We love going out in this city. In fact, you could say our core mission is to get you out of your house and exploring every corner of Melbourne and Victoria, whether you're into the arts, events, culture, great food, cheap eats, cool bars, gorgeous parks or anything in between. But with many major events being cancelled and Australians being advised to practise social distancing, we realise it might not always be possible to get out and about as much as you – and we – would like.
So, just for a little while, we're offering you a new way to experience the city: Time In.
We're still going to tell you about the best events that are still going ahead, the coolest hidden bars, the best out-of-the-way restaurants and the most interesting artistic offerings. If you can get out to spend time in these places and it's safe for you to do so, we encourage you to show your city some love and have a wonderful time while helping those artists, creatives and business owners who may be struggling. But if you're stuck at home and not able to enjoy those things, we're going to show you a way to bring them into your own lounge room. For once, we say it's OK to stay on the couch.
I also want to say to businesses, artistic communities, venues, institutions and hospitality workers across the city: the double whammy of the summer's catastrophic bushfires and now a global pandemic that forces people to stay home is more than challenging. It is, quite frankly, shithouse. And the uncertainty over how long these measures will be in place makes it even worse. Please email me or Melbourne editor Rebecca Russo and tell us about your cool event, your awesome venue and the things people can do to help support you and your business. If you offer delivery or have a website where people can see your work, let us know. And let us know how we can help you. We will do everything we can now, and when the crisis is over you better believe we are primed – and pumped! – to get people back out on the streets and supporting the rich, diverse cultural life our wonderful city has to offer.
To everyone: we will get through this, and we will be stronger on the other side of it. Keep going out as long as it's safe and practical to do so, and engage with your city and each other from home as much as you can. We have to help each other out, support each other and be both patient and kind. We at Time Out – temporarily Time In – love you, Melbourne. Stay safe and optimistic.
Editorial director, Time Out Australia