The Melbourne Festival: Bringing the Arts to Australia

  • Written by News Feature Team

The Melbourne Festival is an arts event
that aims to use the transformational nature of the arts, creativity, and culture to inspire individuals and communities.

It has a reputation for presenting unique events in the field of theatre, music, multimedia, visual arts, dance, and many other outdoor events in Australia. The festival is a very important event for Australians, especially those who value and promote the country's arts and culture scene. Many fledgling artists in the country use the event as a platform to showcase their works.

The event has had several high-profile artistic directors including Clifford Hocking, Leo Schofield, Robyn Archer, Richard Wherrett, Jonathan Mills and Kristy Edmunds. This year, Jonathan Holloway will take the role as the artistic director for the event. The Melbourne Festival is as significant as the Adelaide Festival of Arts and Sydney Festival. Some of its most memorable achievements were launching several critically acclaimed productions such as The Black Arm Band, Murundak, Hidden Republic, and Dirtsong. It also hosted a production of Ngapartji Ngapartji with much of the dialogue in the Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal language.

One recurring highlight of the festival is its inclusion of silent movies, which are films with neither synchronized recorded sound nor spoken dialogue. Silent movies were first launched in 1895 but the technology is still being remembered today through a variety of mediums.

Apart from the Melbourne Festival, video games take a knee to silent movies through several casual titles, one of which is the slot game Silent Movie, which was created by gaming website Slingo. However, there’s a lack of mainstream movie producers making silent movies at present.

The switch over from silent to sound in 1929, which makes the inclusion of silent movies at the Melbourne Festival that little bit more special. The Melbourne Festival was first established in 1986 by the Cain government as a partner event of the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, and the Spoleto Festival, which is being held in Charleston, South Carolina.

The event changed from the Spoleto Festival Melbourne to Melbourne International Festival of the Arts in 1990. It was later on referred to as just the Melbourne Festival to remove the hassle of pronouncing, and remembering, a long festival name.

For those who are interested in attending this year’s event, please be advised that the festival will run from October 5 - 22.

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