Once again, dear readers, Melbourne is absolutely bursting at the seams with fun events, activities and festivities this weekend. With everything from Autumn Italian feasts to an art gallery opening and beer boot camp (yes, really!), here's our guide to the best things happening 'round town. Get on it!
Thursday 22nd May
Cinephiles of Melbourne – the St Kilda Film Festival is on once again! Australia's largest, oldest and quite possibly favourite (hey, we may be biased!) short film festival is kicking off tonight with a gala Opening Night at the iconic Palais Theatre. The crème de la crème of Australia's film industry talent will be there…and you should be too!
Here's an exciting nugget of trivia for you: the festival is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, meaning award-winning films from the St Kilda Film Festival are eligible for consideration in the Short Film Awards section of the Oscars!
St Kilda Film Festival | 22nd – 31st of May
Kew Court House presents Raton Laveur, a play full of blood, insanity and Raccoons (naturally). After hugely successful runs at the Toronto and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, Raton Laveur has returned to Melbourne, showing at the Kew Court House until Saturday the 24th of May. A hilariously twisted, graphically violent show not to be missed.
Raton Laveur | 22nd– 24th of May
The Kew Courthouse, 188 High Street in Kew | Tickets $28 | Concession $23
Cheese and beer, possibly two of our favourite things ever, are coming together in joyous harmony at the Cheese and Cask Ale Experience. Head to The Local Taphouse to sample Milk the Cow's finest fromage and traditional ales from renowned breweries like Bridge Road and Bright. The beery delights will be served from a cask (in the classiest way possible), expertly paired with delish local and international cheeses. Rad.
Cheese and Cask Ale Experience | The Local Taphouse, 184 Carlisle Street in St Kilda East
7:00 – 9:00pm | Tickets $69
Lovers of juniper and other fanciful botanicals – Gin Palace is hosting another Gin Degustation! This time 'round they're showcasing G'Vine Gin, a delightful tipple from Cognac. Tonight, you can expect canapés, three courses and, of course, lots of gin…plus a little goodie bag to take home! There's only thirty spots available, so call up and book in quick!
G'Vine Gin Degustation | The Gin Palace, 10 Russell Place in Melbourne
From 7:00pm | Tickets $70
Richmond's The Grand is hosting a night of Autumn delights, featuring five courses of decadent fare expertly matched with Northern Italian vino. We're holding out for the persimmon and gorgonzola risotto. Oh, and their quail stuffed with chestnuts, faro and pancetta. And the pannacotta. Oh heck, everything really.
Autumn Italian Feast | The Grand, 333 Burnley Street in Richmond
From 6:30 | $130
Meet the brewers behind some of the greatest local breweries at The Beaufort's Meat n Greet The Brewer evening. Sip and swill beers from Edge Brewing Project, Boneyard Brewing, Dainton Family Brewery and Monster Mash, all while enjoying The Beaufort's meaty fare. Vegetarians and vegans need not fret – they can still greet the brewers with a deep fried pickle (yummm!) in hand.
Meat n Greet The Brewer | The Beaufort, 421 Rathdowne Street in Carlton
From 5:00pm | $23
Friday 23rd May
Melbourne art lovers – this Friday, Sydney artist and gallerist, Michael Commerford, is opening a new gallery in Albert Park. The Michael Commerford Gallery will permanently exhibit the figurative wildlife works of Vayu (aka Michael Commerford), automotive sculptures by James Corbett and organic light sculptures crafted by Reni Küng.
The Michael Commerford Gallery Opening | 61 Dundas Place in Albert Park
As part of Good Beer Week, The Kelvin Club are hosting a night of boutique beers, barbers and billiards, promising an all-round brilliant time. Behind Closed Doors will see you sample boutique beers the likes of Mountain Goat Steam Ale, Brooklyn Brewery Lager and Hefeweizen from 4 Pines Brewing Company, with each brew paired with tasty morsels. The suave gents from Men+co will be there, sharing their insights on all things stylish and manly, and the Kelvin Club's resident tournament billiard players will be providing expert coaching for those looking to improve their skills.
Behind Closed Doors | The Kelvin Club, 14-30 Melbourne Place in Melbourne
From 6:00pm | $25
This weekend, the Royal Exhibition Building is being transformed into a beer-lover's nirvana, otherwise known as The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS for short). The three-day celebration will feature more than 250 beers from over 120 breweries from around the world, many beers being brewed especially for the festival! There'll also be brewery and industry stands, a gourmet food market, educational seminars, games and live entertainment. Did we mention beer?
A ticket will also snag you a GABS Craft Beer Passport with $360 worth of discounts at leading beer bars, beer stores and brewery cellar doors. A beery good bonus, we reckon!
The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular | 23rd – 25th of May | Ticket prices vary
Showtime Events in conjunction with White Rabbit, Knappstein, Little Creatures, and James Squire present The Brewer's Market, a night of brilliant brews paired with sizzling street food. South Wharf favourites BangPop, Bohemian, Meat Market and Common Man will be providing tasty eats to help soak up all the suds. Friday night knock off drinks sorted.
The Brewers Market | Showtime Events Centre, 61 South Wharf Promenade in South Wharf
From 6:00pm | Tickets $29
Saturday 24th May
The Urban List just lovvvves Phillippa's bread, cakes, and other baked treats, and can't wait to recreate Ms Grogan's magic in our own kitchens. To celebrate the launch of her first book, the lovely Phillippa is hosting a champagne brunch at The Essential Ingredient Cooking School, where she'll sign books, demonstrate one of her favourite recipes and chat about all things flour, butter and sugar.
Phillippa's Home Baking Book Launch | The Essential Ingredient Cooking School, Prahran Market
10:00am –12:30 pm | Tickets $29
Dapper gents of Melbourne – the Festival of Steve's curated celebration of all things manly returns to The Kelvin Club this Saturday. A bunch of well-groomed speakers will impart their sartorial wisdom during the festival's eight-hour showcase, including our friends at Tailored Watch, Oscar Hunt and V and J Menswear. All this, plus food, drink, music and comedy acts. It's free entry, but make sure you leave a gold coin donation to mental health charity beyondblue at the door.
Festival of Steve | The Kelvin Club, 14-30 Melbourne Place in Melbourne
12:00 – 8:00pm
The Saturday, Hamer Hall will be alive with the sound of music with the return of Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music! The evening includes a live warm-up with a celebrity host, a costume parade (complete with prizes) and a screening of The Sound of Music complete with song lyrics, ensuring all viewers will be getting their doe-a-deer on! There's two sessions running this Saturday, the first at 1pm followed by another at 7:30pm.
Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music | Hamer Hall, The Arts Centre in Melboure
1:00pm & 7:30pm | Tickets $55 | Concession $45 | Under 15s $35
Don't panic, it's organic! This Saturday, Duchess of Spotswood is hosting a free producer event exploring the reasons and history behind organic farming and produce. Victorian producers L'Artisan Cheese, Zeally Bay Sourdough and Powlette Hill Farm will be sharing their passion for high quality certified organic food, while Duchess of Spotswood will be providing tasty nibbles throughout the night. An educational, tasty evening if ever there was one!
The Duchess of Spotswood | 87 Hudsons Road in Spotswood | 6:00 – 9:00pm
Have a taste for brains? For one ghoulish night, the Astor Theatre will host Zombiethon, treating living dead enthusiasts to dozens of movie trailers, music videos and spooky shorts, including a digitally restored copy of Zlatko Kazumovic's cult flick, Killer Zombies. Zombie-themed cocktails will be keeping the mood alive all night, while special prizes go to the best dressed undead.
Zombiethon | The Astor Theatre, 1 Chapel Street in St Kilda
From 9:00pm | Tickets $18 | Concession $15
Tequila and beer are mates from way back (case in point: lageritas). This Saturday, experience these two old friends like never before at a beer and tequila tasting session at the Kodiak Club. Our hot tip for the night? Don't drive.
Beer and Tequila Tasting | The Kodiak Club, 272 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy
4:00 – 6:00pm | $70
Fancy continuing on the tequila train? Of course you do! This Saturday night, El Underground is hosting a Mexican underground party complete with killer DJs, tasty Mexican street eats from El Underground Kitchen, rivers of tequila and a few surprise performers.
Mexican Underground Party | 447 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy
7:00pm – 1:00am | Tickets $5
Sunday 25th May
For one day only, 106 of Australia's best independent designers, illustrators and makers are descending on Federation Square for Markit@FedSquare, selling ceramics, homewares, jewellery, fashion, stationery and prints. Admission is free, however you're bound to spend some serious dime on all of the artisan goods on offer.
Markit@FedSquare | The Atrium & Deakin Edge Theatre at Federation Square
10:00am – 5:00pm
For a glorious afternoon of wine, head to the Builders Arms Hotel for Handmade this Sunday. They've got some of Australia's most exciting producers on show, alongside a stellar line-up of international vinos. Spend your afternoon sipping and nibbling on house-cured charcuterie and fare from the rotisserie. Single-origin coffee and beer will also be available for those whose tastebuds tire of plonk. Best of all? All this Sunday costs just a measly $20.
Handmade | Builders Arms Hotel, 211 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy
12:30 – 4:30pm | $20
Head to Federation Square this Sunday to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Malaysia at Fiesta Malaysia. Foodies won't be disappointed, with steaming hot nasi lemak, roti canai, ais kacang, char-grilled satay sticks and char koay teow all ready for the scoffing. There'll also be an exciting line-up of Malaysian performers, as well as Mahjong events, keeping you entertained and culturally-informed throughout the day.
Fiesta Malaysia | Federation Square in Melbourne | 11:00am – 5:30pm
It's the last day of Good Beer Week (sob!) and our six packs are looking a little more like kegs at this point. Grab your fellow beer-gutted, hung-over comrades and head to Flagstaff Gardens for a beer-themed boot camp and beer mini-Olympics. Afterwards, it's just a short jog to Edge's Pilot Brewery, where you'll replenish your fluids with a well-earned beer (much more tasty than protein shakes!). An Edge singlet is included and beer bellies are encouraged!
Good Beer Workout | Flagstaff Gardens, corner William & La Trobe Street in Melbourne
11:00am – 1:00pm | $40
Okay, so you've worked off some of the suds (and consumed a few in the process), now it's time farewell Good Beer Week with award-winning craft beer and live tunes at Howler. The Brunswick Street arts and music venue is teaming up with Kooinda Brewery for a beer showcase to the tune of awesome live music from Speed Painters, Total Giovanni, Banoffee and Martin, followed by DJ sets from Two Bright Lakes and Andras Fox.
Howler | 7-11 Dawson Street in Brunswick
From 7:00pm | $20