5 August

Melbourne is getting a brand new laneway

Gresham Street

If you’re prone to scoffing when tourists bang on about Melbourne’s hidden laneways, wipe that smirk off your face, because you didn’t know about this one, did you?

Charter Hall is the property group that developed 570 Bourke Street into a commercial and legal zone. Next in their sights is the adjoining Gresham Street. This will be converted into a one-way street and decked out with leafy landscapes and alfresco seating. Okay, it’s not going to be the piss-stained, graffiti-strewn real thing, but there’ll be a new café and four new retail spaces.

The idea is that it will be a good place for workers to de-frag, if only for a latte-swillin’ ten minutes. Construction is underway and expected to be complete by mid 2015.… Read more

31 July

Cat Stuff is a pop-up market for cat-lovers. And cats.

Tinning st Cat Stuff market

First they get their own café, and now they get their own market. We should’ve known it was just a matter of time. After all, the ancient Egyptians worshipped the adorable furry predators, and now it would seem that their reign has dawned once again.

For four days in August, Brunswick’s Tinning St Gallery will welcome over 20 local artist spruiking feline-themed artwork, furniture and treats. Cat Stuff will feature new works by the super-talented Beci Orpin, as well as Kirsten Perry, Alice Oehr, Camilla Rogers, Kitiya Palaskas, Clare Dilworth and more. From cute tabby-toys to prints to put on your wall, this is the one place where you won’t be judged for letting your inner crazy cat-lady (or man) loose. And if you can make it for Saturday August 16, there’ll be hot drinks and snacks. Purrfect!

Cat Stuff, Tinning Street, Aug 14-17Read more

30 July

Stereosonic 2014 announces huge lineup

Calvin Harris

We’ll cut to the chase: Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Diplo, Skrillex, Steve Aoki.

And that’s barely scratching the surface. Last year, the organisers of Stereosonic expanded the festival into two full days of house, techno, bass, trance and electro.

The headliner for the first day is Scottish house DJ Calvin Harris (pictured): maker of bangers like ‘Sweet Nothing’ that even non-EDM fans love. Dutchman Tiësto will bring the trance, Major Lazer helmsman Diplo will unleash his twerk-tastic tracks, and electro/garage duo Disclosure will whip up a DJ set. If you didn’t see them at Splendour this year, make sure you catch local wunderkinds Peking Duk and Nina Las Vegas.

Day two will see Skrillex take to the stage after having to pull out last year, alongside festival favourite Steve Aoki, UK house innovator Carl Cox, Dutch trance lords Dash Berlin, and 22-year-old Porter Robinson, who’ll be sure to offer something different entirely, if the tracks from his upcoming album Worlds are anything to go by.… Read more

30 July

Get your petting on. The Cat Café is officially open

Ready for your love

The day has come, cat fans. The Cat Café is officially open for business, right opposite the Queen Vic Markets. But before you chuck a sickie, here are some essential Cat Caff facts. First up, you need to head to the website to make a session booking (and right now the first five days are already booked out). You can book an hour at a time and the rate is $10 per person, per hour. On the food of drink front, we have some slightly bad news (or good, if you’re a hygiene freak) courtesy of council regulations. To be able to serve food at all, owner Anita Loughran tells us they’ve had to jump through some serious health and safety hoops, and they’re only able to serve tea and instant coffee with powdered milk and pre-wrapped goods like muffins, chips and chocolates. But who needs a single origin macchiato when there are 11 frisky felines pawing for attention?… Read more

28 July

Top five things to know about the Melbourne Festival 2014 program

Cirkopolis

The Melbourne Festival is the most significant arts festival in the city’s calendar, and this year, the organisers are squeezing over 60 music, theatre, film, dance and art events into just 17 days. The program – released today – can feel a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together the top five things about this year’s cultural fiesta that impress us most.

1. The opening of the festival will bring together elders from the five clans of the Kulin nation
Last year, elders from the five clans of the Kulin nation (Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Wathaurong, Taungerong and Dja Dja Wurrung) invited the people of Melbourne to a Tanderrum: the first ceremony of its kind since modern Melbourne was founded in 1835. This powerful affirmation of Koorie culture is back again this year, comprising song, storytelling and dance.

2. There’s a huge focus on circus
And it’s far from lion-tamers and tightropes. Festival Director Josephine Ridge and her team decided to celebrate Melbourne’s rich circus tradition (the Arts Centre used to be the site of the Wirth Brothers’ Circus in the early 1900s) by inviting the world’s most innovative circus artists – including Montreal’s Cirque Éloize, Belgium’s Dique & Fien and France’s Circa – to perform alongside local indie ensembles like Dislocate.Read more