More events, activities, and art and support for artists and performers.
What you told us
Melbourne is recognised as a cultural destination with an array of galleries, world-renowned street art and bustling music and theatre events.
You’ve said that being a cultural city is important to you and that you’d like to see more events, activities and art within the city and more support for artists and performers.
“Lots of free events - lots of opportunities to try new things from different cultures.”
“[It produces] wonderful and wide-ranging events to see and [it is] proactive in incentivising visitors to make the journey in. [It] invests in making the city a vibrant and interesting place.”
“Making venues more affordable for groups to rehearse and perform in the city…. Having a thriving arts culture has always been so important to Melbourne as it attracts people and gives the city a buzz and a safe and exciting vibe with lots of people living and working in the city. The people who work, rehearse and patronise these concerts, shows and events helps the local economy and makes the city a more attractive place to be.”
What we're doing
We are showcasing Melbourne's unique culture and creativity through our public arts projects and program of events, encouraging more people to visit our city and participate in arts and cultural activities.
The Flash Forward project connected 40 historic laneways across Melbourne and commissioned more than 80 creatives to create artworks through lighting, music and creative installations.
Arts Grants are available to artists and small to medium arts organisations from all backgrounds and abilities.
Creative Spaces connects artists and creative practitioners with spaces, promotes artists and their work, and provides an index of live and virtual events.
We are presenting multiple premier events with extensive free programming throughout the year, including New Year’s Eve, Christmas Festival, Moomba, Melbourne Music Week, Melbourne Fashion Week, narrm ngarrgu Melbourne Knowledge Week and YIRRAMBOI.
[December 2022] New Year’s Eve attracted approximately 475,000 visitors into the city to celebrate the new year and enjoy the dazzling fireworks and laser displays from 30 CBD rooftops. The night also featured popular celebration zones at Docklands, Flagstaff Gardens, Treasury Gardens and Kings Domain with free family-friendly entertainment, food trucks, performances and fireworks at 9.30pm and midnight.
[December 2022] Christmas Festival delivered a festive decoration, lighting installation and activation program across the city for the enjoyment of families and visitors to the city. Highlights of the 2022 program included Christmas Square at Federation Square, a 16.5 metre LED Christmas Tree, lighting projections on the Melbourne Town Hall, a Christmas carnival in Birrarung Marr and a Christmas Maze in Docklands. There were also a two new activations in 2022; Argyle Square Carlton featured a Christmas themed roller rink and large Christmas Tree and Queensbridge Square featured a pop-up playground featuring bell swings, a giant dance floor and an interactive orchestra. City of Melbourne also made funding available to the precinct associations to deliver their own localised festival activations.
[November 2022] Melbourne Awards Gala Ceremony was held on 12 November 2023 at the Melbourne Town Hall and celebrated the inspirational Melbourne organisations, projects and Melburnians who are dedicated to making the city a thriving, forward-thinking capital city in the categories of community, sustainability, Aboriginal Melbourne, arts and events, hospitality, knowledge and innovation, urban design and LGBTIQ+
[October 2022] Melbourne Fashion Week ran from 10-16 October and featured a city wide dispersed program celebrating and supporting the best in Australian fashion including runways in unexpected and impressive locations, talks with experts, hands on workshops, pop up fashion moments and immersive experiences. Unique Melbourne venues and spaces across the city were showcased including runways in Shed 21 Docklands, Wesley Place, Queen Victoria Market Dairy Hall, 333 Collins, the State Library Victoria, Emporium Melbourne, the Meat Market and Walker Lane.
The following events were sponsored via the annual Event Partnership Program and the City Reactivation Event Support Program between October 2022 and February 2023:
- Time • Rone –Immersive Exhibition – ongoing to 23 April
- SalamFest World Cup edition
- Lonsdale Street Greek Festival
- Victorian Festival of Diwali
- Melbourne Harmony Festival
- Melbourne Cup Parade
- Night Noodle Markets
- Polish Festival
- No-so-silent Cinema
- Firefly Zipline
- Vida Melbourne Latin Festival
- Australian Open
- Midsumma Festival
- Chinese Lunar New Year
- National Sustainable Living Festival
- Antipodes Festival
[October 2022] A distinctly ‘Melbourne’ pop-up experience is at the heart of a new campaign by the City of Melbourne, designed to celebrate the city and encourage visitation.
The Only in the City campaign showcases the unique fibres that make up Melbourne’s cultural fabric – the exceptional food, fashion, retail, art and entertainment that can only be experienced in the city.
The $4 million integrated marketing campaign will be rolled out across multiple channels, boosting the city economy and supporting thousands of jobs.
[October 2022] Our new Experience Melbourne program will deliver more exciting events, enticing tourism initiatives and a bold new marketing campaign to boost visitation and better promote the city’s unique experiences.
[October 2022] Performing arts professional, Penny Miles, has been appointed as Chair of the Night-time Economy Advisory Committee, leading a group of industry experts to enhance Melbourne’s resurgence after dark. The committee includes representatives from some of Melbourne’s best-known hospitality venues, creative events and arts organisations. The Night Chair is a voluntary position.