Top 10 Melbourne Culture On this week 16/02/2020

Better stock up on the saline.


10) St Kilda Wine & Cider Walk

22nd February

What: The St Kilda Wine and Cider Walk will bring together 15 of your favourite St Kilda venues with wineries from across the state for an afternoon of wine, cider and entertainment. Immerse yourself in the best that local wineries and cider houses have to offer right in the heart of St Kilda. Each venue will be matched with a different winery for multiple tastings as you make your way down Fitzroy street, where you’ll also be dazzled and amazed by roving street performers.

Why: Just what an afternoon of extended drinking needed. Twats in tights.


9) The National Sustainable Living Festival 

16th-25th February

What: The National Sustainable Living Festival is not just an event, it is a movement of change-makers. Its mission is simple: accelerate the uptake of sustainable living and to seek solutions to global warming. With over 100,000 visits every year, the event is the largest sustainability festival in Australia — and not just in numbers, but also in impact. By showcasing cutting-edge solutions to ecological and social challenges, the Festival fosters and provides tools for the change we want to see and the difference we want to make in the world. Be part of the action — and join the sustainability movement with a month of workshops, talks, demonstrations, artworks, exhibitions, films and live performances. This year, they are shaking things up by featuring a new Climate Week program highlighting climate-focused events and exhibits in Melbourne and all across Victoria.

Why: We assume those 100,000 visitors each travel to the event via vehicles that don’t hurt mother earth. Individual go carts powered by their own sense of self satisfaction, for example.


8) Billy Elliot The Musical 

20th February-19th April

What: Featuring music by the legendary Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling and direction by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot the Musical has been seen by over 12 million people worldwide. Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, it is the recipient of over 85 awards internationally. Set in a northern town during the miners’ strike of 1984/5, the show follows Billy’s journey from the boxing ring to ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that unites his family, inspires his community and changes his life forever. Billy Elliot the Musical is an extraordinary theatrical experience that has captivated audiences around the world.

Why: A story that is depressingly still relevant.


7) Shakespeare Under The Stars: Twelfth Night

16th-29th February

What: Laugh yourself silly with: Sir Toby Belch – the man believed to have invented partying, Sir Andrew Aguecheek – dispossessed of any intelligence, Malvolio – a power hungry puritan who falls from a great moral height when pushed by Sir Toby, Maria – the housemaid who outwits Malvolio and housetrains Sir Toby, Viola – a shipwrecked girl who cross-dresses as a boy to get a job, Olivia – deeply grieving for her brother’s death refuses Duke Orsino’s overtures and rebounds by falling in love with the cross-dressed Viola, and Orsino – the lovesick Duke pining for Olivia, but seems to fancy Viola dressed as a boy! One of Shakespeare’s finest plays is given a wild makeover under the stars.

Why: A Shakespeare play with themes somehow more incendiary today than in the 1600s. How far we’ve progressed.


6) Salome 

22nd February

What: Prepare to be astounded and mesmerised by this horrifying yet exhilarating spectacle. Based on Oscar Wilde’s notorious play, Strauss’ opera explores the nature of desire and outer limits of human behaviour. One of the most extreme operatic experiences, Salome is an extraordinary work that still has the same power to shock audiences as it did when it was first performed.

Why: Not directed by Al Pacino. You’re welcome.


5) Eltham Jazz, Food & Wine Festival

22nd & 23rd February

What: This free festival, held across Eltham town centre, features over 30 of the best established and up-and-coming jazz, blues, swing and soul acts. The 2020 Festival recognises the transcendent nature of jazz across genres, cultures, and languages. Old and new jazz fans alike will be transfixed by the diverse array of talent on offer, including performances from San Lazaro, Iaki Vallejo, Alárìíyá, Headphones Jones and Lamine Sonko & The African Intelligence who will bring Afrobeat and Latin grooves to the Festival. On top of the great entertainment, there will be a mouth-watering selection of gourmet foods and locally produced wine, beer and cider available. Free children’s entertainment, including face painting, a jumping castle and craft activities, will take also place.

Why: Remember, you have to listen to the notes not being played. Because the ones that are being played is Jazz music.


4) Opera in the Market

17th February

What: For one special night of the year, market stalls of the beloved Queen Victoria Market will once again be packed away as K Shed is transformed into a magnificent opera house. See the shining stars of Opera Scholars Australia take centre stage alongside Principal Artists Greta Bradman, Andrew Goodwin, Chloe Harris – Scholar of the Year 2019 and the finalists for Opera Scholar of the Year 2020. They will be joined on stage by Symphony Australis, conducted by Guy Noble. Sample fine wines and tasty dishes from a selection of Melbourne’s famous food vans while you experience the drama of some of the world’s favourite opera highlights.

Why: The third best kind of ear-shattering screams you could experience on a Monday night.


3) Transitions Film Festival 

21st February-4th April

What: Showcasing films about the innovations shaping our collective future, Transitions is an event which exists in order to not only shine a light on important environmental and technological issues, but also begin to search for solutions to them. The film will showcase local and international films and then pair those films with local, expert panel discussions with the hope of showcasing what is happening on the ground locally, and providing a pathway for people to get engaged with their local change-maker communities. This year’s festival has the overarching theme of ‘Resilience’. This is the ability to adapt, survive and thrive in the face of chronic stresses and acute shocks.

Why: Be progressive without having to talk or look at anyone or move your limbs.


2) Melbourne Women in Film Festival

20th-23rd February

What: The Melbourne Women in Film Festival returns for its fourth year in 2020 to celebrate and support the diverse, talented voices of Australian women filmmakers and creatives – on screen and behind the camera. For the first time, the festival warmly welcomes filmmakers from Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands to screen their works and participate in the program’s talks, workshops and panels. This year’s theme ‘Stories in Colour’ celebrates and showcases the diversity and differences of women’s filmmaking, highlighting the many ways that Australasian women practitioners engage with global stories and the international industry. Kicking off the festival will be Vai (2019) on opening night: a portmanteau feature film created by nine female Pacific Island filmmakers and filmed across seven Pacific countries. Each of the eight vignettes explores the journey of Vai from a seven-year-old girl to the grand matriarch of her family. The Melbourne Women in Film Festival 2020 will feature 20 sessions including short and feature films, panels and workshops, short film awards, and a school screening.

Why: Proving that pretension knows no gender.


1) Jonathan Van Ness: Road To Beijing

22nd February

What: Queer Eye star and celebrity hairstylist, Jonathan Van Ness, is set to bring his Road to Beijing world tour to Australia & New Zealand for the very first time this February! In an unforgettable live show, fans can expect to experience Jonathan’s fabulous, unstoppable energy as he serves up cirque-du-so-gay-realness between stand-up sets so good your face will be in need of a massage from all the smiling!

Why: Because the best comedians are known for their optimism.


Special Mention

International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships 

20th-26th February

What: IGLA is the world’s foremost international organisation solely devoted to developing and promoting gay and lesbian swimming, water polo, diving, and synchronised swimming and this year, they’ve chosen to hold the world-renowned Championships in Melbourne! Melbourne2020 is planning to provide options for swimming, water polo, diving, synchronised swimming, open water swimming and of course the beloved Pink Flamingo – an incredible drag/aqua follies/synchro show in the water! The Championships will be held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre which is right next to the Grand Prix track! As part of the Championships, there will also be film screenings, social drinks nights, rooftop parties, a winery and wildlife tour and a closing night beach party and after party.

Why: Like the Olympics but actually enjoyable without having to indulge an aggressive gambling habit.

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