Festival fun sweeps Geelong Arts Centre as Australia’s largest regional arts centre opens in Geelong

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Festival fun sweeps Geelong Arts Centre as Australia’s largest regional arts centre opens in Geelong

The grand opening of Geelong Arts Centre’s dazzling new Little Malop Street Redevelopment is happening this week.

The countdown is officially on until 19 August, when Geelong Arts Centre will throw open those snazzy Little Malop Street doors to the public with an epic four-week-long Grand Opening Festival

The team at Geelong Arts Centre promised “something for everyone” and boy did they mean it! Tickets have been selling like hotcakes, but there’s still so much on offer, from ticketed performances to a range of free events.

Keep up with the latest in local news and entertainment here.

Jessica Mauboy, Missy Higgins lead Geelong Arts Centre’s month-long Grand Opening Festival

The unreal festival lineup includes some of the best music on offer, from Australian fan favourite Missy Higgins to the incredible operatic stylings of Rossini in The Barber of Seville (Opera Australia) and glittery homegrown hit musical Priscilla (CentreStage). Plus, festival-goers can also relive the soundtrack to their lives with Pseudo Echo – The Ultimate Tour celebrating all things 80s avant-garde, and Two of Us – The Songs of Lennon & McCartney; a magical, acoustic portrait of the songs that changed the world, performed by Darren Coggan and Damien Leith.

For those looking to really scratch that funny bone, don’t miss A-grade funny man, Ross Noble, as he embarks on his 21st solo stand-up tour with Jibber Jabber Jamboree; an evening full of the sort of inspired nonsense that has cemented his place as the supreme master of ‘stream of conscious freewheeling stand-up’. 

But that’s not all! After captivating audiences at Melbourne Fringe Festival, Adelaide Fringe, and across the ditch at NZ Fringe Festival, A Lovely Day To Be Online joyfully makes its fateful homecoming, gracing the stage of Geelong Arts Centre’s The Open House theatre in September. Singer-songwriter and self-obsessed internet addict Connor Morel fronts a live band in this original comedic gig-theatre show that asks: are we doing the internet right? And would life just be easier without it all?

Connor Morel’s ‘A Lovely Day To Be Online’ returns for one-off performance at Geelong Arts Centre Grand Opening Festival

Of course, the Grand Opening Festival wouldn’t be complete without a broad variety of diverse theatre shows on offer! In an interactive digital presentation – part onscreen, and partly in your hand on mobile – Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran takes you on a whirlwind journey into the world of the excessive lifestyle of Iran’s young elite (Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta with The Javaad Alipoor Company). Or celebrate Indigenous culture through storytelling, original songs, and dance with multi-award winning performance RECKŌNING (Beat Entertainment and Regional Arts Victoria), tackling the modern-day effects of racism and intergenerational trauma. And be sure to catch Miss Peony (Belvoir St Theatre) – a brand new comedy from Michelle Law, writer of the smash hit Single Asian Female. Bringing with it glitz, glamour and ghostliness, Miss Peony is performed in English, Cantonese and Mandarin with subtitles in all three languages, making it inclusive for multilingual friends and family members. 

Plus, from 19 – 27 August, Geelong Arts Centre’s Open House will transform into a mesmerising realm where art meets sustainability for Oasis; an extraordinary art installation by award-winning Australian arts group the indirect Object that transports you to a meticulously constructed island world. First developed in association with members of the Norlane Community Centre, this immersive experience uses sustainable recycled materials to breathe life into organic forms, inviting you to explore and question the boundaries of art. Committed to providing accessible arts experiences for all, between 24 – 26 August, the Oasis sessions running from 10am – 1pm will operate as Relaxed Experiences. Specifically for this Relaxed Experience, the space will be partially lit to create a brighter environment, reduced music volume, and no theatrical haze/smoke effect will be used.

As we know, Geelong is a thriving hub of unbelievable community theatre and dance talent, and you bet that’s being celebrated as part of the Grand Opening festivities! On Sunday 20 August, Geelong Arts Centre will host a free Community Open Day, boasting showcase performances from an array of incredible theatre and dance groups from the region. The lineup includes more than 20 acts across The Play House and The Story House stages between 10am and 4pm. Register free online for a morning or afternoon session and be dazzled by the calibre of our local talent!

Geelong Arts Centre to unveil Grand Opening Festival with an Epic Free Community Open Day

Browse the full lineup and celebrate this milestone occasion by heading here. 

But wait, there’s also Geelong Arts Centre’s Wonder Children’s Festival

Victoria, get ready to be enchanted when Geelong Arts Centre presents its inaugural Wonder Children’s Festival: where wonder takes centre stage!

From 16 – 21 October, immerse your little ones in the magical world of the arts and prepare for an extraordinary journey filled with wonderment, joy, and boundless curiosity, as children aged up to 12 years are invited to experience the transformative power of the arts like never before.

With an incredible lineup of free and ticketed events, including dazzling headline performances from Indigenous dance powerhouse Bangarra, a concert extraordinaire from pioneering local children’s entertainers The Mik Maks, First Nations dance workshops, a Tweens disco night, and even the opportunity to create music using real-life plants with Playable Streets, Geelong Arts Centre’s Wonder Children’s Festival is designed to captivate the hearts and minds of all young, avid arts adventurers.

Taking place right across Geelong Arts Centre’s freshly transformed venues, watch their eyes light up as they witness high-quality performances that transport them to enchanting worlds and leave them in awe of the talent on stage.

Plus, unleash their creativity with amazing interactive workshops and installations, where they can dance, sing, play music, and explore their own artistic expression. Geelong Arts Centre’s Wonder Children’s Festival is more than just a spectator event – it’s an opportunity for young people to become active participants in the magic. Let their imaginations run wild as they step into the spotlight and get involved in the artistic process.

Give the young people in your life the opportunity to discover, create, and connect with the world of performing arts in a way that will leave a lasting impact.

Check out what’s on, and book your tickets now here to be a part of a truly Wonder-ful experience that will ignite their passion for the arts and create treasured memories for years to come.

This article was made in partnership with Geelong Arts Centre