Family-friendly Melbourne International Arts Festival

The Melbourne International Arts Festival is heading back to Melbourne this October with an exciting program of local and international theatre, dance, music, and visual arts. The festival will run from 2–20 October 2019.

Family Friendly Melbourne International Arts Festival
Image: James Henry

Tanderrum (all ages)

Tanderrum is a ceremony bringing together the Wurundjeri/Woiwurrung, Boon Wurrung, Taungurung, Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung language groups of the Eastern Kulin Nation – a ceremony of celebration that reaches across Aboriginal time. This sacred ceremony had been hidden since European invasion until six years ago the Eastern Kulin brought Tanderrumback to central Melbourne to open the Festival.

Date: Wednesday 2 October 2019
Time: 6.30pm (approx 1 hr 30 mins no interval)
Location: Federation Square
Price: FREE
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Family Friendly Melbourne International Arts Festival
Image: James Morgan

Melbourne Art Trams

Every year eight creative minds from around Victoria are invited to take over a Melbourne tram as their canvas. This year artists will take inspiration from Lesley Dumbrell’s 1986 tram, whose vibrant design will again bring colour to Melbourne streets.

2019 Melbourne Art Trams artists

Nyein Chan Aung
Kent Morris
Vandal
Beaconhills Year 3 Collective
Sophie Westerman
Gene Bawden
Nusra Latif Qureshi
Lesley Dumbrell (Transporting Art recreation)

Date: 4 October 2019–August 2020
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Family Friendly Melbourne International Arts Festival
Image: Leigh Webber

Roots (10+)

The 1927 Theatre Company exists in a realm of their own, they are darkly hilarious and weird with their visual aesthetic of early cinema. In their previous show’s the company has left audiences spellbound and attracting more lifelong converts. Roots build upon a series of rarely told folktales that offer a glimpse into imaginations from a pre-industrial age.

Date: 3–6 October 2019
Time: Thu–Sat 7.30pm, Sat also 2pm, Sun 5pm (1 hr 10 mins no interval)
Location: The Coopers Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Price: tickets from $49
Book Tickets
Suitable for ages 10+ with parental guidance.
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Family Friendly Melbourne International Arts Festival
Image: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

The End of Eddy (teenagers)

The end of Eddy tells a story of a boy growing up in a small rural town in France, with an alcoholic father, miserable mother, brooding half-brother and a school culture of bullying, homophobia, and misogyny.

Date: 16–20 October 2019
Time: Wed–Sat 7.30pm, Sat also 2pm, Sun 3pm (1 hr 30 mins no interval)
Location: The Coopers Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Price: tickets from $49
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Family Friendly Melbourne International Arts Festival
Image: Mihaela Bodlovic

What Girls Are Made Of (teenagers)

Cora Bissett was an indie-pop hopeful growing up in a tiny corner of Scotland in the ’90s. Her big break came after receiving a record deal that launched Bissett’s band Darlingheart into the stratosphere. The young band went from worrying about school concerts to touring with Radiohead and Blur. 25 years later Bissett returns to the spotlight with an arresting snapshot of youth blown to global proportions and the waves they rode, both highs and lows.

Date: 3–13 October 2019
Time: Mon–Sat 7.30pm, Sat 12 October also 2pm, Sun 5pm (1 hr 30 mins no interval)
Location: The Famous Spiegeltent, Arts Centre Forecourt
Price: tickets from $49
Book tickets
Warnings: Suitable for ages 14+. Contains strong language, loud music, strobe lighting, and smoke effects.
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Family Friendly Melbourne International Arts Festival
Image: Jeff Smith

Wonders (teenagers)

Scott Silven will transform the Spiegeltent into a site for impossible acts of mind reading and uncanny prediction. His audience might be composed of strangers, but in Silven’s hands the invisible connections that bind us are made tangible, and secrets rise to the surface in the most unexpected ways.

Date: 5–20 October 2019
Time: Sat 5pm and Sun 2pm (1 hr 10 mins no interval)
Location: The Famous Spiegeltent, Arts Centre Forecourt
Price: tickets from $59
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Family Friendly Melbourne International Arts Festival
Enso – Cold Light 2018 Digital Work

TeamLab (teenagers)

In this exhibition, four-screen works will take over Tolarno Galleries. The motion of hundreds of thousands of digital particles are simulated and then projected as cascades of shimmering luminescence, but to a viewer, the effect is that of floating in a wave made of light. Rivers and sunbeams, a human hand applying ink to paper, the natural passing of time—these are the subjects that propel forward these pioneers of tomorrow.

Date: 5 October– 2 November 2019
Time: Tue–Fri 10am–5pm, Sat 1–5pm
Location: Tolarno Galleries, Level 4, 104 Exhibition Street
Price: FREE
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For more information on the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

We try our best to provide accurate information on kid-friendly events around Victoria, but we do recommend that parents check details directly with the event website.

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