Melbourne Festival 2016

The Melbourne Festival is Melbourne’s premier arts festival and is running from Thursday 6 October to Sunday 23 October with a special Welcome to Country ceremony on Wednesday 5 October at Federation Square.  

Here are the best Melbourne Festival events for families.


1. Les Tambours De Feu

The tradition of the Correfoc (fire-run) is one of the world’s most ecstatic sensory bombardments, and for twenty years Basque company Deabru Beltzak has been setting the world ablaze with ritualistic percussion and extravagant costumes loaded head to toe with pyrotechnics. Hard and fast drumming seems to conjure exploding fountains of fire and bestial energies induce a pagan frenzy that cannot be contained.

Thu 6 Oct – Sat 8 Oct

Thu—Sat 8.30PM

Federation Square

Corner Flinders and Swanston Streets, Melbourne


2. You and Me and the Space Between

From the mind of Finegan Kruckemeyer, Australia’s most accomplished children’s playwright, comes a tale of wonder and invention that is brought to life in unexpected ways. Step inside a picture book as cartoonist Oslo Davis draws the story live while narrator Katherine Tonkin reads it to you. All of this takes place amidst a paper set that is cut, ripped, patched and manipulated live to create a world of play.

Thu 6 Oct – Sun 9 Oct

Thu 6PM

Fri—Sun 2PM & 6PM

The Coopers Malthouse, Beckett Theatre

113 Sturt Street, Southbank

A Reserve $39 / $19Family$99

3. Triptyque

Canada’s Les 7 Doigts (The 7 Fingers) straddle the gap between circus and dance to take you where neither can alone. Now, for the first time in the company’s history, a trio of outside choreographers from the top of the dance world have been invited to reimagine the collision of these forms.

Thu 6 Oct – Sun 9 Oct


Sat also 2PM

Sun 3PM

Arts Centre Melbourne Playhouse 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

A Reserve$89 / $79 B Reserve$79 / $69 Students$25

4. The Home Within

Step inside a structure that combines the weight of architecture and the ephemerality of organic life. Weblike lines of textured red string pulse like a billion veins, but en masse they form walls as straight and solid as a slide-rule. Are the borders between this building’s exterior and interior any more reliable than our own?

Thu 6 Oct – Sun 23 Oct

Deakin Edge 06-09 October

Meat Market 10 – 22 October

Melbourne Town Hall 23 October

Various Locations Melbourne


5. Melbourne Art Trams

Victorian artists from a wide spectrum of disciplines have been invited to reimagine these most Melbourne of icons, enabling us to see them with new eyes. From established art makers to the brightest emerging talents, these travelling installations are a visible reminder of the creative pulse that beats beneath the city’s streets.

Thu 6 Oct – Sun 23 Oct

No times and location listed


6. Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage 

Now, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will join an international effort to take you where no orchestra has gone before: for the first time, 50 years of Star Trek’s musical achievements will be performed live while its most iconic film and TV footage is beamed in high definition to a 12-metre wide screen.

8 Oct

Gates 7PM

Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Kings Domain Gardens/Linlithgow Ave, Melbourne

Premium Seated$99, Seated$79 / $69, Standing$59 / $49, Students$25

7. Tranposition: A Performance by Ishara International Puppet Trust

The procession features three large puppets with dancers, visual projections and a dramatic musical score by Sawan Dutta interspersed with Indian poetry.

Fri 14 Oct 3:30-4:15pm. Sat 15 Oct 5:30-6:15pm

MPavilion, Queen Alexandra Gardens


8. Triplets of Belleville

In 2003 the animated French feature The Triplets of Belleville swept the globe, raking up dozens of awards and nominations—not to mention the hearts of countless admirers—along the way. Much of it came down to the Oscar-nominated score by Benoît Charest, which grabbed audiences by the ears and dragged them into the streets of 1920s Paris and Le Jazz Hot.

14 & 16 Oct



Melbourne Recital Centre, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, 31 Sturt Street, Southbank

A Reserve$69 / $59 B Reserve$59 / $49 Restricted viewing$30

9. Bug Blitz

This event is all about creating a conversation and excitement about the creatures that live among us; about pure discovery and interaction with living animals; about the provenance of food; and the importance of cherishing the ecosystems and the environment all around us.

Sat 15 Oct (Also 5 Nov)


MPavilion, Queen Alexandra Gardens


10. Haircuts by Children

Take a seat in the barber’s chair and let a ten-year-old give you a cut and color. Haircuts by Children is what it says on the tin. Kids are given the tools they require to become working hairdressers, and all that’s needed is their clientele.

Sat & Sun 12—4PM
Sat 15 & Sun 16 at Razor Dolls, Windsor
Sat 22 & Sun 23 at Fur Hairdressing, Melbourne

11. Vertical Influences

Five performers turn their backs on sequins and scorecards in favour of adrenaline-pumping athletics and theatrical sophistication. The breathtaking momentum of the skating body combined with the freedom of the choreographic imagination results in forms untethered by gravity, like lightning over a frozen lake.

15-22 Oct

Sat 15 & Sun 16 7.30PM

Tue 18—Sat 22 6PM & 8PM

O’Brien Group Arena, 105 Pearl River Road, Docklands

Standard$59 / $49 Students $25

12. Our Place Our Home

The culminating moments of the 2016 Melbourne Festival will be a celebration of diversity—a fitting bookend to our opening ceremony from the land’s First Peoples, with a multicultural exchange through coffee, tea and music.

Sun 23 Oct 10AM—6PM

Melbourne Town Hall 90-120 Swanston Street, Melbourne


13. A Dog Photo Booth

Bring your dog down to MPavilion for their creative, deconstructed photo booth photo shoots and put your pup in lights! For this season, Dog Photog are popping up at MPavilion for a ‘cinematic’ style shoot—using gel lighting that will make your Dachsund look like De Niro or your Boxer look like Blanchett. Bring along your fur kids for a quick portrait under the eaves of MPavillion and then head over to ACMI to see Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog— or perhaps just take a stroll around the gardens.

Sun 23 Oct 10.00am–1.00pm

MPavilion, Queen Alexandra Gardens


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