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Melbourne Festival 2016

By Ben Stephens

Jonathon Holloway once covered the streets of Perth with two tonnes of white feathers, a couple of years later he walked giants down the main streets of the West Coast capital, providing a celebration of arts and cultural that the city had not seen. This was all apart of the four years that Jonathon spent as the Artistic Director of the Perth Festival. As the Melbourne Festival is about to take over the city from October 9, Jonathon finds himself at the wheel, curating what is lining up to be one of the most talked about celebrations of art the city has seen. To keep you waiting with baited breath, here a number of events that we think you shouldn’t miss out on.

On the eve of the festival, the official welcome to country will be held in Federation Square, bringing together the five clans of the Kulin nation: Wurundjeri, Boon Wurrung, Taungurung, Dja Dja Wurrung and Wadawurrung. The words spoken here will be the first for the festival, before 18 days of stories and events take place. Tanderrum is an acknowledgement to the First Peoples and the traditional custodians of the land the festival takes place on.

Chiharu Shiota
Born in Japan, based in Berlin, Shiota is known for her large-scale installations, weaving coloured string into the surrounds, creating a cocoon-like arrangement. With each piece, Shiota uses the landscape to help sculpt her work. The festival will see her unveil a piece titled The Home Within, which will be made with bright red string. Starting at Federation Square on the opening day, before being moved to undisclosed locations, ending at Melbourne Town Hall for the event’s finale on October 23.

Les Tambours De Feu
For the first three nights of the festival, a parade will take over the streets of the inner city. The frantic energy of drummers will begin to fill the air, as the each performer is equipped with fountains of fireworks, the Correfoc or fire-run, will burst through the city, bringing Basque disruption to Melbourne streets and laneways.

David Bowie: Nothing has Changed
In a tribute to the fine man, a man who changed modern music, Australia pays tribute to the starman in a show that has been assembled with some of Australia’s greats. With acts such as Tim Rodgers, Steve Kilbey, iOTA, Deborah Conway and Adalita performing a set list of their personal favourites. All of this praise to Ziggy and the gang will be supported with the backing of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, under conductor Vanessa Scammell.

Melbourne Festival, in short, is 18 days of cultural celebration, packed full of events for the whole community to experience. Check out the full line-up of performances and book ticket HERE.

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