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What's On In Melbourne In May

Picture of Culture Trip
Updated: 7 October 2016
You could say that, with the first quarter of the year firmly behind us and winter looming, Melbourne’s cultural scene has moved inside. And it’s safe to say that the atmosphere is heating up, so you can leave the winters layers at the doors. We’ve looked at what the city has in store for you this month and proudly present to you Melbourne’s cultural heat map for May.


From left: © Camarrior/DeviantArt
From left: © Camarrior/DeviantArt | © skeeze/pixabay| © Matt Sav | Image courtesy of Geelong After Dark, © Upcreative: Will Cook | © skeeze/pixabay | © Peggy Marco/Pixabay

MUSIC | We May Never Meet Again – The Music Of Amy Winehouse

The phenomenally talented Elly Poletti and Melbourne outfit Movement 9 join forces to pay tribute to Amy Winehouse with We May Never Meet Again.

KNOWLEDGE | Melbourne Knowledge Week

‘Connecting Minds, Creating Change’ is the overarching theme of this year’s Melbourne Knowledge Week, which returns to the city for a brain-stimulating week packed with a diverse range of over 60 interactive events.

ART | Next Wave Festival

Join the next generation of Australian artists at Next Wave Festival. This year’s festival features over 40 events from the realms of theatre, performance, visual art, music/sound and dance.

ART | Geelong After Dark

Prepare to have your mind filled and illuminated with art as Geelong After Dark takes over the streets, laneways and venues of Geelong’s CBD for one night only.

ART | Free Comic Book Day 2016

Comic fans pay attention, and clear your schedules on Saturday, May 7th for the world’s biggest celebration of comic book culture.


From left: © Pexels | Image courtesy of Melbourne Recital Centre | © Pexels | Photo courtesy Opera Australia | © Nathan Larkin/Flickr
From left: © Pexels | Image courtesy of Melbourne Recital Centre | © Pexels | Photo courtesy Opera Australia | © Nathan Larkin/Flickr

PHOTOGRAPHY | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Now on show at the Wool Museum in Geelong is the 51st edition of Wildlife Photographer of the Year, featuring 100 award-winning images, from fascinating animal behaviour to breath-taking wild landscapes.

MUSIC | Metropolis New Music Festival

Find yourself enchanted this May as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra teams up with the Melbourne Recital Centre to present the 2016 Metropolis New Music Festival, featuring some of Australia’s premiere musicians, engaging talks and activities plus a variety of free events.

THEATRE | Sugarland

From the ATYP comes Sugarland, the latest theatre production directed by Fraser Corfield and David Page and written by Rachael Coopes with Wayne Blair. At its heart, Sugarland is a story about growing up and the feeling of alienation that so often accompanies that time. It also brings up some big issues for young people living in regional and remote Australia.

OPERA | La Bohème

Opera fans will be in for a treat this month as Gale Edwards’ glittering production of La Bohème returns to Melbourne with international stars Lianna Haroutounian and Gianluca Terranova.

ART | Luminous: Australian Watercolours 1900-2000

For the first time in 25 years, the National Gallery of Victoria’s distinguished collection of Australian watercolours and gouaches will be on display at the Luminous: Australian Watercolours 1900-2000 exhibition. With more than 80 works on show by 50 artists – including Albert Namatjira, Sydney Nolan, Joy Hester, Fred Williams and John Brack – the exhibition traces a century of history of watercolour painting.


From left: © msacomm/Pixabay | Beer Festival © CreativeCommons | Image courtesy of Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) | Image courtesy of HER Place Women’s Museum Australia | The Beatles – WikiCommons – Image in the public domain

MUSIC | Stonnington Jazz Festival

As far as memorable performances from a variety of Australian artists go, the City of Stonnington has a strong track record of putting on great events and connecting fans of music and performance with talented creatives. The Stonnington Jazz Festival is no exception.

FOOD | Good Beer Festival

Not that Melbournians generally need an excuse to drink, but if there ever was a good time for a bevy, it is this May as Good Beer Week returns to Melbourne for its sixth anniversary.

THEATRE | Straight White Men

Directed by Sarah Giles, Straight White Men is a razor-edged comedy from Young Jean Lee’s Theatre Company and the most talked about play of the recent New York season.

ART | HER PLACE Pop Up Exhibition

HER PLACE Pop Up Exhibition is a celebration of women’s contributions to Australia’s social, cultural and economic story, using multi-media platforms including the moving image, oral histories, text and objects.

MUSIC | The Beatles Orchestrated

From the world’s premier Beatles band, the Fabulous Beatle Boys, and the Australian Symphony Orchestra come The Beatles Orchestrated, a live musical recreation of the Beatles’ greatest hits, including ‘Sgt Pepper’, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, ‘Help’, ‘Let it Be’, ‘All You Need Is Love’ and many more.


From left: © Siebbi/WikiCommons | © RoxiDelight | Image courtesy of Melbourne Gaol | HenryTalbotborn Hindenburg, Germany 06 December 1920, arrived Australia 1940, died Sydney, New South Wales25 January 1999No title (Fashion illustration for Sportscraft, Treasury Gardens, Melbourne)1960–61gelatin silver photograph24.3 x19.1 cm Henry Talbot Fashion Photography Archive (119649) © Lynette Anne Talbot | © Gordon Wrigley/Flickr

FILM | Scorsese at the ACMI

Scorsese pays tribute to one of the most influential directors of our time, featuring over 600 objects and a rich selection of footage from across the director’s work in film, documentary and television.

FESTIVAL | Australian Burlesque Festival 2016

Forget we’re heading into winter because things just got sizzling hot as the Australian Burlesque Festival takes centre stage in Melbourne.

HISTORY | The Russell Street Bombing Exhibition at Melbourne Gaol

History buffs pay attention: Now showing at the Old Melbourne Gaol is an exhibition about the investigation into the Russell Street Bombing on March 27th 1986 and its aftermath.

FASHION | Henry Talbot – 1960s Fashion Photographer

Henry Talbot: 1960s Fashion Photographer at the NGV is an exhibition which celebrates the art of fashion photography, as seen through the eyes of Henry Talbot, a leading figure in the Australian fashion world in the 1960s and 1970s.


Fancy a ride? Sure, let’s go to Luna Park. In a time where theme parks operate to the maxim of the biggest being the best, Luna Park is truly unique among its kind. First established in 1912 and located in the heart of St Kilda, overlooking Port Phillip Bay, the theme park is as much as a symbol of Melbourne history as of Melbournians looking to have a good time.