Nine-day South Side Festival brings immersive experiences, live music, installations and more to Frankston

Nine-day South Side Festival brings immersive experiences, live music, installations and more to Frankston

Featuring almost 230 artists in over 50 performances in venues across Frankston, South Side is a contemporary art and culture festival that’s never been seen before in Frankston.

The gateway to the Mornington Peninsula, Frankston makes for the perfect coastal escape, courtesy of its unique blend of contemporary urban experiences, stunning coastal scenery and hidden bushland gems, all wrapped up with unpretentious pride and quirky hospitality.

A prime family-friendly destination, you’ve now got one more reason to pack the car and hit the road next month with a brilliant new festival set to take over the town over nine days.

With the opportunity to discover Frankston like never before, from May 6 to May 15, the inaugural South Side Festival will transform the city, as venues and spaces come to life with more than 50 fantastical and memorable experiences by almost 230 local and national artists.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Bringing Frankston to life in a dazzling extravaganza, the program covers a wide array of contemporary art forms including theatre, live music, visual arts exhibitions, immersive experiences, installations, workshops, markets and everything in between.

Jam-packed with not-to-be-missed experiences that will intrigue, excite and inspire all ages, the Frankston Generator will be a real highlight of the multi-day festival.

Happening underground the Frankston Arts Centre, guests will be invited into the core of a sprawling subterranean generator where a mesmerising and dazzling display of lighting, audio and video installations creates an immersive experience that is the first of its kind.

Over a thousand lighting fixtures, interactive video screens, a wind tunnel and a high-energy musical soundtrack will guide you through the three-level experience that guests are free to discover at their own pace. This event is for all ages – the kids will leave in absolute awe – but children will need to be accompanied by an adult.

The Frankston Generator was conceived by Mandylights; the international design team responsible for some of the most successful touring light artworks in the world, international tours for 5 Seconds of Summer, the Backstreet Boys, Pnau and Ricky Martin and major lighting projects for Floriade NightFest, Vivid Sydney, the Moama Lights and even the City of Melbourne’s Federation Square Christmas Tree, so you know it’s going to be good.

Delivering another spectacle as part of the nine-day event, ‘Saturation’ is a free family-friendly event that promises to brighten up our cooler days and longer nights. Running across multiple dates, ‘Saturation’ is a digital water projection piece developed and produced by digital artist Joel Zika and Collide Public Arts Initiative with Voices of Frankston choir (VOF). The work uses a unique system of projection onto water mist which creates a real-world augmented reality, images you can touch and walk amongst.

In ‘Saturation’, performers’ faces appear on the cascading wall of water, creating a transparent three-dimensional interpretation of the choir’s work to accompany their audio. Zika and Collide have worked with the VOF over many months to capture images and audio of the choir which will be presented on key nights over the duration of the South Side Festival in Frankston.

Saturation evolves to give the faces and voices of this particular Frankston community a prominence that they are not normally afforded, a commanding experience that needs to be seen, heard and felt.

Alongside these highlights, the festival program is vast, but other must-see events include Circa’s Peepshow, Geelong’s famed Piano Bar experience, the Little Beauty Market, Murrundaya Yepengna Dance Workshops, drag brunch, theatre productions from Scratch Arts, and Reckōning, a 1-hour show depicting the intertwining of indigenous culture through storytelling, original songs and dance, tackling the modern-day effects of racism and intergenerational trauma.

South Side Festival runs from 6 – 15 May in and around the city of Frankston. Explore the full program and purchase tickets to individual events here

South Side Festival is presented by Frankston City Council with support from EastLink and Mandylights.