The Melbourne International Arts Festival opens today, on from the 3 - 21 October, in a creative explosion of music, dance, circus, visual arts, theatre and special events featuring local to international performers.

Hosting an extraordinary array of events, shows and performances, the Festival Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway announced the line-up, saying it would feature show-stopping world premieres to family friendly events, seeing some events take over the city’s most iconic spaces.

“This year's Melbourne International Arts Festival is a unique opportunity to open a series of doors into parallel worlds, to step through and discover a universe of real and imagined journeys; to become immersed in stories, adventures and experiences far beyond our everyday.

“During this year's Festival, we will enter the Royal Botanic Gardens and see it awash with flame. We will walk into a circus tent and discover a world of music and performance. We follow explorers as they travel the Silk Road, or journey back to where they came from, or push on to safety, or fall into star crossed love.

“The Melbourne Festival is about encouraging your curiosity. Cross the threshold with us,” said Holloway. Key events on offer include:


The UK’s leading contemporary circus company, NoFit State will host its only Australian performance of LEXICON, performed in the Royal Botanic Gardens.


The Royal Botanic Gardens will become a fire burning spectacular with the gardens illuminated over four special nights.

1000 DOORS

Following on from last year’s House of Mirrors, Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney return to the Arts Centre forecourt, to offer a work that is physically absorbing and provides audiences with an opportunity to choose their own adventure as they go through door after door.


Offering ground breaking live performance, composer Sakamoto and experimental electronic artist Noto, will blend Piano with glitchy beats.


Post-punk royalty Matt Johnson and band will perform in Melbourne for the first time in almost 30 years

Other performers include members of The Go-Betweens, Paul and Dan Kelly, contemporary dance by choreographer William Forsythe, dance-opera LAYLA and MAJNUN and theatre show PRIZE FIGHTER will all be on offer!

For a full listing of the Melbourne International Arts Festival’s events and shows, see all their events here!


Dates: 3 - 21 October 2018

Location: multiple locations – see website for full details

Cost: Admission costs may apply

Melbourne Arts International Festival Website