Movies, museums, festivals: everything you can do in Melbourne now

By Kerrie O'Brien

There’s no shortage of cultural events to make up for the long drought!

Goodness Melbourne, it’s been a long innings. We’ve been starved of culture for far too long. The good news is there is more than enough cultural fare – live music, art, movies, theatre, and all manner of festivals – on offer for the rest of 2021.

A dip at the NGV? Sure, and no, not in the moat – a brand-new bright pink pond will be installed out the back for summer. Get set for the opening (finally) of the Tony Award-winning Moulin Rouge!, plus the return of magical theatre marathon Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Pace yourself, Melbourne. Life feels like it has gone from nought to 100 in mere moments, and there’s a lot more coming your way. Enjoy the re-awakening!


With restrictions easing from 6pm on October 29, there’s set to be a flurry of activity on the city’s culture scene, with cinemas, museums, theatres, dance classes, and exhibitions opening up. Bid this troubled month farewell by returning to the cinema to see Marvel blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and get the kids out of your hair by visiting ACMI’s Disney: The Magic of Animation exhibition which celebrates almost a century of movie magic.


This month catch Shakespeare’s As You Like It as imagined by the MTC with music by Kate Miller-Heidke and Red Stitch’s Prayer Machine. Prefer a dance class? How about one outdoors? Try Lucy Guerin Inc. In the visual arts, stunning works by Rosalie Gascoigne, Reko Rennie and Patricia Piccinini are a feast for the eyes.


If it’s live music you’ve been missing, enjoy intimate gigs with musical legends including James Reyne and up-and-comers like Shannen James. Festivals are back, from the Melbourne International Jazz Festival to alt-country fave Out on the Weekend. Blockbuster movies galore are landing in December: Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and House of Gucci with Lady Gaga and Adam Driver.

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