The Iglu Guide | Blog

Melbourne Summer Guide

If you’re looking for reasons to escape your student apartment this summer and live your best student life – Melbourne has you covered. From arts and culture through to musical treats and beyond, there’s something going on for everyone to enjoy. Here’s what every student needs to know this holiday season.

Culture vulture alert

The National Gallery of Victoria never fails to disappoint on a normal day, but this summer there’s something even more special for students to enjoy. Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse is an enormous exhibition running between Dec 11-April 16, featuring more than 80 artworks and over 120 garments and accessories from this famous late fashion designer. Organised into four thematic sections, it offers unprecedented insight into his creative process and contemplation of the human condition – and is the first Australian exhibition to explore his work.  Impressionist artist Monet gets a complete glow up at Southbank’s The Lume along with his friends and contemporaries, with the same type of immersive experience that did the very same for Van Gogh. Running until March 31, it’s the perfect way to spend a rainy summer’s afternoon. Head to the abandoned third floor of Flinder’s Street Station and step back in time with Time by Rone, a nostalgic love letter to mid-century Melbourne culminating in the incredible Flinder’s Street Ballroom. With tickets highly sought after, this is a must-see opportunity. Finally, take a deep dive into the on-screen representation of First Peoples with How I see It: Blak Art and Film at the ACMI between Dec 16-Feb 19. Showcasing work from eight different creators, diverse materials and ideas are used to disrupt, reimagine and experiment.

Festival fever

The Festival season is back on track and students could not be in for more of a treat. After a two-year hiatus, Falls Festival makes it back to Melbourne between Dec 29-31, this time at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Featuring the Artic Monkeys, Lil Nas X as well as Spacey Jane and the OG Wiggles as special guests – it might not be cheap, but what’s not to love? For contemporary and classical music fans, the Peninsula Summer Music Festival takes over the Mornington Peninsula from Jan 1-19, with plenty to choose from and accessible prices across the two week period. What better way to kick off 2023 than at Let Them Eat Cake, Australia’s largest electronic music festival celebrating its 10th anniversary. Featuring local and international artists at Werribee Mansion Grounds, the new year is already looking good. The annual Midsumma Carnival 3-week extravaganza kicks off with a free launch party on Jan 22 in Alexandra Gardens. A much coveted Kate Bush tribute night features a little later on Feb 3, complete with $10 bargain tickets on offer – and don’t miss the iconic Midsumma Carnival Dog Show with exclusive trophies up for grabs. Nothing says Lunar New year like the free Southbank festival by the Yarra on Jan 20, and for those students keen to avoid the traditional Jan 26 celebration, Share the Spirit festival in Treasury Gardens is a fantastic alternative.

Going live

After endless lockdowns, there’s nothing we love better than live performances. And as the self-appointed capital of culture, we’re super lucky that Melbourne gets more than her fair share. Treat yourself to the timeless tale of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat showing until Jan 15 at The Regent Theatre, or book early for that must-see Hamilton ticket, also showing until Jan 15 at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Featuring hip hop, jazz and R&B, it’s not your average musical theatre experience, and it will leave students wanting much, much, more. For more live music, legendary rockers The Killers are performing Dec 14-15 at Rod Laver Arena, featuring the best of the oldies and some great new tracks from their new album Pressure Machine. The Artic Monkeys are back at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl between Jan 4-5, this time for a solo outing to showcase tracks from their seventh and quieter album, The Car. For something a little different, try the Last Podcast On the Left at the Melbourne Exhibition centre, Jan 21 – or a window into the wonderful world of Alan Cumming at the St Kilda’s Palais Theatre on Jan 14.

Student fun for free

When you’re all spent up and looking for ways to escape your student accommodation, Melbourne has plenty more to give. Check out the free arts available in Federation Square or hop into the ACMI which celebrates all things visual. Nip around the fee tram zone without spending a cent, explore the Botanic Gardens or take a stroll along the Yarra River before getting lost in the Melbourne Laneways.

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