founder Ben Oliver has worked as a guide for years, including five years running Melb

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Theatre, Drama

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

icon-location-pin Princess Theatre, Melbourne
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The first rule of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is that you don’t talk about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Safeguarding spoilers is an expected responsibility for anyone who attends the Potter-verse’s first on-stage outing. There’s even a hashtag: #KeepTheSecrets. But in truth (as far as theatre critique is concerned, at least), JK Rowling needn’t have worried. This marathon, five-hour spectacle has a plot so dense and sprawling, so wonderfully, unashamedly elaborate, it would take many thousands of words more than any theatre review to even scratch the surface. While we may have been sworn to secrecy about Cursed Child’s plot, we can reveal that the hype – and rarely has a piece of theatre ever generated such fever-pitched buzz – is entirely deserved. And not just because of the quality of the production. The masterminds behind the show – led by Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany – have not merely set out to put on a play, but rather craft a rich and detailed immersive experience. To this end, Melbourne’s Princess Theatre has undergone a top to bottom $6.5 million makeover, transforming its interiors to match a Hogwartsian, Potterfied aesthetic. If this sounds like an unnecessary extravagance, it’s probably an indication this play isn’t for you. The success of Cursed Child, which has

Time Out says
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Control Red Stitch 2019 supplied
Photograph: Robert Blackburn
Theatre, Drama

Control

icon-location-pin Red Stitch Actors Theatre, St Kilda
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This new play by Melbourne-based playwright Keziah Warner crosses decades and travels all the way from Melbourne to Mars. It concerns a group of people embarking on a journey to New Earth in an attempt to gain control of their lives and is directed by former Melbourne Theatre Company associate director Julian Meyrick. As you might expect, its scope is epic, taking place across several decades and three acts. The cast features Red Stitch ensemble members Christina O’Neill, Dushan Philips and Samuel Rowe, and guest actor Naomi Rukavina.

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