RISING: Igniting Melbourne’s Winter Nights with a Cultural Symphony

Cool Sh*t, Melbourne / 7 June 2023

RISING Festival is upon us once again, marking the arrival of a bustling, twelve-night marathon of culture that will revitalise Melbourne’s winter nights from 7th to 18th June.

Unfolding under moonlight, this city-wide celebration promises a remarkable line-up of 185 events with more than 800 artists, 35 commissioned pieces, and 12 world premieres.

Known for its ability to breathe life into the city’s iconic spaces, RISING showcases captivating theatre, music echoing across continents, thrilling dance, large-scale installations, and outdoor works of mass participation. The program encourages audiences to plunge into the vibrant pulse of Melbourne’s nightlife, featuring a mix of free and low-cost experiences that tease the senses and invigorate the spirit.

Artistic Directors Hannah Fox and Gideon Obarzanek expressed their anticipation, observing the city transform into a festival playground as artists from all corners of the world rehearsed in anticipation of the grand opening. Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos and Lord Mayor Sally Capp shared their excitement, echoing the festival’s potential to boost local businesses and inspire audiences to explore the city’s rich cultural offerings.

At the heart of the festival, the Shadow Spirit exhibition will take over Flinders Street Station’s historic upper level and hidden ballroom, creating the largest showcase of contemporary First Peoples art in Victoria’s history. Meanwhile, St Paul’s Cathedral grounds transform into Night Trade, a bustling hub offering curated chaos with pop-up performances, DJ sets, drinks, and BBQ.

Ice-skating enthusiasts will find joy at The Rink at RISING, located at Birrarung Marr, offering an idyllic backdrop of the city’s skyline. The Rink is set to host free and low-cost family activities throughout the July school holidays, ensuring a wintry treat for all.

RISING Festival doesn’t stop there, promising a celestial cloud of lights floating above Federation Square’s forecourt with Daan Roosegaard’s SPARK and the spectacle of 10,000 Kazoos descending upon the area in an absurdly delightful performance led by artist and composer Ciaran Frame.

From dance to performance to music, RISING’s program spans a diverse range of genres. Powerful performances, provocative dance pieces, and unique music experiences will be housed across the city’s iconic venues. RISING is the catalyst sparking Melbourne’s winter with an outpouring of art, culture, and camaraderie, embodying the essence of what makes this city truly great. Prepare to experience Melbourne in a whole new light with RISING.