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Arts and music festivals


The Melbourne International Arts Festival ( in October presents a selection of visual and performing arts, and opera, and features individual performers from Australia and overseas, as well as a host of free events at Federation Square and other places around the city. The more innovative and cutting-edge Melbourne Fringe Festival ( starts in late September and overlaps a few days with the Melbourne Festival, while the Melbourne Writers’ Festival ( takes place in late August. The heavily promoted Moomba Festival (, held in March, has a more commercial approach, featuring events such as firework displays and dragon-boat races on the banks of the Yarra River in Alexandra Gardens, and Docklands. Three popular outdoor music festivals take place in summer: Summadayze on January 1 featuring international bands and DJs; the Big Day Out on January 26; and Good Vibrations in early February. Other events include the Brunswick Music Festival in the third week of March, concentrating on folk and world music, and the St Kilda Festival, which runs for one week early February featuring music, comedy and street performances. The biennial Next Wave Festival, held over two weeks in the second half of May (the next one is in 2014), celebrates Victoria’s young artists, writers and musicians.

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