Where Melbourne - - Con­tents - By Jenny Burns

VIC­TO­RI­ANS’ LOVE of a fes­ti­val is legendary and March is most def­i­nitely fes­ti­val month.

There are nu­mer­ous fes­ti­vals and events through­out the State which cel­e­brate our great food, wine, music and arts. Here are six of our favourite ma­jor events.


Moomba, Aus­tralia’s largest free com­mu­nity fes­ti­val, bursts to life on the Labour Day Week­end with free events for all ages along the banks of Mel­bourne’s Yarra River.

High­lights this year in­clude 40 of Mel­bourne’s best food trucks serv­ing all types of food. The Moomba Ex­press is a train trans­port­ing pas­sen­gers from South­gate Shop­ping Cen­tre along the River Prom­e­nade and Boathouse Drive to the Moomba site.

There are heaps of rides at the Moomba Car­ni­val while free ac­tiv­i­ties, work­shops and per­for­mances are be­ing held on The Green. Nightly fire­works are an­other high­light.

The Moomba Skate Park is host­ing the Aus­tralian Skate­board League Na­tional Grand Fi­nal, while the Yarra River is home to world ac­claimed wa­ter­sport ath­letes com­pet­ing at the Moomba Mas­ters.

Moomba’s new­est en­ter­tain­ment area, the Band­stand, is host­ing nu­mer­ous mu­si­cal acts while DJ’S are per­form­ing at the Palms Lawn. 10–13 March, var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around Mel­bourne’s Yarra River. moomba.mel­bourne.vic.gov.au


Now in its 22nd year, the Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Flower and Gar­den Show is said to be the South­ern Hemi­sphere’s largest hor­ti­cul­tural event. This year’s show is again show­cas­ing Aus­tralia’s top land­scape and flo­ral de­sign­ers. Land­scape de­sign­ers are cre­at­ing pop-up show gar­dens while Land­scape Vic­to­ria’s Bou­tique Gar­dens Com­pe­ti­tion sees five de­sign­ers cre­ate a se­ries of in­ti­mate gar­den en­vi­ron­ments. The in­te­rior of the Royal Ex­hi­bi­tion Build­ing fea­tures all things flo­ral. High­lights in­clude in­stal­la­tions, fresh flower sales from Flow­ers Vic­to­ria, RMIT flo­ral fash­ions, main flo­ral de­sign in­stal­la­tions from Aus­tralia’s fore­most flo­ral artists, live stu­dent de­sign com­pe­ti­tions and hor­ti­cul­tural and floristry in­dus­try ex­perts pro­vid­ing demon­stra­tions and Q&A ses­sions. Nu­mer­ous gar­den-themed cafés, bars and high tea spa­ces are scat­tered through­out the show. 29 March–2 April, Royal Ex­hi­bi­tion Build­ing and Carl­ton Gar­dens, Ni­chol­son Street, Carl­ton. melbflow­er­show.com.au


The bi­en­nial Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Air­show re­turns to Avalon Air­port this year with the theme ‘Air Power in Ac­tion’.

Com­bat jets, fight­ers and bombers from home and abroad, heavy lift air­craft, mil­i­tary dis­play teams and ro­tary winged war­riors are all strut­ting their stuff at the show.

A spec­tac­u­lar fly­ing dis­play high­lights the thrust and grunt of air force heavy metal and the roar of at­tack he­li­copters.

This year’s show fea­tures the largest RAAF con­tin­gent to ever take part while seven over­seas mil­i­taries are bring­ing air­craft to the event.

A record num­ber of Gen­eral Avi­a­tion and Air­port groups are par­tic­i­pat­ing while his­toric air­craft groups are well rep­re­sented. A large num­ber of avi­a­tion mu­se­ums are also at the show in­clud­ing the Aus­tralian Na­tional Avi­a­tion Mu­seum.

The show fea­tures nu­mer­ous aer­o­batic dare­dev­ils in­clud­ing na­tional aer­o­bat­ics cham­pion, Paul Ben­net, who is per­form­ing with his for­ma­tion aer­o­batic team, the Sky­aces. Other barn­storm­ing per­form­ers are com­ing from far afield in­clud­ing the United States and Europe. 3–5 March, Avalon Air­port, 80 Beach Road, Lara. air­show.com.au


From 23 to 26 March all eyes will turn to Al­bert Park for the stag­ing of the 2017 For­mula 1 Rolex Aus­tralian Grand Prix.

Mel­bourne tra­di­tion­ally hosts the sea­son opener and the race brings plenty of ac­tion and dis­cus­sions as the teams line up against each other for the first time in 2017. As a re­sult of new rules cars are ex­pected to go faster this year than ever be­fore.

Aus­tralian fans are again ex­pected to sup­port home­town hero Daniel Ric­cia­rdo as he looks to start the year in the best pos­si­ble fash­ion on his home track.

A range of ac­tiv­i­ties and events both on and off the track are also be­ing held dur­ing the four days. 23–26 March, Al­bert Park. grandprix.com.au


The Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Com­edy Fes­ti­val is one of the big­gest com­edy fes­ti­vals in the world. This year’s fes­ti­val, sched­uled from 29 March, fea­tures 550 shows and 7,000 per­for­mances.

Per­form­ers in­clude ris­ing lo­cal stars, Youtube sen­sa­tions, award-win­ners and in­ter­na­tional draw­cards. High­lights in­clude RAW Com­edy (Aus­tralia’s largest and most pop­u­lar open mic com­pe­ti­tion), Class Clowns (work­shops and com­edy com­pe­ti­tion for teens), Deadly Funny (supporting In­dige­nous com­edy) and Up­front (the glam­our girls of com­edy). From 29 March, var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around Mel­bourne. com­e­dyfes­ti­val.com.au


This year’s Vir­gin Aus­tralia Mel­bourne Fash­ion Fes­ti­val en­com­passes three ma­jor pil­lars; Fash­ion, Arts and Ideas.

The fes­ti­val of­fers three week­ends and two full weeks of free and tick­eted events. There are nu­mer­ous run­way shows in­clud­ing seven ‘Pre­mium Run­ways’ show­cas­ing over 45 of Aus­tralia’s es­tab­lished and emerging de­sign­ers. ‘Shop The Run­way’ al­lows vis­i­tors to share and buy fash­ion and beauty looks, straight off the run­way.

The Plaza, lo­cated be­tween the Mel­bourne Mu­seum and Royal Ex­hi­bi­tion Build­ing, fea­tures red car­pet ar­rivals, food and drink, beauty and pam­per­ing and live en­ter­tain­ment. The arts pro­gram cel­e­brates fash­ion be­yond the run­way into the realms of per­for­mance, de­sign, film writ­ing and creative in­dus­tries.

The Fes­ti­val’s Ideas pro­gram brings to­gether in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als from around the world to dis­cuss, de­bate and de­liver sem­i­nars, work­shops and fo­rums that in­clude a range of con­tem­po­rary busi­ness top­ics and in­sights.

1–19 March, var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around Mel­bourne, in­clud­ing Royal Ex­hi­bi­tion Build­ing and Mel­bourne Mu­seum Precinct. vamff.com.au

Above: Fire­works at Moomba. Right: The Moomba Pa­rade.

The Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Flower and Gar­den Show. Photo: Greg Sulla­van.

Photo: © 2016 Aus­tralian Grand Prix Cor­po­ra­tion.

Loy­iso Gola. Photo: The Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Com­edy Fes­ti­val.

Vir­gin Aus­tralia Mel­bourne Fash­ion Fes­ti­val. Photo: Lucas Daw­son Pho­tog­ra­phy.

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