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© Aleksandar Todorovic /
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What's On In Melbourne In October

Picture of Culture Trip
Updated: 7 October 2016
Melbourne’s calendar is blooming this spring with plenty of outdoor activities, including the Melbourne Marathon, Derby Day, Oktoberfest and Dogapalooza. Foodies can indulge their sweet side, go gluten-free and get hot, hot, hot at a variety of food festivals, while artsy Melbournians can attend art and fashion exhibitions and musical events. Take advantage of daylight savings and make the most of Melbourne this October.


MUSIC | Paco Peña Flamenco In Concert

📅 Wednesday, October 5th

Flamenco guitarist and founder of the Cordoba Guitar Festival, Paco Peña is touring Australia this October with his troop of dancers, singers, and musicians. Considered one of the world’s leading traditional Flamenco guitarists, Paco Peña counts UK’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair as a student. Get ready for a night of timeless Spanish sounds.

📍 Melbourne Recital Centre, 31 Sturt St, Southbank VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | Melbourne Festival

📅 Thursday, October 6th-23rd

Since 1986, the Melbourne Festival has celebrated music, theatre, visual arts and multimedia with a series of events. This year, with new director Jonathan Holloway leading the way, the festival will showcase 62 events across 207 performances with the theme of ‘childhood and adulthood, life and death, dreams and reality.’

📍 Various locations

NIGHTLIFE | Light The Night St Kilda

📅 Friday, October 7th

Join the Leukaemia Foundation’s annual fundraising walk through St Kilda’s South Beach Reserve. Choose a lantern – gold to remember loved ones, white for those on their own blood cancer journey and blue in sign of support – and watch as their soft glow beautifully illuminates the night sky. There will also be food trucks, musical entertainment, and merchandise.

📍 St Kilda Foreshore, Jacka Blvd, St Kilda, VIC, Australia

FASHION | The Melbourne Wedding & Bride Bridal Expo

📅 Friday, October 7th-9th

Whether you’re in the midst of planning your dream wedding or simply want to fantasise, then head down the aisle to Melbourne Wedding & Bride Bridal Expo presented by Melbourne Wedding & Bride magazine. Find everything for your big day from bridal couture to groomswear, honeymoon inspiration, décor, and cakes. If you’re about to say ‘I do’, then this is the expo for you.

📍 Melbourne Exhibition Centre South Wharf, VIC, Australia

EXPO | Gluten Free Expo And Conference

📅 Saturday, October 8th-9th

Those with coeliac disease, gluten intolerance or foodies who choose to go gluten-free should visit Coeliac Victoria and Tasmania’s Gluten Free Expo and Conference. There will be plenty of gluten-free street food and products to taste and buy, and the first 2500 visitors will receive a free showbag.

📍 Melbourne Exhibition Centre South Wharf, VIC, Australia

THEATRE | The Rocky Horror Picture Show

📅 Saturday, October 8th

The Pelvic Thrusts, Melbourne’s smuttiest shadowcast, are inviting you to smear your lips red, slip on those fishnets and get ready to do the ‘Time Warp’ again as they present a screening of the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Astor Theatre. Dress up and join Frank-N-Furter for a night of musical delight and tingling pleasure.

📍 The Astor Theatre, 1 Chapel St & Dandenong Rd, Melbourne VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | Australian Cider Festival

📅 Saturday, October 8th

Cider enthusiasts won’t want to miss the largest cider festival in Melbourne, brought to you by Cider Australia. Meet cider makers and more than 20 producers from across the country. Sip a range of cider and perry and join industry experts in a series of master classes. There will also be food trucks, carefully selected to complement your day of cider tasting.

📍 Sidney Myer Courtyard, Malthouse Theatre 111 Sturt St, Southbank, VIC, Australia

NIGHTLIFE | TRAPT At Point Cook Homestead

📅 Saturday, October 8th

Melbourne’s only escape room, TRAPT, is teaming up with Lantern Ghost Tours for a frightful night at the Point Cook Homestead. This isolated property is said to be home to six ghouls and has a long history of eerie occurrences, and now it’s your job to solve the crime and escape…if you can.

📍 LOT 1 Point Cook Homestead Rd, Point Cook VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | Malaysia Street Festival 2016

📅 Sunday, October 9th

For a taste of oriental cuisine, head to the Queen Victoria Market on Elizabeth Street for the 6th annual Malaysia Street Festival. Beginning at 9am, you can savour authentic Malaysian cuisine from Malaysian restaurants while enjoying cultural entertainment.

📍 Queen Victoria Market, 513 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | Dogapalooza

📅 Sunday, October 9th

Melbourne’s first dog-friendly festival is coming to Burnley Park, Richmond. Oscar’s Law and One Little Indian Enterprises have organised a day where you can enjoy the spring sunshine with your pooch as you listen to Melbourne’s best musicians. There will be a range of food trucks, including vegan BBQ, catering towards you and your hound, and all proceeds will benefit Oscar’s Law, Melbourne rescue groups Stafford Rescue Victoria, Melbourne Animal Rescue, and Puppy Tails Rescue.

📍 Burnley Park, Burnley VIC, Australia


CONCERT | Scotch And Soda

📅 Wednesday, October 12th-23rd

Travel back in time to a 19th-century travelling circus with the rowdy Uncanny Carnival Band. Brassy barroom and junkyard jazz carry on in the presence of acrobats under the Wonderland Spiegeltent at the Docklands. Scotch and Soda will have you hollering for more.

📍 Wonderland Spiegeltent, 101 Waterfront Way, Docklands VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | Oktoberfest St Kilda

📅 Saturday, October 15th

Experience Oktoberfest like an Aussie by the beachfront in St Kilda with live music including Shannon Noll and John Course, a silent disco, amusement rides and plenty of merry games such as Hold the Stein and German Limbo competitions. Explore the Beer Halls, dine on traditional German cuisine, including pork dishes and pretzels, and dance until dark to the sounds of a German ‘Oompah’ band.

📍 St Kilda Foreshore, VIC, Australia

ART | Moving Gardens

📅 Saturday, October 15th – January 29th

TaiwaneseAmerican artist Lee Mingwei presents Moving Gardens as a part of the National Gallery of Victoria’s Spring Summer program. The participatory display encourages guests to take a flower under two conditions: ‘first, to make a detour from their intended route when leaving the museum for their next destination; second, along this detour, to give the flower to a stranger who they feel would benefit from this unexpected act of generosity.’

📍 National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC, Australia

COMEDY | Comedians Against Humanity

📅 Saturday, October 15th

Back by popular demand, Comedians Against Humanity sees comics and quick-witted improv geniuses clash in the game of Cards Against Humanity. Hosted by Edinburgh award-winning comedian Yianni Agisilaou, this is a night of comedy that will cause a stir and have you roaring with laughter.

📍 Athenaeum Theatre Two, 188 Collins St, Melbourne VIC, Australia

FITNESS | Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival

📅 Sunday, October 16th

Join an expected 30,000 participants at Australia’s largest marathon festival. Choose between the full marathon, half marathon, ten-kilometre run, 5.7-kilometre run and the three-kilometre walk. Huff and puff past iconic Melbourne landmarks including Flinders Street Station and the Royal Botanic Gardens before crossing the finish line inside the MCG.

📍 Batman Avenue, VIC, Australia


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Courtesy of NGV | Pixabay | Pixabay | Pixabay

ART | Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists

📅 Friday, October 21st – February 26th

Exploring the notion of wearable art by Amsterdam-based design duo Viktor&Rolf, the National Gallery of Victoria presents a world-first exhibition showcasing their avant-garde work. The exhibition will include 35-plus haute-couture pieces as well as a collection of antique-style porcelain dolls outfitted in their most memorable designs.

📍 National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | Chilli & Spice Weekend

📅 Friday, October 21st-23rd

The Food Truck Park in Preston is turning up the heat to bring diners the most sweltering, tongue tingling food during the Chilli & Spice Weekend. Take a bite, wipe the sweat from your brow and cool off with a craft beer or wine from Barry’s Bar before repeating the process again. This festival will leave you begging for more.

📍 Food Truck Park, 518 High St, Preston VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | Cake Bake And Sweets Show

📅 Friday, October 21st-23rd

For a sugarcoated experience, head to the Cake Bake and Sweets Show at the Exhibition Centre. Watch live demonstrations, find the latest bakeware and gaze at extravagant cakes while indulging in pastries, macarons, ice cream and chocolate. This year, the festival presents Masterchef personalities, including Elena and Harry, as well as internationally renowned chefs and chocolatiers.

📍 Melbourne Exhibition Centre South Wharf VIC, Australia

THEATRE | Echo Of The Shadow

📅 Saturday, October 22nd

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Shadow, which tells of a man who loses his shadow, experimental performance group Teatro de Los Sentidos (Theater of the Senses) presents an immersive and stirring sensory experience at ACMI.

📍 ACMI Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | World Vegan Day Melbourne

📅 Sunday, October 23rd

Vegans unite for a day of ethical sustainability at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds. Enjoy live music, attend cooking demonstrations, visit the fitness zone, and meet like-minded people during a round of speed dating. There will also be art displays, a fashion show, kids area and an ancestry and gardening zone.

📍 Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, Epsom Rd, Ascot Vale VIC, Australia

MARKET | The Little Sparrow

📅 Sunday, October 23rd

For the third and final time this year, The Little Sparrow Market is coming to Federation Square. Browse through more than 65 independent art, design and food stalls offering unique and innovative treasures. The Little Sparrow cherishes workmanship showcasing the work of both up-and-coming and established designers. Live music will accompany the event.

📍 Federation Square, Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC, Australia


ART | Black Eye Gallery Pop-Up Show

📅 Tuesday, October 25th – November 5th

All the way from Sydney, Black Eye Gallery is presenting a pop-up show in Melbourne at fortyfivedownstairs. The photographic exhibition includes Sandro Miller’s Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters and a portrait series by Los Angeles-based photographer Frank Ockenfels, among others.

📍 fortyfivedownstairs gallery, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | Melbourne Ukulele Festival

📅 Friday, October 28th-30th

For the seventh year, the Darebin Music Feast is dedicating an entire weekend to the Uke with local and international music performances, workshops and an undercover market. Relax to soothing island twang in the Uke lounge, step on stage for a moment in the limelight and see the swankiest Ukuleles in the Pimp my MUF exhibition.

📍 High Street, Northcote VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | Melbourne Zombie Walk 2016: Nation-Z

📅 Saturday, October 29th

Drag yourself down to Birrarung Marr to raise money for brains as the living dead descend on Melbourne for a good cause. Get zombified at the Market Mayhem Area, soak your flesh in fake blood at Splatterhouse Marquee and then visit the Australian Academy of Cinematographic Make Up who will help decompose your look in support of the Brain Foundation.

📍 Batman Ave, Melbourne VIC, Australia

FESTIVAL | AAMI Victoria Derby Day

📅 Saturday, October 29th

It’s time to go monochrome for one of the most prestigious days on Australia’s racing calendar. AAMI Victoria Derby Day features nine Group races including the Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby. MYER’s Fashions on the Field will see Flemington turn black and white as ladies and gentlemen opt for elegance, wearing top hats and fascinators within the colour scheme.

📍 Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Rd, Flemington VIC, Australia