Over the past five years, Melbourne Music Week has built a reputation for a lot of things. On-point curation and programming is a given, but it's the venues re-purposing the city's forgotten corners that now grab the early headlines.
This year, those venues include an underground medical facility and a city church which will house a giant interactive sculpture-slash-stage, but to focus on the architecture is to miss the vast imaginative scope of the program. There's immersive 3D games with synth soundtracks, a dining event involving The Press Club’s executive chef Luke Croston, and hundreds of events blurring the lines of art and culture, creating one great big hub of creative energy.
The decommissioned basement of the Former Royal Women’s Hospital’s will form the epicentre of the eight-day event; reinvigorated as its disused rooms are brought to life by artists such as Gypsy & The Cat, DZ Deathrays, Banoffee and The Harpoons. A mysterious “labyrinthine” music event, Swell, will take over 12 of the hospital’s abandoned rooms.
Then there's the one-off parties, including one in the Old Melbourne Gaol courtyard; one celebrating the footwork scene; and a tribute to the New Orleans Street Party.
As well as keynote talks, panels and workshops from all parts of the music industry, there are boozy Lunch Box Sessions and afternoon DJs in a beer garden with food trucks and sounds from Rat & Co, Edd Fisher, Ella Thompson and Jim Lawrie.
International artists include one half of legendary DJ duo, Rub-n-Tug, Eric Duncan (aka Dr Dunks) from the US, Kenton Slash Demon from Denmark, and Canadian deep-techno trio Cobblestone Jazz.
These new announcements join Brian Jonestown Massacre (USA) and Robert Henke of Monolake (Germany).
The Live Music Safari will make a comeback, too, with 14 music venues around the city opening for free gigs and parties from 50 local acts throughout the week.
On top of supporting Melbourne’s music scene, MMW has proved a success for the city as a whole. Melbourne City Council’s chair of marketing Beverley Pinder-Mortimer says that last year’s event generated $3.4 million for the city – a win all round.
Melbourne Music Week runs from November 13 to 20 at various locations around the city. Full program and tickets are available here.