This event has finished

The Melbourne festival is back in 2013

Moomba is no longer the daggy festival that your parents dragged you along to as a child. Sure, there are still fireworks, a stupid amount of floats in some kind of Ferris Buller-esque street parade down Swanston Street, and a lot of small children riding the sugar high, but there’s also a butt-load of very good music.

1. The opening night concert

The annual Moomba family festival kicks off with a burlesque performance by Melbourne favourites Finucane & Smith. Expect circus heroics, hula hooping, disco and cabaret all under the Moomba big top. This is a free family friendly concert. Fri Mar 8

2. The Birdman Rally

As our rather excellent history of Moomba will tell you, this is a Melbourne tradition that's old as the hills. Or as old as 1976, anyway, which is old around here. Competitors with flying contraptions launch themselves off a platform and into the murky Yarra River. Health fears briefly put the competition into hibernation, but it returned in 2004 and continues. That’s despite Victoria’s Baillieu Government abandoning a previous election promise to make the Yarra swim-able – instead, competitors are offered mouthwash to combat E. coli contamination. Good luck to you all, we say.

3. Watersports

From Saturday to Monday there'll be an intense programme of world-class water sports: slalom, tricks, wakeboarding and more. Secure a spot on the banks of the Yarra for some up-close oohing and ahhing. And here's our interview with Nick Adams, who'll be competing in the Men's Slalom.

4. Free bands

Sat 9: All the Colours; Yung Warriors; Battleships; Strange Talk; Ball Park Music and more.

Sun 10: Gossling, Mark Seymour, Dubmarine and more.

Mon 11: Bob Evans, Kasey Chamers, Ruby Boots, Jordie Lane, Electric Empire and more.

We reckon the real gems are in the 'cultural quarter' though. Here you can unearth swing groups, orchestras, Ethio-jazz, gospel, American roots rock and Latin beats. A festival's a great time to immerse yourself in music you wouldn't ordinarily think of experiencing.

5. The Moomba Parade

'Melbourne is creative' is the theme of this year's procession down St Kilda Road – and by golly, Time Out is wishing we'd had the foresight to make a float. Never mind if you didn't either – you can help craft the 'People's Float' by turning up to Alexander Gardens between 11am and 6pm on the Saturday and Sunday. All materials are provided. The parade itself begins near the Shrine of Remembrance at 11am on Monday 11. And our tip is to watch from around there – there are plenty of grassy slopes to sit on.

Photos by Scott Barbour   |  

Moomba Festival 2013 details

Address
Behind Federation Square
Batman Ave, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 03 9658 9658

Price FREE
More free events

Date 08 Mar 2013-11 Mar 2013

Birrarung Marr map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

Il Bacaro

281m - Il Bacaro serves up a modern twist on classic Italian fare in its small,...

GAZI

301m - George Calombaris, everyone’s favourite chilli-hating MasterChef judge,...

The Press Club

306m - It’s high noon, and just like the days of old, the Press Club is filled...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

Adina: Flinders Street

262m - Just a block from Fed Square, the Adina Apartment Hotel comes equipped with...

Pugnacious George

266m - Outfitter to Melbourne's gentlemen of distinction, Pugnacious George is...

24 Moons

313m - 24 Moons, a modern day speakeasy, is a stylish underground space in the...

Cherry Bar

314m - Cherry Bar is rock and roll. Period. The hallowed ground of all Melbourne's...

More venues nearby

You might also like

Perfect day

Perfect day

Follow our itinerary towards what we reckon is a pretty perfect day

Pub Guide

Pub Guide

Discover Melbourne's best 50 pubs right here, right now

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus