While Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews is yet to confirm if the state’s lockdown restrictions will be rolled back on September 13 as planned, one thing we know for sure is that the night before will be a little more joyful thanks to the Avalanches and award-winning chef Ben Shewry.
They’re the brains behind A Party for Melbourne, a free concert happening on Saturday September 12 in partnership with Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (MFWF). The aim is to bring a little happiness and music into homes Australia-wide – particularly those affected by the stage-four lockdown in Victoria.
At 7.30pm, Melbourne DJ Soju Gang will kick things off with a fun dance set, followed by Melbourne electronic group the Avalanches. (Both outfits will be streaming live from their homes.)
But the virtual house-party planning begins a week before with a series of free “How to Party” videos created by Shewry (who’s been known to get behind the decks himself on occasion). The Attica chef will provide tips on what food to serve and how to turn your lounge into a disco. Recipes will be released in advance so you can work on your party menu – expect old-school classics such as prawn cocktails and cheese-and-pineapple hedgehogs, plus his “better than sausage” sausage rolls.
“The idea for A Party for Melbourne grew out of our friendship with Ben and Kylie [Staddon, Attica’s operations manager],” said Avalanches founding members Tony Di Blasi and Robbie Chater in a statement. “We began to think about what we can do for this city that has nurtured us. How do we say thank you to Melburnians for their sacrifices during lockdown, and also offer a light at the end of the tunnel?
“We have watched people struggle desperately with mental health, lose businesses and so much more. This is a love letter and a thank you to this city that has supported us for so long.”
While the concert is free, you’ll need to register via the MFWF website. Ticketholders will be sent a link to the Youtube event the day before. The “How to Party” videos will be hosted on MFWF website as well as the social-media channels of Shewry, Attica and MFWF.
A Party for Melbourne will be broadcast at 7.30pm on September 12.