Things to do in Melbourne today
Wednesday nights in Melbourne are known for one thing and one thing only: Queen Victoria Market’s legendary Night Market. With the night market finishing up for the winter months, Queen Vic has announced it will be bringing back its insanely popular Asian night market to tide you over until the warmer months. The Hawker 88 Night Market brings Asian tastes, sights and sounds to Queen Vic’s sheds. Running every Wednesday night from September 18 until October 23, over 20 stalls will be set up to sell authentic street food direct from China, India, Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia and Japan. The tasty line-up of vendors this year includes Sri Lankan curries from Drums Café; soft shell crab with wontons from Miss Wonton; authentic Filipino spit-roasted pig from Kuya's Simply Pinoy; kimchi fries from Lui Boss; grilled momo from Nepal Dining Room; and Japanese pork ribs from Kobe Jones. Thai favourite Son in Law is bringing its giant cartoon fairy floss creatures back while Durasia is serving fresh slices of the world's most divisive fruit, durian (you can also get durian ice cream from the vendor). As usual, there will be market stalls selling plenty of weird and wonderful wares, as well as live performances and music to enjoy.
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.
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
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. It was mesmerising, brought people together and was downright fun. In fact, during one afternoon, all of the people in the room decided to circle the room, as if dancing the hora, creating one giant whirlpool. The creative enterprise behind that installation is Japan's TeamLab, an art collective whose members include mathematicians, architects, CG animators and engineers. Everything they do is cutting edge but also community-oriented, driven by the latest in technology but a very human need for connection. Virtual flowers bloom in visitors' hands, a moving garden of real orchids reacts to the presence of those who stroll its paths, and projected koi flit around people's ankles, able to be scooped up and held before diving back into the water in the floor. During one show in a prestigious gallery in London, one team member who had been up for two days straight finishing the installation fell asleep on the floor two hours before the art-loving crowd came in. Being English, they didn't want to disturb the exhausted man, or perhaps
Initially launched to celebrate the NGV’s Escher exhibition Between Two Worlds from last summer, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins has decided to continue running its successful black and white afternoon tea experience. The Monochromatic High Tea is running at Sofitel’s first-floor café Sofi’s Lounge. Punters can enjoy sweet treats inspired by MC Escher’s black and white works, including black sesame waffle cones with salted caramel, passionfruit and coconut chiboust filling, flourless vanilla opera cake with blackened coffee gel, ash profiteroles filled with lime meringue, and a "Black Rose" raspberry sponge with blueberry jelly, raspberry, rose and white chocolate mousse on a hazelnut dacquoise base. All dishes are served on custom-made high tea stands, so you can tuck into charcoal scones and an assortment of finger sandwiches in true Escher style. Each dish has been crafted by Sofitel’s pastry chef David Hann. Guests will also receive a glass of sparkling wine, Madame Flavour loose leaf teas and espresso coffee for $55 per person. You can also up the ante by signing up for free-flowing sparkling for $65, or replenished sweets and savoury dishes for $70, or high tea with Taittinger Champagne for $85 per person. Monochromatic High Tea is available on weekdays until October 31 with two sessions at noon and 3pm.
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 at Stokehouse is offering an outrageous deal of $2 oysters for the entire month. As for beverage pairings, sommelier Gavin Cremming has put together a range of (predominantly) grower and house Champagnes to match the bivalves. The Champagne on offer will change according to the delivery of oysters and could be Jérôme Prèvost Les Beguines 'La Closerie' NV; Benoît Lahaye 'Brut Nature' NV; Ulysse Collin ‘Les Pierrieres’ Blanc de Blancs, NV (Disg 2017); Agrapart Terroirs Blanc de Blancs, NV; Bollinger ‘Special Cuvee’ NV; or a Bollinger ‘La Grand Année, 2009. If bubbles aren't your thing, the full beverage list is available to order from as well. No bookings are required, and oysters will be shucked from noon until late for the entire month of October.
Melbourne Zoo is letting guests get closer than ever before to its super cute red pandas. From September 14 until November 10 you can book in for a red panda encounter at Melbourne Zoo, where you’ll get to feed the pandas as well as learn more about the inquisitive critters from zookeepers. Despite their name, red pandas are not in fact pandas at all. The reddish-brown cat-sized mammal is actually related to raccoons and weasels, but just like giant pandas, they love snacking on bamboo and are listed as endangered. To help protect the red panda as well as other endangered species, all proceeds raised from the red panda encounters will go towards Zoos Victoria’s work preventing the extinction of species. The encounters are available every day from 9.50am from now until November 10. Update 25/10/19: Red Panda encounters have currently sold out.
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
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.
New York artist KAWS (aka Brian Donnelly) has brought 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. The exhibition is on display until April 13 at NGV International and it’s free to attend.
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