2018 has been a year of bar-raising in the music industry, and in classic Darebin Music Feast style, expectations will be met and surpassed with the diversity, engagement and celebration contained in the 2018 festival program. 

Taking place over 11 days from October 18-28, the 22nd annual Darebin Music Feast will encompass 120 events across 26 different venues, thoughtfully curated to showcase a swathe of artists and musicians who represent and reflect the rich and culturally diverse community of Darebin. 

I’m so thrilled with what’s on offer in 2018. This year’s program is vast, rich and diverse,” says Mayor Le Cerf. “At its heart is a commitment to celebrating our local musicians, live music venues and music lovers.”

Underpinning the curation of this year’s program is an intention to recognise and respond to the long-standing inequalities that exist in the music industry; gender disparity, sexism, lack of cultural diversity and all ages gigs. Over a third of the events in the 2018 program are free to attend, more than half are open to people of all ages and many are wheelchair accessible.

The Darebin Arts Centre will once again host the opening party on October 18, with a special screening of the must-see ‘Her Sound, Her Story’ documentary. Created by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore and Michelle Grace Hunter, this powerful film seeks to uncover the conscious and unconscious bias in the music industry around gender and highlights the significant social impact women have within the Australian music industry – a theme that resonates throughout this year’s Feast.The screening will be followed by an immersive night of music and art curated by LISTEN and newly launched ThickWave. Showcasing the modern spirit of community, diversity and empowerment, SONIC/ASCENT brings together a stellar line-up featuring Alice Skye with the PICAA Choir, Girl Zone, Jesswar and Wahe.

Sonic aGender, curated by Janelle Johnstone, is an entire weekend of events that consider the relationships between gender, sound and narrative; including a keynote address from Darebin local and world-renowned muso Jen Cloher, round table discussions with famous faces, networking drinks, an in-cinema music clip binge, and an all ages gig at the Thornbury Bowls Club.Darebin Music Feast’s Event Producer Mentorship program ‘AMPLIFY’ returns, following an incredibly successful debut in 2017 with Daisy Catterall’s Mana. This year the mentorship has been awarded to Dani Sib, who under the mentorship of Jessie Lloyd has curated Jirrmujina Liyan (songs for spirit) featuring a diverse line-up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists including Kalyani, DRMNGNOW and Soju Gang.Our Voices Inc. will present a special Feast edition of Sudo Girls Talk!showcasing an all-South Sudanese female line up of musicians, spoken word artists and poets. Sudo Girls Talk! is about recognising and celebrating the many talented individuals that are within the South Sudanese Australian community.

Music moves to the silver screen for Feast Films, a new concept making its debut at this year’s festival. In partnership with the freshly opened Thornbury Picture House, Feast Films continues the theme of gender and the music industry, with screenings of feature and documentary films  ‘The Punk Singer’, ‘A Life in Waves’, ‘PATTI CAKE$’, ‘The Song Keepers’ and ‘20 Feet from Stardom’.

Feast for Families returns in 2018, as does the annual Darebin Music Feast Songwriters’ Award Grand Final where one of ten local finalists will take home a prize package of $2000 cash, studio time and more.  And as always, Darebin Live guarantees something for everyone with a back-to-back program of gigs across Darebin’s prestigious music venues and pop up shows in unexpected places.

Finally, October 28th’s Closing Party is going to be bold, broad and BIG – 18 acts across three stages to be exact! A stunning line-up of some of Darebin’s most famed local talents, including Banoffee, Clypso, Jaala, Jade Imagine, Jess Cornelius, Loose Tooth, Oetha, RVG… the list goes on. It’s all ages, all day and free entry.
A perfect way to close out a stunning 11 days of festivities!

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