13 August

Score a ballot ticket? Now check out who’s on at Meredith Music Festival this year

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Aunty Meredith is turning 25 this year and to celebrate her silver jubilee the Supernatural Amphitheatre will be hosting some appropriately festive acts for the occasion. Meredith will run through December 11-13 this year and as per usual, there will be no headliners at this one-stage festival so in no particular order, here’s who punters can expect at Aunty Meredith’s quarter century bash this summer:

Big Daddy Kane

Ice T said “Big Daddy Kane can rap circles around cats”, referring to the likes of current hip hop kings Jay-Z and Nas. This will be Big Daddy’s first time in Australia, so be prepared to see the New York rap king turned R&B smooth operator turn it on for Aunty Meredith.

Father John Misty

Everyday, someone somewhere is probably serenading their significant other with Father John Misty’s ballad ‘I Love You, Honeybear’. The former Fleet Foxes drummer will be bringing his beautifully miserable folk song and love ballads to Meredith.… Read more

11 August

MSO reveals 2016 program

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The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2016 program’s a corker, combining time honoured favourites and quirkier works with a celebration of some of the world’s best-known movie scores.

Ronald Vermeulen, the MSO’s director of artistic planning, has described recent programming as erring on the conservative side (a valuable and necessary step insofar as it’s drawn folk back to the MSO). However, at today’s media launch, he indicated that 2016 is taking a new direction. “It’s time to open a different door and explore new works and new layers, while taking small steps, so as not to alienate the audience,” he said. In short, he invited us to trust the MSO to take us on a “journey”.

The 2016 highlights include:

Hitchcock and Herrmann

Dear Hitch knew how to scare the shit out of people, but the truth of the matter is that Psycho just wouldn’t have been half so frightening without the score behind it.… Read more

11 August

The Melbourne Fringe Festival launches its largest-ever program

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Melbourne’s largest celebration of independent arts is about to get bigger than ever, with 401 events taking place in 174 venues across Melbourne. The program spans everything from comedy to cabaret, circus to theatre, and is packed with experimental and exciting new shows that you won’t catch anywhere else.

Setting things in motion at this morning’s media launch was the Victoria government’s minister for creative industries Martin Foley. “The Fringe Festival is a lifeline of support for emerging creators,” he said. “It brings forward creativity that would otherwise be marginalised.” In light of the federal government’s “savage cuts” to independent arts funding (by contrast, the Fringe is still generously supported by state and local governments), Foley re-iterated that the Fringe is more important than ever – the Melbourne Fringe works to develop and promote emerging artists, and ticket sales all go back to the creators.

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Once you get your hands on the program, a good place to start are the free, site-specific works popping up throughout the city, through the Uncommon Places and ACCA in the City programs.Read more

10 August

Sugar Mountain making a return in 2016

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Happily, Sugar Mountain – staged at the Victorian College of the Arts for the first time last year, after taking a year off – just announced that it’s returning for its fifth year. The line-up’s still under wraps, but, based on past experience, you can expect a progressive and surprising mix of music and arts – last year’s highlights included everything from NAS’s start-to-finish run through of Illmatic, enfant terrible Ariel Pink giving it his electro-brat best and dirty-rock monsters King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard ripping it up.

We’ll keep you posted as further details drop.

Sugar Mountain Victorian College of the Arts. Sat Jan 23, 2016.Read more

4 August

Melbourne Festival program launches today: here are our highlights

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World-class arts light up the city in October as part of the Melbourne Festival’s stellar 30th anniversary program

As proof that the Melbourne Festival grows more innovative and broad-ranging each year, the 2015 program boasts 74 arts events over 18 days; 17 of which are Australian premieres, and 15 of which are exclusive to this year’s festival. The program spans theatre, dance, music, film, circus and visual art from international and local artists, and you’ll need a good stretch of time to get through the highlights and plan your experience. Tickets are on sale now.

In keeping with the last two years, the festival will open with Tanderrum: a ceremony that will see elders from the five clans of the Kulin nation (Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Wathaurong, Taungerong and Dja Dja Wurrung) unite for a powerful affirmation of Koorie culture, comprising dance, storytelling and song.

A much-anticipated theatre highlight is the chilling, powerful adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece 1984, created by UK theatre company Headlong.Read more