Multicultural Festivals at Fed Square

Sat 4th November, 2023 – Sat 25th November, 2023
Swanston Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne
Five huge free events will celebrate the fantastic diversity of cultures that make up Melbourne.

Over four weekends in November, Fed Square will celebrate the diverse communities and cultures of Melbourne with a series of festivals designed to share culture through cuisine, music, dance, films, talks and activities for all-ages.

First up is the Victorian Festival of Diwali on Saturday November 4, 2023. Celebrating all things Hindu, it will feature an array of folk, classical and contemporary dances, live music, craft for kids, dance workshop, henna, and other interactive all-ages activities. There will also be a smorgasbord of Indian cuisine and fireworks over the Yarra to put you in the celebratory mood.

Then on Sunday November 5, a walk to commemorate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a celebration of life and death observed by many countries, primarily Mexico, will kick off at the State Library at 5pm, before descending on the Atrium at Fed Square. There the procession of music, costume, and festivities will culminate in a gathering around an altar to remember those that have left us.

On Sunday November 12, Fed Square will come alive in the red and white of the Polish flag. The largest annual Polish not-for-profit community event in Australia, The Polish Festival will offer traditional music, pole dancing, and events, as well as Polish cuisine (think endless pierogi) and traditional folkloric dancing. There will also be some cultural classical performances at The Edge inside Fed Square for those looking for something a little more relaxing.

Over three days in late November the African Music and Cultural Festival will take over the space with the sights, smells and sounds of African culture – including many, many drums. Running November 17-19, this year the festival will celebrate its tenth anniversary with all manner of music, food, fashion, film, dance, art, and more, thanks to the input of more than 35 African countries and community organisations participating.

On Friday November 17 an outdoor cinema will showcase African-Australian short films, spoken word performances, and live jazz music, alongside street food and drink offerings. Saturday November 18 sees 12 hours of non-stop performances, music, dance, fashion, art, shopping, and festivities, while on Sunday November 19, another 10 hours of entertainment is in store, including a forum discussing topical African-Australian issues.

Throughout the weekend, families can also enjoy children’s entertainment, free African drumming classes, AFL activities, face painting, and more. The festival will also pay homage to the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, with an opening Welcome to Country ceremony each day of the festival.

Finally, on Saturday November 25, a celebration of the culture and heritage of Sri Lanka will be on display for the Lankan Festival 2023. Featuring a variety of Sri Lankan food, arts, crafts, spices, tea, produce, as well as insights into the country’s tourism experiences, River Terrace at Fed Square will come alive with all the sights and sounds of a very Sri Lankan atmosphere.

All festivals are free to attend. See more details.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Melbourne Arts Precinct.