What's On

Melbourne’s Biggest Upcoming Events In 2016

By Hannah Valmadre
29th Jan 2016

white night melbourne

Another year, another excellent line up of things to do/places to go/food to eat. Despite many of us returning to work and breaking our overly ambitious New Year’s resolutions, 2016 has already begun to deliver the goods. There’s a lot to look forward in terms of music, comedy and theatre, with plenty of international acts visiting our shores and homegrown heroes doing us very proud.

Melbourne’s food and fashion scenes are also having their moment to shine, with their most prominent festivals occurring in the following months that are sure to wow audiences and aficionados alike. Strap yourselves in, folks, here is what 2016 has got in store for us.

Nick Offerman: Full Bush (31 Jan)

Arts Centre Melbourne - Hamer Hall

Originally Mr Offerman (aka Ron Swanson fro Parks and Rec) was supposed to be touring Australia with wife Megan Mullally (aka Karen Walker from Will & Grace), but due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict he is now riding solo. But it’s not all bad news - instead we will be treated to Offerman wielding a handmade ukulele to deliver us lessons in manliness, high-spirited sing alongs, and the potential bout of nudity. Hilarity is bound to ensue, so don’t miss out on Nick Offerman’s live show and life advice.

Heathers, The Musical: (11-22 May)

Arts Centre Melbourne

Perm your hair and grab some serious shoulder pads, the offbeat 80s teen comedy is coming to Melbourne audiences for the first time as a stage show. Following the story of Veronica Sawyer from popular kid to murderess, Heathers, The Musical will be filled with stunning performances, catchy songs, and a lot of hairspray. Winona Ryder and Christian Slater may have done a bang up job as Veronica and J.D. in the film, but wait until you see these characters come to life.

200 Years of Australian Fashion: (5 Mar – 31 Jul)

NGV International

Art and fashion are so inextricably linked, that it is no surprise the NGV will be doing a large-scale exhibition on Australian trends and designers from the past 200 years. The exhibition will feature over 120 works from more than 90 designers showcasing our unique sense of style that we have fostered over the years. Some of the more contemporary designers whose work will feature as part of the exhibition include Dion Lee, Ellery, Romance Was Born and Toni Maticevski.

Zoo Twilights: (29 Jan – 12 March)

Melbourne Zoo

If you’re yet to experience the delightful atmosphere of live music at the Melbourne Zoo as the sun goes down, you simply have not lived. The line up this year includes plenty of much-loved Australian musicians such as Josh Pyke, Colin Hay and San Sisco as well as international act Jose Gonzales. Our recommendation is to get in early and plonk your picnic rug in a prime position to make the most of the evening.

Fromage A Trois Cheese and Cider Festival: (6 March)

Werribee Park Mansion

A festival for cheese and cider, what more could you possibly want? As part of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFWF) the glorious Werribee Park Mansion will host the event on their Great Lawn, where patrons are welcome to meander between over 60 stalls filled with Melbourne’s finest local and regional produce. There will be live music playing and free demonstrations for those looking to up their fromage game, or simply park your self on a patch of greenery with a crisp cider in hand.

MFWF x MIFF: Noma, My Perfect Storm (March 6)

Village Rivoli Cinemas

Although the full MIFF program is yet to be released, they are working with MFWF for a special screening of Noma: My Perfect Storm at Village Rivoli Cinemas. We’re still a little bitter about the fact that Sydney will be housing Noma when it visits Australia, so this film will be as close to the real thing as we can get, with an intimate look at René Redzepi work and world-wide influence. After the screening there will be a Q&A with Peter Kreiner, (Managing Director of Noma) and Pat Nourse (Gourmet Traveller).

White Night: (20 Feb)

Melbourne CBD

Melbourne’s all-night event is fast approaching once more, promising to be bigger and better than ever. Now in it’s fourth year, White Night will present an array of installations, light projections, exhibitions, street performances, film, music, dance and interactive events. While it’s cool to go in with a few things you definitely want to see, we recommend loosening up and simply going where the night takes you; who knows what you might stumble across.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival (23 March – 17 April)

Various venues across Melbourne

Get ready for all of the giggles because MICF is back and bringing some hilarious humans with them. So far the line up is looking pretty bloody good, with the likes of Ross Noble, Sarah Millican, Paul Foot, Danny Bhoy, Arj Barker all coming along to tickle your funny bone. Tickets are already on sale for individual gigs, but we also suggest getting along to their Festival Club that offers cheap tickets to see a different handful of comedians most nights of the festival. They also know how to throw a damn good party.

Pause Fest: (Feb 8 – 14)

Various venues across Melbourne

Calling all innovators, collaborators, creative and entrepreneurs: this festival of ideas is for you. This tech festival, with a focus on digital platforms, offers workshops, screenings, conferences and networking events for those who are interested in ‘what if’ rather than ‘why not’. If you’ve got an idea for the future, or are looking to get inspired, head along to one of their events and network the heck out of that room, you never know what might come of it.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival: (March 7 – 13)

Various venues across Melbourne

If your interests include all things fashion, beauty, business and creativity, then this year's VAMFF has your name written all over it. From runway shows that feature Australia’s emerging and established designers, to beauty workshops, industry seminars and live entertainment, there is always something to see and do, not to mention some fabulous parties to attend. We, for one, are excited for the Dion Lee Grand Showcase - now we just have to decide what we’re going to wear…

Good Beer Week: (May 14 – 22)

Various venues across Melbourne

Beer lovers of Melbourne are gearing up for a week-long celebration of all things ale. While the full program is yet to be released (it will launch on March 18) the organisers are talking a very big game all over their social media outlets, therefore we have no doubt that it will be another excellent year for all of our beer bros and babes alike. Cheers to that.

Want more events in Melbourne? Check out This Weekend In Melbourne.

Image credit: Simon Shiff

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