Things to do in Melbourne today
We know and love the Tesselaar farm’s annual tulip festival but now there’s something new to enjoy at this regional floral farm. The Tesselaar KaBloom festival combines circus arts and flowers for a new autumn festival in the Dandenongs. Artists from Melbourne’s CircaNICA will be performing stunning circus acts every day at the Tesselaar farm. Throughout the festival, you might be able to see contortionists in the marigolds, acrobats in the snapdragons and even jugglers wandering through the petunias. This family-friendly festival also features a crate maze, fairy folklore storytelling, Easter egg hunts over the Easter long weekend and even an obstacle course. Kids under 16 get free entry into the festival, while adult tickets start at $22. The farm is open every day from 10am to 5pm until Sunday, April 28.
These days everyone from your local PE teacher to your grandma is getting inked. And you can join the tattoo tribe on April 26-28 when the Rites of Passage Tattoo Festival rolls into Melbourne. More than 350 local and international tattoo artists will attend Rites of Passage over the weekend, with guests able to discover new trends, the next big artist and even get an impromptu tatt (or two). There's a bunch of giveaways and prizes to be won across the weekend, plus a bunch of retail vendors selling tattoo-related gear as well. While you're waiting to get inked, catch some of the festival entertainment which will include live acoustic sets, circus performers, DJs and tattoo competitions. And for a post-tatt pick-me-up, you can grab something tasty from the selection of food trucks that will be keeping punters fed all day. Melbourne's Rites of Passage Tattoo Festival is on from Friday April 26 to Sunday April 28.
This April, Federation Square is playing host to Dream Big, Princess, a photo exhibition showcasing the stories of inspirational women and girls kicking goals across the world. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Walt Disney Company and Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s global initiative to promote leadership development for young women. The photographs and videos presented in Dream Big, Princess are on display for the first time outside the United States. Women and girls feature both behind and in front of the camera with contributions from across the US, China, Germany, Russia and India. There are also works from Aussie photographers and shots of girls from Byron Bay, Western Australia and the Gold Coast. All the imagery showcased falls under four themes that have been inspired by Disney princesses like Snow White, Rapunzel from Tangled, Moana and Merida from Brave. Dream Big, Princess is on at Federation Square's Atrium and Fracture Gallery until Saturday, April 27.
The best part about food trucks can also be their most irritating feature – they move around. That can mean your favourite meal on wheels might be in Footscray one week but in St Kilda the next. But lucky for us, a huge food truck festival is bringing trucks from all over Melbourne together in one central location. Held at Birrarung Marr, the Food Truck Festival allows you to sample some old favourites and try new tastes from across the city. There are more than 40 food trucks to choose from – get ready for cheese, fried chicken, tacos, vegan food and heaps more. And yes, you can buy booze – beer and wine will also be on offer. There is a district devoted to all things sweet, so you can also get your just desserts. The line-up this year includes tacos from Poncho Mexican; greek eats from Mary and a Little Lamb; pillowy bao from Nem n Nem; spicy Sri Lankan curry from Taka Taka Kottu and the all time food truck and festival favourite the Gozleme Station. There will also be meaty eats from the Rib Crib, Philly Cheese Please, Real O.G Burgers and Loaded Gourmet Hotdogs. Craving sweets? The Food Truck Festival will be slinging desserts from Icy Donuts Melbourne, Honey Dee Loukoumades, Country Fair Poffertjes, Mobile Ice Creams and the adorable fairy floss creations of Som Som Candy. You can also expect roving performers and live entertainment, including plenty of family-friendly acts to keep the kids entertained. Festivities kick off on Wednesday, April 24th from 5-10pm,
Adapting a canonical Australian film into a stage musical? Who you gonna call? Simon Phillips! He pulled it off with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; surely the director could do the same for that daggiest of screen heroines, Muriel Heslop. Both films leant heavily on internationally famous pop songs from the ’70s, both virtually burst at the seams with the kind of kitsch that cries out for a musical number, and both have remained adored cultural touchstones, even for those who only recall them from their original cinema release, back in 1994. So the question sits large on this production’s shoulders: is it as good as the stage adaptation of Priscilla? The answer is no. No, this one is way better. Perhaps it is the source material. PJ Hogan’s film, despite the superficial similarities to Stephan Elliot’s more raucous and frankly crasser sibling, is a finely balanced dramedy, often profoundly sad and sharply satirical amongst all the comic mayhem. Hogan and Phillips are responsible for the adaptation, and they’ve very carefully modulated the tone and shifted the emphases so that Muriel’s journey from zero to hero fits more snugly into the traditional structure of a Broadway musical, without sacrificing the film’s nuance and edge. The first major change we notice is the look: where the film was drenched in the pastels of a past decade, the stage show pops with block colours, blindingly sunny and over-lit. Muriel (Natalie Abbott) sticks out immediately among the buff bods and p
A new exhibition at Immigration Museum is giving voice to personal experiences of racism, disenfranchisement and marginalisation. Voice for Change, running until May 19, is screening ten episodes of a music documentary series which features stories of Australia’s leading urban music, hip-hop and sporting personalities from diverse and multicultural backgrounds. Artists featured include musicians Remi, Ecca Vandal, Adrian Eagle and Krown, footballer Darcy Vescio and heaps more. The exhibition opened as a part of Cultural Diversity Week. It aims to promote connectivity, inclusion and acceptance among young people from diverse backgrounds, especially those who are at risk of becoming disengaged, by narrating stories of challenges faced and tackled. Entry into the exhibition is free with the museum entry tickets which can be bought here.
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 autumn, 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 (except Good Friday) 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 Moon: Worlds of Mystery, Distant Worlds – Alien Life, DARK, Einstein's Gravity Playlist and Journey to the Centre of the Milky Way. Plus the bar will be open if you fancy a drink with your trip into space. Planetarium Nights are on every Friday until May 31.
Working in a secret lab, scientists at Melbourne's main three zoos have discovered a way to clone dinosaur DNA, found inside mosquitoes trapped in amber. They've filled in the missing sequences using frog DNA to create moving, roaring dinosaurs, which you can see for 100 days throughout the zoos. What could possibly go wrong? OK, we might have got a little bit over-excited about the prospect of dinosaurs at the zoo. These dinosaurs are large-scale models of these ancient beasts, but they will be roaming around at Healesville, Werribee and Melbourne zoos for 100 days. If you're lucky, you might see a keeper waking a sleeping dinosaur, or come face to face with a moving prehistoric creature. At Melbourne Zoo you can experience Dino Park, where dinosaurs made by Erth Visual & Physical Inc come to life. At Werribee Open Range Zoo, you calk walk through the new Zoorassic river trail. There are nine life-sized dinosaurs to see. The wide open plains will also be opening after dark for an adults-only dino experience. Over three nights Werribee is opening its gates for Dino Files, an evening event for over 18s who want to walk, eat and drink with dinosaurs. Grab a cocktail and meet the dinosaurs on the zoo’s river trail (including a mighty 15 metre-long tyrannosaurus rex) before enjoying a round of dino pop culture trivia or comedy show. And Healesville Sanctuary has ten examples of megafauna (think giant kangaroos, giant crocodiles and giant wombats) in its MegaBeasts exhibiti
Fantastical lights, projections, installations and performances are illuminating Melbourne Zoo this autumn. For two weeks in April the historic zoo is hosting Neon Playground, a new after dark event where guests can enjoy enchanting projections, meet giant glowing puppets, witness bedazzling laser art and explore a neon maze. Brush up on your low-light photography because this is an event that will and truly attract the Insta-crowd. Dazzling projections are lighting up the art deco facade at the main gate, while inside laser and neon artworks can be enjoyed along the zoo’s main drive (where you can also learn how Zoos Victoria are fighting extinction). The intricate illustrations of children’s author Graeme Base will be brought to life during Neon Playground. Characters from his 2001 picture book The Waterhole are being transformed into glowing puppets for the event for you to take a snap with. For the daring, Neon Playground also features a neon maze with 600 metres of LED neon lighting suspended from the ground. You may get lost, but we bet you’ll still come out glowing. Conservation is key to Melbourne Zoo so it’s no surprise that Neon Playground is being held for a good cause. The event hopes to raise awareness and funds for the critically endangered southern corroboree frog, with all proceeds from the event going towards its conservation. There are only around 100 of the distinctive yellow and black amphibians left in the wild so every bit of help makes a difference.
It’s easy to write off Darren Sylvester’s lucid, hyper-real photographs as simply commenting on consumerism. But Sylvester wants to be clear – the branded objects and banal scenes that regularly appear in his works aren’t intended to combat the commercialist agenda. “People sometimes don’t see any further than that – just think it’s about consumerism,” says Sylvester. “Well no, it’s not at all. I have no interest in any kind of consumerist topic or talk.” What Sylvester is interested in is far more relatable and can be seen in his new exhibition at the NGV's Federation Square gallery. Darren Sylvester: Carve a Future, Devour Everything, Become Something is a reflective showcase featuring 70 works, including 43 of the surreal, perfectly posed tableaus the artist is known for, as well as installations, sculptures and even an interactive dancefloor inspired by a Yves Saint Laurent makeup compact. Growing up near Byron Bay, Sylvester describes his childhood as lacking identity and (like many) he used TV to fill the cultural void. It was the aspirational quality of TV shows that he was drawn to – the impossibly happy families and eternal sunshine. Ever since the saccharine depictions of everyday scenes, branding and pop culture have formed the basis of his work, with the imagery serving to be instantly recognisable and relatable to the average Jane or Joe. “You want that genericness because I want the biggest possible range of people to read into them,” says Sylvester. In a co
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