30 September

Catherines get free entry to the NGV’s Masterpieces from the Hermitage exhibition on Tuesday October 6

Catherine the Great

If there’s one thing to know about Catherine the Great – the Russian ruler who reigned from 1762 to 1796 – it’s that she had no time for backwardness. In her determination to drag Russia into the Enlightenment, Catherine opened the country up to Western art and ideas, established a pseudo parliament and opened schools for girls. Her astonishing collection of art is currently on display at the NGV, on loan from Saint Petersburg. It’s your chance to get up close to masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Velásquez and more – and to learn more about Catherine’s fascinating life.

For one day, all Catherines (and that include Katherines, Katies, or any other variation of the name) can enter the exhibition for free. Not only will you save up to $26, but you’ll also enjoy the unique pleasure of being surrounded by people with the same name as you, including Catherine Andrews, wife of premier Daniel Andrews, if you get there at 10.30am.… Read more

30 September

Former Royal Women’s Hospital is this year’s Melbourne Music Week flagship venue


Once again, a Melbourne landmark plays host to the city’s musical best

The former site of the Royal Melbourne’s Hospital on Swanson Street has been announced as this year’s Melbourne Music Week (MMW) flagship venue. The historic hospital’s basement and adjoining rooms will play host to the hyperlocal festival’s yet-to-be-announced program of installations and music performances.

See it first on the opening night party, when the Former Royal Women’s Hospital will come back to life along to performances by Melbourne bands The Harpoons, Gypsy and The Cat, and Dorsal Fins.  A maze of 12 disused rooms will be put into use for the Swell program, which will host secret live performances. The one-off gigs will be multi-sensory experiences featuring a combination of art and design elements that punters can immerse themselves in.

This year, the Former Royal Women’s Hospital will be the first carbon neutral MMW flagship venue, with all carbon emissions to be measured and offset at the end of the event.Read more

28 September

The Wheeler Centre launches The Interrobang Festival of Questions


Is there an unanswered question burning a hole in your brain? An uncertainty that you can’t seem to shake? A swirling storm of thoughts and ideas that aren’t quite taking shape? The Wheeler Centre wants to hear from you.

The Interrobang Festival of Questions, running over the last weekend in November, is Melbourne’s first-ever crowd-sourced festival where the topics of discussion are determined by the people. As of today, you’re invited to visit the website, submit any question, and vote on questions that need to be discussed. Every single one will help to shape the program of more than 25 live debates, lectures, workshops and shows. No question is too little, obscure, or broad. You can submit questions via the website, or via the @askinterrobang Twitter handle.

Read our full interview with Emily Sexton, head of programming at The Wheeler Centre. Read more

24 September

The Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo launches a series of live music events

Jess Ribeiro

The 24-hour chapel out the back of 1000 Pound Bend is about to welcome a short run of intimate gigs into the fold.

Once a farrier’s premises and later a storage space, the Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo was boarded up and derelict until Jerome Borzario (patron saint of distressed spaces, cool bars and musical laneways) peeled back the boards and discovered a gem. Subsequently converted into the coolest alt-ceremony space in town, the Church is about to throw open the doors for cosy Sunday night sessions, known as Holy Days, presented by Parlour Gigs, the cats who are bringing the best in Melbourne music to lounge rooms and workplaces all over town.

Get ready to settle in – these are not going to be wild shoulder-to-shoulder sweaty affairs. Rather, expect twinkly lights, blankies, pillows and mellow voices, featuring electro-dream pop from Playwrite (Sun Oct 11), a seamless blend of alt-country, pop and soul from Big Smoke (Sun Oct 18) and Jess Ribeiro’s sparse and splendid indie stylings (Sun Oct 25).… Read more

24 September

Your Friday lunch sorted: Super Taco is giving away tacos

super taco2

There’s a new taco truck in town, and they’re giving away the tasty parcels for free

The guys behind Mr Burger, Welcome to Thornbury, Fancy Hank’s and Homeslice have joined forces to create Super Taco. Knowing that the taco food truck game has been well and truly covered, the guys have amped up the traditional taco by going throwing caution to the wind and chucking on less-than-traditional but no less delicious combos.

On their official launch date, the Super Taco team will be giving away three types of tacos: get your hands on the chicken and cactus (a traditional Mexican combo), the four mushroom and goat’s cheese and the Thai-inspired beef brisket and peanut taco. Good news for taco fans with gluten issues, everything on the Super Taco menu is gluten free as the soft tacos are corn-based.

While you’re there, don’t forget to sample tasty sides like their sweet corn on the cob with cheese and chipotle.… Read more