Melbourne’s RISING festival unveils monumental 2024 program of new music, art and performance

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Melbourne’s RISING festival unveils monumental 2024 program of new music, art and performance

Words by staff writer

RISING, Melbourne’s prestigious festival celebrating new music, art, and performance, has unveiled its ambitious 2024 program, promising a dazzling array of events set to captivate the city from June 1 to 16.

With 105 events, over 480 artists, 23 new commissions, 6 world premieres, and 8 Australian premieres, the festival is set to ignite Melbourne’s cultural scene across sixteen vibrant nights.

Stretching down Swanston St and beyond, RISING will transform Melbourne into a stage, with large-scale installations, free public events, and a plethora of contemporary music, theatre, and dance performances animating the city’s streets, venues, and hidden spaces.

Iconic arcades and back alleys will burst to life with art exhibitions, performances, and micro-bars, while Melbourne Town Hall will host a sprawling day party over the King’s Birthday long weekend. The festival will also feature ethereal sound works echoing from the Birrarung, mass music-making at St Paul’s Cathedral, and a showcase of First Nations art at Fed Square.

RISING Festival: Melbourne’s 2024 program

  • Melbourne’s eclectic art, music and performance festival will feature 105 events and more than 480 artists
  • It will take place in iconic and underground venues across the city, from June 1—16, 2024
  • The music program is headlined by Yasiin Bey, Onefour, Fever Ray, The Dirty Three, SHOUSE, Yves Tumor, Sky Ferreira, Tirzah and many more
  • RISING subscribers presale begins 12pm, Tuesday 12 March. General public tickets on sale 12pm, Thursday 14 March
  • Book tickets to three or more eligible events in one transaction via the RISING website and automatically get 15% off the standard ticket price

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.


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RISING co-artistic directors Hannah Fox and Gideon Obarzanek expressed their excitement about the festival’s contribution to Melbourne’s cultural landscape, stating, “RISING 2024 is a festival that belongs to Naarm, Melbourne. Some of the most exciting voices in art, music and performance offer moments of catharsis and reflection with mass music making in a church or summoning the cosmos in our town square.”

“The most important part is coming together to be thrilled, bemused, shaken or delighted.”

Among the highlights of the festival is The Blak Infinite, a vibrant exhibition and public program at Fed Square curated by Kimberley Moulton and Kate ten Buuren. This transformative showcase celebrates First Peoples’ art, politics, and cosmic connections, featuring installations inspired by the original Aboriginal Tent Embassy and immersive nighttime projections exploring themes of belonging and place.

One of the festival’s centrepieces is The Rivers Sing, a monumental sound work by Deborah Cheetham AO, Byron Scullin, and Thomas Supple, which returns to RISING to offer a nightly auditory experience along the Birrarung, blending field recordings with human voices in celebration of nature’s voice.

In an Australian-exclusive world premiere, international dance-floor phenomenon SHOUSE will lead Communitas, a mass-choir experience at St Paul’s Cathedral, inviting over a thousand participants to form a chorus of voices and forge new connections through collective composition.

The festival’s music lineup is equally impressive, featuring Melbourne icons Dirty Three in their first hometown shows in 12 years, Western Sydney drill trailblazers OneFour, US hip hop icon Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), and Swedish electro-pop singer Fever Ray, among others.

Other highlights include immersive theatre experiences such as FOOD by Geoff Sobelle, dance performances like Arkadia by Melanie Lane, and thought-provoking works such as Gurr Era Op by Ghenoa Gela, addressing urgent issues like climate change and cultural preservation.

RISING promises an unforgettable cultural journey, inviting audiences to experience Melbourne in a new light and immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant arts scene. With a diverse program spanning music, art, theatre, and dance, the festival is set to elevate Melbourne’s cultural status on the global stage.

Tickets for RISING 2024 go on sale to the general public on March 14 at Early access is available to subscribers from March 12. For more information and ticket bookings, visit the festival’s website.