Head Down Under for the Melbourne Festival

As avid travelers, one of our favorite things to do is explore cities and get to know new cultures in unique ways.

We’ve found that one of the best ways to do that is by planning a trip around citywide festivals. These festivals, often centered around art and music, give you the opportunity to truly explore the city, as events are held in venues all over the place, and interact with locals in a way that feels organic.

One of our favorites of these citywide events is the Melbourne Festival, a 17-day long celebration of art, music, theater and more that takes place in October of each year. The festival offers a truly unique line-up of events and shows, curated by an often world-renowned Artistic Director, who changes annually.

You can purchase tickets on an event-by-event basis, so you attend only the events that you’re interested in, guilt-free. This ticketing structure is also great because it means that you’ll have plenty of time to explore Melbourne outside of the festival celebrations. Some events are even free, and many are family-friendly as well. Plus, if you think you’ll be interested in attending more than three events – and we think you will – you can opt for one of their discounts and packages to save on tickets.

If you’re a foodie, you’re in luck – the Melbourne Festival partners with some of the city’s best restaurants and caterers to offer “Festival Feasts,” which include everything ranging from full-course dinner options to small tastings. All you have to do is bring your festival ticket with you to a participating restaurant, and you’ll have access to the restaurant’s special offer for event-goers.

To get you even more excited, here are some of the most notable arts and music related events at this year’s festival:

Les Tambours De Feu

If you’re looking for a truly unique way to see the city of Melbourne, look no further than Les Tambours De Feu, a “fire run” that takes participants through the city in a parade of percussion and pyrotechnics. Attendees meet up at a specified time, and then follow along as performers lead the parade through the city. Check it out here.

Haircuts by Children

This event is exactly what the title implies – children giving haircuts and color to any adult who is up for the adventure. While the concept seems simple, it’s meant to spark a dialogue around how much we actually want to empower our children. Curious about what this year’s event looked like? Check this out to decide whether you’ll take a seat in the barber’s chair or take it in as a spectator next year.

Robert Lepage’s 887

Internationally acclaimed playwright and director Robert Lepage’s production 887 has been praised as one of the highlights of this year’s festival. The piece explores memory and recollection in a “meticulously crafted” and highly imaginative two-hour experience that focuses on Lepage’s life. One of the most noteworthy elements of this show in particular is that the piece was written, designed, directed, and performed by Lepage himself. Learn more about it here.


Have you been to the Melbourne Festival? Did you have a favorite performance or activity? We’d love to hear about your experience! Here’s how to get in touch:

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