This year's extended event kicks off next week.
Melbourne Music Week will take on a different role and identity across its three-month lifespan in 2020/21, serving as an industry kickstart for a live music scene only just emerging from an extended hibernation.
The festival, to be reconceived as Melbourne Music Week-Extended for its 11th instalment, will commence on Wednesday December 9 and run until Sunday February 28, welcoming a huge bill of local artists to perform at the city’s most beloved live music venues.
With another wave of artists and gigs to be revealed in January, Melbourne Music Week-Extended has just lifted the lid on the program up until that point – and it’s huge.
Kicking off with Wominjeka (MMW Welcome) on Opening Night (Wednesday December 9), Kee’ahn will curate a Welcome to Country and city-wide Smoking Ceremony, including a performance from Aboriginal dance group Dijirri Dijirri, across four yet-to-be-announced city locations. There will be a show at Section 8 to follow.
Also occurring on Opening Night is the Music Victoria Awards at Melbourne Recital Centre that will feature a sweet local bill including the likes of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever performing off the back of their stellar 2020 album, Sideways to New Italy, much-loved singer-songwriter Alice Skye, the inimitable Elizabeth, as well as Simona Castricum, who herself released the fantastic Panic/Desire earlier this year.
Outside of that, Magic Dirt’s Adalita will perform a special show on the Melbourne Town Hall’s Grand Organ, while Baker Boy appears for a headline set at Melbourne Recital Centre. Revered producers Ara Koufax will present an audio visual exploration as part of Melbourne Music Week-Extended while seminal DJ and academic Simona Castricum gears herself up for a show at the Capitol Theatre.
On top of that, The Forum will make their return to the live music space when they welcome Cable Ties to the stage. Melbourne metal stalwarts High Tension will appear at Max Watt’s, a venue that will also be represented as part of Melbourne Music Week’s Venue Presents gig series.
Alongside Max Watt’s and as part of Venue Presents, the likes of Colour Club, Cherry Bar, The Curtin and Section 8 will present an ongoing run of shows featuring some big names such as Blake Scott, Banoffee, Mick Harvey, Private Function and Allysha Joy across the three-month festival.
Melbourne Music Week-Extended have also prepared a number of outdoor events with which North Melbourne venue The Third Day will host the first. On Saturday December 12, The Operatives present WE ARE 16 – an all-day party set to feature sets from Jordan Dennis, FOURA and more.
There will also be a number of variety events set to go down as part of Melbourne Music Week-Extended, including Techno Bingo featuring a guest appearance from The Huxleys, a Vogue dance workshop presented by Kiki Dévine, as well as a wellbeing series including a Dog Day Afternoon with Henry Wagons.
The Melbourne Music Week Hub will take a back seat in 2020/21 as the focus shifts to supporting the Melbourne live music and cultural venues that have endured the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The larger, longer and more expansive three-month program has been conceived to offer greater flexibility for local artists, venues and businesses to be involved.
Head to the Melbourne Music Week-Extended website for tickets and to check out the full festival program.
This story originally appeared on Beat Magazine.