Festival Guide for Discovering Melbourne

Outside of the Festival hub at Fed Square, there are plenty of events taking place across MWF18 that dive deeper into the rich history of Melbourne city. For those looking to discover iconic spaces in new and unfamiliar ways, dive into our Festival Guide for Discovering Melbourne.


Opening Night Gala: You Are Here: Life is complex and we all try our best. Inside the walls of the iconic Melbourne Museum, let’s toast survival, joy, resilience and pure existence. This evening of immersive performance features literary legend DJ Andy Griffiths, soul singer Mojo Juju, spoken word artist Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, rap icon Fablice Manirakiza, Australia’s first gay and lesbian youth chorus shOUT Choir, romantic art collective The Boon Companions, and a keynote address by the king of party-joy himself, Andrew W.K. Hosted by Sista Zai Zanda24 Aug, 7pm


Vanitas: Take a walk amongst the graves of Melbourne General Cemetery guided by Vanitas, an immersive new app that mixes real life documentary with touching speculation about the fate that awaits us all: death. Experienced through your own smartphone and beautifully blending original music and contemplative voices, explore Melbourne’s most historic cemetery in a completely new way! 25-26 Aug & 1-2 Sep, 10am, 12pm, 2pm


Walk: Melbourne Through Rainbow-Coloured Glasses: Stroll alongside creative duo The Gents as they walk down memory lane, reminiscing on 16 years of life and love in Melbourne’s CBD. Exploring the personal and political, the walk will highlight places of historical significance for Melbourne’s LGBTIQ community. 25 Aug, 2pm


Reading Victoria Stories & High Tea with Alice Pung: Take flight on the iconic Melbourne Star while listening to brand new writing about the city suburbs below – from Brunswick to Werribee, St Kilda to Preston – originally commissioned for Reading Victoria and audio recorded by the writers of each piece. Readers include Maxine Beneba Clarke, Rijn Collins, Yamiko Marama, Angela Pippos, Ellena Savage, Rajith Savanadasa and Khalid Warsame. Preceding the flight, award-winning Melbourne author Alice Pung will join you for afternoon tea and discussion as she ruminates about living in Footscray with Veronica Sullivan. 26 Aug, 3pm


Walk: Elephant Journey with Sophie Cunningham: Trace the footsteps of Ranee, the first elephant in Australia. Acclaimed writer Sophie Cunningham leads this two-hour walk while exploring the animal’s dark journey, Melbourne’s early history, animal rights and the ethics of zoos today. 26 Aug, 4.30pm


Sunday Salon: Celebrate the multiplicity of language, storytelling and identity at the inaugural Immigration Museum salon. Specially curated stages by artist, actor and activist Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa and spoken word poet Nour Abouzeid present talented local poets and artists with a multitude of styles and mother tongues. Move between different performance and exhibition spaces, enjoying fresh narratives and winter-warming food and drink. 26 Aug, 6pm


The Muse in the Museum: The Broken Faces of War: Lee Kofman guides you through Melbourne Museum’s WW1: Love and Sorrowexhibition which looks at Queen’s Hospital’s groundbreaking approach to facial injuries, pioneered on soldiers. The exhibition considers the experiences and identity crises of men with broken faces. Contains graphic content. 31 Aug, 11.30am


Closing Night Party: You Are There: Bringing the Melbourne Museum to life after dark, the final night of MWF celebrates what it means to let go, as six writers pay tribute to something or someone loved and lost in a night of ritual, healing and farewell. Featuring readings from Ali Cobby Eckermann, Jessie Cole, Sophie Cunningham, Kate Holden, Mariam Issa and Maria Tumarkin; a full musical performance by the soaringly beautiful Megan Washington. Hosted by Rafeif Ismail2 Sep, 7pm